“The AvePoint team was always focused on delivering what our end users needed. They have been a very supportive partner throughout our Office 365 staff portal upgrade. Their expertise helped us deliver on schedule and within budget.”
- Daniel Chua, Group Customer Service and Operations Officer, NTUC First Campus
With the social mission of providing quality and affordable early childhood care and education services to working families, NTUC First Campus Co-operative Limited (NFC) is a renowned and trusted early childhood care and education service provider in Singapore. NFC childcare centres include My First Skool, The Little Skool-House International, and The Caterpillar’s Cove.
In the modern workplace, the intranet is a crucial tool for employees. This was certainly the case for NFC, where the organisation’s intranet served more than 3,500 staff members across 150 locations in Singapore. The organisation’s portal, CampusNet, was established six years ago on SharePoint 2007. While the initial implementation of CampusNet served its purpose for years, it was due for an upgrade. “We needed a system that matched our evolving needs and is mobile-friendly,” said Daniel Chua, Group Customer Service and Operations Officer at NFC. “From a user perspective, search capabilities were limited and this made it tedious to find what was needed. The user experience on mobile devices was also lacking.”
The former CampusNet was solely in English and this made it challenging for the organisation’s Chinese-speaking staff to use it effectively. Some had to rely on their English-speaking colleagues to help get what they needed from the portal. “Being on-premises, upgrades to the intranet came at a cost and our custom web parts were not always compatible with new updates,” said Daniel. “We also wanted to provide our staff with a better mobile experience on our intranet.”
To modernise its intranet, NFC chose to embrace the cloud, specifically Office 365 – SharePoint Online. The organisation was already utilising Exchange Online, but realised a number of additional benefits Office 365 could provide. “The scalability of Office 365 would enable each user to have one terabyte (TB) of personal storage through OneDrive for Business, which would have been very expensive to provide on premises,” said Daniel. “We could also benefit from Microsoft’s regular upgrades to SharePoint Online, and our environment would be much more mobile-friendly.”
With no native upgrade path to SharePoint Online from SharePoint 2007 as well as a need to build a sophisticated and user-friendly new intranet for its users, NFC sought the support of a dedicated Microsoft partner.
Among the companies it considered, NFC chose AvePoint – the Microsoft Cloud expert – to build its new intranet portal on Office 365 and carry out its SharePoint Online migration. “AvePoint demonstrated a very good understanding of where our intranet was and where we needed it to go,” said Daniel. “The team presented us with an iterative approach to rolling out our new intranet, which would help us better engage users and stakeholders along the way.”
AvePoint supported NFC at all stages of the intranet project – including requirement analysis, solution design, UI/UX design, data migration, and implementation. “AvePoint’s team was always focused on delivering what our end users needed,” said Daniel. “They have been a very supportive partner throughout our Office 365 intranet upgrade. Their expertise helped us deliver the project on schedule and within budget.”
In total, AvePoint’s team used the company’s DocAve Software to migrate 480 gigabytes (GB) of data on SharePoint 2007 directly to Office 365. In addition to moving data efficiently and outside of business hours to limit disruption, AvePoint worked with users to identify what data needed to be moved to the new system so no redundant information was carried over. “AvePoint did all the heavy lifting for our migration and made it seamless for our end users,” said Daniel.
In building NFC’s new intranet on Office 365, AvePoint utilised key SharePoint Online features to meet the organisation’s goals:
To support Chinese-speaking users, AvePoint was also able to set up a bilingual environment that would display in the user’s preferred language based on his or her Active Directory profile.
After completing the project, AvePoint helped NFC roll out the new CampusNet. The immediate feedback was positive. “Our users noted that it was easy to search for the documents they needed and the availability of Chinese language support was welcomed by our Chinese teachers,” said Daniel. “Based on the initial response, we are confident that we will achieve a good level of user adoption. The new CampusNet will enable us to tap on the collective wisdom of our staff members.”
To modernise its intranet, NFC knew Office 365 was the answer. While the move to the cloud was not without its challenges, the organisation was able to transition smoothly, quickly, and securely with support from AvePoint’s team throughout the project. NFC will continue to engage AvePoint for upcoming projects in the Microsoft Cloud, including building a lead management system with Microsoft Dynamics 365. “With any project, there will always be challenges,” Daniel said. “Whenever we encountered a concern, we were able to find a way forward together with the AvePoint”
AvePoint is the Microsoft Cloud expert. Over 15,000 companies and 5 million cloud users trust AvePoint to accelerate the migration, management, and protection of their Office 365 and SharePoint data. Founded in 2001, AvePoint is privately held and headquartered in Jersey City, NJ.
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