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Custom browser toolbars for your intranet
Monday, November 08, 2004Last week a client asked me how much it would cost to integrate a custom toolbar for their corporate portal into everyone's web browser. After estimating $20,000--my default answer that actually means, "I have no idea"--I decided to do some investigating. It turns out that building a custom browser toolbar, like Google's or MSN's, is simple and cheap. And it may be a good idea for your intranet.
Toolbar companies promote their products to web site owners as a way to retain users and build brand loyalty. I don't know what kind of delusional web site team thinks their corporate web site is interesting enough that users would want it as a permanent fixture on their browser. But an intranet is a tool people use to do their jobs. Making it easier to access improves the intranet experience for your employees and increases overall usage.
On the other hand, it may be preferable simply to make sure that all employees have their home page set to the intranet. Consider:
To set your intranet as every employee's home page, your IT department can use Tweakomatic to generate a global logon script that will make the change.
If you decide adding an intranet toolbar to everyone's browser is the right choice for your company, follow these guidelines:
About the Author
I'm Chris McGrath, an intranet consultant in Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada. I've been working on intranets since 1997, and on plain ol' web sites for even longer. I run One Intranets, the firm that co-created ThoughtFarmer -- an enterprise collaboration platform for Windows-based intranets.
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