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Top 12 Questions About the Communifire Intranet Software

Top 12 Questions About the Communifire Intranet Software

Top 12 Questions About the Communifire Intranet Software

Let's assume that you've been looking at Communifire intranet software. You love it and can't wait to get started. Your next step is due diligence. You are probably wondering, "What does my future look like? How does this all work?"

We're as excited as you are—we're going to show you what everything looks like. We love talking to potential customers about their future. The conversation usually starts with a bit of skepticism, and then quickly changes to excitement and enthusiasm.

Below are the top twelve most common questions we get before a customer moves forward—here's what your future looks like. If you need to get your IT Department on board, this article is great to share with them because it provides some high-level technical information, too.

Shall we begin?

1) Is this just another software application to manage?

This is not your mothers intranet. Gone are the days of old, clunky intranet systems. Times have changed and technology continues to advance. Rescue your intranet from the dark ages and bring your company into modern life.

Communifire is easy to set up, easy to launch, and even easier to manage. It's designed to work like consumer software your employees already use—making it friendly, familiar, and flexible. It fits into your digital workplace as your core destination—the first place your employee's login to start their day, and the last place they log out of before they go home.

When we ask customers, what is the most important thing they got out of launching their Communifire social intranet, we get a similar set of answers.

"We put the names with the faces."
"It gives us a small company feel."
"I feel connected to everyone in the company."
"I don't feel alone anymore."
"Everything is in one place."
"It's our single source of truth."
"It's a game-changer for our company."

Even those customers who didn't set out to unify their company or improve their culture, report this outcome time and time again.

Imagine how much more you can do when the majority of your employees no longer see the company as a faceless machine, but as people they know and trust.

Communifire works. And our customer retention tells the story. 99% of customers are still using the platform after five years. You can read some of their stories here.

2) What does the buying process look like?

Based on your past enterprise software evaluations, you're probably thinking that this is a complicated and difficult process. With Communifire, it's straightforward and simple. We work hard to make this easy for you.

You may be wondering what the buying process looks like. It's likely that you have your own internal policies and a path that you usually follow to evaluate and choose a vendor. That's great. Please share that with us. And for those of you that don't have a process, we can help with that too.

Nine times out of ten, this is the path that our customers follow:

  1. Discovery –  Fill out our contact us form and share with us a little about yourself and what your organization is looking to accomplish with a new intranet. Think of us as your guide. One of our knowledgeable sales reps will talk with you to make sure Communifire is a good fit to solve your intranet challenges. Our focus is on determining if Communifire is the right solution for you. Often times, of course, it is. But sometimes it is not, and we admit that, and we can suggest alternatives. Building trust, being your personal guide, providing full transparency, and showing respect is at the heart of our sales team.
  2. Live Demo – If Communifire seems like a great fit, we'll schedule a demo with your and your team. It's a good idea to get everyone involved in your vendor selection to attend the demo. We walk you through the platform, showing you exactly how it solves your challenges. At the same time, we are answering your questions and guiding you through the process.
  3. Trial and Q&A – Most people want a trial site so they can "kick the tires" and experience Communifire themselves. We are happy to provide you a trial. It's a good idea to know what you want to get out of the trial—and our sales team is great at helping you with that. We are hands-on during the trial, guiding you and answering all of your questions.
  4. Procurement – When you decide that Communifire is the best fit, we'll share a preliminary agreement and investment details with you. We're happy to work with your IT team to discuss the technical and security details and your procurement and/or legal team to make sure the agreement and investment work for your terms and your budget.
  5. Sign Agreement – Once you are happy with terms and investment, we mutually sign the agreement, issue the invoice, and take care of payment. Thank you for becoming a customer! We are thrilled to support you and ready to get you started.
  6. Schedule Bnboarding – Your Axero Sales Rep will schedule a call and introduce you to our Customer Success Team, who will guide you through the implementation so you can thrive with your new intranet.

3) How much time does it take to implement?

We know that launching a new intranet can be daunting. You might be thinking that this will take you a lot of time and resources. And you might be thinking that this is a complicated process that could end up costing you more than what you thought.

In your search for a new intranet platform, you’re probably talking with ten different vendors and hearing ten different versions about the implementation process. Some say that it takes 6 months. Some say 256 hours. Others have 20 different steps you have to go through. And then there are the vendors that hand you the software and leave it up to you to figure out.

This is confusing and stressful, and we believe this is just wrong. This is madness.

We believe that launching an intranet shouldn't be hard. So we make it easy—we do 90% of the work for you.

Communifire is trusted by some of the world's most thriving companies, 99% of which are still actively using the platform after 5 years. Since we started Axero over 10 years ago, we've launched hundreds of intranets of all sizes, in just about every industry—from small, 10 employee intranets, all the way up to massive rollouts with 250,000+ employees.

Our most successful engagements take 2-3 weeks (or less) to get you up and running. During those few weeks, the majority of your time will be spent populating the site with your content.

No matter what industry you are in, no matter how many employees you have, we know how to do this, and we are your guide. The Launch Process is the same, regardless of your employee count—and the outcome is the same. A successful intranet launch.

4) How does the Launch Package work?

We eliminate the fear, confusion and stress, and give you clear a path—so you know what you’re getting into and how to get there. With the agreement out of the way, your sales representative will introduce you to our Customer Success team. We follow this plan of action:

  1. We Plan - Let's talk about your company structure, culture, needs, and goals. We'll help you get there with a well-defined strategy and timeline.
  2. We Build - We'll walk you through the software and train your trainers. We'll customize your new intranet to reach your goals, while your team populates it with your company content. And while we're training you, we're also setting up your intranet together—so by the time your training is finished, so is your intranet.
  3. You Thrive - We'll share best practices for online and offline launch strategies—and then we'll help you execute them.

Let's take a look at this a little closer. Here's what a typical Communifire implementation plan looks like.

5) How is the software deployed?

This is a web based application you access through an internet browser. The majority (90%) of our customers choose to host in our private Amazon AWS cloud because we handle all the work for you—security, installation, setup, configuration, and ongoing updates. Communifire is a single-tenant application. This means that you get your own copy of the software and your own separate database–there's no mingling of data with other customers.

We use Amazon AWS for our hosting partner and have the latest and greatest technology setup for your security and redundancy. (You can get all of the tech and security details here.) Our cloud uptime for the past 11 years is excellent, at 99.999938% (That's 6 hours infrastructure downtime in the last ten years).

If you'd prefer to host on-premise, you can. Communifire is straightforward to install—and as part of our service, a member of our Customer Success team will walk you through the steps through an online screenshare (or web conference, or something like that) to make sure you have a smooth setup. You'll want to check out the installation guide.

6) How is the mobile app deployed?

We offer a free Communifire branded app in the public Apple and Google app store—available for all customers and all your employees. They can download it and login using their credentials—it's easy and it also works with your SSO provider.

We also offer a paid white-label version of the app—the benefits include:

  • Custom deployment - Deploy to your employees through your own Apple and Google app store pages (or MDM)
  • Your own branding – You can customize the app icon and use your own logo in the app.

7) Can we use our existing Single Sign-On?

Intranet single sign on integrations

Yes. 90%+ of our customers use some sort of SSO. We have plenty of options and can integrate with any SSO provider.

Active Directory and ADFS are the most common, we have deep integrations with them. We support SAML—which includes popular providers like Okta, OneLogin, SalesForce, and any other 3rd party SSO providers, including your own custom SSO mechanism. If you're a smaller organization, we integrate with Google G Suite and all of the social logins—Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc.

SSO takes less than an hour to setup.

8) Does Communifire integrate with X?

Communifire intranet integrations

If X is any of the software listed on this page, then yes, we integrate with X.

"What about Y, Tim? Can we integrate with that, too?"

Yes. There are plenty of options.

Sometimes out-of-the-box integrations with other platforms make sense. For example,

  • Single sign-on – makes sense (covered above in #7)
  • Popular platforms – We integrate with Office 365, SharePoint, and Outlook because the majority of our customers use these tools.

Communifire has tools built in to support all sorts of additional integrations, such as:

  • PageBuilder - Our PageBuilder tool is incredibly flexible and allows you to embed anything in it, from 3rd party embed codes (like a Facebook or Twitter feed), to custom Javascript that pulls data from your existing systems and displays it inside Communifire.
  • Widgets - There are plenty of widgets built-in for adding direct links, iframes, data queries and visualization, and RSS feeds.
  • REST API - You get a robust REST API that gives you access to all data and endpoints to push data into Communfire and pull it into your other applications.

Many times, other integrations might take more effort than you need. Rather than direct integration, it might be easier to add a hyperlink to lead people to a time tracking or payroll system—Communfire comes with a popular widget called the LaunchPad that allows you to do exactly that.

We encourage our customers to ask an important question about the integration you're thinking about: Why?

  • Can you clearly define the purpose?
  • Can you articulate the value?
  • Do you really need it, or will a hyperlink cover it?
  • If a link isn't enough, what does the integration look like? How does it work?
  • What pages do you need it to be on?
  • Is it a push of data or a pull? Which fields does it transfer? What is the workflow?

Being able to answer these questions will help you realize whether you need integration or not. We are happy to assist.

Share your requirements and we'll help you with a solution.

9) Can we add our own functionality and integrations?

Yes. See the answer above for some ideas. And to further answer this, I suggest that you look at our REST API. Our customers surprise us all the time by building all sorts of integrations with systems that we never imagined possible.

Share your requirements with us and we're happy to guide you to a solution.

10) Can we customize the layout and design?

Yes, to a high degree. Keep in mind that we do 99% of the customizations for you.

For the basics, you can:

  1. Upload your logo and adjust the header color to match your brand.
  2. You can rename features and static text like "Articles" to "News"
  3. The PageBuilder lets you create as many pages as you want—with a powerful drag-and-drop tool—and make them look however you want. They can house any content and data you need your employees to access.
  4. You can use the CSS Overrides feature to target every UI element to customize the colors, layout, and the look.

You have a lot of control over how things look. Out-of-the-box, we've designed Communifire to be incredibly beautiful and functional. This means that we focus on making the user experience friendly, familiar, and flexible. It's a platform that removes barriers and is built to change with your needs.

11) Is Communifire secure?

Yes. We use the same security most banks use. Here is a quick overview:

  • SSAE 16 (SOC 1, SOC Type II) and ISO 27001 compliant Amazon AWS facilities
  • AES-256 and AES-256 FIPS 140-2 Level 3 encryption
  • SSL/TLS secure connections
  • Vulnerability scans
  • Intrusion detection monitoring
  • Penetration tests
  • Disaster recovery plans
  • Incremental and full data backups

Check out this page for all of the technical and security details.

12) What is on the Communifire future roadmap?

Our customers have a strong voice when it comes to planning our development road-map. It's how Communifire grows and evolves. Since 2008, we've been working with customers to expand the value of communication, knowledge management, and collaboration into new areas, focusing on creating useful functionality and solutions.

We continuously improve and update our products. While we have internal roadmaps for future releases, we don't publish roadmaps with specific release dates.

If there's something you'd like to see added, share your requirements and we'll help you with a solution.

Interested in learning more?

And there you have it, a quick 10,000ft view of the most common questions—and answers—that people are asking about Communifire.

We believe that every company deserves to have a unified team, sharing ideas and communicating efficiently. And we would love to help you achieve that.

Your intranet should help support your company's growth, not slow it down.

Discover how, with a 30-minute live demo.

Tim Eisenhauer
Written by Tim Eisenhauer

Tim is president and co-founder of Axero Solutions, a leading intranet software vendor. He's also a bestselling author of Who the Hell Wants to Work for You? Mastering Employee Engagement. Tim’s been featured in Fortune, Forbes, TIME, Inc Magazine, Entrepreneur, CNBC, Today, and other leading publications.

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