We have been working with Microsoft SharePoint since our inception in 1996 and our first ever project was building an Intranet for the Scotch Whisky Association.
As Microsoft has developed SharePoint over the years into SharePoint Online we have developed our own Digital Workspace inside SharePoint Online called Kira. Kira is a modern, mobile optimised Intranet built using SharePoint Online inside Office 365.
SharePoint Intranet Examples
Formed in 1997, Tesco Bank is a retail bank that has been wholly owned by Tesco plc since 2008. It offers a range of current accounts, credit cards, insurance, loans, savings, mortgages and travel products.
Tesco Bank’s vision is to be the bank for people who shop at Tesco, offering retail banking and insurance products to those customers.
The bank engaged CompanyNet to deliver an enterprise-class intranet on Office 365. Its requirements were a great fit for our Kira intranet platform, with ownership of the project shared between Tesco Bank’s Internal Communications and HR teams.
At the core of the challenge was a need for more efficient and effective communications across Tesco Bank. The team wanted to make it easier for colleagues to connect with each other, and make it possible to socialise content more widely across the organisation.
To do this, they needed a controlled content management and publishing solution, with an emphasis on HR
tools, content, and policies. Because content is only useful if you can find it, there was also a need for an improved search function and the implementation of powerful tagging and metadata.
To deliver on the core set of requirements in short order, Tesco Bank decided to adopt an ‘MVP’ (minimum viable product) concept to implementing their new intranet. Working through Tesco’s requirements, we put together a solution based on our Kira intranet platform, built on SharePoint Online and augmented by Office 365 internal communications tools including Yammer.
A soft launch to 500 users was initiated three months after the project began, followed by a full rollout to 4,000 users just three months later. The team at Tesco Bank supported the rollout with a comprehensive Communications Plan, which undoubtedly helped guarantee the success of the launch.
“We’re absolutely delighted with what CompanyNet have helped us to deliver. The development, implementation and adoption of our new platform has been incredibly successful.
“Kira has enabled us to deliver a modern, intuitive social intranet that allows us to deliver a personalised experience for Tesco Bank colleagues, and currently sits among the best-in-class of corporate intranets within our industry.”Mike Sterry, Senior Internal Communications Manager, Tesco Bank
The soft launch was a success, with users taking up the new communications tools straight off the bat. One of the biggest success stories for Tesco Bank has been the adoption of Yammer. The Communications Plan incorporated a “Yammer Week”, which saw 1,500 new users welcomed onto the network.
Yammer Week placed a strong emphasis on the impact of the cultural change of introducing new enterprise social tools. The results have been extremely positive:
- Senior leaders are regularly “Yamming”, sharing information on Yammer and setting a positive example to colleagues.
- Colleague achievements are being recognised and celebrated through the ‘Praise’ tool.
- Yammer insights and successes are being shared to make the new environment even more engaging. For example, more than 90% of the top 50 most followed Yammer users have a profile picture.
- Examples of how effective Yammer can be as a feedback mechanism are also being shared. For example, staff have used Yammer to provide feedback on the latest issue of Colleague Conference, the bank’s in-house magazine.
As a result of this positive promotion, strong Yammer networks have quickly formed around:
- Core business activities such as Insurance Operations and Banking Services
- Location-specific groups based in Tesco Bank’s three main staff locations – Edinburgh, Glasgow and Newcastle
- Common-interest groups such as Women in Business and the Multicultural Network.
Initiatives such as a ‘Yammer 101 Group’ are up-and-running to engage with under-represented communities within Tesco Bank, and to help newcomers and those who are hesitant to get the most out of Yammer.
With the MVP intranet now well-established, Tesco Bank is fully embracing the idea of ‘continuous improvement’ of its intranet. The organisation has already started using Microsoft PowerApps to model a set of HR forms, and is keen to exploit Microsoft Flow to put more power in the hands of business users, reducing the reliance on IT.
The next wave of activity will focus on the needs of the Operations side of Tesco Bank to meet a set of specific-targeted requirements which are currently being defined.
SharePoint Intranet Examples
Standard Life Aberdeen
Standard Life Aberdeen plc is a global financial services business which manages pensions, annuities, long-term savings and insurance.
Founded in 1825, it is one of Scotland’s most successful companies, with headquarters in Edinburgh and offices around the world. The business brought in CompanyNet to satisfy their need for a new global corporate intranet.
In an organisation of 8,000 staff, the biggest challenge was to find a way to let users find, share and use content without being overwhelmed by it. We undertook a staff survey, to which 25 per cent of staff responded. This highlighted the huge level of demand for us to find solutions to the problems that were dogging their existing intranet, and validated the need for a better one.
Staff members were experiencing challenges with the existing intranet, including a great deal of poorly-structured and outdated content, confusing navigation, and a search engine which did not return satisfying results. As a result, staff were abandoning the existing intranet, rather than viewing it as a useful source of corporate information.
We created an intranet, which became known as ‘Stan’, as part of delivering a wider digital workplace that would enable Standard Life to better communicate across teams, departments and locations. Our extensive experience of designing, building and deploying intranets came to the fore in delivering Stan.
The first step was to undertake a large-scale card sort exercise with Standard Life staff in order to design an information architecture that met their expectations.
Then, we used our Kira intranet platform to accelerate the solution to a point where we could quickly start customising and building bespoke features required by Standard Life. We placed social features at the heart of the intranet, including user-generated newsfeeds to complement more traditional intranet features such as corporate news.
This enables staff to leave useful comments on pages, immediately share information with their colleagues, and hold ad hoc online discussions to quickly resolve issues.
“CompanyNet were very accommodating and keen to learn about the way we operate, and what they needed to do to help us get to the point of delivery …
They worked very hard to understand our requirements. They’ve got good insight into intranets, and extensive SharePoint experience; both of those were invaluable as we went through the project.”— Allan Tanner, Senior Digital Manager, Standard Life
Stan was immediately more accessible than its predecessors, not only on the company’s desktop PCs, but for the first time across mobile devices such as phones and tablets. The Standard Life team created a thorough communications plan for introducing and launching the site to their colleagues.
This included the creation of promotional materials, in-office advertising, workshops and training sessions to ensure the smooth transition to the new intranet.
The intranet was launched to Standard Life’s offices around the world in February 2016. The work of Standard Life and CompanyNet paid off, with uptake of the new site exceeding expectations – three million page hits in the first two months since launch, or an average of 10 pages visited by every staff member every day.
“We’ve found it a really good relationship to have, and we’re delighted with the outcome.”Greig Rutherford, Global Communications Senior Manager, Standard Life