As an advocate of productivity enhancement through technology, Prospera had already invested in SharePoint 2003, which housed the company's goodprospects intranet. Staff members had been using the system to share and exchange knowledge including forms, policies and procedures, making it a crucial part of day-to-day business.
After experiencing an increase in technical and performance issues, and with a desire to stay current and maintain optimal efficiency, Prospera was looking for a qualified partner to update their system to SharePoint 2010.
Specifically, they would need help from SharePoint experts to optimize information architecture, leverage new features, organize and migrate content from 2000+ sites, update graphic design, update the site governance model and standardize a training plan. Ultimately, the goal was to vastly improve system performance, access to knowledge and usability with up-to-date technology.
In search of a suitable partner to handle the upgrade and migration, Prospera put out a request for proposals outlining their mandatory requirements. They wanted an established business specializing in SharePoint and a certified team with demonstrated experience working on projects of the same scope and size. They were also looking for strong communication and collaboration skills plus the ability to grasp Prospera's culture, needs and environment.
"We needed a company who had experience in projects similar to ours and we needed to be confident that we could benefit directly from that experience," says Greg Dyck, Chief Information Officer. "We were confident that Softlanding would be able to deliver on this. We also felt that they were a good cultural fit for this project and that they would work well with our internal project team."
Prospera's Manager of Web Services, Information Technology, Stacey Irwin also saw a cultural fit and was impressed by Softlanding's breadth of experience, particularly the fact that they'd already completed a successful SharePoint 2003-2010 upgrade.
"A lot of personalities at Softlanding fit well with our team, which set us on a great course. It was always 'us' and 'we' throughout the project," she says. "Their sense of commitment to their previous projects and their diverse client base also assisted with our decision."
During the Envisioning Phase, Softlanding outlined a Functional Roadmap for goodprospects, which detailed how the implementation of the new intranet and content migration would progress and improve functionality over time.
Next, they worked closely with Prospera in the Detailed Planning Phase to ensure all business requirements were being met. After the site information architecture was established, they evaluated migration tools, which were selected and tested to suit the unique requirements of the project. Prospera designated project leads to solidify project vision, provide direction and internal communication, solicit stakeholder input, and ensure the project outcomes met the company's short and long-term requirements. At the conclusion of this phase, the Intranet Solution Design and Implementation Scope were presented for Prospera's approval.
"One of the things I appreciate about Softlanding is their phased approach to the project," says Irwin. "We really found it easier to narrow things down in that fashion."
In the final phase, Softlanding worked on development and implementation of the Intranet Application Solution Design, content migration, and post-migration content cleanup. Softlanding also consulted Prospera on best training practices and governance so they could enjoy optimal uptake and functionality of the new system going forward.
"With any project you know there will be challenges and bumps along the way," adds Irwin. "What I appreciated most about Softlanding was their unwavering commitment. They took full accountability and really ensured that whatever needed to be done got done from start to finish."
Prospera noticed numerous benefits as a result of the upgrade including improvements in infrastructure resilience, availability and performance.
"We have a much better and simpler information architecture and refreshed visual design as well as a much improved Search feature," says Dyck. "Information is easier for staff to find and it's current and relevant to their needs."
These improvements contributed to Prospera's ability to serve members, and it also enhanced the staff experience.
"From a corporate perspective we were able to reengage staff, communicate our intranet's importance and get them onboard from the ground up," says Irwin. "It got people excited again and allowed us to establish governance. The new system has been beneficial in many ways."