Radiators, heating systems and ventilation appliances: that is the core business of Vasco Group. The Belgian family-owned company has branches in various European countries. To improve communication between staff, and to increase employee involvement, Vasco Group has been looking for an efficient solution. Hans Steenbreker, IT director, says Involv – Office 365 intranet was a logical choice.
Providing an incentive for the engagement of employees, that was the challenge for which Involv – Office 365 intranet had to be a solution. “If you want to better bond employees with your company, you have to acknowledge their need to get to know each other,” says Hans Steenbreker. A good intranet can be a big step forward. “Setting up a photo book in which you announce birthdays, among other things, is an option. The slider can highlight employees and projects. For us, those things are ‘nice-to-haves’. ”
Not from scratch
“Here at Vasco Group, we were already familiar with Office 365, and SharePoint is a component of that. That’s why we looked at SharePoint as the starting point for our intranet. When I discovered Involv, I realized that we are not so different from many other organizations. Cognit could help us with an off-the-shelf intranet holding components that apply to nine out of ten companies. The deciding factor was that other providers did not offer ready-made solution and had to build everything from scratch. ”
To design the Involv – Office 365 intranet at Vasco Group, Hans Steenbreker made a conscious appeal to the end users. “I used to push projects, but now I apply a pull mechanism. You can either throw a pile of wood on the beach and say: ‘You are going to build a ship’. Or you make people long for the sea and they will build the ship by themselves. My preferred method is the latter. I deliberately put the end users around the table to brainstorm some ideas. This is how we came up with the solution. I do not look at stars and stripes at that time. Every user holds an equal value. ”
To roll out the Involv – Office 365 intranet in the company, Vasco Group also engages the employees themselves. “We had to create the content ourselves and this was done at the level of the departments. Key users created the content right there. We were able to reduce the training of the users to three hours. That’s all it took to become accustomed. Once you explain the rules of the game, everyone is on board. ”
“We started with four departments. Over the course of time, three more were added. That leaves us with nine to go. The marketing department does a lot to bring the Involv – Office 365 intranet to live. When someone’s having a birthday, we add a joke in the slider. Users also find shortcuts to the most used business applications. This way, the intranet is used as a tag navigation. It is the gateway to all applications. For the time being, we are only operational in the Dutch-speaking entities, but eventually we have to be present in all ten entities in Europe. This requires an English version, which comes with an extra workload. At that time, we will grow from our current hundred to 320 users. ”
“The thing I like the most about Involv – Office 365 intranet is the speed of implementation. Eight people worked on it, and after a few weeks we had a good intranet. If you do something similar from scratch, you end up with much longer lead times. The only comment I sometimes get is that SharePoint is not the fastest when it comes to loading a page. But in the end this is also a matter of habit.” Furthermore, Involv – Office 365 intranet is always optimized to keep loading times as low as possible.
“Each department can choose freely what they publish on the intranet. Here at our IT department we share news about the department, the mission, our organizational structure, projects, service and maintenance hours, all our processes, password changes, and so on. If, however, you centralize what can go online and what not, the effect is different. The organizational structure for every department is standard, as are the contact details and the photos of the employees. This alone can already mean a lot in an organization. Being able to stick a face to a name increases involvement and makes working easier. I personally believe this brings us to the essence of an intranet. The application is smooth, a lot of people are happy with it. The Involv – Office 365 intranet is really being used here. “
Fast: full-blown intranet in only a few weeks
Smooth application with a high user adoption
Nice to have features
Only 3 hours of training were needed
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