Often times corporate intranets are used to flash company news and hence it is undervalued and underused by employees affecting internal collaboration. What they prefer is some social media like portals that can boost engagement and internal communication. That too for a company like AON, a global professional services firm with 50,000 employees operating across 120 different offices, it's highly difficult to bring in the collaboration aspect. When AON planned to redefine their intranet experience, this is what happened.
We started off with analyzing their business requirements and how they want the sites to be designed in the new intranet. We walked them through our sample SharePoint sites that gave them a clear picture of their intranet and they realized the power of the contemporary Microsoft SharePoint 2011.
Their Java-based content management sites were barely used by employees and so they wanted to shift to a highly-responsive design that can enable their employees to gather at a common point and collaborate with one another.
"We almost had 52 Java sites that were neither responsive nor mobile-adaptive and gradually slowed down the intranet usage over time. We were using it to send out some corporate announcements and couldn't bind employees with it. So we thought we'll move to a more modern intranet that employees can utilize to the fullest potential." - AON, Business Manager
Since they were already using an intranet, they had a huge amount of content present on it and wanted to migrate the content after redesigning their intranet sites. What was really challenging for us was that there were many IT service providers competing with us and we had to come up with a delivery plan that neither has any slippages nor leakages.
"Very particularly, our timeframes were very aggressive within which we wanted a vendor to redesign our intranet plus migrate the content. When AVASOFT proposed the reusable framework model, we were very certain that this approach could save a huge amount of cost and time and that's the reason why we decided to go with them." - AON, Business Manager
Instead of recreating all the 52 sites from the very beginning, what we did was that we only created 12 templates that can cater to their business needs and applied simple patches and reused them for the remaining sites. Since they were very particular about usability, our UX team went some extra miles in creating user-friendly intranet sites. In fact, our reusable framework model is the prime reason to achieve delivery excellence within predefined timelines. Apart from redesigning their SharePoint sites, we also migrated all their content from the legacy system to the new sites overnight without any production downtimes.
We were keen about their timelines and usability and so designed the sites with some extra effort and showed them how these sites can be user-friendly and improve collaboration. We clearly demonstrated the scope of the SharePoint intranet and they made use of the 12 fundamental templates to redesign the rest of their sites. We additionally created bilingual sites for their China and Canada locations and the product roll-out without any slippages achieved delivery excellence.
The main idea is to make the whole intranet lighter with easy-to-use layouts and quickly navigable pages giving importance to internal communication. AON wanted to get rid of the drawbacks with the old system that lacked usability with a redundant structure and cluttered content management design. When we created a central knowledge base that can serve as information management as well as information sharing model, the purpose of having an intranet is actually met.
"We every day deal with customer proprietary data and analytics to deliver insights on how to reduce volatility and improve their performance. When we needed a consolidated system to maintain all these details along with company protocols and procedures, Microsoft's SharePoint definitely emerged as the game-changer. We achieved usability and improved internal collaboration with the new intranet design and thanks to AVASOFT who is the prime reason for our paradigm shift." - AON, Business Manager
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