How does a real world digital workspace deployment work?

25 January 2017 | Chris Marshall

In the previous post on our digital workspace series, we discussed what a great Intranet setup could look like at your company. We introduced Fresh our easily deployed, simple to use digital workspace built on Office 365.

If you’ve been the world of enterprise IT for more than a couple of years, you’re very likely to have a few stories under your belt about IT project successes and failures (hopefully more of the former!). When it comes to migrating to a new SharePoint environment, delivering a new Intranet or simply changing how users actually interact with your services, you’re probably familiar with all the stress points, obstacles and dangers that can arise from attempting to push this kind of change through.

The appeal of Fresh, our digital workspace, is that it cuts out a lot of that frustration and uncertainty when delivering a new Intranet. Rather than waiting around nervously for months for the environment to be designed, deployed, then snagged, you know exactly what you’re going to get from day one. This is different to what IT managers and CIOs are used to, so if this seems too good to be true, it’s worth hearing about the experiences of an organisation that has gone through the process already.

Today, you’ll hear from a recent Fresh client (Company X) about their experience of the deployment. We broke the deployment of Fresh down into four simple steps.

1. Planning

As Benjamin Franklin rather famously said, ‘Fail to prepare, prepare to fail’. Planning really is the key to successful outcomes. Certainly, the same applies for introducing a new Intranet solution to your business, no matter how simple it is to deploy.

Kick off and project definition

First off, it’s a good idea to get a sense of the size of your company and impending deployment scale. Our target with Fresh, is to have you up and running within 50 days. For some this may be a definite want, while for others, we understand that not all can move at this pace, so we work with you to find out what’s best. During this activity we look at our plan and overlay activities that you might have going on in your business to ensure Fresh isn’t disruptive. This process helps to define what we need from you (terminology, business structure etc.) to work efficiently.

Site map and information architecture

We’ll look at your current Intranet site map and information architecture and see what we have to change and adapt for an upgrade to Fresh.

Branding

We understand that making sure your Intranet is customised and branded appropriately is an important aspect to how you run things internally and how you project yourself as a company.

Tweaks and enhancements

We know that for many, tailoring any new software / environment with specific requirements is a basic want. We’ll work with your team in this phase to action any such customisations, making sure Fresh meets your expectations.

Company X perspective: “Once we got started with the first phase of our deployment, there were a few areas that we wanted to adjust after some more feedback. Content and Code fully understood our wants, and helped us create the customisations we wanted, and even offer better alternatives”.

2. Building it

After deciding the specific needs of your business, we will go ahead and start building the solution for you.

Provision Fresh

This is where we provide the components that will make up your Fresh solution. Knowing the structure of your business and how you operate will help us during the building process.

Deploy to clients’ environment

Once the organisation and build have gone to plan, we’ll continue along our timeline and deploy the solution directly to you.

Company X perspective: “We were consulted with on every step of the way, and during the build it was no different. Content and Code were open (and patient!) to our specific needs, as well as last minute changes.”

3. Rolling it out

After the specifics of Fresh have been completed and your digital workspace is ready to deploy, we’ll organise the most efficient way of rolling it out.

Launch preparation

More planning. This is the time to get your team leaders together and decide on how best to unveil the solution to your users.

End-user excite day and communications plan

The big ‘kick-off’. Prior to your Fresh launch, we help you build up some fanfare and excitement with countdowns, internal information/advertising campaigns, email campaigns and more. So when this day comes around there will be a real buzz about the new solution.

Training & Executive briefing pack

Adoption is a crucial part of the process for any new system or solution. We will be on hand to help you and your users if you run into issues during the early days of using the new system.

Company X perspective: “I was amazed at how rapid everything was. Once we got the specifics of what we needed, deployment felt almost immediate. Rolling out the solution was my favourite part of the process. Seeing people take so well to Fresh was really encouraging.”

4. Enjoying it

At this juncture you’ll have a fully-functioning solution that you can use immediately. However, by providing ongoing support we can help you get even more out of your new platform.

Usage reporting

With the introduction of Fresh, you get much more than just a product. You’ll also receive our full consultancy and project management services. We know that a good deployment is only as good as its adoption, so we’ll work with you on the best ways to create an environment that entices people to use Fresh. As adoption grows, you’ll be able to dive down into the usage reporting using Fresh’s inbuilt analytics features, providing insight and visibility of your ROI.

Access to support desk

If issues arise we’re always here to help. We’re dedicated to making sure Fresh is fully functioning from the first day onwards.

Quarterly solution check-in

Even if you don’t need our support after deployment, we’ll still conduct a quarterly solution check to make sure everything is still going to plan. Our deployment success and adoption rates are high and we’re proud of this.

Company X on Fresh: “With Fresh, our staff now have Office 365 in their pocket. With all the familiarities of Office 365, it’s made adoption simple, it’s removed the frustrations of our old Intranet; slow, out-of-date, costly, unreliable, and it’s created an environment that people actually want to use”.

For our next post in this series, we’ll look at Five features of Fresh that will delight your end users. In the meantime, to find out more about how we can help you with your Intranet, talk to us today.

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