New intranet for Equity Housing Group developed in SharePoint Online with Yammer and Office 365

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Secure, engaging and easy-to-use intranet for staff and internal stakeholders.

Challenge

Equity Housing Group (EHG) wanted to develop an intranet, using SharePoint Online as a one stop shop for all internal staff and stakeholder communications. The site is needed to portray the wide and varied work delivered, as well as being the go to communication tool for all business-critical messaging both now and in the future.

Microsoft Office 365 and SharePoint Online are key parts of the IT resources available to EHG in terms of delivering functional businesses systems to meet the organisations on-going requirements. EHG chose to make use of these platforms by deploying a SharePoint Online solution acting as an intranet to achieve the following objectives:

  • Change perception and be a platform to effectively communicate EHG’s corporate messages to staff and internal stakeholders.
  • Be easy to use and be attractive and engaging to visitors.
  • Raise the internal profile of EHG, communications and staff engagement.
  • Become the shop window and first port of call for “all things Equity Housing Group”.
  • Signpost users to relevant content, directorates, policies/procedures and resources.
  • Encourage users to become involved in the content generation and management.
  • Act as a repository/data management system for all EHG policies, procedures and business critical information.

Solution

  • Polymorph’s SharePoint consultants implemented a bespoke intranet designed and developed in house that met Equity Housings requirements. The intranet met Equity Housings branding guidelines using custom fonts and a custom colour palette specific to the requirements of EHG.
  • The solution was developed using the latest Microsoft development tools including Visual Studio Code and PowerShell with the SharePoint Rest API. The team used the latest coding practices such as node, gulp and typescript to write and deploy the solution.
  • The intranet was developed for Office 365 and uses out of the box SharePoint features to deliver the Intranet, such as pages for news and events, lists for quick links and site links and libraries for document storage.
  • Yammer was utilised by Equity Housing as an internal communication platform thus was embedded on the home page.
  • Each team within Equity Housing has their own subsite which rolls news and events up from the home page therefore encouraging users to tag more. Each team also has multiple document libraries setup as part of the solution where documents can be stored tagged and shared throughout the organisation.
  • As part of the solution security was implemented to enable teams to have “private” document libraries specific to individual teams. This was achieved using Active Directory in combination with SharePoint groups created by Equity Housing Group.

Results

  • Equity Housing benefit from having an Intranet as an internal communication network allowing employees to get the latest news and events at their fingertips.
  • Features such as the employee lookup encourage paperless internal phonebooks, which are driven by Active Directory, to ensure employee contact information is always up to date.

Client

Equity Housing Group, based in Stockport provided affordable shared ownership housing for over 4,500 properties across Greater Manchester, Cheshire, Yorkshire and Derbyshire as well as a wide range of economical rented homes.

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