DIY intranet management catches on

The Port of Lyttelton and Christchurch-based City Care both claim "significant savings" in becoming reference sites for the Realm web creation and management tool from gen-i.

The Port of Lyttelton and Christchurch-based City Care both claim “significant savings” in becoming reference sites for the Realm web creation and management tool from gen-i.

The pair were involved in an “early adopter” programme for the software, beta-testing it and having some say in its development.

Christchurch-developed Realm was written in Jade and sits on top of the object database. It allows drag and drop creation of web pages with interactive content in a standardised format, putting site maintenance into the hands of users without extensive technical experience.

Lyttelton port IT manager Darrin Bain says the software will allow staff to manage the company’s intranet without a content editor. The port’s site has been hosted externally, but will be shifted to Realm and site access extended to the port’s 300 workers.

“What we have seen is very good. Realm allows us to do cost-effective web development on our back-end legacy system,” Bain says.

City Care, the former division of Christchurch City Council responsible for maintaining roads, parks, trees and waterways, is similarly using Realm to improve communication with its 500 employees, scattered across Christchurch and even Auckland.

Since much of the intranet’s maintenance is automatic, City Care staff development manager Liz Barton says the organisation is spared employing a full-time staffer to maintain the links. By operating in a thin-client environment — and linking to the system administrator and content editor through a thin client — expensive hardware upgrades were also avoided.

In City Care’s human resources department, Realm has helped create a standardised process for hiring, templates for conducting interviews and induction paperwork. Use of Realm has meant the replacement of many paper-based manuals.

“It saves us re-inventing the wheel. We have an extensive paper-based quality management system. We have 25 manuals in the company which we had to physically update. We can do it online. Realm makes things a lot quicker,” Barton says.

City Care spent $60,000 on the software.

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