KnowledgeShare: empower staff with mobile, social collaboration
Yammer is the enterprise social networking service in Office 365, and Plante Moran has made it, along with Microsoft SharePoint Online and OneDrive for Business, the framework for its new intranet. Called KnowledgeShare, it contains firm-wide news and rich content from across the organization and makes it readily findable and usable by all 2,500 staff members.
Every staff member has a personalized KnowledgeShare home page, where they post news about their projects, search for and “like” content created by others, access line-of-business apps and client collaboration sites, and participate in social media–style conversations about topics of interest—from any device, with complete mobile freedom.
Inside KnowledgeShare, staff members access OneDrive for Business, where they can more securely store personal files in the cloud. They can share and access these files easily from anywhere, and the IT department can administer the sites centrally.
Plante Moran uses SharePoint Online to store team content inside KnowledgeShare. It has 70 team sites, organized by practice area, that contain more than 22,000 files, and Microsoft Delve locates and displays relevant colleagues and content.
Staff members use KnowledgeShare, with its image-rich interface and powerful search and personalization capabilities, to ease collaboration efforts. Say a staff member wants to find a colleague who speaks Mandarin or who is an expert in benefits consulting. She can either put the request in Yammer or use the KnowledgeShare search box. KnowledgeShare returns information in list or visual card formats—similar to Pinterest. “The visual interface makes it very easy to zero in on information and find what you’re looking for,” Moore says.
Since introducing KnowledgeShare in December 2015, Plante Moran has seen intranet usage double from 800 to 1,600 users per day. The firm has also reduced the time it takes to find content and experts by 50 percent and lowered intranet costs by USD600,000 annually, all by eliminating on-premises servers and software licensing.
“Our business today is global, which means that our staff needs 24/7 access to information,” Blowers says. “The fact that KnowledgeShare is highly secure and accessible from any mobile device, any time of the day or night, supports our business and our staff’s mobile lifestyles. Some staff are rarely in our office, and with OneDrive for Business and SharePoint Online, they access their files more easily.”