A New Look for Intercom

By David Cameron, June 16, 2021
Starting July 1, the Intercom website will be on the same Drupal platform as the rest of ithaca.edu, marking the final step of three-year content migration process and a major milestone for the web team.

As we previously shared on this blog in April, the Intercom website has been an active digital bulletin board for the Ithaca College community for over 18 years, but the servers and infrastructure used to maintain the old web system that hosts it are now at the end of their operational life. In order to preserve current Intercom content, and provide a platform for this service for campus in the year ahead, we are transitioning the past three months of Intercom to our Drupal website. Content older than three months will be moved to a new static archive, separate from the rest of Intercom but still searchable and simple to access.

Same Intercom, Different Clothing

To be clear, this is not a "new" Intercom, but our old Intercom site with a makeover. It will still function as before, and the content hasn't changed, but now it will have the same modern responsive layout and branding of the rest of our website. We have replicated as many of the same architecture and features of the original Intercom that we could, including the same navigation and search, topic categories, and familiar editing options for contributors.

Final testing and updated user documentation are now underway for our launch process, which will begin on the evening of June 30. A final notice will be shared with the entire campus community prior to the switchover, along with instructions on how to access, navigate, and contribute to the new system.

Future Plans

One of the core goals outlined in the college’s strategic plan is to “structurally support and value collaboration” across our campus, and the current version of Intercom has been a valuable channel for much of that collaboration and communication in the past. While moving Intercom over to our new website will keep the system functioning for the rest of this year, it is not intended to be a long-term solution.

User needs and expectations have evolved considerably since Intercom was launched two decades ago, and there are now several improved tools available for us to consider as we evaluate how to deliver a more valuable internal communication platform for our campus community while also reducing costs and minimizing user frustrations. Starting later this year, the Web Strategy team will be working with our partners in Information Technology and College Communications to identify new options and conduct outreach to our user community to help define how Intercom might evolve to meet the college’s needs for more decades to come.

We expect to have more details to share about this discovery process once it has been formalized. In the meantime, we welcome your thoughts on this topic, or any feedback you have on the website in general. The best way to reach us is through our web team feedback form, or you can email us at web@ithaca.edu with details.