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Case Study: Catholic Relief Services Brought Together Through Modern Microsoft Technology

Learn how a global nonprofit humanitarian agency improved communication and achieved easy, on-the-go access to news and information.

Download a PDF of this case study.

Catholic Relief Services (CRS) employees are dispersed all over the world and the organization was looking for a modern, unified platform that would bring their mission and employees together. Replacing an outdated, legacy intranet with an intranet on Microsoft Office 365, CRS gave its employees easy access to content, news and information both in-office and out in the field, from any device.

The Client

CRS is a global nonprofit humanitarian agency of the Catholic community in the United States which helps the poor and vulnerable worldwide.

The Challenge

Dispersed all over the world, many CRS teams worked in the field in low-bandwidth locations. While the client utilized On-Premises Microsoft SharePoint 2010 successfully as their collaboration platform, staff were requesting easier online and mobile experiences to access content and information they needed both in-office and out in the field. It was time to upgrade their collaboration solution.

The nonprofit was specifically looking for a new intranet on Office 365 to perform quickly and for content to be personalized based on the location and department of each user. Knowledge management across their diverse portfolio and the ability to quickly and easily search for information was key.

CRS engaged Withum, due to our extensive experience building knowledge management and Intranet (specifically SharePoint Online and Office 365) solutions across the nonprofit industry. We were tasked with discovery, design, migration planning, architecture, and implementation of their new mobile-ready Office 365 intranet that empowered their team to engage.

We’ve enjoyed working with Withum and appreciate their efforts towards supporting us in the creation and deployment of our agency intranet. We look forward to ongoing collaboration as we work to further enhance and improve the platform. Knowledge Management Senior Advisory, CRS

The Approach

To accomplish this, the Withum team conducted extensive interviews with users in various countries and departments to capture pain points and perform user acceptance testing. As part of the solution, Withum provided a SharePoint Online Modern Experience, that met the needs for global, low-bandwidth regions of the world.

Once the intranet roll-out was complete, Withum continued to support the non-profit by providing their team with a communication plan, and a training plan (featuring dedicated webinars and areas of focus for certain internal target audiences). We authored detailed how-to-guides, recorded trainings on various topics and provided on-site training workshops. Withum is still working on providing extensive training on adoption of Office 365.

For questions or to discuss building an engagement tool to help increase productivity and collaboration, please schedule a consultation online or give us a call at (240) 406 9960 today.

The Results

The project resulted in an engaging global Intranet built on Office 365 that reinforces CRS’ mission and culture and provides simple access to knowledge gained throughout the field. As required, information is now available from any device – laptop, tablet, or smartphone, providing a personalized experience based on the users’ geographical location.

Using a distributed governance model, CRS knowledge managers update broad messages while topic and country site owners update what’s most important to their staff. Utilizing a custom provisioning process new sites are created based on templates, giving site owners a head start and visitors a consistent experience.

In addition, CRS is about to provide personalized content on the homepage so that staff do not have to dig for information that is most relevant to them. This has increased employee engagement with their intranet and overall collaboration across dispersed teams.

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