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Case Study: A Valuable and Easy-to-Use Intranet for Every Employee—Kennecott Utah Copper

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An email. A Post-It note. Popping your head into a colleague’s office. The sharing of important information among coworkers is second nature because it happens so frequently with little effort or thought. Admittedly, this everyday scenario becomes more complex when you add big teams, large volumes of information, and disparate locations into the mix. Take Kennecott Utah Copper, part of the leading global mining company Rio Tinto, a corporation based just outside of Salt Lake City, Utah. Overall, 1,500 employees-from executives to mine workers-are employed by Kennecott. Given the companies breadth of employees, sharing important corporate information among its various workers posed a challenge for the company.

In order to address this communication issue, Kennecott created an intranet, or a private version of the Internet used exclusively for company purposes. For example, users were able to post information for others to see such as documents related to benefits, general company news, or human resources forms. Unfortunately, this initial version of Kennecott’s intranet didn’t meet the employees’ needs because of system-wide kinks related to content management, site security, and inconsistent navigation (read: it was challenging to get around the Web site without getting lost). As a result, few users actually posted content on the site-and therefore little information was being shared through the company.

It wasn’t long before Kennecott realized that it needed to come up with a more effective intranet for its employees. In this effort, the company turned to Blue Fish Development Group to build a new solution using Documentum Web Publisher. After evaluating Kennecott’s resources and requirements, Blue Fish redesigned their intranet and gave the site proper security, easy-to-use navigation, and a consistent look and feel. As a part of the navigation upgrade, Blue Fish used its Navigation Manager tool, which allows users to make changes to the site and synchronize these changes to the rest of the content and navigation, making it much easier for users to add and update site content.

The end product: a new system that seamlessly streamlines content publishing and facilitates communication among all users without burdening the company’s IT resources. As a result, this new intranet makes it easier for all of Kennecott’s employees-from those working in the mines to those making presentations in the boardroom-to find key corporate information.

“The company is better served by this new intranet in terms of a better vehicle of communication and collaboration,” comments Bill Whalen, Senior Information Systems Coordinator at Kennecott. “Blue Fish had the technology and expertise to get us where we wanted to be,” adds Milt Anderson, a Project Manager in the company’s Department of Information Technology. “Now the navigation experience feels natural for the users and it meets their expectations.”

When asked about the overall experience of working with Blue Fish, Whalen comments, “The team has a great project management culture as well as a great customer service culture. In fact, I was so impressed with their level of professionalism, I’ve asked Blue Fish to take on another project.”

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