Innovation Norway is the Norwegian Government’s most important instrument for innovation and development of Norwegian enterprises and industry. They support companies in developing their competitive advantage and to enhance innovation. They are also the Norwegian government’s official trade representative abroad with 700 employees in more than 30 countries.
Norwegian enterprises have access to a broad business support system as well as financial means through Innovation Norway. The organization provides competence, advisory services, promotional and network services. The marketing of Norway as a tourist destination is also considered one of the organizations important tasks.
By combining local industry knowledge and international networks with the business ideas and the motivation of entrepreneurs, the foundation for new successful businesses is created.
Innovation Norway set out with a vision for a new sharing platform based on Office 365, to improve collaboration internally and with external parties and looked to Puzzlepart for support.
The first step was to establish a controlled self-provisioning solution of Office 365 Groups to assist in project collaboration. The solution began by using Azure and PowerShell but has moved over to Microsoft Flow and Azure Functions with calls to the Microsoft Graph and the use of the SharePoint PnP provisioning templates and engine.
One of the most important goals of the solution was to provide an easy way to archive documents from SharePoint to an external archiving solution due to Norwegian laws and regulations. This archiving solution is created with the use of the SharePoint Framework, backed by an Azure service to proxy the data to the datacenter hosting the archiving solution, where an end-user can initiate the archiving process directly from a document library. The project rooms also have governance in place if a project allows external members or not. Additional SharePoint Framework solutions have been added to provide project meta data and governance solutions.
Parallel to enabling project collaboration, Puzzlepart created training material and conducted numerous courses and webinars internally for the end-user. The material focuses on using the different tools provided by Office 365 tools effectively, in addition to how the custom solutions work. Part of the training material is a 13-step self-assessment course, where the progress is tracked for each employee, giving visibility in Power BI on company adoption. Today, over 70% of the employees have either started or completed this course.
After the initial release of project collaboration, Innovation Norway created a general-purpose Team for collaboration as well. Both the new template and the project template automatically enable Microsoft Teams, giving users the choice of how they want to collaborate in the underlying Office 365 Group.
Furthermore, a new Intranet has been created and launched, built up using Communication sites and modern pages migrating content manually from the old on-premises SharePoint solution. A custom mega menu with support for service announcements have been added using the SharePoint Framework to improve on intranet and collaboration navigation.
A function of Puzzlepart is to establish an ambassador network for companies rolling out Office 365. Ambassadors are employees who take on a responsibility to communicate with colleagues and others in the organization the benefits the new solution can provide the organization. Ambassadors create dedication and enthusiasm that lead to better adoption of new ways to work, they impact their own teams or their own department in a positive way, contributing to new working forms being applied across workgroups and devices. Additionally, they find solutions to challenges and provide feedback to the project team. Learning digital tools with and by coworkers is easier and more efficient. Therefore, ambassadors are key contributors when a business is going to adopt Office 365.
At Innovation Norway, ambassadors have a coordinator-function (and hence, are called Coordinators). These users are not necessarily super-users, but fulfill the important role of conveying updates to local users and reporting back to the Office 365 working group on any issues, concerns, improvements or interesting cases that are useful to communicate to the organization.
During the initial stages of implementing Office 365, and in particular, SharePoint, the coordinators helped with organizing the sites of their Divisions. Typically, they also provided input to the project team to any technical or functional modifications that would be beneficial to their division site.
During the roll-out period, the coordinators were given extra class-room (or online) courses. In addition they had their own Yammer group for raising any concerns, sharing experiences or discussing relevant topics that would also be picked up by the project group. The project group and coordinators met once a month for one-hour meetings.
After a post launch period with less activity, the coordinator group was revived, and now meet every other week. These webinars are hosted by Puzzlepart and two Innovation Norway employees. The purpose of the webinars is to continue the learning and adoption process.
At Innovation Norway, Puzzlepart meet with the ambassadors every other week and conduct webinars to continue the learning and adoption process.