This well-known biotechnology firm is focused on developing and commercializing off-the-shelf cell therapies for patients with hematologic malignancies or solid tumors. Basically, they’re curing cancer.
Intranet, Microsoft 365, and SharePoint Management
Market: United States
Size: 7-10 employees
As a growing biotech leader looking to expand, they wanted to take their digital workplace to the next level to support the scaling of business operations and improve job efficiencies.
Their organization had an existing Office 365 tenant with a standard file structure in SharePoint Online. The environment had less than 10 total users, including international external users. Their intranet comprised of one site collection with multiple folders for each department, and the primary purpose of the digital workplace was for clinical development. The company was inspired by modern Microsoft 365 and SharePoint capabilities that would increase efficiency and collaboration amongst their teams. Our project objective was to elevate their digital workplace by leveraging collaboration tools, smarter information architecture, and branded company experience. This required us to:
- Implement a Modern Intranet solution leveraging SharePoint Online where end users can add and maintain authorized sections without requiring an underlaying knowledge of SP Online.
- Improve collaboration by utilizing tools that promote easy file sharing and communication
- Implement the right permission structure to enforce the correct access for internal employees and partners
- Implement a scalable digital workplace solution that gains adoption and can be easily updated over time by key stakeholders and employees
- Focus on a compelling design that represents their organization and fosters user adoption
- Ability for users to access relevant content quickly as users are on the go and extremely busy
Klarinet’s team determined that the best approach was to deploy a SharePoint Modern out-of-the-box solution. We used an open-source solution and deployed a PnP Starter kit. Our solution focused on these larger issues:
Organizing Information Architecture
We created 10+ sites with their own unique site collection settings, including one site for each department of the organization. Working with each department, we determined specific taxonomy, design, structure, permissions, and migration to customize the sites’ functionality to the department’s liking. Separate site collections are common for modern intranets that rely on a flat architecture. It allows an organization to scale its digital workplace without any major restructuring. The benefits of flat architecture include increased flexibility, simplified site management, and simplified permission management. In addition, we created a communication hub to which all sites were connected to. The hub became a one-stop-shop for users to read the news, get updates, or navigate to any site. It also provided a backbone for the intranet where associated sites inherited themes and functionality from the hub to create a consistent look and feel.
PnP “Patterns and Practices” Templates
These templates provide support and a foundation for provisioning elements on different sites on SharePoint online. Using PnP templates, we configured Web Parts which would help intranet users to acquire the most relevant information as quickly as possible. These Web Parts included:
- Banner – image with overlaid text for “news” purposes
- Followed Sites – shows a list of sites that the logged in user is following
- Links – shows links in a categorized list
- People Directory – utilizes Search API to show a list of the internal users
- Recently Used Documents
- Tiles – renders a set of tiles as links for presenting important links on a Home Page
- Weather – shows weather information from Yahoo weather service
- World Time – clocks to show time in specific time zones
We focused on configuring and deploying Web Parts that would help users navigate and complete tasks in an efficient manner. In addition, we trained admin users to customize these templates and add new features without formal training of SP Online. This allows authors to have authorization and control over the type of content displayed on their sites.
Branding and Design
In any workplace, you want to create a sense of community, culture, and a feeling of familiarity for your employees. Building a visual identity in your digital workplace is not something to overlook. It can increase adoption, unite users to the organizational culture, and create a sense of “home” online. Klarinet’s team sought to create a branded identity on the new intranet. We met with the organization to determine color requirements and apply a color scheme to match its branding. With a customized theme, users are reminded of organizational values and purpose even when they are working remotely.
Overall, our team supported this Biotech organization in creating a digital workplace that scales its business performance, employee productivity and fosters a welcoming culture. Since deploying our solutions, we have seen a huge increase in M365 apps and intranet usage. Our managed services agreement has also allowed us to aid various admin projects, crises and provide this organization with the best & latest M365 upgrades.
Is it too early to invest in a digital workplace?
Getting work done is happening virtually more than ever before. Sooner rather than later, more people will be working from home than traveling to an office, collaboration will happen virtually more than person-to-person, and paper processes will be digitized. If an organization is looking to scale and rapidly grow their company, it’s best practice to set the standard early and embrace these tools as just the way “things get done.” Otherwise, users will be stuck converting their larger organization from old and poor practices, which will take much more time, effort, and tamper progress. By investing in a modern digital workplace, emerging companies are staying ahead of the game in workplace efficiency, employee-centric culture, and high-quality collaboration. They are investing in a work product of the future and delivering on tools that will help their employees get work done quickly and efficiently. Feel free to give our digital workplace experts a call, book a demo or navigate our relevant blogs to learn how to modernize your digital workplace environment.