Plek connects people across organizational boundaries. It allows them to communicate, share and learn like never before. Plek can be used as a social intranet, community- or collaboration platform. It has all the essential functionalities and more: news, profiles, groups, messages, chat, calendars, documents, a super-fast search engine, a powerful mobile app and integrations with platforms such as Google Drive, Office 365 and SharePoint.
We offer an out-of-the-box Plek but we also like to prototype different versions and extensions of the existing platform with our clients. Read all about our adventures with Telegraaf Media Groep, the Amsterdam Fire Brigade and Frontier Finance below. And stay tuned for more - we’re currently working on an innovation module or Plek with construction company Heembouw!
Telegraaf Media Groep
The Telegraaf Media Groep (TMG) is the biggest consumer publisher in the Netherlands, with brands such as De Telegraaf, Metro, VROUW, Dumpert, GeenStijl and several regional newspapers. In order to hold on to its key position in today’s fast-paced society, the company is continuously transitioning into digital media and new business models.
TMG came to us because their internal communication tools did not facilitate business units and departments to work together in achieving the company’s goals. In order to break down internal communication silos, we offered them a custom version of our social intranet Plek. Obviously it came with a custom mobile app, which makes sure TMG’s employees stay in touch in this digital age.
Large and diverse companies such as TMG have many systems and tools in place and employees are often sceptical about yet another tool. To overcome this, we focused on implementing a small amount of key features really well (searchable people profiles and easy-to-start groups).
Amsterdam Fire Brigade
The Amsterdam Fire Brigade (BAA) deals with fires, accidents, disasters and crises in the Amsterdam-Amstelland region. The region consists of six municipalities and has one million inhabitants. It receives a daily commute of thousands of people and two million tourists a year. A regional merger resulted in a brigade consisting of 1100 people (professionals and volunteers) spread out over 20 fire stations. Their common interest: fighting fire. Apart from that, a shared culture was lacking.
To facilitate knowledge sharing and engagement across the entire brigade, the custom Plek app we built BAA provides company news and people profiles. But in order to do their jobs, firefighters also need the latest situation updates - especially on mobile. That’s why we equipped the BAA Plek app with a live feed of incident information, straight from the control room.
Early on in the process, we submitted a prototype of the app to an internal innovation contest at BAA. It won (65% of the votes!), created a receptive audience and provided valuable inputs.
Frontier Finance (previously called TCX) provides services to development finance institutions: state-owned investment banks that provide funding for companies in developing countries. Development finance professionals are always on the go: assessing funding opportunities in third world countries and finding funding partners. Because they hardly ever see each other, it’s hard to connect, partner and complete deals together if you don’t have the right tools to do so.
We built TCX an invitation-only network based on Plek, and we called it Frontier Finance. It enables 10.000 development finance professionals to connect with peers, share insights and get the latest country and travel information.
Rapid prototyping techniques gave us valuable feedback from intended users early in the design process. This research helped us find opportunities to add value and create an MVP that supports the community. Also, the name we came up with for the platform was eventually adopted as the new company name!