OzChild is an independent, non-Government organisation with over 700 staff, volunteers and carers across Victoria, New South Wales, Queensland, South Australia and the ACT. As one of the longest-serving charities in Australia, OzChild is dedicated to improving the lives of young people and children in foster care, diverting young people away from juvenile detention, and keeping families together.
SharePoint, Power Apps & Power Automate, Microsoft Teams
OzChild knew that Microsoft 365 was the correct technology for their wider organisation and identified early the need for professional assistance to deliver the right solution. Previous attempts to successfully launch a SharePoint Intranet had failed, and their team weren’t confident on how to file or find important documentation. This confusion resulted in poor team collaboration and wasted time searching for files, using SharePoint only as a file management system and nothing more.
Given OzChild has offices throughout Australia, they need to run several complex reporting systems within their funding portal for specific, state-based statutory obligations. Ensuring these reports are completed accurately and timely is a convoluted but necessary process that absorbs significant resources. Their existing intranet product was only adding to the frustration and time-drains, rather than easing them.
“Our team wasn't confident on how to file and find important documentation,” explains Tony Gibson, Senior Manager of IT Infrastructure at OzChild. “We knew that Microsoft 365 was the correct technology for the wider organisation but we didn't know how to use it to its full advantage.”
In considering OzChild's dilemma, Sope created a digital workplace solution for OzChild powered by SharePoint Modern, the PowerPlatform and Teams. They named it 'OzPoint'.
An intuitive, easy-to-use intranet product, OzPoint was designed to provide the functionality for unifying all OzChild's operations and information, with the ultimate objective to help the OzChild staff focus more time on what matters: the people in their care.
“It allows staff to do a lot more things, like create a seamless integration between Microsoft Teams and SharePoint,” explains Emily Sclater, Senior Implementation Consultant at Sope. “We’ve created a much more modern interface for them to access and interact with their information. It’s now one application for everything – a single source of truth.”
As an organisation responsible for observing a range of procedures and legislative requirements in different jurisdictions, an important functionality of OzPoint is its Knowledge Hub – a centralised location for all OzChild’s control docs and procedures.
“With OzPoint, they have a consolidated place to store all of their documents, and to assign metadata and tags for each of those documents," Emily points out. "Instead of storing information in an Excel spreadsheet or in someone’s brain, they can file it all away systematically in a Controlled Documents library."
Given the sensitive nature of much of the information, OzPoint also has scope to securely configure and manage access permissions.
“It means that only the people that need edit access to particular policies or documents have it,” Emily continues. "As well as making it much easier and simpler for OzChild staff to interact with their policies and procedures, there’s only one version – not a dozen versions floating around the organisation in different places. There’s also an automated document approval workflow and approval process automation as policies fall due for review."
Another important feature of OzPoint is its powerful project management and support capabilities. This includes a high-level overview site for communicating information about specific projects to the rest of OzChild, as well as providing a private space for the project team to chat, interact and share pertinent documents and details.
“All of those projects are then presented in a gallery view in a Project Hub," furthers Emily. "So, the rest of the company can see what’s going on throughout OzChild."
To further enhance the user-experience, OzPoint's About Us section features an OzChild-specific glossary of terms definitions and acronyms called 'OzChild Lingo', the People Hub (an interactive organisational tree and staff directory), a Location Finder, Careers Portal and the organisation's Vision & Values.
“This allows people to click different profiles to find information about a certain person such as their picture, their department, office and contact details as well, and see where they sit within the organisation chart,” says Emily. “With the Location Finder, you can click an icon next to someone that takes you to a Google map when you’re trying to find an OzChild office location inside OzPoint.”
Thanks to the incorporation of Sope’s own platform, Sprocket 365, into OzPoint, the intranet has an App Launcher, custom buttons and custom headers that update their navigation to include an image in the header if staff want to celebrate holidays or occasions. This lends itself to simpler top-view navigation as well.
To top it all off, OzPoint provides a central place for accessing COVID and Microsoft training resources.
OzPoint was successfully rolled out with a 100% adoption rate within the first 30 days, and has received positive feedback from the OzChild team since implementation. Having a single location for their team to access all files, templates and the latest news and updates has helped OzChild’s team work more collaboratively with their internal teams and, external partners, and saved more time than ever before.
As Tony Gibson from OzChild notes, “The whole team now has a better understanding of how SharePoint works. Knowing what goes where, and now having our managers able to train their teams without needing a professional to run the training, is a huge time-saver."
As part of their enhanced productivity, OzChild now enjoys exceptional cross-organisational collaboration, even enabling them to collaborate more effectively with other charity organisations in areas like contract delivery.
“We never had the ability to do this before,” Tony admits. “We had to use email and weren’t sure if we were sending through the most up-to-date forms. But now, our partners have access to all the resources needed, and we collaborate much better.”
The gains from the new OzPoint intranet continue to reveal themselves, as noted from the positive feedback of staff since the relaunch. The majority of staff members have been thrilled with the heightened ability to access the right information when they need it, as well as the improved integration between SharePoint, Teams and other 365 applications.
Unlike their old intranet, OzChild has reported smooth sailing and a product that fits with the unique requirements of their organisation. Due to such success, their relationship with Sope continues for ongoing support and guidance on future process enhancements.
“From the outset and our first meeting with Sope, we were impressed with the level of understanding of our requirements,” Tony concludes. “All the way through the project, communications were frequent and thorough. The weekly meetings were progressive, and tasks were clearly defined and reported. It was an enjoyable project with a great outcome.”
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