Great Intranets Part III: DIRECTV

It takes a highly engaging, collaborative intranet to be a great intranet. And a highly engaged workforce, led by a very active executive team that not only believes in and talks social, but walks social too.

Find the link to the full column at the Intranet Blog

Cisco intranet home page

DIRECTV intranet executive blogs

DIRECTV, which has since announced a merger with AT&T, is one of the world’s leading providers of digital television entertainment services delivering a premium video experience through state-of-the-art technology to more than 34 million customers in the U.S. and Latin America.


DIRECTV began their evolutionary journey to a true social intranet (the former intranet was all hand-coded) began with a need and want to better link (connect) their people.

The DIRECTV intranet team began by crafting a detailed vision:

“Make it easy for DIRECTV employees to connect, collaborate, access and share information in multiple settings, leading to greater engagement and productivity, better decision-making and increased innovation.”

This vision was supported by a business case crafted from internal feedback and input from executives and leaders, and McKinsey data:

  • 70% of companies use some type of social (web 2.0) technologies
  • 90% of companies using social technologies report some business benefit from them
  • 28 hours per week is spent by knowledge workers writing emails, searching for information and collaborating with colleagues
  • 20 to 25% potential improvement possible in knowledge worker productivity when using social technologies

The intranet features active bloggers among their executive team, including the CEO, and CMO. In fact, more than a dozen DIRECTV executives blog on the corporate intranet. Blog topics are typically those that are “dear to the executive’s heart” and those that employees and team members recognize as hot topics. All executives blog in their own words, no ghost writing. Among the blogging executives:

  • CEO often blogs about community, education, social innovation, and social innovation
  • CTO drives a lot of innovation, and talks about new products
  • CMO focuses on people development, community involvement, etc.

The CORE, the aptly named social intranet which is the defacto desktop for DIRECTV knowledge workers, was designed to be highly social, and collaborative. Among the top features and social tools that help bring more than 10,000 employees closer together at DIRECTV are:

  • Discussions / forums
  • Document creation, uploading, version control, near-simultaneous co-editing
  • Ideas, ideation, crowd-sourcing (voting, etc.)
  • User status updates
  • Action tracking, task assignment
  • Videos uploaded, embedded or third-party streaming (e.g. YouTube)
  • Events (for purposes of collecting registrations, adding to users’ Outlook calendars)
  • Following people, places, contents
  • Tagging
  • Groups
  • Polls

Find the link to the full column at the Intranet Blog

Written by Toby Ward

The founder and CEO of Prescient Digital Media, and Social Business interactive, Toby is an internationally recognized and acclaimed expert in the areas of intranets, enterprise technology, intranets, and social media. Among his many clients are Harvard, HSBC, Mastercard, Nintendo, Pepsico, Sony, and many others.