The future of intranets: Valo 2020 update

    Wondering what’s cooking in the Valo kitchen? Take a look at the Valo roadmap and the features your intranet will gain in the near future!

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    Did you know that Finns swim outdoors during the winter? While wearing woolen hats? At aC water temperature? I didn’t, until I experienced it at Valo Winter Meetup in Helsinki, Finland. Around 30 Valo partners were invited to learn about Valo and their vision for the future of intranets as well as to participate in open discussions around their digital workplace roadmap. Needless to say, as Valo Premium Partners, Amplexor was present to hear first-hand what’s cooking in the Valo kitchen.

    Here are our first impressions of Valo intranets 2020 – check the three most impressive features we believe will change the future of intranets!

    1. Teams! Teams! Teams!

    Teams is everywhere. By now, both customers and partners of Microsoft should all be well aware that Teams is not only the core of Microsoft’s Modern Workplace Strategy, but is effectively taking the market by storm. In just 3 years, Microsoft Teams has built an audience of 20 million active daily users.

    So it’s no wonder that Valo is also shifting their attention to this new platform. On the one hand, Valo is planning to bring the capabilities of all Valo products directly to Teams. It’s still to be seen whether full intranets will have their place within Teams, but they’ll definitely have a more personalized experience, such as a personal dashboard of news and events accessible directly from the Teams workspace. Expect to see the smaller intranet components to become pluggable into your Teams environment soon, bringing the Valo experience to your employees’ everyday collaboration tool.

    Valo integration with Microsoft Teams

    In the longer term, Valo also aims to take advantage the other features Teams has to offer, such as conversational bots and Azure AI components. This is still in the exploration phase, but it’s clear that, in general, intranets are evolving from a pure browser-based intranet experience to other forms of interaction and intelligence. Valo is now working hard to bring those new experiences to life via Teams.

    The Valo user experience on browser, mobile app and Microsoft Teams

    2. Valo Intra… uh Extranet!

    Valo is a well-known awarded intranet solution, but bringing external partners or customers into the picture was never a focal point. Of course, technically it was possible to invite external users to your intranet, but managing those while avoiding accidental access to sensitive internal information has always been a nightmare.

    This is now changing, as Valo will bring a new Extranet solution to the market. In fact, the Valo Extranet will be comprised of two different components which will also be separately licensed: 

    • A set of Extranet-specific Valo Features
      Good examples are the ability to publish news directly on both intranet and extranet, to configure e-mail alerts and newsletters for less frequent (external) users, to extend the people finder to external users. This is a functional solution that can help you bring the full Valo intranet experience and some more specific extranet functions to your global stakeholder network.
    • A dedicated component for external user management
      Valo entrance will help you manage the invitation and access process for external users. It will provide an easy interface to create access plans, define which resources external users will have access to, which e-mail domains or addresses have been invited and which of those have actually registered. It will also offer a brandable self-service registration portal where invited users can self-register and log in.

    Valo Extranet

    All in all, Valo Extranet will bring the complete Valo experience to external users, with the added value of easy access and permission management.

    3. Valo Modern on-prem is here

    Although both Microsoft and Valo have a cloud-first strategy, some regulated sectors are still in the preparation phase for their cloud move. That’s why Valo also releases an on-premise version for their Modern Intranet. Valo Modern for on-prem looks identical to Valo Modern online as a user, you wouldn't see much of a difference. But of course, Office 365 offers more functionality than SharePoint 2019, which makes the Valo Modern on-prem also a bit ‘lighter’ (for example, no Yammer conversations to include and no Teams integration).

    Amplexor was among the first Valo partners to onboard customers on Valo Modern on-prem. We’re pleased to see how far the product got in such a short time span and the value it delivers on top of a standard SharePoint 2019 environment.

    Valo Modern on-prem

    On the whole, big plans and bold moves from the Valo front. But not unrealistic, given the massive growth of the Valo team over the past year. Next up is the upcoming Valo Summit, so stay tuned as we'll keep you posted about all the good things that Valo brings!

    Published on    Last updated on 14/10/2020

    #Digital Workplace, #Collaboration, #Intranet

    About the author

    Tom Laureys is Solution Director ECM at Amplexor based in Belgium. For the past 10 years, Tom has been helping clients across industries find the right technology to effectively digitize their business processes and improve collaboration and productivity. His combination of strategic thinking and expertise in a range of platforms - from Alfresco and Documentum to SharePoint and Office 365 – grant him the capacity to capture new trends on the market and turn them into solutions for our customers.