We regularly see companies where a number of people are actively using Confluence. But the heads of corporate communications worry that they are not reaching all employees – after all, the intranet is usually available to only those employees with their own workstations, not factory workers, those in retail spaces, or other types of distributed, low-tech workplaces.
In these situations, we often hear questions along the line of:
Our employees with their own computers are productively working in Confluence already, but only some employees have a corporate phone. Most use their own device. I have seen that Linchpin Mobile could be used with our server. Can you explain how this works, and how we can get everybody in the company on-board, even those who don’t have access to a computer?
The Linchpin intranet suite was made to help you reach everyone in your company and let all employees collaborate effectively and efficiently. Linchpin Mobile is a crucial element in accomplishing this.
How does it work?
Employees can access all company news and every page in Confluence easily using their smartphones. They can participate in discussions and add quick project updates via the microblog. You can find phone numbers and see complete employee profiles via the central employee directory, so you’ll always be able to get in touch with the person you need.
What do I need?
It is most effective when you have all of the Linchpin intranet apps activated in your Atlassian Confluence instance, but it also works with Confluence as a standalone app.
Trying it out is very simple. Download and install Linchpin Mobile for Confluence Server from the Atlassian Marketplace. If your Confluence Server instance is behind a firewall we highly recommend using our secure mobile gateway. Then, grab the mobile app for your smartphone, either from Apple’s App Store (for iOS devices) or from Google Play (for Android devices).
Linchpin Mobile for Confluence Server adds a QR code to your Confluence profile – simply scan this using the Linchpin Mobile app for iOS or Android and you’ll register the app securely with the system, and get full access to your intranet on your mobile device.
How do I get everyone to install the app?
Downloading the mobile app to a smartphone is free. Employees will need a data connection to download the app and the intranet’s content. This may involve mobile data costs on their side.
There are a few strategies:
A. Company pays everything
This is the optimal scenario but very uncommon and unlikely. It’s what IT departments immediately think about when we talk about Linchpin Mobile: “Oh, we already use this mobile device management software (MDM or EMM like Mobile Iron, AirWatch, Microsoft Intune, …), so we can use this for Linchpin Mobile too.”
Although this is theoretically possible, it means that the company pays 100% of the costs:
- Smartphone hardware (200 USD to 1250 USD per employee)
- Monthly mobile data plan (20 to 100 USD per employee per month)
- MDM software (5 USD per employee per month)
This can get very expensive, fast. Which usually means that only an elite group of employees receive this type of service from the company.
B. Company pays nothing
Most employees in companies do not get a ‘free’ smartphone from their employer. It is rarely financially feasible for a company to suddenly provide mobile phones to everyone. But employees do often own their own smartphones – Bring Your Own Device (BYOD)!
Management also isn’t usually willing to pay for the MDM for all employees. That is why we have built the mobile gateway so that you do not need the MDM solution – even when your systems are behind a firewall.
Every employee can simply install the free mobile app on their smartphone and scan their own QR code from their profile in the intranet. Quick and easy!
C. A balanced approach
Should the company pay employees at least something? If you choose the BYOD strategy, you will require employees to make a potentially significant private investment (smartphone hardware, mobile data plan), so they can access company information, and “work” within the intranet.
You could argue that an employee doesn’t do this to invest in their employer, because they would buy the phone and the mobile data plan anyway, whether or not the company rolls out Linchpin Mobile.
But especially when employees bring their own phone,all mobile intranet usage should be optional if you don’t compensate your employees in some way.
When you provide the hardware, you can make it mandatory
If you want to make sure that all employees actually use your intranet, the most effective way is to provide them with an inexpensive device. I recently bought an Android smartphone for 199 Euros (Huawei Honor 8). This was a perfectly affordable and suitable device.
Combined with a free w-ifi on the company premises, this achieves a balance between the pay-for-everything and pay-nothing approaches. Most factories, retail outlets, hotels, hospitals, etc. have wi-fi for their employees these days, so you will be able to reach all all of your employees, when they are at work!
In this case, if employees want a mobile connection to their intranet when they are away from company premises, they would simply have to buy a mobile data plan themselves.
What if employees don’t have an email address?
And one final question – I was surprised when one of our customers asked me: “Will they need an email for this?” Many factory workers are not even part of a company’s digital system. For cost reasons, they often do not even have a company email address.
With Linchpin Mobile, they do not have to have their own company email address. While it would be good to ensure all employees have an email address in Confluence, you only need to make sure that every employee has a user account. Confluence Server has very affordable user tiers for high numbers of users.
Convinced? Start using Linchpin Mobile today!
We’d love to talk to you about introducing Linchpin Mobile to your workplace and helping your employees collaborate more effectively – get in contact with us! If you are ready to jump in, you can get Linchpin Mobile for Confluence Server from the Atlassian Marketplace right now.
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