Murdoch University in Perth, Australia, needed to upgrade their staff-facing content management solution and improve the capabilities for internal communications to be both fit for purpose and future ready.
They chose the Valo Suite, were able to launch in 12 weeks and were well prepared to respond to COVID-19 communications quickly and seamlessly.
- Industry: Higher Education
- Country: Australia
- Company Size: 1,001 – 5,000
Murdoch University is a well-established and forward-thinking university undergoing a significant multi-year technology transformation. Part of that transformation included the need to replace the staff portal that was an IT reliant, not fit-for-purpose communications platform with heavy reliance on email and an outdated content management system.
Selecting a partner and platform were the first priority and the University engaged Valo’s Premium Partner company, Insight, to implement and customise Valo’s product suite to meet the objectives and needs of the University.
A cross functional team made up of University and Insight specialists defined the vision and goals of the project to:
- Simplify access to information and launch on all devices
- Create opportunities for staff to connect and collaborate
- Create a trusted, consistent, on-brand, intuitive and interactive environment
- Reduce email overload
- Retire four old platforms
- Increase staff satisfaction and user engagement
- Be future ready
We wanted a one-stop-shop for everything an employee needs to navigate their digital workplace. Universities are very diverse in their employee needs and the Intranet is the place where we want them to find accurate and easy to find information and tools.
Responsive, fast and flexible intranet deployment
Taking an agile and iterative approach, the team were able to quickly launch the basic site within 12 weeks. This included the team standing up a Beta site to get feedback and test before a full site launch to all staff. An important feature of the project was the opportunity to quickly play with site components and functions going through multiple design iterations to get the layout and features right as new requirements evolved.
Valo Ideas giving employees a voice
Due to the diversity of the workforce, it was not possible to extensively consult employees to define all their requirements and use cases. The team decided to create the site based on the insights and pain points they had already gathered and to use the Valo Ideas tool to help gather additional feedback and requirements to give all employees a voice in what they need from their Intranet.
Idea Management is really useful as a feedback loop and people have come up with ideas to not only enhance the Intranet, but helped us prioritise additional features required for the Intranet solution.
Search on steroids
Murdoch knew that employees needed access to many forms of content, some being on the public website, some being in the University Intranet and much being in the yet-to-migrate old CMS content pages. The team implemented an integrated search experience to create results from all sources to ensure employees could find the information regardless of where the content lived.
Valo Teamwork – an added bonus
The University had already adopted Microsoft Teams and it was a well-established platform for employees. However, Valo Teamwork was seen as a valuable addition to the Intranet to help establish that one-stop-shop and enable staff to quickly see the teams they were members of.
Driving a consistent experience
One of the key decisions on this project was the deployment of the Intranet on all University devices and browsers. Ensuring staff always had a consistent Murdoch digital experience to launch their day meant this was the reliable channel for all information, news, announcements, events, staff search and links to key systems.
While somewhat controversial for some who liked to start their day with their preferred home page, this was quickly overcome with some education and is now accepted as what happens when provided with a Murdoch device.
Successful End-User Adoption
In an environment where adoption and engagement can be hampered by old ways of working, the new university intranet bucked that trend for a new internal system. The level of staff engagement surprised the communications team, creating new information sharing opportunities that extended across the University unlike anything before.
In fact, the new intranet has seen doubling in the publication of news, events and announcements, 4 months after the date of implementation, as staff were becoming familiar with the new platform. Staff have not only engaged in reading, but quickly started to participate to the organisation communication, allowing them to dictate and assist with what they want to know. The university now maintains an average of 30-40 events and 70-90 news and announcements being published on a monthly basis.
The number of events and user announcements that have been published since launch demonstrates to me that people are finding more things to talk about, and people are able to now know that they’ve got a place to publish their information.
After seeing these results, the high user adoption of this one platform enabled Murdoch University to confidently decommission their 4 legacy platforms where this kind of information would have been previously disseminated.
Rapidly responding to COVID
An unexpected requirement for the new Murdoch University Intranet was the need to communicate frequently to employees with information surrounding COVID-19, including updates, procedures and support for working and teaching from home. A huge effort and rapid response was enabled by the ease in which these communications could be created in a professional and easily consumable manner. The People and Culture team and the Marketing and Communications team were able to concentrate on the quality of their content and not have to worry about solving technology problems.
The Intranet was essential during the COVID-19 pandemic. It allowed us to reach staff quickly to provide updates on the University’s response and gave staff a platform to ask questions.
As we moved to working from home, it was also invaluable in keeping staff connected – allowing them to share positive stories and helpful tips.
Did the new university intranet succeed in making Murdoch future ready?
In short: most definitely.
The University lived through a future-ready scenario with COVID and was extremely successful helping keep an aligned and engaged workforce.
The new university intranet, built to accommodate the entire University staff with their wide variety of roles, needs and interests was built and deployed in just 12 weeks. On the inbuilt analytics tools it was easy to see how staff engagement across the University has grown exponentially every month since the launch. The end product was easy and intuitive to use, on brand, fast agile and most importantly put the controls into the hands of the people.