The App-based intranet
Companies need to organize all kinds of information and workflows. From sharing news and procedures, to tracking leads, expensive reimbursements, orders, tasks, etc. The list goes on and on. Luckily there's a lot of software out there to help us with these tasks. The issue is, however, that even though many businesses have very similar problems, they're not really identical.
First of all, we don't all need to solve the same problems. Some things are necessary in almost every company (like tracking expenses, or sharing documents), but not every company needs to keep track of an inventory. And even when two companies need a solution for the same problem, they might need a different approach. Plus, as companies grow, their requirements change over time.
So to find software for our companies, these are the options we usually have:
- Custom software
Companies can have custom software developed for them, with exactly the features they need. This is very expensive and time consuming though (especially if you need to make changes again later on).
- Using large (enterprise) software packages
We can use large software packages that do almost everything. This too usually comes with a hefty price tag. A common problem with this type of software is that it's very hard to use, and includes many things you don't need, or aren't implemented in a way that really fits your way of working. In other words, you need to adapt your workflow to the software. If the software is customizable, it's common this needs to be done by technical personnel, which means you need an IT department or external consultants.
- Use different kinds of smaller (web) apps
There are many web apps out there that solve simple problems. They're easier to use, but it's not always possible to use them together. More importantly, you still can't really customize a lot.
Enter the App-model
Everyone who's used to a smartphone knows the concept of apps. You can customize your phone by installing exactly the apps you like, without making the phone itself harder to use. Even though the apps can be very different from each other, they can share the same design principles, and share information (like contacts), so it feels like an integrated system. We think this model will also work great for a company intranet/work platform.
This is the approach we use with Papyrs Apps. Each app within Papyrs is a small web app that solves a specific problem. By adding these web apps together in their Papyrs account, every company can create an intranet that matches the way they work. Like other platforms, such as smartphones, there is also a directory of ready-to-use apps you can choose from. There's one important difference from phones: we want people to be able to create & customize these apps themselves, without any technical knowledge.
For example, if you need an app on your intranet to keep track of contacts, just add a CRM app from Papyrs' App Directory. If you have any special needs, such as having to store a follow up date for each contact for instance, you can simply add a field for that. Or maybe you want each contact page to show the address on a map, instead of just displaying text. Just open up the editor, and customize the apps any way you like, it's all drag & drop. Just like website builders now allow non-technical people to create their own websites, we hope Papyrs will now allow every company to create their own intranet software.