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Book Reviews and Excerpts from
Intranet Business Strategies  

Chapter 3 of Intranet Business Strategies, How Intranets Are Changing You and Your Organization, is reprinted in Intranet Design Magazine. Also, read a review there. In addition, Chapter 9 of Intranet as Groupware, What's So Hard About Groupware?, is excerpted there, and reviewed there as well.

Chapter 6 of Intranet Business Strategies, Two Different Ways to Sell the Intranet to Your Organization, is excerpted in the Intranet Journal.

Book ReviewIntranet Business Strategies, by Bradley J. Davis, Business Geographics, August 1998.
I recommend this book to those interested in a step-by-step guide for building an intranet in an organization. It is a wealth of information nicely packaged by the author from a cross section of Fortune 500 companies.

Intranet Business Strategies used as college textbook at New Mexico Highlands University, September, 1997.

Meeting the big challenge: Selling an intranet to users, by Eamonn Sullivan, PCWeek, February 10, 1997
Selected comments: Getting an intranet off the ground is easy compared with what comes next: getting people to use it. Users won't bother with the intranet unless there is something worth reading there, but departments won't create worthwhile content for the intranet unless they believe users will see it. One of the best sources of information on this topic is a book called "Intranet Business Strategies," by Mellanie Hills (Wiley Computer Publishing, ISBN# 0-471-16374-0). Hills, one of the creators of J.C. Penney's jWeb, has posted her checklist for promoting your intranet on the Web at

Book Bytes, by L. Detweiler, Boardwatch Magazine, January, 1997.
Selected comments: Useful case studies include AT&T, Bell Atlantic, EDS, JC Penney, Rockwell, Silicon Graphics, Inc., Texas Instruments, Turner Broadcasting, etc. We're impressed with the detail of the case studies given corporations' general reluctance to reveal their internal network structures; they all really nail down the value of the book. We find this book appealing to managers and higher-level integrators who don't want to be overwhelmed with technical minutia but need to focus on feasibility, organizational, and cost-benefit aspects of implementing new technology. The book has numerous checklists and even describes sample meeting scenarios among intranet participants. There's strong emphasis on more human-oriented factors such as successful teambuilding and coordination.

Book Review: How To Build--and Sell--Your Intranet, by Erin Callaway, PCWeek, November 4, 1996, (no longer available on the Web).

Intranet Business Strategies by Mellanie Hills ($29.95, John Wiley & Sons, 396 pp.)

The goal of this book is to help readers learn how to create corporate intranets. To that end, the author quickly gets down to the real bottom line before dishing out a list of how-tos. Her recommendation: Take what you learn from this book and use it to sell the idea of intranets to your CEO or CIO. Their lack of understanding about what intranets can do is the biggest obstacle to deploying one, Hills contends.

It’s no surprise, then, that the author immediately delves into the issues that are likely to concern your superiors the most: What is an intranet, what’s good and bad about them, and how will they change your organization? Specifically, Hills compares intranets with client/server systems and proprietary groupware, including the disadvantages and risks of deploying an intranet in lieu of both.

Hills goes on to discuss general uses for intranets. Her tack is to dissect intranets on a functional, not departmental, level. Specifically, she discusses how intranets can support processes such as communications, product development, operational, marketing and sales, and customer support.

Then Hills offers 13 examples of companies using intranets and how they are doing it. Using case studies from companies such as AT&T Corp., J.C. Penney Co. Inc., Rockwell International Corp., and United Parcel Service of America Inc., she summarizes how each intranet began, what it is being used for, the results each company has seen so far and what lessons they learned as they deployed it.

Assuming you are sold on the usefulness of intranets, Hills moves on to describe how you can build one of your own, starting with how to sell the technology to your organization. She even includes a checklist of ways to go about this first and crucial step.

From there, Hills examines ways to determine your infrastructure needs and create the audience for your intranet. Hills also offers some advice about selecting the proper tools by covering the general functionality you should look for. She then suggests ways to promote your intranet.

Hills wraps up by helping you look toward building your intranet on an enterprise level. Here she discusses the importance of establishing an intranet team to help you make your network as pervasive as it can be within your organization. Bookstore--Recommended Books

Intranet Business Strategies and Intranet as Groupware By Mellanie Hills

Hills, who helped J.C. Penney develop its intranet, wrote her books from the point-of-view of a nontechnician who has to determine where and how an intranet fits into business strategy, and who should use it. The books are aimed at managers who oversee intranet strategies as well as technicians who want to know where their work fits in. Hills writes from experience and in clear, nontechnical language, attributes that too many of the plethora of intranet books don't possess.

Strategies from an intranet evangelist, an excerpt, Computerworld, August 19, 1996.

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Other Information

Mellanie Hills is also the author of another intranet best-seller,
Intranet As Groupware.

You can hear the author speak at these conferences and events.

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