Twine is a SaaS intranet for the modern workplace – helping businesses bring their people, content and ideas together since 2014. Today, it powers over 300 businesses – connecting 120,000 employees in 144 countries.
We started Twine with one ambition: to help big companies talk to their employees like small ones. For some time we’d been consulting organisations like Shell and NHS on simplifying their internal processes and began to notice something: internal tools on the market tended to complicate comms, rather than simplify them. With Twine, we wanted to change that – to prove that there was a simpler way of engaging teams that had better results.
We wanted an application that allowed users from all over the world to communicate and collaborate. Twine did this, and much more. It allowed users to build their own teams and manage workflows – it was amazing to see them connect so quickly.
We were bringing a new kind application to an old category – our first priority was to go in, map the market and talk to users about the problems they’re facing. With Twine, that meant sitting down with HR managers, business leaders and frontline staff at a range of partner businesses. We led numerous rounds of workshops and interviews to ensure the application we were designing offered something new.
The data we collected was varied. Some users wanted a place to create and share content, others wanted a document repository. These varied requirements challenged us to develop an application that would appeal to all users, without the bloated feature-set of traditional enterprise software.
Using our research, our product design teams identified six user needs that should be addressed through six core features: People, Knowledge, News, Forums, Files and Expenses, all brought together on a dashboard. These were designed to be intuitive and seamlessly assist users complete tasks on the intranet – like the ability to reorganize content using drag and drop, or send email alerts with one click.
From the start, we designed these features on a modular basis using progressive frameworks such as Angular and Golang. This meant we could quickly add and update features as user needs and technology evolved. It also made it easy to customise the platform to better serve enterprise clients.
The modular approach to Twine’s features allows customers to keep the apps they need, and leave the ones they don’t. As each organisation has a different toolset from a variety of providers, integration with Google, Microsoft and Dropbox amongst other made it easy for users to upload files, or straightforward logins the popular services.
Twine benefits from the using Amazon Web Services, we utilised services such as AWS Auto Scaling to allow the Twine platform to seamlessly scale when required, automating everything with Cloudformation.
Because Twine are at the forefront at what they do, they know what technical developments there are and how they can enhance the intranet. It becomes a very beneficial relationship.
Twine has grown considerably since launching in 2014. With every customer, we got better at understanding feedback. We put this into three new apps: Groups, Calendars and Forms as well as iterations of the core feature set – including a suite of new integrations. For example, content editing has been boosted by direct integrations with Google Drive, Box and Dropbox, so users can pull in and share documents without leaving the application.
Partnering with global brands such as Royal Dutch Shell, Ascential and Ballymore, we were able to use Twine as a base for bespoke portal solutions. This involved custom integrations with services such as Salesforce, pulling live data straight into Twine’s dashboard.
Now that Twine is essentially an independent company, Browser’s role is on an advisory basis providing consultancy for the development of Twine 2.0 which will see refactoring of the codebase, migrating to faster infrastructure and designing a fresh user interface.