KEY POINTS

  • EWON had legacy Exchange Server 2010 and SharePoint 2010 that were hindering operational efficiencies.

  • Professional Advantage moved EWON’s legacy productivity solutions to Microsoft 365, deploying Microsoft SharePoint and Teams, and migrated over a hundred mailboxes to Exchange Online.

  • In just 48 hours, EWON enabled secure rapid remote work and transformed the way it communicates and collaborates internally.

  • EWON empowered better response to cases for their Investigations and Call Centre teams with a self-service Knowledge Base running on SharePoint Online.

"I would rate 4.5 out of 5 stars to Professional Advantage for their technical expertise, excellent project management, and sound account management."

Bernadette Or, General Manager Finance and Corporate Services

Further to its initiative to modernise its IT infrastructure with Microsoft Azure in this success story, EWON has also undertaken a digital transformation with Microsoft 365. Their Microsoft Exchange Server badly needed a hardware refresh as did their SharePoint 2010 environment. Instead of heading down the on-premise refresh path which would have cost a lot more, EWON pursued the cloud option.

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Migrating to Microsoft 365

EWON turned to Professional Advantage (PA) as its Microsoft 365 cloud partner, with PA having shown their technical expertise, deep client focus, and capability across all Microsoft cloud platforms: Azure, Microsoft 365, and Dynamics. It made sense for EWON to choose Microsoft 365 for its office productivity solution; affordable not-for-profit licensing scheme; better connection with their Microsoft Dynamics CRM and Azure-based infrastructure; and the native apps that Microsoft bundles into their license packages.

Professional Advantage started with migrating over a hundred Exchange Server 2010 mailboxes to Microsoft 365. With their mailboxes now hosted on Exchange Online, EWON is able to improve on its foundational data security with data loss prevention (DLP), e-discovery, multi-factor authentication (MFA), and more—all built-in into Microsoft 365.

 

Enabled remote working within 48 hours

When the COVID-19 pandemic swept across Australia, EWON’s primary concern was enabling their people to work safely from home, whilst trying to operate business as usual. With their mailboxes now in Microsoft 365, transitioning to remote working became a lot easier for them.

“We moved everything to the cloud when COVID hit, which enabled us to move 80% of our workforce to work from home within 48 hours.” - Bernadette Or, General Manager Finance and Corporate Services, EWON

Microsoft Teams played a crucial role in enabling rapid remote working and allowing their people to stay connected. Through Teams, EWON can run meetings online, and redirect some of the emails that could otherwise be better communicated through online chat. EWON also used Teams to ensure staff engagement and encourage a sense of togetherness.

“We wanted to help people who had challenges being connected with their colleagues. If they are working on their own in a tiny bedroom in their house, they can be very socially isolated, so we created social channels for baking, yoga, or pets.” - Bernadette Or, General Manager Finance and Corporate Services, EWON

Real-time collaboration has never been heard of before at EWON until Microsoft Teams was introduced. Their top executives who love folder structures in a file share have now adapted to seeing documents in Teams and quite comfortably collaborating with their colleagues at the same time. Microsoft Teams introduced a cultural transformation with the way they communicate and collaborate internally.

“We can use our phones to access Microsoft Teams, our documents, and run meetings as well. The chat just took all the email traffic out of my inbox which is beautiful!” - Bernadette Or, General Manager Finance and Corporate Services, EWON

 

Delivering better responses with a self-service Knowledge Base and communications portal

The next step in the transformation was to remove the old and unsupported SharePoint 2010 Server environment. PA redeployed the EWON SharePoint Intranet using a communications portal on SharePoint Online. Called theHub, it enabled its people to:

  • Stay in touch with the latest news and updates within EWON.
  • Get easy access to forms, policy, and procedure guides, etc.
  • Quickly search for people using their new staff directory.
  • View team schedules for easier work schedule management.
  • Deliver better response and improve its operations with a modern Knowledge Base.

The Knowledge Base is a 330-page wiki that is critical to how EWON’s Investigations and Call Centre operate. Its people needed to get quick access to content while on their phones and so Professional Advantage took these approaches to address it:

  • Search first mentality. Search web parts on every page were put in place to highlight popular pages, related pages, and recently modified content. There is no more need to remember where pages are in a hierarchy.
  • Four different page templates were created to address various “view” needs of a user. Page templates created were Section, Subsection, Article, and Members. Section and Subsection templates are for auto grouping of content based on tagging. Article pages are the traditional wiki style content. Member pages feature a document library starting inside a document set.
  • Page table of contents were auto generated on text headings to enable quick access to the page.
  • “Save for Later” functionality was added to bookmark regularly visited pages and display on homepage.

 

Laying the foundations for a data-driven and AI-powered busines

With Microsoft 365 at the helm of EWON’s cloud roadmap, it effectively laid the groundwork for its plans of becoming a business that is data-driven and powered by artificial intelligence

“Knowledge management is a critical success factor for us in order for the policy, research, or the awareness teams to develop strategies based on what comes through the frontline. The complaints, details, locations, demographics, nature of complaints, and who they are complaining against all goes downstream to the team. It is very clear that we need to use that knowledge in the best possible way.” - Bernadette Or, General Manager Finance and Corporate Services, EWON

Within the next 12 months, Bernadette Or sees EWON embarking on a Power BI project to replace its existing SQL Server Reporting Services. This will enable EWON to minimise the report analysis done manually in Microsoft Excel using advanced find or word search.

“We envisage leveraging Power BI next so we can create more dynamic, infographic reports, and can demonstrate our impact to the community better. I also imagine AI can help in the future; rather than wait till we get our data structure, we can pump AI in and it might result in a quicker outcome.” - Bernadette Or, General Manager Finance and Corporate Services, EWON

Read Next: EWON’s success story with leveraging the power of the Power Platform here.