Summary: INPACT needed an affordable, feature-rich solution that could function for members across 3 regions.
INPACT is a global alliance of independent accounting firms that organizes its members to overcome the challenges of global business. They assists hundreds of member companies in over 60 countries with operations in the Americas, Asia Pacific, and the Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) region. For years, INPACT had kept its members organized with a desktop application called Groove, but then Microsoft acquired the company in 2005. Soon, they found that features began changing while support became far harder to track down. Worst of all, these changes coincided with lowered affordability, which affected each member through the need to purchase the application themselves. With their existing solution slowly worsening, INPACT needed an affordable, feature-rich solution that could function for members across 3 regions. Intranet Connections provided that solution. Not only were they able to maintain all the features and crucial organizational processes on which they had come to rely, but it was more affordable, with zero additional cost to their members. The platform was able to meet the unique needs of a global consortium of discreet businesses, each with a need to both collaborate and protect certain types of information.
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Connecting Three Regions
The INPACT global accounting alliance needed a way to keep its members organized and connected, and a place where documents and other information could be shared between partners. Since each region is autonomous with areas specific to them it was also important for each region and member to be able to control who has access to the different material. Intranet Connections has provided permission levels, which they can easily share information on three different levels: internationally across three regions, within each region, and between members.
The Right Price Point
Since each member was itself an organization with numerous employees of their own, and many of these members were small associations with budget constraints, price was an important variable in deciding on which Intranet to adopt. Intranet Connections offered the most features at no additional costs to members.
The nature of INPACT’s business required that some equity and associate partners needed to be able to share information with each other, yet some information needed to stay private. Similarly, some areas were needed to be accessible only to directors and committee members. After comparing Intranets, INPACT found that Intranet Connections had the features they needed and offered intranet security of data since privacy levels were easy to establish. As one employee who was behind the adoption of Intranet Connections explained, “I feel very secure in the levels of protection and the way the protection is set.”
Making Collaboration Easy
Whether it’s an alliance-wide news bulletin or a simple suggestion box, features in a software platform are only used if they are easy to use. For a group like INPACT, that’s crucial to how they deliver their service to members. Whether it’s working out the details of a new educational conference or simply allowing inter-member communication, their value is based on their ability to help members collaborate.
Personal Support Staff
Intranet Connections provided the level of personalized support they needed, so any difficulties that did arise were quick and painless to address.
“One of the biggest reasons we have stayed with Intranet Connections over the years is the support team. From the very beginning, they’ve just bent over backward. I haven’t worked with anybody who hasn’t been knowledgeable, professional, pleasant to work with and just so helpful.” -Mara Ambrose, Executive Director
An Intricate System of Permissions
One of the chief difficulties of INPACT’s use case was also one of the most imperative: providing secure online housing for member information and other sensitive documents while still facilitating as much inter-member communication as possible. The intranet can grant individual users the right to view certain areas based on their firm, their division within that firm, and their level of seniority within that division. That was absolutely crucial to maintaining member trust while still delivering the features that INPACT had felt it was losing at its previous intranet service.
Members of INPACT often operate within the same regions, meaning they are nominally competitors as well as co-members of an industry alliance – reliable discretion is key in such a situation.
Many Intranet Connections clients find that they use the employee directory feature more than any other — especially large, sprawling organizations where individuals often do not directly meet. The People directory is comprehensive and allows for tagging users and firms based on their specified knowledge and expertise. Moreover, the database is highly personalized, which means that competitors can collaborate with peace of mind.
Pooling Knowledge through Customized Tagging
INPACT needed a way for key members at one firm to be accessible to those at another, despite totally different organizational structures. IC provided the tools to tag users and whole firms with their general aptitudes and areas of more niche expertise. For an industry as varied as accounting, which often encounters new challenges based on the specifics of a client company, that ability to pool knowledge is a huge value addition that INPACT can then pass on to its members.
IC has provided INPACT with an affordable, feature-rich platform that meets their unique needs as a global consortium of discreet businesses spanning three regions. The intranet facilitates collaboration while also protecting information with a highly permission-focused database, features a comprehensive people directory with tagging for areas of knowledge and expertise, provides support staff that are always happy and able to help, and includes a free web-based interface that requires no additional purchase from members.