This interesting post over at 37signals is effectively the company polling its universe of customers and friends over possibilities in the intranet software market. That's an interesting communications exercise in itself, but I link to it because it suggests (in line with a previous post here) that the concept of "an intranet" is not in good shape.
What comes out of the "tech-head" perspective is that no-one has come out with an earth-shaking software product as yet, but Microsoft Sharepoint seems to be edging into an industry lead.
Sharepoint's special value is in facilitating collaboration over documents (through the integration with MS Office apps.) It also includes things like RSS and blogs.
To me, the lessons for IC types are:
1) People will choose and stick with communication channels that make their life easier. There's a lot of talk about the possibilities around "new social media" in IC, but that will inevitably involve technology choices. The right medium is one that people will get some value (for them) out of using.
2) Point One highlights the potential for IC professionals to gain extra traction if they work to understand and influence the information management policies in their organisations. People are happy to find that Sharepoint has blogs and many become enthusiastic users of them, but the system lives or dies by it's usefulness in "information management" rather than "internal communication" per se. (That might not be a fun fact, but it is a financial reality at a lot of companies.) As such, it's important to make sure that these two agendas complement each other rather than conflict. That means both an interest in the widgets IT is buying to solve intranet problems and a wider interest in the connections between "information management" and "internal communication overall.