Solid research, meaningful goals drive a successful intranet relaunch

Beyond the usual search and design improvements, Astellas sought to reach the field and go mobile.

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Pharmaceutical company Astellas used the upgrade of its intranet, InSite, to take the site to new heights. Its successful effort has won Astellas first place for “Best Launch or Relaunch” in Ragan’s 2016 Intranet Awards.

While most relaunches aim to improve the look and feel of an intranet, enhance search functionality and reorganize content, Astellas had loftier goals. Key among them: Enable employees to access the intranet via their smartphones and deliver content to 1,200 field employees who had been isolated from the old intranet. 

Other goals focused on driving higher levels of employee engagement through improved two-way communication, and introducing internal social media to the company—notoriously difficult in the pharmaceutical field and other highly regulated industries. 

To achieve these goals with more than mere guesswork, the communicators conducted stakeholder interviews, usability tests and other research methodologies. Many of these techniques were repeated as the revamped intranet took shape. 

In addition to nuts-and-bolts improvements in speed and other elements, InSite now boasts interactive feedback capabilities, personalization, subscription options and integration of the company’s various social media activities. 

Post-launch research found employees are now visiting the intranet daily and responding enthusiastically to the update. 

For a strategic approach that resonated with stakeholders, congrats to Jennifer Saputo and Trent Richardson of Astellas. 

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