JUST

A SharePoint intranet to unite two Financial Services companies after a merger

“We involved people from all over the company in HQ development to ensure the intranet fitted the needs and wants of the business.”

The specialist UK financial services group, Just, provides companies and individuals with retirement products and services. The group was born in 2016 following the merger between Just Retirement and Partnership.

The modern corporate intranet, HQ, is their primary enabler of cultural engagement across 1,000 employees.

OUR SERVICES INCLUDED:

  • Branding and strategy
  • Information architecture
  • User experience
  • New intranet using SharePoint 2016
  • Post go-live support

THE CHALLENGE

Following the merger between two businesses, the UK financial services group, Just, needed to unify its internal culture and identity in line with their new way forward.

THE SOLUTION

Speed is a key factor in mergers; some things just have to happen quickly in order to hit milestones and maintain momentum. Built in six months and launched in summer 2017, HQ, is the new intranet of the unified business. Based upon SharePoint using EasyShare, HQ is not just a digital workplace tool, but an enabler of cultural engagement among 1,000 employees across Surrey, London, and Belfast.

Prior to having HQ, each legacy company had its own intranet which were used to provide the same messages across the business. The intranets played a crucial part in supporting the merger in terms of keeping staff informed about the progress to completion. “It was important to keep talking about progress and the work to be done, and so there was a continuous flow of communication throughout,” says Internal Communications Manager at Just, Stephanie Woolford.

The launch of HQ marked a big milestone for Just. Showing the new name and the new company identity, HQ was a significant step towards bringing the new brand to life and helping to instil the sense of moving forward as one business.

AN AGILE APPROACH

Using agile project management methodology meant that the IT and Internal Comms teams worked closely together with shared goals, helping to move the intranet project forward quickly. Formal meetings set key priorities, while fortnightly sprint reviews tracked progress and results. Solid project management helped to develop a very clear dialogue between the teams around what needed to be delivered and when.

Woolford says they chose to deploy EasyShare after researching the SharePoint intranet market. She particularly appreciates the search function, the general look and feel, and how it enables the Comms team to easily look after the home page and publish communications. “Our previous intranet felt clunky and messy, which was frustrating. HQ is simple. With all the communication overload typical of our time we can easily cut through the noise and ensure that the information is useful to everybody.”

CEMENTING THE BUSINESS

“We’d been talking about becoming Just, becoming one single business for months. But before we had HQ as our single intranet, our messaging was diluted by the separate intranets – employees would still see different things on different systems depending on what part of the business they were working in.

“HQ helped cement us. We now log on and see the same brand colours, the same, design, and the same content, and we are confident that everything on there is updated and accurate for everyone. We feel just one whole company.”

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