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Connected across continents: SPACE intranet solution keeps digital engineering and construction client’s employees in the know

Connected across continents: SPACE intranet solution keeps digital engineering and construction client’s employees in the know

How do you create connection between employees as far-flung as Sydney, New York and Manila? For a digital engineering and construction company, the answer was simple: an Antares intranet solution.

Industry: Digital Engineering/Architecture

Key points

  • Intranet provides a single source of truth for corporate information, news and announcements
  • Solution brings together employees, regardless of where they are located
  • Customisations included extended knowledge base capability and additional news functionality

Background

The client is an innovative digital engineering and architecture company that delivers digital transformation in the built industry for organisations across the globe. Its team challenges preconceptions of how the industry should work and transforms the way major projects are delivered. It’s services enhance the design and delivery process, improve constructability, reduce risk and improve asset management through a project’s lifecycle.

The challenge

As a disruptive force in the digital Engineering and Architecture sector, the client was facing the operational challenges of rapid growth and a disparate workforce. Staff are situated across the globe, and teams needed more effective mechanisms for collaborating and communicating across multiple locations and time zones.

Steady increases in workforce size, client base and service offerings applied further pressures to the wiki-style turnkey solution that the client was using to manage corporate information.

In 2018, the client decided to invest in a robust intranet solution that would facilitate document storage, internal company communication and cross-team collaboration. It identified specific ‘must-have’ features including:

  • Onboarding information for new employees
  • Global events calendar that captured public holidays (in all geographies), major project milestones and seamlessly handled time zone differences
  • Resource centre for HR policies and information
  • Staff directory
  • Knowledge base
  • News and announcements sections

Leveraging the most of their existing investment in the Microsoft ecosystem, the client selected SharePoint as its platform of choice for the new intranet to drive fast adoption by staff.

We needed an intranet to provide more connection. We’re a global company and lots of people work from home, so it’s helpful to have a central place for collaboration. We needed a single source of truth for corporate information, a staff directory where we could easily locate people with specific skills or capabilities, and a place to find out about news and events.” – Intranet Project Manager.

The solution

The client engaged Antares, member of Cloud Collective to design and implement the new intranet. Antares’ SPACE offering – an enterprise-grade customisable intranet solution – appealed to the client because it is based on a proven implementation that enables delivery within just weeks, at half the cost of typical projects.

“We chose Antares because we felt very confident in their solution and communications. They had an extra level of service and experience compared to others in the market” – Intranet Project Manager.

Antares worked closely with the client to understand its requirements for the new intranet and designed a customised solution that would help the client to achieve its goals.

Starting with a blank canvas, Antares configured and deployed the SPACE Framework on top of SharePoint, transforming the platform into a fully-featured intranet. In addition to the framework, customisations were developed to meet the client’s unique business needs: 

Enhanced knowledge base capability

The client sought to expand the functionality of SharePoint’s knowledge base by integrating its own knowledge base, which contains building codes, standards and modelling guidelines. Antares built additional functionality to enable its staff to classify knowledge base content using custom tags (e.g. project code, discipline code, document type). These changes enabled the knowledge base to become a single accessible source of truth for all architecture work, removing the need for staff to save these details locally.

Custom web part to display time-zones

A seamless ability to collaborate and communicate across time-zones is critical for a global business. Antares build a custom web part to support the client’s geographically dispersed staff that displayed the time in key locations (e.g. Singapore, Philippines, New York) to help staff plan meetings and workloads across time zones.

Additional news functionality

As the client’s intranet was designed to be the single source of corporate information for geographically dispersed staff, Antares increased the capacity of SharePoint’s standard news carousel to enable more news items to be promoted on the home page.

Custom fields in OneSearch staff directory

The client identified that, in addition to seeing team members’ names and contact details, there was a clear business need for staff to be able to search for their colleagues’ skills and responsibilities in the directory. Antares built additional custom fields into the staff directory to address this need using its tried-and-tested OneSearch functionality.

Results

Antares has successfully delivered the new intranet in line with the business requirements defined by the client’s management team.

“Our experience working with Antares was positive. They were clear communicators and worked quickly on a tight deadline which was appreciated. They had good technical knowledge, the development was fast and the training they provided was informative and practical.” – Intranet Project Manager.

The new intranet solution has recently been deployed to staff and, based on emerging feedback, the client anticipates the following benefits:

A single source of truth

With the intranet providing a central and accessible location for all corporate information, staff will no longer need to save files locally or in their inboxes. Staff can access company updates, resources, policies and procedures easily, without wasting time searching through old files and emails.

Unified workforce

The intranet brings together the client’s employees, irrespective of where they are located or which team they work within. All staff have access to the same communications and corporate information.

Higher employee engagement

The new intranet is designed to enhance employees’ experience by sharing stories, news and announcements that connects them with their peers across the globe. Having a single platform to engage and connect online will help staff to connect, no matter which time zone they work from or whether they work from an office or remotely.

Future plans

The next phase of the project will focus on setting up an e-learning environment for the client’s employees, as well as a project space for teams to collaborate.


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