For some time the Swiss bank group Raiffeisen had been keen to take the principles of web 2.0 (RSS, Ajax, mashups and social software) and apply them to its intranet system. It has since gone on to introduce a personalised homepage service along the lines of iGoogle, a telephone directory with an interface similar to Facebook or Xing, as well as a decentralised content management system. In doing so, Raiffeisen has proved to be a major innovator and an example for other businesses to follow.
Thanks to its first-rate usability, personalisation capability and improved integration with internal and external technical and productivity applications (e.g. Lotus Notes), the new Raiffeisen intranet system has enjoyed high user acceptance. The work of the interdisciplinary project team, whose members included Raiffeisen’s own experts, web 2.0 developers and specialists from Liip, as well as user experience professionals from Stimmt AG, was based on the agile scrum method. This allowed the team to integrate all requested user extensions within the shortest possible timeframe despite the multiple interfaces involved.
Raiffeisen is not the only one to benefit. The project has provided a springboard for the launch of an open source initiative that seeks to share the user extensions developed by the project with other interested businesses.
RAIweb 2.0 passed the "Certified Secure Web Technology" test and is the perfect illustration of how open source technologies (e.g. PHP and MySQL) can be combined with traditional business applications (e.g. Lotus Notes) to generate secure, forward-looking and scalable solutions.