Catalyst Housing is one of the leading housing associations in London, employing over 500 people and providing more than 21,000 homes in London and the south east through a wide range of rental and home ownership opportunities.
Previously made up of three separate housing associations, the group’s structure was transformed into a single company, Catalyst Housing Limited, in October 2011.
Catalyst Housing’s existing externally hosted intranet had scored poorly in staff surveys for the previous two years, and was in urgent need of replacement. Catalyst Housing had already selected and installed a clean SharePoint 2010 environment and they were keen to utilise it as an intranet platform. The new intranet also needed to have a more engaging and user-friendly interface and design, to better engage employees and encourage more use of the intranet as a communication and collaboration platform. With a tight deadline to deliver this new intranet, rapid deployment and minimal expenditure were priorities for Catalyst Housing.
The options of recruiting a SharePoint developer or commissioning a bespoke solution provided by a third party were too costly and time consuming. This is when Catalyst Housing chose ClerksWell to provide them with a fixed- price, instantly deliverable intranet solution.
“We selected ClerksWell because they cut out lengthy development times, the cost of the EasyShare solution was fixed and we were able to see the intranet demonstrated before we invested, including the improved navigation and search functionality.” Neil McMaster, Head of ICT Service Delivery at Catalyst Housing.
ClerksWell’s rapid deployment of EasyShare and the pre-built nature of the solution were major factors in Catalyst Housing’s decision. EasyShare provided a quick intuitive intranet that was a key tool to help facilitate the consolidation of the association. Typical bespoke intranet implementations take between six and nine months to complete, but customisable templates enable much faster, more cost-effective projects.
“The implementation was very smooth, especially for an IT project, any issues were resolved very quickly. As a mark of how smoothly the project went, we purchased seven extra days of development time and we still have around half of those left for future work.” Neil McMaster, Head of ICT Service Delivery.
Because EasyShare is easy to use, the business can make simple changes without the need for specialist in-house SharePoint expertise. Catalyst Housing is seeing a lot of enthusiasm around the use of its new intranet solution and staff are finding new uses for the intranet which were not included in the company’s original plans, the new intranet has really engaged employees.
Catalyst Housing now has a user-friendly intranet that has facilitated improved communication and knowledge sharing. EasyShare is now a key part of Catalyst Housing’s IT strategy for the future. The change has been really striking and feedback from the users has been very positive. Catalyst Housing are now equipped with a future-proof intranet based on industry standard technology which is fully scalable, so it can grow with their business.
“We are very pleased with the outcome and continue to engage ClerksWell’s services to support our intranet.” Neil McMaster, Head of ICT Service Delivery