Transforming employee communications with Microsoft Viva Connections

In this case study, discover how we helped Hythe Group to modernise its capabilities around internal communications and processes, by using Microsoft Viva Connections.

A Hythe Group success story: Transforming employee communications with Viva Connections

Hythe Group

Hythe Group is a Portsmouth-based premium turnkey marine engineering ​company that specialise in providing bespoke engineering services to the​ ​D​efence ​sector.​​ The Hythe Marine team retain a mix of in-office and remote workers, as many of the team are often in the field, working on vessels or in workshops.​​

The challenge

Hythe Group was looking to modernise its capabilities around internal communications and processes. Communication was inconsistent, sharing of information and news was ad-hoc, and it was hard to know where to find company controlled documents. In parallel, they wanted to start improving how the company obtained feedback on satisfaction and performance from its employees.

Hythe Group required a new employee communications platform – one which would improve how information was shared across the business, and would act as a central hub where employees could find the resources they needed to do their jobs.

They initially considered finding a developer to create an intranet, before quickly concluding this would mean reinventing the wheel. Some research revealed that packaged intranet solution would be a better option.

The solution

Hythe Group advised the CompanyNet team they were committed to Microsoft 365, with all staff licensed for the platform, but knew they could be making better use of this investment. They had started using Microsoft Teams over other video conferencing platforms, and had a desire to move towards better-organised, cloud-based storage with OneDrive and SharePoint Online, rather than traditional network shares. 

Given the size and nature of their business, CompanyNet suggested Hythe Group consider Microsoft Viva Connections as the solution. A new employee communications platform built on top of Microsoft Teams and SharePoint online, the CompanyNet team strongly believed Viva Connections would tick all the boxes for the team at Hythe Group.

David Thackray, Group Head of IT and Telecommunications at Hythe Group, commented, “what drew us to CompanyNet was their introduction of Viva Connections to the mix. We’d narrowed solutions considered down to SharePoint-based intranets, that had a UI layer over SharePoint to make it easier to configure.

CompanyNet provided a smart solution – they had fully committed to Viva Connections and the Microsoft roadmap – recommending we simply use native Microsoft tools to build what we needed.”

Whilst cost optimisation was of course a consideration, it was most important that Hythe Group implement the right solution. Given the option of delivering a comparable experience using just the existing capabilities of Viva Connections, it became the favoured solution. “As we went through the process, it became increasingly attractive that we didn’t have to spend any extra money on new licensing,” says David. “The only project costs were the professional services costs to build on the platforms we already had.”

Once appointed, the team at CompanyNet worked closely with their counterparts at Hythe Group to deliver a new Viva Connections site that would meet their requirements. This included delivering the completed platform in a few short months, in order to meet an ambitious target launch date.

The results

While we knew Microsoft Teams Live Events was the right vehicle for the event, there were some obstacles to overcome before a successful event could be held. The first challenge was posed by the technology itself. While all Teams Live Events have common core features, there are a number of ways they can be set up which impacts the experience on the day.

For example, if live events in Microsoft Teams are created directly from the Teams app, they can have a moderated Q&A, but will allow anonymous external users to join. Starting the event creation process from Yammer instead results in unmoderated discussion, but will bar anonymous external users from joining. We took Mencap through the options and settled on the one that fit their requirements the most closely – a Microsoft Teams Live Events event launched from Yammer.

Get in touch with our friendly team now:

The CompanyNet Team

The CompanyNet team has more than 20 years’ experience of creating Microsoft digital workplaces that really work.

We’re a tight-knit team that delivers results for customers including Scottish Water, Mencap, the Student Loans Company, Walt Disney, Tesco Bank, the Scottish Housing Regulator and many more.

We’re always keen to discuss whether we can help you get more out of Office 365.

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