Organisation

JANA Investment Advisers

PA Product

KEY POINTS

  • JANA Investment Advisers had inconsistent ways of working that made internal collaboration and communication for a fast-growing organisation clunky and inefficient.

  • Professional Advantage (PA) deployed a SharePoint Intranet portal with dedicated team sites for its core business units, several micro-sites for its internal consulting teams, and a rich set of tools using 9 of PA’s unique catalogue of SharePoint Widgets IP.

  • 332% increase in staff satisfaction who indicated they can now find corporate information easily with a centralised repository.

  • 132% increase in staff satisfaction who indicated they can now find information quickly even outside of their client, asset class, or working group team.

  • 82% increase in staff satisfaction indicating they can now conveniently collaborate on documents with multiple people.

"Professional Advantage went above and beyond in terms of their commitment to us and the outcomes. It is impressive how well-coordinated their internal teams were in order to deliver a united and consistent service to us."

Ashleigh Crittle, Chief Operating Officer, JANA Investment Advisers

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Established 34 years ago to provide investment advisory to investors in Australia and New Zealand, and now with over $850 billion under advice, JANA Investment Advisers has modernised how its people communicate and collaborate internally. Being a fast-growing organisation in an increasingly competitive industry, JANA needed to simplify and optimise its collaboration processes to retain and extend its competitive edge and leadership position.

JANA advises over 80 institutional clients including corporations, charities, endowment funds, foundations, government, superannuation funds, insurers, family offices, and other trusts.

Speaking to Ashleigh Crittle, Chief Operating Officer of JANA Investment Advisers, she pointed out “the inability for people to know where to find information, too many e-mails, inconsistent ways of working, and clunky collaboration,” were some of their key business challenges that led to their digital transformation journey.

With data  stored in on-premises network drives, e-mail used as the primary collaboration tool and an inconsistent use of OneNote, JANA lacked standardised tools for collaboration. Information was difficult to get to, with most of it buried in their staff’s inboxes.

“We have smart, capable people, and they don’t want to be spending hours just trying to find a piece of information. In the context of a growing firm like JANA, with new employees joining various business units and increasing the complexity of our business, you need people to be able to access information quickly and efficiently,” continued Crittle.

 



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Reimagining team collaboration with SharePoint, Teams, and Professional Advantage

It was important for JANA that their new solution was cloud-based as it helps with ensuring business resilience and reducing the operational overhead for maintaining on-premises data management infrastructure. Having rolled out Microsoft 365 previously and using Teams for communication services such as virtual meetings and conferencing (audio, video, web) as well as real-time chat conversations, it made sense to use SharePoint to expand the Teams’ utilisation.

SharePoint is an easy-to-use platform with built-in document management capabilities and ultimately maximised JANA’s existing Microsoft 365 investment. “The great thing about SharePoint is that it is easy to work with and continue adapting and extending to suit our business requirements as they evolve. You don’t need to code it from scratch, and it has pre-built widgets”, said Crittle.  

 


 

“SharePoint can interface with Teams, which helps to form more effective collaboration. I think it’s far more powerful than a standalone document management system.”

Ashleigh Crittle, Chief Operating Officer, JANA Investment Advisers

 


 

JANA was referred to Professional Advantage (PA) by a former Head of IT who had previously used PA’s services. After JANA confirmed PA as its SharePoint partner, a series of discovery, analysis, and design workshops soon followed that shaped their Intranet’s features, functionalities, and design.

PA implemented a responsive, highly tailored, and curated SharePoint Intranet that reflected JANA’s corporate branding. An enterprise home page that aggregated and incorporated separate sites for each of their core business units as well as micro-sites for consulting teams were implemented for JANA. Several PA SharePoint widgets (proprietary IP catalogue) provided their Intranet with rich sets of essential tools and features without JANA investing in additional third-party solutions and associated extra license costs.

Some of these exclusive PA-developed SharePoint widgets enabled in JANA’s Intranet included:

  1. Social Feeds – connecting JANA’s employees with corporate LinkedIn updates in real-time and without leaving the Intranet portal.
  2. Job Listing – connected to the recruitment application, JANA utilises this job listing feature to easily advertise new job opportunities internally.
  3. CEO Blog – keeping employees updated via the CEO’s latest insights and blog
  4. My Links – accessible on the JANA Intranet homepage, this widget provides employees the ability to personalise with frequently visited links.
  5. Quick Links – accessible on the JANA Intranet homepage and set with key organisational information, employees can personalise this widget to go to their preferred apps and sites.
  6. Alerts –highlighting urgent announcements to employees, such as planned IT outages.
  7. Staff Directory – allows JANA’s employees to sort by first and last name and filter by team, or physical work location.
  8. Important Updates – enables JANA to publish company news or articles of interest. Clicking the update will pop up the message with a title and details, also indicating who made the update and the category it belongs to.
  9. Advanced Search – referred to as ‘Knowledge Base’, users are able to search across multiple data sources such as SharePoint and local file shares. It also has filters that include metadata tags for a comprehensive and faster search results. 

 

Impressive post-implementation results

JANA’s Intranet has reduced the need for e-mail-based communications by centralising company-wide announcements, news, or project-related information with a single go-to communications and collaboration portal. Crittle shared that, “The SharePoint project is viewed very positively within the organisation”, with JANA’s post-implementation survey on the new Intranet portal revealing impressive results:  

  1. 332% increase in staff satisfaction indicating they could now find corporate information easily with a centralised repository. Users can now get to the information that they need through the single intranet source as well as SharePoint’s enterprise search and metadata associated with their files.
  2. 132% increase in staff satisfaction indicating they could now find information quickly even outside of their client, asset class, or working group team. Their staff now has specific sites to go to for relevant client or team information.
  3. 82% increase in staff satisfaction indicating they could now conveniently collaborate on documents with multiple people together. Their staff could now edit documents simultaneously and in real-time using SharePoint’s in-built co-authoring They no longer need to create multiple document versions to track changes made by other people with SharePoint’s version control.

“People can now find documents quickly and can effectively filter and target conversations with the right groups of people through Microsoft’s Teams’ interface or SharePoint. Our people are so much more effective in working with each other now,” said Crittle. “Another benefit of this project is the increased employee engagement. Our people are now happier that they can do their job easier,” continued Crittle.

Not only were the staff impressed by their brand-new Intranet, but JANA’s stakeholders and project sponsors were also pleased with PA’s ability and commitment to deliver an impeccable solution. “I’ve been impressed by PA’s consultants’ commitment, listening to our particular circumstances, and then delivering tailored work and solutions that met our needs,” shared Crittle.

 


 

“Professional Advantage went above and beyond in terms of their commitment to us and the outcomes. It is impressive how well-coordinated their internal teams were in order to deliver a united and consistent service to us.”

Ashleigh Crittle, Chief Operating Officer, JANA Investment Advisers

 


 

JANA’s tip for a smooth landing

Crittle shared one of her ‘key learnings’ in ensuring a seamless and successful Microsoft 365 modernisation project incorporating effective and sustainable user adoption of Teams and SharePoint.

“My number one tip when embarking on a SharePoint Intranet project is to put in place hyper care support within the project’s scope”, said Crittle. “We had the same consultants available during the hyper care support window that were involved in the project delivery. They knew intimately what they had built and configured for us, and what user training was delivered, which meant our users instantly got answers to their concerns.” Their hyper care support resulted in high user satisfaction and deepened confidence in the new system.

PA’s SharePoint and Teams consultants for JANA were scheduled to be consistently available during the 2-week hyper care support period and were on hand to resolve issues encountered by the users via an open Teams channel that was configured specifically for delivery of this support. It made a significant difference to have this level of support available when users have just been introduced to a new system.  

 

Launchpad for future bright ideas

Crittle sees the Microsoft 365 SharePoint Intranet and integration to Microsoft Teams as a launchpad for future business innovation within JANA. With the staff more engaged and excited with their newfound skills and increased productivity, she said, “I get staff coming to me regularly with bright ideas about how they want to improve SharePoint or people asking for more real estate on the JANA Intranet homepage!”.

Crittle is confident about SharePoint’s ability to help sustain their company’s continued growth and innovation, adding “We had limited experience working with the SharePoint and Teams technology. But with proper training, we are now able to update the content in our Intranet and Teams, so we can continue to adapt the solution quite easily within our own internal resources. We also have Professional Advantage under a support arrangement to do the more complicated developments as needed”.