Modernize Your Digital Workplace
World-class speakers, best practices, and customer voices highlighted problems with offers of solutions in our recent ValoFest event. One of the expert presenters was Klarinet’s very own Co-founder and Director of Solution Delivery, Matt Fishman, who revealed how to modernize your digital workplace, strategize for content mapping, and move from a Classic to Modern Valo Intranet.
Ultimately, his session was a deep dive into a real-world- customer showing how to examine strategies for content mapping and Migration to a flat architecture and much more. With these lessons, you can make your organization’s transition to a Modern SharePoint intranet in a short period. In this blog, we will break down the classic to modern journey by looking into an entire migration we completed for our client, JAMS.
JAMS – Full Modernization
JAMS is a well-known organization in the Alternative Dispute Resolution industry. JAMS offers customized dispute resolution services locally and globally through industry-specific experience, first-class client service, top-notch facilities, and highly trained panelists. JAMS clients are supported by more than 800 associates who oversee 18,000 cases annually, ranging from two-party personal injury mediations to complex, multi-party, multimillion-dollar arbitrations in the United States and other jurisdictions worldwide.
JAMS successfully resolves and manages businesses and legal disputes by providing efficient, cost-effective, and impartial ways of overcoming barriers at any stage of a conflict. With over 700+ users, JAMS’s digital workplace journey has evolved from a ground-up custom intranet to a highly compatible, engaging, and user-friendly modern digital workplace.
Our initial contact with them was in 2016 when their CTO approached us and gave us the task of building a classic site in less than eight days. However, in recent months JAMS executives have developed an interest in new modern SharePoint capabilities. Some of their main objectives were to:
- Find a more engaging way of displaying News to their team.
- Optimize an employee-centric homepage by taking advantage of fantastic content creation tools in Valo
- Overcome stagnant content, minimal engagement from employees on Intranet content
- Build a drive from upper management to have more engaging new including videos
- Support their remote workforce through the COVID-19 pandemic
As a very culture-driven organization, executive leadership wanted to find more ways to engage their team, recognize their efforts, and bring all employees together. After discussing an advanced intranet’s capabilities and demoing a Modern Valo Intranet, the solution we delivered to them consisted of:
- Full development of Valo Modern
- New Information Architecture following best practices
- Restructuring of content from subsites to site collections
- Streamlined permissions
- Migration of site content (lists/libraries)
- Modernize Pages using SharePoint PnP Transformation Engine
- Leverage Valo People add-on
What is the process we used to implement these modern solutions?
- Discovery Workshop – We first worked with the client through a one-day onsite requirements gathering workshop. This requires us to leverage Valo’s Modern Information Architecture to gather valuable information to customize their Valo deployment. Also, we provide built-in modern training in our requirements gathering. We recognize that not every organization knows how to address a hub site, subsite, permission management, and other necessary digital workplace information. Therefore, we build in the knowledge transfer from Classic to Modern into this requirements gathering process so that clients know how to leverage these tools. At the same time, we also describe and document the various features sets to make informed decisions on how to use the Valo tools. Finally, we set up weekly status meetings to see progress on tasks and provide support.
- Full Valo Modern Deployment
- Scripted Migration using ShareGate Page Migration – After deploying Valo, we have this Shell with no content, so our goal is to get content in this modern infrastructure. We rely on using ShareGate reporting to generate input files for migration scripts. As for News, JAMS rolled out various news pages to support their people in real-time during this pandemic. Therefore, their executive team wanted us to migrate existing News on the Classic site to modern. We also utilized the PnP Transformation engine, but it had some limitations. Instead, we used a Flow in Microsoft Power Automate that allowed us to replicate the Classic Blog Posts as Modern Valo News. These are some of our recommendations for a scripted Classic to Modern Migration:
- Don’t migrate sites or subsites, migrate the lists and libraries into the new infrastructure. This ultimately normalizes permissions and reduces the chance of having a permissions mess. Unless it is necessary for business, compliance, or partner reasons, migrate this content with permissions.
- Be aware that migrating custom forms from classic to modern is troublesome and requires a specific process.
- In our approach, we rely strictly on PowerShell for all migration activities. Perfect for automating the process via a customizable script.
- Migration of Classic News, Web Part Pages, and Blogs – With more than 50 Pages, we looked at the SharePoint PnP Page Transformation engine. It is a fantastic tool that converts a Classic page into a Modern Page. You can use this to migrate from Office 365 site collection or on-prem to online. However, there are some restrictions. This tool only supports certain web parts such as Web Part Pages, List Views Publishing Pages, Blogs, and Wikis. Other web parts like Script Editors and Content Editors can be problematic. So we leveraged the PnP engine, a CSV input file with each web part page and publishing page, and other essential migration tools.
- Go-Live Scenario and Final Cutover – Now that all the content has been migrated, News is modernized, and the site is fully configured, JAMS wanted to go live. However, the classic site lives in the tenant root, and the client wanted a new site located at the root. The solution to this was to deploy the Valo Modern Hub to /sites/newintranet. By utilizing Microsoft’s PowerShell cmdlet, Invoke-SPOSiteSwap, we can take a source site collection and change the URL for that site. After configuring and finding an ideal location, the JAMS modern intranet went live!
With the transition from Classic to Modern, their intranet is now the hub of their digital workplace. They have seen a 200% increase in page views and visits in the first month after going live. JAMS can further unite its entire workforce by directing their people to a captivating and successful modern intranet.
This exceptional user experience helps orchestrate a common, unified culture across the organization. By establishing a Valo modern intranet, we provided this organization with digital workplace tools that further promotes learning, productivity, and teamwork.
Are You Stuck With An Outdated Intranet or Digital Workplace?
It can be frustrating when you are stuck at any point in your digital workplace roadmap. Whether it is dealing with an entirely outdated intranet or needing help going live, we can support you. If you want to learn more about what a successful digital workplace looks like, what are the top intranet features and design trends, or if you would like to get information from a technical point of view. Reach out to one of our digital workplace experts HERE.