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How and why we created Intranet TV for Atlantic Group

What defines a happy employee? A lot of factors weigh in, such as working conditions, celebrations, team buildings etc. One of the key factors is internal communication.

If people are kept “in the dark” and you keep key information away from them, they’ll create their own versions of the truth and, in time, become dissatisfied. Instead of avoiding communication, smart companies share with their employees as much information they can using tools such as intranet. Employees understand and value the intention. The opposite (denying information to employees) leads to lack of understanding, suspicion and even fear.

Atlantic Group recognized the importance of internal communication and chose one platform as a central place of communication.

Atlantic intranet

When employees of Atlantic Group arrive at the office and start up their computer, they are greeted by an intranet on Microsoft SharePoint 2013 platform. This intranet is a central point for internal communications for 11 countries and it connects communication, news, employees, departments and interesting facts related to Atlantic Group.

We developed and released the intranet in 2014. Although it was well adopted, there was a challenge why intranet is not used by all 5000+ employees on more than 19 production and distribution centers.

Challenge – intranet present only in offices

Intranet is accessed on a computer in office locations. Atlantic Group soon realized that a lot of employees are not using intranet and therefore missing out on latest information. That primarily applies to employees who don’t use a computer on a daily basis (eg. production workers). 

How can we give all employees access to information?

AtlanticTV – intranet on a SmartTV

An idea to connect the existing Atlantic intranet portal and a Smart TV was created. It’s main goal is to give all employees access to information, even if they work something non-related to using a computer.

The guiding principle of this projects is simplicity. The end product of collaboration between Atlantic Group and eVision is AtlanticTV. Feđa Hudina, director of internal communications and projects of Atlantic Group, defines AtlanticTV:

“AtlanticTV is not a classic transmission based television but an Info TV with text news and pictures taken from our intranet platform. The IT base was developed in first six months of 2015 and resulted in a modern Smart TV app which can be installed on any type of Smart TV.”

Now employees can see three elements of the existing Atlantic Intranet at any time:

  1. Selected news take up most of the screen and they stay on the screen for a few seconds. They are shown simply using a picture, text of the news and date of publishing.
  2. New employees are shown inline under news with an accompanying picture of an employee, his or her name and work position.
  3. Latest news are located at the bottom of the screen (similarly to modern TV news) and they show only the titles of the latest news which can be read on the intranet portal.
AtlanticTV showcase
A display of selected news, new employees and latest news

Currently, AtlanticTV is set up at central locations of Atlantic Group (Zagreb, Belgrade, Ljubljana). The long term goal is to expand this project on 50 regional locations. Ultimately, this means that AtlanticTV will be present on at least 50 Smart TVs which will inform a large number of employees on news from within or outside the company as soon as they happen.

How we connected intranet and a TV?

When we started on this project, we knew that we’ll have to adapt the whole design of the existing Atlantic intranet portal for a special (bigger) TV format. Also, we had to think of the way to connect information from the intranet and the Smart TV using internet connection.

Note: Atlantic Intranet is created on SharePoint 2013 platform

For design of AtlanticTV we created a brand new layout which constantly rotates 10 hand-picked news. The news are selected by members of Corporate Communications of Atlantic Group easily – by clicking on “publish on AtlanticTV” when the news is written on Atlantic intranet.

For connecting intranet and Smart TV our initial idea was to simply load a website in the browser of a Smart TV. However, we came across a challenge as we couldn’t switch off unnecessary elements in the web browser of a Smart TV, such as the URL, zoom selection, add to favorites button etc.

How did we solve the challenge? Well, we created something we’ve never done before – an application for a Smart TV. This app loads a website much like a browser would do, but it displays the website on a full screen with no additional interferences. That’s the simplest way to access Atlantic TV without any difficulties and now we know how to create a Smart TV app.

Ready to use!

How do you use a smart TV app AtlanticTV?

When you turn on a TV, you’re greeted with a home screen that lists seven languages. You choose the one you want. That’s it – starting up AtlanticTV is as simple as changing channels!

Home screen when Atlantic TV is turned on

So far we got a lot of positive feedback from Atlantic Group employees. This includes both the intranet and AtlanticTV. We’re sure that any company looking to keep their employees informed and satisfied has a need for these or a similar apps. We’ll continue to write about this project and bring fresh information “from the field”.

Contact us if you have any questions or suggestions regarding intranets or Smart TV apps.

BIZ datum:22.6.2015. 10:00 autor:

Marin Burić

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