SharePoint Case Study: 0 to Intranet in 90 Days


By IC Thrive - Case Studies

Overview

Country or Region: United States

Industry: Professional Services

Customer Profile

Diversified Search, an executive search firm, has grown and evolved since inception 40 years ago. With eight offices in the United States and over 100 employees, Diversified Search now has global searching capabilities.

Business Situation

Diversified Search was fed up with the lack of functionality and flexibility of their Sharepoint intranet. After 18 months with SharePoint, Diversified Search was still in need of a solution that would improve employee productivity and collaboration. With SharePoint administration too expensive and functionality too limited, the organization had to look elsewhere.

Solution

IC Source ’s intranet software provided a simple and affordable intranet solution that delivered the functionality and flexibility Diversified Search required and was fully implemented in just 90 days.

Benefits

  • Over $11,000 saved in year 1
  • Eliminated 3rd Party Admin
  • Increased Intranet Adoption
  • Improved Employee Productivity
“Switching from SharePoint to IC Source was a no-brainer. Administration of our intranet is so much easier. It only took us 90 days to get up and running with IC Source . We couldn’t be happier!” – MILLIE FRANCIS | VICE PRESIDENT DATA & TECHNOLOGY, DIVERSIFIED SEARCH

Millie Francis, Vice President of Database & Technology at Diversified Search, was frustrated with the extensive time, money and resources required to administer their SharePoint intranet. There had to be a better solution. “SharePoint simply became too expensive to administer. We found ourselves putting off updating certain sections of our intranet because of the exorbitant costs associated with hiring a third-party resource to make simple changes to our intranet,” Francis recalled.

Francis knew she needed to find a simpler intranet solution fast, as Diversified Search’s need for a centralized internal communication system was growing with the company expanding to all areas of North America. After 18 months of struggling with the SharePoint platform, Francis knew it was time to walk away; to start fresh with an intuitive intranet that didn’t take an entire development team to administer. That was when the Diversified Search team found IC Source , a truly simple intranet software with simplicity and ease-of-use that go unmatched.

The Search for Simplicity

One could assume searching is second nature to Diversified Search. However, searching for an intranet solution took on a whole new meaning after a rocky 18-month run with a SharePoint intranet. The organization thought they had found the answer when they purchased SharePoint as their intranet solution. Unfortunately, that wasn’t the case. Facing hurdles after hurdles with their SharePoint implementation, they could never get SharePoint to operate the way they desired.

When SharePoint became too expensive to continue using and lacked the functionality Diversified Search required, that sent Millie Francis, Vice President of Data and Technology for Diversified Search, out to look for a better solution that could integrally connect employees across the eight office locations, as well as provide communication and resources for employees to perform their tasks more productively.

Researching

Determined to provide an easier solution for employees to connect, collaborate and create, Diversified Search sought a better intranet solution with Francis at the helm to find a new intranet solution within a set budget. She evaluated a number of solutions including: Intranet Dashboard, Bitrix, Claromentis and IC Source .

Unfortunately, with most solutions she ran into the same problem she had encountered with SharePoint, they couldn’t deliver the ease-of-use the organization needed and were cost prohibitive.

Finally, Francis found IC Source , an exact match for the resource and budget constraints she faced, as well as delivering on ease-of-use and functionality requirements. “Choosing IC Source was a no-brainer. The price was extremely competitive, their support was outstanding, and the software was incredibly easy to use. IC’s intranet software delivered an intranet that was simple and concepts that were easy to grasp,” Francis reported.

The SharePoint Struggle

Before moving to IC Source , Diversified Search struggled with SharePoint for 18-months. The Diversified Search team was frustrated and limited by their SharePoint solution, Francis explains: “SharePoint wasn’t dynamic and was painful to update and modify. Given the level of complexity SharePoint delivered, we had third-party developers implement the required changes to our SharePoint intranet.”

“Unfortunately, SharePoint just never really worked the way we needed it to, and it became very cost prohibitive to keep updating, so we simply stopped updating it. This wasn’t a resolution – employees couldn’t find anything, nothing was easy to navigate to and absolutely none of our employees could administer any part of the intranet on their own.”

With growing frustration due to the lack of flexibility offered in SharePoint and the cost of operating SharePoint steadily increasing, Francis realized SharePoint would never be a sustainable solution for Diversified Search, “it was like pushing a round peg into a square hole, SharePoint was never going to be a good fit for us and we were hemorrhaging funds just to make it work in the limited capacity we were utilizing it. It not only required a large majority of my time and that of a third-party resource, but it also required two other employees part-time to administer a severely impaired system. It had to be replaced without question,” Francis explained.

Francis moved quickly and decisively after selecting IC Source . With predetermined intranet plans and committee decisions made, Francis was able to start building her new intranet on day one with IC Source , no third-party developers or customization required.

0 to Intranet in 90 Days

After 18 long months utilizing an insufficient SharePoint intranet, Francis aimed to deliver Diversified Search’s new intranet quickly, meeting the functional requirements of the old intranet and expanding to accomplish all the goals in Diversified Search’s intranet plan.

Francis was amazed at how easy it was to get started with IC Source : “setting up the new intranet with IC was a breeze compared to SharePoint. Moving from SharePoint to IC Source , I just expected the platform to be more complicated. As soon as I let go of the complexity and embraced how simple it was to add a page, set-up a new site, upload documents or modify the homepage – my productivity skyrocketed, and I had built our new intranet in no time. IC Source is truly simple intranet software!”

Within 60 days Francis had a working intranet for Diversified Search that she could test with employees to see how the new intranet site resonated. With employee feedback, including a new name for their Corporate Intranet – DivShare, Diversified Search had a brand new, fully-functioning intranet in 90 days with IC Source .

“The set-up and implementation process with IC Source was simple. Modifications that would previously take me a half day to perform in SharePoint or the hiring of a third-party development resource, I could now make in two minutes with IC Source ,” described Francis. “Incredibly, not only could I make minor modifications and additions to the intranet within minutes, I could also delegate page and site ownership to Executive Assistants using IC Source . I could not and would not even dream of doing that on SharePoint.”

With eight offices in North America, it was important for Francis to decentralize administration of their Corporate Intranet, DivShare, so that each office could control and update their individual office sites themselves.

“With IC Source , it is easy for me to train employees how to use and administer it. We now have Executive Assistants and other internal stakeholders managing individual office sites and making changes on a daily basis. There was no ability to delegate ownership on SharePoint and now we have employees volunteering to own sites on IC Source ,” Francis happily reports. “Not only that, but because our intranet adoption rate is so much higher with IC Source , we are receiving terrific feedback from many employees on how we can improve DivShare, including the suggestion to have individual sites for each office location.”

“Our employees just love being able to go on our intranet and actually find what they are looking for,” says Francis enthusiastically.

The primary purpose of DivShare was to connect all eight offices, keeping employees better informed of not only what was happening at their office location, but also what was happening throughout the company.

By building out eight sites within DivShare, one for each office, Francis was able to tailor the important information on the intranet to each specific office location. This provided all the critical information for traveling employees and employees with inquiries about other offices with instant access to the critical information, such as: directions from the airport, parking information, emergency information, weather, alarm codes and more.

“Our employees just love being able to actually find what they are looking for.” – MILLIE FRANCIS VICE PRESIDENT DATA & TECHNOLOGY DIVERSIFIED SEARCH

This made accommodating for different time zones and office hours a moot point for employees because they no longer needed to pick up the phone or send an email during office hours to find the answer to a simple question – they just had to access their intranet.

Measurable ROI

Since deploying DivShare, intranet adoption has sky rocketed compared to their usage rates on their SharePoint intranet. Additionally, time-cost savings have been significant for Diversified Search with IC Source : “If someone can’t find something on DivShare, I am able to put it up within minutes of their request. They can watch me make the change in moments from their computer,” Francis reports, “I didn’t know how to make changes on SharePoint, and I didn’t have the time to spend half a day figuring out how to post a simple picture. I can tell you that I save at least five hours a week using IC Source , and that is a conservative estimate.”

Beyond hours saved to administer their Corporate Intranet, Francis also pinpointed that the number of emails sent by employees between offices has also significantly decreased. Formerly when a Philadelphia employee needed office directions for Miami, he would have to email or call an Executive Assistant at that office to request current directions in order to provide details for a traveling employee or client. Waiting for a reply to this email or a call back could take hours or even days, delaying a critical screening or onboarding process unnecessarily.

Now with DivShare’s individual office sites, employees can access other office sites to download letterheads, office directions, and parking info themselves, without any unnecessary delays. Again, an enormous time-cost savings for Diversified Search, spread companywide that is almost incalculable.

Not only have the time-cost savings using IC Source been significant for Diversified Search, but also the actual cost-savings are significant as well. Out of curiosity Francis ran the numbers for cost savings with IC Source and was astounded, “we saved over $11,000 this year alone using IC Source and that factors in the initial purchase investment of the software. All cost savings reaped after our first year with IC Source will continue to add to our already significant return on investment.”

Since IC charges a one-time licensing fee, Diversified Search will continue to build their return on investment year-over-year without an additional product investment.

“In choosing a new intranet, it was critical for us to extend the cost of each solution we considered out to a five-year trajectory. While IC Source ’s initial cost was more than some solutions in the first year, it dropped dramatically in cost in the subsequent years,” Francis explained about the intranet pricing.

“IC Source made the most sense for Diversified Search based on price, usability, product functionality and ease-of-use. We are completely satisfied with our investment in IC Source .”

A People Intranet

Overall, Francis and the Diversified Search Team are incredibly happy with their decision to move to IC Source from SharePoint

“SharePoint became too much of a burden to manage in-house and paying someone to do it proved to be too costly. IC Source has been extremely easy-to-use, everything is so seamless – it just works!” exclaims Francis. “Plus, it is easy to maintain going forward, I can’t imagine using anything else. Not only that, but their support is outstanding! If I ever have a question or encounter a problem the IC Source Technical Support Team fixes it immediately so I can move forward. IC Source simply delivers in every way we were searching for.”

“We saved over $11,000 this year alone using IC Source and that factors in the initial purchase investment of the software.” – MILLIE FRANCIS VICE PRESIDENT DATA & TECHNOLOGY DIVERSIFIED SEARCH “BNA
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