Case OCI Nitrogen: Building future-proof intranet on top of Office 365

Steps towards a new, cloud-based intranet in-a-box solution started when OCI Nitrogen needed to outsource their ICT due to a carve-out. Transfer to cloud environment together with mobile solutions is a way to ensure the information reaches also the younger generation.

  • Industry: Agriculture
  • Country: Netherlands
  • Company Size: 251-1000 users

Starting point: In 2010 DSM, a global Life Sciences and Materials Sciences company, carved-out some of their business operations to OCI Nitrogen which started an outsourcing policy. DSM had to be disconnected from the existing DSM’s ICT environment with simple, yet future-proof way.

Solution: As for a self-directing company, intuitive solutions with no dependency on suppliers are necessary to be able to succeed. For that, OCI chose cloud-based Valo Intranet on top of Office 365.

Benefits: Modern and intuitive intranet that can be designed based on company needs. Mobile app is helping to reach the younger generation more efficiently.

Outsourcing policy requires standard solutions

OCI Nitrogen is one of the fertilizer market leaders in Europe. In addition, the organization is the largest producer of melamine worldwide. The company was established by DSM in 1927 when the fertilizer factory was built. Melamine production started in 1967 and in 2010 both parts were sold and continued under the name OCI Nitrogen that currently employs 550 employees.

Engeline Snijders, Team Lead Enterprise Content Manager at OCI Nitrogen, talks about the transition to the cloud and collaboration with Valo Partner Advantive.

“Since 2010 OCI Nitrogen has been using an outsourcing policy. The aim is to outsource ICT as optimally as possible. In addition, we opt for standard solutions to limit dependence on suppliers. Finally, our policy is that we choose Microsoft. The organization is self-directed instead of the executive. Carve-out of DSM was the first priority meaning the ICT environment had to be disconnected from DSM. After an extensive selection process, Advantive was chosen to supervise the carve-out of the SharePoint part.”

The philosophy of OCI Nitrogen is that an acquired entity should be easy to sell again. Therefore the new ICT environment is a stand-alone environment.

“The new ICT environment gives us the opportunity to design this environment based on our own wishes. This makes it work pleasantly. We now also have a more active role in the business from ICT. We immediately understand where pain points are and try to solve them feeling more connected to the business”, tells Engeline Snijder.

Transition to the cloud

In 2016, OCI Nitrogen started with SharePoint online project sites in the cloud. In this way, OCI Nitrogen let the business get used to working in the cloud environment in small steps. Last year OCI Nitrogen started with a proof of concept for Office 365, initially only for e-mail and OneDrive.

This is a change process and therefore we pay a lot of attention to adoption. Our rule is that the solutions must be intuitive as otherwise, it will not work. We continually search for the right mode between what we do and what we do not train.”

Engeline Snijders, Team Lead Enterprise Content Management

A choice for fully integrated intranet solution for Office 365 –  Valo Intranet

“With Office 365 we noticed one challenge: the user interface. We do not find the standard user interface in Office 365 as good. Therefore we chose to implement a modern Valo Intranet that is fully integrated with Office 365.” explains Engeline Snijders the reasons behind going for intranet in-a-box solution.

Designing is done together and subsequently, the consultants of Advantive and OCI Nitrogen have provided the migration of the various documents to a new ICT environment and replaced a number of processes and systems.

oci nitogen valo intranet

“The project has been successful and cooperation between Advantive and OCI Nitrogen is perfect. Our people and the Advantive consultants complement each other in the project. The communication has been direct and open throughout the project. We are very satisfied with the Advantive managed services and thanks to the constructive collaboration it was a logical step to outsource the SharePoint management to Advantive.”

“A small group inside OCI Nitrogen is already working with the new intranet solution. Based on a demonstration with an explanation, we introduced the possibilities Valo offers to our colleagues. It goes without saying: the solution is intuitive and user-friendly. Valo Intranet enables our transit to the cloud services in planned phases. ”

New ICT environment with mobile access

“We are under rejuvenation and the new generation wants to be able to work mobile which requires a whole new ICT approach. Valo offers us a mobile app that increases the accessibility to Office 365. You can think of it as a starting point for Office 365. Valo Intranet is a simple and user-friendly solution. Moreover, we can adapt it to our corporate identity. Together with Advantive, I take care of the design of our new intranet solution.”

This solution offers us added value in all sorts of areas in our steps towards the cloud environment. For example, it helps our employees to work more closely together and share knowledge, anytime and anywhere.”

Engeline Snijders

First experiences

The design is completed and content migration has already started with Advantive. Valo Intranet will be rolled out in phases. In the first phase, the new solutions are introduced to the office workers later following the plants. Together with Advantive, OCI Nitrogen is building a modern and future-proof intranet solution.

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