Nothing is more satisfying than hearing about a happy customer’s positive experience with our intranet software. We love sharing these stories with the rest of the Intranet Connections team to let them know all our hard work is paying off. But even more so, we love to share these stories with you, our Intranet Connections family.
The story of how Westminster Canterbury went from an IT program to an overall corporate strategy is no different.
Searching for an All Employee Intranet
Most organizations purchase intranet software to make their employees’ lives easier. However, when Robert Mann, IT Manager at Westminster Canterbury, purchased SharePoint in 2010, it only made his work more difficult.
Getting started with SharePoint proved to be a challenge, so Mann hired a third-party SharePoint Consultant to assist, which quickly became quite expensive. After only one year, the SharePoint Consultant went out of business, leaving Mann and the IT Team solely responsible for maintaining their intranet. Because SharePoint was too complicated for non-IT staff to administer, the IT Department became overwhelmed with requests to update areas of the intranet. This quickly became a problem for the resource constrained IT Department because they simply didn’t have the capacity to facilitate every document upload, add each company announcement, onboard every new employee and publish each piece of content on the intranet along with all their other obligations. Mann explained:
“I knew we badly needed a new intranet platform that was more user-friendly and easier to administer than SharePoint. Immediately, I thought of Intranet Connections.”
In 2011, just one year after purchasing SharePoint, Mann made the executive decision to purchase a Healthcare Intranet by Intranet Connections. Intranet Connections provided the simplicity and ease-of-use Westminster Canterbury sought, and it didn’t require a third-party consultant to make simple changes. The new healthcare intranet was something all employees could use, and wasn’t difficult to figure out. Mann described:
“After we switched to Intranet Connections, we breathed a sigh of relief. Other departments and non-IT staff members were able to take over most of the day-to-day tasks.”
Because everyone was able to use the new intranet, intranet administration and maintenance was a shared responsibility with each department maintaining and managing their own areas of the intranet. Mann and his IT Department no longer had full-custody of everything on the intranet.
An All Employee Intranet
Immediately after installing the Intranet Connections’ Healthcare Intranet, staff were extremely happy and Mann received much positive feedback. He shared:
“The implementation went smoothly and everyone liked the look and feel of the new intranet. It flowed really well and it is easier to read and navigate than SharePoint. Our intranet now reminds me of the public websites I use in my personal time.”
Mann wanted the new intranet to be more widely used so he worked hard to go from what was an IT program and focus more on making it an employee program. He joined forces with the HR and Public Relations departments to include fun, useful applications and features that would help employees get their jobs done more efficiently, as well as increase intranet adoption and employee engagement. To achieve this, Mann created several applications that eliminated previously offline, inefficient processes.
Of these new applications, the Westminster Canterbury’s Learning Calendar proved to be most popular. The Learning Calendar enabled staff to sign up for optional classes or seminars as well as mandatory regulatory classes and other types of corporate training. Prior to having Intranet Connections, registration was difficult to maintain and administrate.
Intranet ROI & Sustainability
Due to the popularity of the Learning Calendar, Mann began moving more processes online, such as the company newsletter, InTouch. Each month the Public Relations team would manually create, print and distribute the newsletter to all employees. This became too costly and time inefficient leading Mann and the Public Relations team created an electronic version of the newsletter and posted it on the intranet. Mann explained the instant ROI saying:
“This one application alone has reduced our paper printing by 50%. Now we only have to print the newsletter for employees who don’t have a computer, which is nominal. We have saved thousands of dollars on paper, ink and printer maintenance just this year alone. It also allows us to distribute the newsletter to employees quicker. By the end of the year, we expect that 90% of all paper-based tasks will be digital on our intranet.”
In keeping with the more sustainable practices, Mann has also reduced paper waste and associated costs with the Corporate Compliance tool. Corporate Compliance is a section on the intranet that contains all of Westminster Canterbury’s documents and policies, which were previously kept in a handbook that was manually distributed to every employee. Whenever a change in policy occurred, they would have to reprint the entire handbook for all staff members. Now it simply gets updated on the intranet and an announcement is set on the intranet home page notifying employees of the change. This was something Mann intended SharePoint to do, but just couldn’t get it to work. Mann described:
“We tried using a lot of these features on our SharePoint intranet, but it took a lot more effort to administrate. Public Relations and HR used to get frustrated and email content to IT and IT would have to make changes, whereas now Public Relations can update their own publications without help from IT. I personally enjoy not getting emails from staff asking me to update the intranet anymore.”
In addition to reducing paper waste, Westminster Canterbury has reaped significant time-savings since switching to Intranet Connections. The simplicity of Intranet Connections has allowed more parties to be involved in the daily operations of their intranet, freeing up more of Mann’s time. Mann explained:
“As an IT Manager, switching to Intranet Connections from SharePoint has simplified intranet administration for me, saving me at least 100 hours a year. Not to mention, the ease-of-use and intuitive nature built into the product that allows our HR Department to take over onboarding new employees, which previously could only be done by our IT staff on our SharePoint Intranet.”
To read more about Westminster Canterbury’s intranet journey, and learn about how HR took over onboarding on the intranet, read the full case study here: http://www.intranetconnections.com/documents/Intranet-Connections-Westminster-Canterbury-Case-Study.pdf
Reliable Product & Friendly Support
Since moving to Intranet Connections, intranet adoption and employee engagement has significantly increased, and continues to. Because of this, Mann wanted to make sure the new intranet remained current and fresh, not dated like their SharePoint intranet, so after three years of using the new intranet, Mann decided to take on an intranet redesign. He redesigned the entire intranet home page first, including company-wide information, such as mandatory flu shot announcements, Employee Birthday Feed and a Weather Feed.
For Mann, the redesign was all about focusing on the number of clicks it too employees to find desired resources, so he redid the global navigation and menus. Mann shared:
“Moving to Intranet Connections from SharePoint, our intranet adoption rate increased by more than 50%. Our employees love the design and usability of Intranet Connections – plus the navigation is intuitive and the product is unbelievably user friendly. It’s more than just a data and document center, it engages our employees and promotes our culture.”
During the redesign process, Mann worked closely with the Intranet Connections’ Stellar Technical Support Team, getting their help along the way. Being able to work alongside the Intranet Connections Support Team was a relief for Mann, who said it was near impossible to get help from SharePoint. He explained:
“Formerly on SharePoint, if my application team had an issue and I was out of the office, they would have to engage and external consultant which could take days, even a week to respond. Now if there are any questions that pop up about our intranet, they are answered quickly by the responsive and friendly Intranet Connections Technical Support Staff. When we were on SharePoint, we didn’t have anyone to call.”
Apart from support, Mann and the rest of the Westminster Canterbury team have been thoroughly impressed and happy with their new healthcare intranet. Mann summed his decision saying:
“SharePoint used to be an IT program. Now Intranet Connections is a full corporate strategy for us. I’ve been really impressed with the product enhancements and upgrades available on Intranet Connections over the years. The Intranet Connections’ infrastructure is rock solid. We have had zero downtime since the switch and if there is ever an issue, the Intranet Connections Team is quick to get us a resolution.”
Were you previously using an intranet that you were unsatisfied with? How has switching improved your daily work tasks? Let us know by commenting below! We love hearing your intranet success stories.