Frequently Asked Questions

Hester Gras

Below you can find all the FAQ we currently have. Do you miss a question, or is an answer not clear to you? Please let us know, so we can provide you with Relevant information.

 

What is the Relevance Platform?

The Relevance Platform is a 100% digital platform (duh!) that enables companies (ranging from SMEs to large enterprises) to successfully communicate with their employees. Its goal is to help (corporate/internal) communications managers improve their reach and impact (engagement). By using a data-driven (measurable) approach based on solid analytics and a solid toolbox of relevant functions.

The platform contains a (SAAS) backend and beautiful, optimized, end-user apps (native mobile apps for phone and tablet on iOS and Android and web-app for desktop-users), newsletters and digital signage (narrowcasting) to allow all employees to engage with company content and each other. And a dashboard for configuration, interactions and analytics.

 

Why is the platform called Relevance?

Our mission is to bring relevance to employees.

ORTEC is a company that was founded by applied mathematicians. We are driven by our passion to improve the world using math. We believe that in this rapidly changing world employees are overwhelmed by information from all kinds of sources. We apply math (business rules, algorithms, Artificial Intelligence (AI)) to help filter out relevant information.

What is it? An app? A web app? A newsletter?

We try to support all digital media channels that can be used in communications between the organization and its employees in the platform.

Although we strongly believe in a Mobile First strategy, we do not believe in a mobile only strategy. We think that different media have a different purpose in the employee journey. Therefore we aim to support all these touch points.

As a digital communications platform, we try to support all channels a company can use to reach its employees. We think we cover most, except maybe for one of the most important channels: face-to-face.

The Relevance Platform (currently) consists of:

Content in the platform is stored in a media-neutral format so we can provide an optimal user experience (UX) on any device.

 

What CMS can I use for the Relevance Platform?

In short: any CMS. We have a BYOC-policy; most of our customers already have an existing CMS for their intranet. Or multiple. The Relevance Platform was built with maximum flexibility in mind.

We have standard connectors available for the CMS-es we most encounter: Sharepoint, WordPress and Sitecore.

For any other CMS, we have made it easy to integrate an existing CMS that has options to connect (send content) to the outside world. If needed we, you or a 3rd party can create the integration for your company using our Content API.

If all else fails, we can scrape your content. Or we can provide you with a simple CMS.

What methods of authentication are available?

We support multiple login strategy standards like SAML-2 and OpenID Connect. This allows simple integration with an existing Microsoft Active Directory (AD) or Active Directory Federation Services (ADFS, Azure AD), including multi-factor authentication.

Alternatively we can offer proprietary login strategies like username/password authentication, a self registration process and access codes.

The strength of our platform is in the flexibility: these authentication strategies can be mixed/combined to grant different parts of the organisation access. This allows for example to authenticate your office workers against the Active Directory, but to authenticate your alumni or blue collar workers that are not registered in the Directory to use username/password to access your content.

What content sources can be connected to the platform?

Almost any (digital) content source can be connected to the ORTEC Relevance Platform, as long as it is (made) accessible to the platform.

We identified a few categories:

  • content originating from an existing Content Management System (e.g. Sharepoint, Sitecore, WordPress)
  • content available in automated content feeds (e.g. RSS)
  • content available in (static) web pages (e.g. HTML)
  • content available in systems (e.g. JSON)
  • content from social sources (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn, Youtube)

There are standard connectors for all of these types.

If you have a content source that we currently do not have a connector for, we can create a connector for you. Or you can integrate the content source by making use of our Content API.

Can I connect the company social media channels?

Yes. We have standard connectors for the social media channels (Facebook, Instagram, Youtube, Twitter, LinkedIn). Using their APIs, we retrieve your company’s postings from the social networks and can make the content available in the Relevance Platform.

Many of our customers use this integration to support Employee Ambassadorship: employees get easy access to the social media content, allowing them to share the content in their own network. To endorse the posting, inspire potential new colleagues or to help boost the brand (Employee Advocacy).

This personally shared content yields improved results and is regarded much more authentic than company promoted social media content.

Can we extend the app or add our own integrations?

Yes! We had a lot of questions from our customers asking for options to add content or functional modules to the apps.

Until 2018 we (only) supported APIs for adding content and managing user accounts.

In 2018 we added the plug-in system, thereby opening up the system for outside functionality. By using plug-ins it is very easy to have your IT department or existing partner add functions to the apps. Existing examples are modules for a lunch menu, world cup game, room booking, roster system, facilities ticketing system, safety system integrations etc.

What is the plug-in system?

Our apps (native mobile apps for Android and iOS and web app) support our plug-in system. This allows outside parties (our customers or 3rd party providers) to extend our apps with new functions.

Plug-ins are based on web technology. A plug-in is basically a small web page or website that is integrated in the mobile- and web apps.

The plug-in system provides a few basic functions:

  • Configuration in the dashboard
  • Ability to be positioned / targeted in the (web)apps
  • Single Sign On (SSO); access to parts of the user profile
  • Ability to send push notifications
  • Analytics

This makes it really simple to integrate new functions into your employee apps.

We use the same plug-in system to build our own extensions!

Can we target different content to different groups?

Yes! The basis of our platform is fine-grained, flexible targeting of content or functions to different groups in the organization.

Using business rules you can define audiences. Every piece of content or any function can be targeted or made accessible for one or more audiences. This can be fully automated using business rules or manually controlled.

These business rules make use of the user profile (e.g. department, country, function level) and context (device type, location, time of day).

Can we get content from the platform to use elsewhere?

Of course! We have our Syndication module for that. This module can deliver any content in the platform as an extended RSS feed (including images).

Many of our customers use the Relevance Platform on top of their existing intranet. They use the Syndication module to inject the corporate news feeds in the intranet.

Just create a syndication feed in the dashboard!

How can I reach my blue collar workers?

Many customers have a mix of white collar and blue collar workers. White collar workers are often nicely registered in an (Active) Directory. However, the blue collar workers usually are not. They do not have Microsoft subscriptions for Office 365 or Sharepoint and are therefore usually not able to see the corporate content.

This is a big issue for many Comms managers.

Our platform solves this issue; we support (and can combine) multiple authentication strategies to allow both white collar and blue collar workers access. Furthermore, we can extract (locked away) content from e.g. Sharepoint and make it accessible for everyone in the organization.

We even have options for providing access to (streaming) corporate video platforms.

Do you provide analytics?

ORTEC is a company that excels in applied mathematics; we help companies become more data driven, provide insight in behaviour and trends and support facts based decision making.

The foundation of the ORTEC Relevance platform is a solid analytics layer. We measure and provide insight in the reading behaviour of your audiences within the organization.

We go beyond solutions like Google Analytics (although we can integrate Google Analytics if required). For example by determining if an article was viewed or read. We do this by examining the length and complexity of the text, how long a reader looked at the article and how far they scrolled down.

Our proprietary dashboard gives your editors and managers easy access to those analytics and allows for periodic scheduling of automated reports (next to down-drill options in the dashboard).

Do you support notifications?

We do! We support multiple forms of notifications:

  • automated notifications (subscription based) of new content
  • manually or scheduled push notifications
  • e-mail notifications

The use depends on the use case and is up to the editors.

Of course these notifications can be targeted to specific groups and can contain links to (existing) content. You get fine-grained control from the dashboard.

We already have ORTEC Workforce Scheduling (OWS) software. Can we integrate this in the Relevance employee app?

Yes! There are multiple ways to connect or integrate OWS. It all depends on the functions your staff needs and actively uses.

ORTEC Workforce Scheduling has a separate app for Employee Self Service (ESS). This full-blown app contains many of the functions that are available in OWS. We can associate this app with the Relevance app.

We also have an existing standard connector for the ORTEC Workforce Scheduling roster. This allows you to combine the best of both worlds: reach all employees with your internal communications and provide them access to their roster in a user friendly way in the same app. Currently this plug-in contains only the essentials: your personal roster and (if available) your holiday allowance.

More functions can be unlocked on demand.

Do you support multi-language?

We support multiple languages in two ways:

  1. our mobile apps and web app are multilingual
  2. our platform supports articles in multiple languages

The 1st bullet addresses the user interface; labels in the apps are available in multiple languages (based on the device language), making it easy to use. We currently support English, Dutch, German, French, Spanish, Russian and Portugese.

The second topic is totally different. Our platform supports what we call “variations”; different versions of the same article to support content in multiple languages. If your content management system can provide different versions of the same article, we can support it.

Based on business rules specific content variations (or the fallback variation, e.g. english content if the preferred language is not available) is delivered to the employee.

Can you support a large multi-national corporate structure?

We can. We have multiple large multi-national corporate clients in various industries (Life Sciences, Airlines & Transportation, Telecommunications, Finance & Banking, Industry, Retail). They often require a layered content setup that combines information from global comms, country specific comms and location or team specific content.

Our platform perfectly suits those needs and we can provide the reference cases to prove it.

Depending on their role and location, editors get (partial) access to a specific audience. Global (corporate) comms keeps control of the overall platform.

Is your platform secure?

No platform is 100% secure but we try to apply “security by design”: everything we create is created with security in mind. Our developers are fully aware of the sensitive information the platform may contain.

In 2014 the Dutch government used our platform for hosting the 2014 global Nuclear Security Summit. In 2015 the Global Conference on CyberSpace. And in 2019 we provided the platform for the Global Entrepreneurship Summit.

Our customers include multi-nationals, large banks and governments. They have strict demands with regard to security. We aim to fulfil those demands. We are used to align with your security officers about information classification, have our own (CISSP) certified security officers and welcome any penetration tests our customers want to do on our platform; it helps us stay safe.

Besides a secure platform, our Apps offer options for securing access and verifying identity like biometric options (Touch ID, Face ID or the passcode of the device).

Can we run our employee satisfaction survey with this platform?

The Relevance Platform contains a Forms module that allows you to easily create an interactive form or survey. This module is often used to run a periodic employee satisfaction survey. By checking the anonymous flag information is gathered anonymously. The response data is available in the dashboard or can be exported to a CSV or Excel file for easy import in an existing Business Intelligence or Analytics tool.

Can you support multiple brands?

Yes we can. Besides making sure that different groups within the organization have access to different content, (channels, sources, articles) we support different styling/templates/branding per group.

Is this platform a social intranet?

Yes and no. The Relevance platform is more than a social intranet, but has many of the functions in a social intranet. You control what your employees can or cannot do.

By making use of the Social Wall component or Reporter module, employees can share their own stories with their colleagues. These can include uploaded photos or videos, next to (rich) text.

You can have multiple Social Walls for different groups in the organization.

Fun fact: at one of our customers the Social Wall is used to trade/sell second hand goods, thereby replacing a Craigslist or classifieds section.

Can we create our own channels?

Of course! The basis of the Relevance Platform is flexibility. You can compose the exact setup you prefer. There is no limit to the amount of channels, sources or articles. However, you don’t want to overwhelm your employees!

Side note: we can of course assist your organization in creating a winning content plan specifically tailored to your needs by applying best practices from our customers to your use case. We know what works and what does not. For on-boarding as well as retention.

Is Relevance magic?

Yes and no. Relevance is a platform. It contains many functions and features that may seem like magic. This is however no guarantee for success… (however that may be defined for you).

Launching a platform like Relevance in your organization is not a solution but a means to an end. The platform is a tool and it requires hard work to lead to success.

Over the years we have seen the difference between success and failure and found the decisive distinctions between them.

Our research shows that success (which we measure in adoption and retention KPIs) is mainly influenced by the availability of enough quality content, taking your workforce serious and active (community) management from Comms, Human Resources (HR) and Knowledge Management professionals.

A solid content plan, smart, active use of engagement tools (e.g. push notifications, gamification elements) and a data-driven approach to improvement can bring your organization’s performance to the next level.

Can we have a Chatbot?

Chatbots are really hot. Everybody seems to want one.

If your organization already has an existing Chatbot, it can be easily integrated in the platform by making use of our plug-in system.

If you don’t, do not despare: we can show you a working example or even build (train) you one from the ground up.

Can we have external content (sources) in the platform?

Some of our customers have already discovered that the Relevance Platform, next to functions for unlocking internal content sources, contains solid functions to expose external content sources to employees.

What is happening in our industry? What is happening at our customers? What relevant trends are appearing on the horizon?

Those and similar questions can be addressed by adding external content sources to the platform and exposing those articles in a separate channel. Curated by humans, or auto-curated by our optional Recommender Engine that learns from the reading behaviour of your employees and tailors the article selection on their interests.

Is this just another Enterprise App to add to our portfolio?

It can be, but it does not have to be. Over the past few years we have seen our enterprise customers shift from adding “an app for anything” to “one employee portal”.

The introduction of Enterprise App Stores and multiple standalone apps for corporate functions has lead to what is now called app fatique: employees are fed up with the multitude of apps on their (company or personal) devices. Every new app had its own app introduction campaign, started the on-boarding process and found that retention is difficult.

Focusing attention on making one employee portal app successful and bringing new features to this portal on a regular basis is proving to be a more successful approach.

The Relevance App and the plug-in system can help reach these goals and fight app fatigue. Our data-driven approach can help focus on improving engagement.

How can we distribute our mobile app?

There are multiple ways of distributing the mobile apps:

  • public app store
  • business-to-business appstore
  • enterprise app store

The most appropriate way depends on the specific use case for your organization.

The public appstore is always an option for Android apps.

For iOS apps, Apple has become very strict; employee apps are no longer allowed in the public App Store. However, some of our clients have a (relevant) public section for the general public and interactive functions. In some cases that is allowed. In other cases the Business-to-business app store is the way to go. Although this involves some administrative requirements on your end, this is currently the best and most-used option for iOS employee apps. We have built in solid support for this option, making the end-user experience as best as possible.

An Enterprise App Store (and related MDM solution) is always an option for both Android and iOS apps. We fully support this.

What does a typical implementation project look like?

Launching a new platform in an organization is not an easy task. It involves rigorous preparation, careful planning and solid execution. All of these phases require communication. A lot. We have come to this process flow for successful implementations:

  • Definition phase – where we discuss scope and content plan
  • Preparation phase – design, technical preparations and interfaces
  • Implementation phase – app configuration, (internal) testing and rework
  • Testing & rework – customer testing and rework
  • Go-live phase – (soft) launch

This flow focuses on what you can expect from us during the project. However, we consider every project a joint effort. Together we are responsible to make each project a success. By sharing our best practices with you during this process we can ensure this.

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