University of New South Wales

Australian School of Business breaks down communication barriers

The situation

Australian School of Business (ASB) has wowed their counterparts with a brand new intranet named ‘Connect’. As one of the biggest faculties in Australia with over 1,000 staff members internationally, an intranet was at the heart of ASB’s new strategic direction. At the centre of this new strategy was a re-brand and a movement towards becoming a more connected and collaborative organisation. Tracy Carter, Project Manager for the Australian School of Business, explains:

“Part of our strategic direction was to break down communication barriers. Previously everything was spread across a number of platforms ranging from email, a shared document directory, to variations on SOE (Standard Operating Environment). Some academics used letters and face-to-face contact. We had a range of different communication channels, which just didn’t work in ASB’s favour — we needed one platform for everyone.”

Tracy Carter reflects:

“I knew from past experience we needed a vendor that could successfully deliver an interactive, user-friendly intranet or it would be just a waste of money. Empired got it and understood our focus. ASB needed the right mix of people and Empired nailed it.”

“I knew from past experience we needed a vendor that could successfully deliver an interactive, user-friendly intranet or it would be a waste of money. Empired got it and understood our focus. ASB needed the right mix of people and Empired nailed it."

Tracy Carter
Australian School of Business Project Manager

The pain

With no single source of information, work was being duplicated. According to Tracy:

“Research is a big ROI (Return on Investment) for us. We have over 40 research staff. There’s a lot of paperwork to do when applying for a research grant and finding out how to do this can be a real hassle. Some researchers would spend a good 2-3 hours trying to find out how to acquire and submit a research grant. Having a ‘how to’ section for tasks like this would increase productivity and just make life so much easier.”

ASB’s strategic direction was to have a strong brand identity and presence across all of its activities. Staff struggled to understand, comprehend or apply its brand due to lack of easily accessible resources.

“Introducing an intranet would give us the chance to clearly showcase brand guidelines and help grow the ASB brand and ensure all staff have resources to present a united front to our students and stakeholders.”

“Our staff are the back bone of the organisation - without them, there’s no ASB. The leadership team need to ensure staff are involved in business decisions. Having a place to share what’s happening and opening the stage to the staff to collaborate and exchange thoughts is important.”

“Empired delivered more than what was anticipated; they under promised and over delivered. It’s blown everyone’s minds. We have showcased it to five other faculties and shown them what you can do when you get the right vendor.”

Tracy Carter
Australian School of Business Project Manager

The gain

Built on Microsoft SharePoint 2010 and shaped with a design specifically made for the ASB staff, ‘Connect’ provides a powerful, interactive platform for sharing information. Having a single source to access information now ensures that ASB is making the best business decisions.

“Empired delivered more than what was anticipated — they under promised and over delivered. It’s blown everyone’s minds. We have showcased it to five other faculties and shown them what you can do when you get the right vendor” asserts Tracy.

“We didn’t even need to continue the training we had scheduled for the users: the design was made for our staff and they navigate around ‘Connect’ beautifully.”

“Productivity has increased and with over 90 processes and procedures under our ‘How to’ page staff can directly access information. Our Dean can now post regular blogs and get feedback from staff across the board. It’s really nice to able to get the feedback from the staff. It’s opened up the vision of what ASB is all about.”

The future

Tracy Carter looks forward: “We’re looking to extend our ‘Connect’ Intranet to other counterparts within the Australian School of Business. These include alumni and students — there’s a lot of opportunity there.”

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