You need to generate just as much attention for your content internally at your own company as you do for your products with customers. Organizations that achieve this without spreading the word internally are the exception rather than the rule. When our customers build and outfit a new building, information displays form an integral part of the interior design concept. They’re modern, dynamic, and fit in perfectly with the company’s digitalization strategy.

Displays have long been dominant in catching attention and campaign-like communication. You just have to look at a fast-food outlet to realize this. Or an airport. Or simply pay attention generally to outdoor advertising. In places where there’s a lot of foot traffic, posters have long since given way to displays. So why shouldn’t your organization benefit from this attention-grabbing medium of information transfer? The advantages are pretty obvious, really. The only problem, however, is that implementing them is often not so easy. An organization can’t simply assume that a simple and trivial slogan backed up by a nice face will be enough to entertain or even motivate people to become active in the long-term.

A mall or an airport concourse always has lots of new people (each with a very short attention span) that you can reach. In an organization, on the other hand, the target group for display advertising is relatively small. The size of the group can vary between 10 and 250 people. But fewer displays have a better spread. (I’m assuming here that you will be setting up a large number of displays at numerous critical vantage points.) At the Allianz headquarters in Munich, you would probably be able to address hundreds or thousands of people in the food court with just a handful of displays. So why isn’t it a good idea for Allianz to set up additional displays in the various tea kitchens or lounge areas dotted around the campus? At these spots, smaller target groups are more likely. 

Let’s concentrate on the displays with less foot traffic first. What is needed here is that people not only see the advertising per se but that they also take something away with them. If someone is waiting for their coffee in front of a coffee machine or a meal in front of a microwave, they can spend between 15 and 20 seconds looking at something. That is how long a “display session” will take.

An ideal situation would look like this: there’s a screensaver that offers a video that can be activated, picks up central elements such as the news portal, or shows a dashboard with general numbers that encourages clicks. As soon as you touch the screen (we use capacitive touch displays for Linchpin Touch), the screen saver stops. An overview then appears that picks up on the information teaser previously shown in screensaver mode, which allows the user to access more detail. You can then read the first lines of a message, where you could only see the heading before, or scroll up and down. There’s also a chart you can zoom in on. By this time, your food or coffee is ready and you simply leave the session. There’s no login or logout. The session is completely anonymous on the end device and system and does nothing more than offer a teaser about the information available. It’s a little bit like a newspaper kiosk at a train station, where you leaf through a magazine before your train arrives. All the information is available and open to you, but you don’t have much time to take it in.

And what about security in this situation? The touch screen only offers access to a very small part of the information available on the intranet. As a rule, the site where it is installed already guarantees a certain level of security. For example, nobody can simply walk into our offices without registering at the reception desk first and being assigned a “chaperone” who accompanies them everywhere. Despite this, every display is personalized. This means that we broadcast information with local and technical relevance depending on where the display is installed. And it goes without saying that we don’t display sensitive information that’s only meant for certain groups in the organization and is access-protected. When no one is in a room, the display switches off automatically to save electricity. 

One objection that we occasionally hear from customers goes as follows: nowadays everyone has a smartphone and can use it to access information. So, we don’t have to set up and manage expensive displays, do we? Theoretically, this is a justified objection – but practically, it’s also simple to invalidate: if this logic were correct, it would mean that all the outdoor posters and displays in city centers should be removed, because the companies advertising there also have websites that people can access on their smartphones. But nobody does that. And your corporate messages are certainly not as important as your friend’s WhatsApp message, that ping from your dating app, your next appointment, or your checking account balance. Smartphones simply contain too many distractions. 

A colleague who gets a coffee or heats up their food has twenty seconds available to them but doesn’t shape it actively in any way. If they did so, neither their smartphone nor a display would stand a chance. Then they would briefly study an offer they want to make or think about the solution to a problem that their customer has. 

One target group you can easily reach, however, is the caffeine addicts who regularly come to the machine where the display is. And once people have studied the summary of what’s new on the intranet for about 20 seconds, a more in-depth session on their computer or smartphone may very well follow, where they read the message to the end and even “like” or comment on it. 

And what about high-traffic areas in the company, where hundreds of people roam around? Here, you might consider just installing a screensaver-like solution. Or you could experiment with a small kitchen concept and see whether the interaction with the touchscreen attracts other “viewers,” which may even result in some brief conversations about the latest developments. 

That’s also the reason why I’m so busy with our own “Linchpin Touch” solution at the moment. I know of absolutely no comparable solution that’s capable of simultaneously delivering intranet content into the physical office in such an automated, personalized, and convenient manner. There are dozens of display solutions on the market, but they usually require the data to be imported separately, which makes them very complex. 

There are several basic requirements for touch displays that your intranet team would do well to be aware of: 

  • Primarily, they should be very cost-efficient, and secondly, very low maintenance. After all, they need to be robust enough to stand being operated under real-life conditions for as long as possible. 
  • They shouldn’t need a systems administrator and problems should be able to be dealt with easily, for instance, when a cleaner accidentally pulls the power plug. 
  • They should be compatible with different network scenarios.

In terms of hardware costs, the current market price for a simple 23-inch touch device for kitchens with all the bells and whistles is around 740 euros. (Yes, the push message you just received on your phone was from me. I just sent you a link in Telegram to some more details: & 

Commercial smartboards, on the other hand, can cost between 2,000 and 5,000 euros. This may be justified for certain applications, but as intranet billboards for 20-second use, they are just too expensive for us. 

Displays can be very exciting if you don’t currently have a smartphone solution and you have lots of employees without their own computer workstations. In a mixed situation like this, screens of this type are often the only quick and uncomplicated method available to access intranet content. 

In the long term, I hope that all companies will decide to make their intranet information available on smartphones. The only application left over for display as a result is the “billboard” function – as a digital replacement for the company’s bulletin board, so to speak.

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The Social Intranet

Foster collaboration and strengthen communication. Be effective with enterprise intranets mobile and in the cloud.

Virtual Collaboration in Companies: Social Intranets as a Digital Home 

Never before has the business world been so overrun by cloud software and specialized vendors as it is now. There is so much software out there that it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of things. It is all the more important for the future of work to have a place for digital meeting - a reliable home port meaningfully networked with numerous other systems that makes it quick and easy to navigate. This will increase transparency in the company and make collaboration more effective. Based on many years of experience, this book tells you how it already works in today's digitalized world and which trends you probably should rather than shouldn't follow.

About the author

Martin Seibert was 17 when he founded the software company Seibert Media. Twenty-four years later, it has nearly 200 employees and generates 35 million euros in annual sales. He has been sharing his enthusiasm for technology in YouTube videos for many years - and now also in his new book about social intranets.

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This content was last updated on 03/31/2021.

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