Case Study

Promoting connectivity and collaboration with Solution Architecture-as-a-Service

Project Details

Client:

City & Guilds Group

Konvergent Team:

Senior Consultant within the Technology and Solution Architecture team

Project Dates:

TBC

C&GLogo

The Ask...

City and Guilds, an institute founded over 140 years ago to promote the standard of technical education, realised the need to replace their incumbent intranet service, which over time had become fragmented, out-dated, and difficult for both administrators and staff members to use and promote connectivity and collaboration with colleagues across the group.

The Challenges

The current SharePoint based intranet (Citynet) provides various social and project areas for Microsoft Teams sites and stand-alone SharePoint sites. Additionally, the group has network drive areas, and a host of communication tools (email, webinars, etc). Employees require access to elements of this content on a daily basis and the current infrastructure and environment configurations were acting as a blocker thus making it difficult for staff to access and share content and connect with colleagues.

 

There were a number of immediate ‘pain points’ that the management team had already identified, for example:

  • Content is spread across Microsoft SharePoint sites, OneDrive, Teams and network drives making it difficult for staff to find the content they need.
  • Over time, content permissions have become unwieldy and dis-jointed forcing users to find alternative ways to access and share documentation which is not always aligned with group security.
  • Historically there has also been no consistent approach to aligning new acquisitions into the technology infrastructure and ways of working. This has meant access to basic news, information and collaboration can be blocked or delayed, which leaves the organisation open to risks with regards to information and data security. 
The_Konvergent_Approach

The Konvergent Approach

Konvergent’s Solution Architecture-as-a-Service function was engaged to undertake a review of the existing SharePoint intranet environments across the group, this included both on-premises and online environments for City and Guilds, Kineo, Gen2 and Intertrain and document the current ‘As-Is’ configurations in order to understand the content and infrastructure landscape in order to enable business and functional owners to audit their content effectively.

 

Throughout this process, the Konvergent solutions architect worked closely with the City and Guilds project team to fully understand and document the architecture required to enable the implementation and configuration of a new Software-as-a-Service intranet platform.

Due to the current Covid-19 restrictions, the project was carried out remotely via the use of collaborative tools such as Microsoft Teams, SharePoint and Office 365. These restrictions provided the benefit of enabling us to understand how the new platform would function both inside and outside of City and Guilds group company firewalls via desktop, laptop and mobile devices.

The Solution

The ‘As-Is’ architecture landscape was reviewed and mapped out in detail, as was the ‘To-Be’ architecture for modern workplace and the incumbent SharePoint sites across the group. A gap analysis was then performed to identify what needed to be done to enable us to get to the desired end state. The following high-level actions and recommendations were delivered:

  • Delivered a full review of the existing SharePoint on-premises and online architectures across the group.
  • Decommission (by way of archiving) un-required departmental sites and content stored on the group SharePoint intranets.
  • Defined the architecture required for the implementation of a staging and production environment for the Unily intranet platform, including appropriate content collaboration channels across Microsoft SharePoint, Teams, OneDrive and Office 365.
  • Advised and worked closely with appropriate C&G staff to deliver an end-to-end support model for the Unily intranet and related services.
The_Solution

Benefits for the client

Delivery of a new SaaS intranet using the architecture-as-a-service model has provided C&G with the ability to easily manage content sharing and collaboration for all staff members across the C&G group of companies in the following ways:

  • Enhanced search capabilities and targeted content delivery.
  • Advanced analytics, dashboards, usage statistics and full user management.
  • Broadcast email and notification workflows.
  • Flexible permissions model, fully synced with Azure Active Directory and incumbent Microsoft and additional 3rd party platforms.
  • Simplified content management and delivery platform to enable content and business owners and admins to share content quickly and easily as required.
  • Multi-language support for all content.
  • Mobile device support.
  • Desktop and mobile forms support and management capabilities.
  • Social capabilities across all devices.
  • Audio and Video capabilities.
  • Support and maintenance processes and procedures for Unily and related services, built into existing C&G support model.

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