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Building society uses SharePoint in the cloud for intranet

The Family Building Society moves intranet to SharePoint in its first major cloud project

The Family Building Society (FBS) has improved communication and reduced email overload through a cloud-based intranet built on Microsoft SharePoint.

The project is the first time the organisation, which spun out of the National Counties Building Society in 2014, has harnessed enterprise cloud computing.

Since the launch of the company, which is focused on serving families with financial challenges, FBS has grown its workforce from 90 to 160. This increase meant the internal communications and processes were no longer suitable. Staff were drowning in internal email and wasting time searching for internal documents on a central network drive. This was reducing staff productivity, so the company decided to develop a new intranet.

This would make internal communication possible through the intranet rather than email. Shared documents, such as manuals and forms, would also be easy to access. It replaced legacy code by putting manuals and forms for staff to access in SharePoint, and created a forum for non-work-related communication, which previously flooded inboxes.

“The simplicity means our employees can communicate quickly without being snowed under by email,” said Michael Feather, head of business change at FBS. The company would traditionally build such a system itself, but decided on this occasion to outsource and focus on its core business.

The development of its intranet was outsourced to Trustmarque Solutions, which is part of Capita. “We are competent in IT, but not a big bank with endless IT resources,” said Feather.

The project was also the first time the company had moved systems into the cloud. “Historically, we have not really used the cloud. We have been wary of it and hosted everything internally, but thought this particular project was suitable because it is not business critical or customer facing.”

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The migration project took four months, and since the project went live in April 2016, it has experienced no downtime. “We have not had to call Trustmarque for support once, but will talk to them about adding functionality and around training.”

FBS plans to extend the use of the intranet further in 2017, to add more collaborative workflow functionality. “We are a small organisation, and this is an ever-moving development,” said Feather.

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