Summary

North Somerset Council’s new intranet was delivered in sprints following agile methodology, with regular rounds of feedback and through a close partnership with Agilisys. The Council replaced its aging content management system (CMS) with a modern SharePoint intranet, with clear signposting into the rest of Office 365. Agilisys introduced an authoring workflow process in SharePoint, making it easier to edit pages.

Challenge

With the prior CMS, the Council focused on look and feel, including ensuring that the intranet was appropriately branded. As a result, the system had highly customized page layouts and master pages which adversely affected the content authoring user experience. Because content creators had to navigate the custom code to produce content, the Council had trouble quickly executing the content publication lifecycle.

For the replacement solution, the Council required Agilisys to maintain the custom branding and to deliver features on a like-for-like basis, such as phone book lookups and custom side-navigation.

Strategy

To deliver a simplified user experience while ensuring a professional online presence, Agilisys decided to split the functionality so that one would not affect the other.

Agilisys developed two site collections, with custom branding being the focus of the publishing site, and content creation being the focus of the other. This allowed content creators to take full advantage of features such as co-authoring, sharing, and content approval flows, without worrying that their activities would be impaired by a restrictive customized publishing platform.

Knowing that they no longer had to work with a challenging content authoring process, the Council were able to make informed decisions about their legacy data. It opted to archive much of the content in the legacy system and focus on creating new content using the intuitive and easy-to-use tools and features in SharePoint.

Using cross-site publishing content, authors can easily create content with SharePoint’s intuitive UI, and then publish approved content to be surfaced on the publishing site where the desired look and feel could be applied without causing interruption or blockers to content authors. The solution was deployed and updated using the SharePoint PnP provisioning engine, which required minimal first-time ‘manual’ configuration.

Results

With the implementation of SharePoint, the Council was not only able to reduce its reliance on physical servers, but the new technology also allowed it to be more responsive to the information needs of its key stakeholders. While the implementation may have facilitated great savings on operational overheads, the improvements gained from the intuitive and easy-to-use content creation interface of SharePoint allowed the Council to completely reassess their approach and attachment to legacy data. improving the overall user experience.

We are now able to focus on producing content that meets the needs of our employees and allows them to access key information more quickly. We can be more responsive and productive, and our content authors are now able to easily publish content within the organization. Agilisys enabled us to rethink our approach to content and enhance our internal communication experience."

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North Somerset Council