November 29, 2021

The company directory, essential for internal collaboration



5 min reading

The company directory, also known as the trombinoscope, is an indispensable tool for your Intranet.

The role of the company directory goes far beyond that of a list of employees. It must be designed as a real tool for accelerating exchanges and collaboration.

The definition of a Digital Workplace is now well known: it is based on an ergonomic Cloud environment that offers multiple collaborative work tools integrated with enterprise applications. In this new generation workplace, the company directory plays a key role: omnipresent in the communication and exchange tools, it is essential for good communication and collaboration between teams.

Hybrid working naturally leads to the emergence of silos

This crucial role of the directory has become particularly apparent as teleworking has become a much more important part of employees' daily lives. Hybrid working, which combines onsite and home working phases, puts the digital workplace at the centre of collaboration. The use of Microsoft Teams has exploded during the confinement phase, with a record figure of +775% for Microsoft Teams in some countries such as Italy. The Microsoft Research study was conducted among more than 60,000 Microsoft employees during the first containment. It highlighted the importance of collaboration tools for effective remote working. However, in parallel with the rise of Internet-based group work, the researchers noted a reduction in the number of company-wide interactions: employees interact much more with their direct colleagues, but much less with those in other project teams and departments. At Microsoft, for example, the researchers measured a 25% drop in collaboration time between different work groups.

💡 To go further, discover our 7 tips to boost internal communication within a Digital Workplace

A tool such as the corporate social network (CSN) Yammer allows the user to be continuously informed about the activity of the members of his or her network and to receive notifications of each new post. At the same time, teleworking phases lead to an absence of informal exchanges at the coffee machine or in the margins of meetings. This leads to what researchers call fragmentation of exchanges. Thanks to digital tools, employees communicate more and more frequently within their work circle, but much less beyond! The researchers have thus noted the formation of clusters of users between whom communication is much less frequent.

💡 To go further, find out how to create an internal social networking platform without getting it wrong

They consider that the fragmentation of users and this silo-based operation are major obstacles to innovation. New ideas and disruptive innovations are often born from the confrontation of points of view and the acceleration of exchanges between departments. This is why the implementation of a Digital Workplace must be accompanied by measures to stimulate exchanges between work groups.

Transforming the directory into a true collaboration tool

The directory is a key tool to fight against this fragmentation of exchanges in a company. The role of the Digital Workplace is to provide the user with effective tools to get in touch with anyone in the company in order to help them accomplish their mission. In this sense, the directory should reflect the organisation of the company by integrating the organisation chart and the links between employees. An employee who wishes to have more information about a future product should be able to contact the design office easily. Likewise, a message sent by a customer to the call centre or via a social network must be able to circulate quickly to the right person so that the problem can be resolved as quickly as possible. Mozzaik365's Trombinoscope function allows to quickly find a collaborator in the organization, which makes internal exchanges on the platform more fluid.

The Digital Workplace must harness 'tacit' information

Beyond the membership services and the hierarchical links of each, the directory must truly model the know-how of each. An extension such as Mozzaik365 can go further with SharePoint and bring new features to the Microsoft 365 suite. For example, in the case of the directory, Mozzaik365 can better display the skills and experiences of each person.

As Frédéric Veldeman, Digital Strategist & Manager at Keyrus, explained during the Webinar organised by Mozzaik on the role of the Digital Workplace in knowledge management, 5% of knowledge is explicit and 95% is tacit. The latter is made up of the professional experience of each employee, the knowledge that he or she may have acquired during his or her watch, during informal exchanges or even during leisure time. The role of a modern digital workplace is to enable everyone to use this information to find the right contact at the right time. The intranet search engine must be able to make the link between the user profiles in the directory and all the content and comments posted by everyone. All these informal contributions on the social tools made available by the company constitute a body of tacit knowledge which makes it possible to extend the search to all the real skills of the employees.

In this sense, it is crucial to encourage business experts to share as much content as possible on the intranet platform. Their contributions and comments are a precious help for the other members of the organisation and will contribute to raising the level of expertise of their colleagues. On the one hand, this spontaneous communication generates exchanges and thus improves the direct circulation of information within the company. On the other hand, in a Digital Workplace built on Microsoft 365, this content feeds the Machine Learning algorithms of the platform. The algorithm will learn to recognise employees on the basis of the basic data entered in the directory, but also on the basis of content posted on the intranet. Thus, as soon as a user searches for an expert in a specific field, the algorithm will be able to propose a list of experts corresponding to his request.

💡 To find out more about the Microsoft Digital Workplace, discover 5 reasons to create a Microsoft-based intranet

Internal collaboration tool : The company directory

Teams, a platform designed to facilitate sharing

According to the 2021 edition of the Arctus Intranet and Digital Workplace Observatory, 72% of French companies have chosen to rely on Microsoft solutions to build their Digital Workplace. Users can rely on the tools included in Microsoft 365 to interact with their colleagues. They can choose between the RSE Yammer, the SharePoint tools and above all Office Delve, an essential tool for identifying the expert on a subject. Often overlooked, Office Delve is a graphical tool that leverages the artificial intelligence algorithms of the Microsoft platform. It is extremely powerful because it helps users to find the right person on Microsoft 365. The more relevant a document is, the more it is consulted and commented on by other users, the more its author will be considered an expert on the subject.

More focused on individuals, Microsoft Teams offers advanced search tools in the company directory via its "Who" bot. Thus, the query "Who is" allows you to find a person, "Who knows" will allow you to find the experts on a given subject. It is also possible to identify a person's line manager as well as all the employees who have had exchanges with them. Finally, it is possible to find all of the participants in a Teams meeting and thus continue the exchanges with them and capitalise on the information exchanged during a Teams videoconference.

The Microsoft platform offers multiple collaboration tools and ways to explore user data. Mozzaik365's Trombinoscope component allows you to find a collaborator by name, skills, interests... directly from SharePoint. You will be able to view his team, contact him via Outlook or Teams and see all exchanges, joint documents or public post with this collaborator.

💡 To go further, discover how to optimize your meetings with advanced tools like Microsoft Whiteboard

The role of a Digital Workplace solution such as Mozzaik365 is to bring more features to those offered by SharePoint in native mode. Thus, the interface is more coherent, complete and ergonomic. In this respect, the corporate directory is fully integrated into this desire to provide users with a totally unified and uncluttered work environment, which is the very definition of a modern Digital Workplace

Things to remember

The business directory :

📌 Promotes collaborative work;

📌 Humanizes the working relationship in a hybrid working context;

📌 Transcribes the skills of a company;

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