Case Study St Oswald’s Hospice: Valo makes remote work possible for UK not-for-profit

St Oswald’s Hospice needed to find a new intranet built on SharePoint as its previous system had become obsolete.

  • Industry: Charity/Healthcare
  • Country: UK
  • Company Size: >250, charity

Starting Point:

St Oswald’s Hospice had an out-dated on-premises SharePoint intranet, back from 2007. It wasn’t popular with users but mainly used as a document store.

The SharePoint server could no longer facilitate sharing trustee documents. Therefore users resorted to sending each other emails with bulk attachments. The IT team felt it was time to upgrade to a modern, functioning cloud-based intranet that could aid with other things including remote work.

Solution:

The St Oswald’s IT team wanted a new intranet built on SharePoint.

They originally set out to upgrade SharePoint, by just adding in some more functionality around workflows. But when Valo Premium Partner Synergi recommended Valo Intranet they changed their mind.

They fell in love with Valo’s layout within SharePoint because it is far superior and looks great. Plus, it is easier to navigate around and it’s much more user-friendly. And they liked how Valo’s mobile app enables staff to work remotely.

As a charity, they were eligible for both Microsoft for Nonprofits and Valo’s charity pricing, which made Valo Intranet very affordable.

Benefits:

  • Built fully on SharePoint
  • Benefits both from Microsoft for Nonprofits and Valo’s charity pricing
  • Valo looks and feels nice so user adoption is high
  • Important News banner gets important news and messages out quickly
  • Ideal digital solution for a dispersed/remote workforce
  • Microsoft updates ensures high-level security particularly around patient records
  • Staff are actually using it, which from an IT perspective, is the perfect end result!

An intranet to meet all stakeholders’ needs

The not-for-profit organization St Oswald’s Hospice, based in Newcastle-upon-Tyne in the North East of the UK, provides specialist and expert care to adults and children with life-limiting conditions. It aims to improve the quality of life for everyone in the North East living with an incurable condition, and their families.

The organization is made up of multiple divisions including the management, clinical staff, retail outlets, the fundraising teams and is governed by a board of trustees. In addition, it is responsible for educating workers within the National Health Service and the care sectors as well as medical students on placements. So its intranet needs to serve multiple users and meet their differing needs.

New intranet built on SharePoint

Until end of 2019, the organization was using SharePoint 2007, mainly as a document store. In the end, it was clunky and staff didn’t like using it.

The IT department realized that when the server became out of date and they could no longer use the external sharing part of SharePoint for trustee documents, it was time to find a new intranet.

The IT team were keen to run an intranet built on SharePoint for a couple of reasons. Firstly, non-profit organizations benefit from Microsoft for Nonprofits. Secondly, the IT team felt SharePoint was a superior business platform.

They originally intended to just upgrade SharePoint and get more functionality out of workflows. Yet, when they teamed up with Valo Premium Partner, Synergi, their upgrade road map changed.

Valo makes remote work possible

St Oswald’s formed a steering group where they shared out responsibility for the intranet between three departments, fundraising, comms and IT.

One of the main challenges St Oswald’s had to overcome was changing its IT infrastructure from on-premises to the cloud.

Although funding was an issue, everybody could see the benefits. Since the lockdown, improving their digital workplace and allowing remote working has shot to the top of their priorities.

St Oswald's Hospices new Valo Intranet

St Oswald’s new intranet can be accessed from anywhere, enabling remote work without terminal services.

The IT team have since restructured their terminal services and rebuilt the infrastructure to cope with the increased demand for remote working.

As a result, Valo Intranet has become a vital tool for St Oswald’s staff during the 2020 lockdown. Not only has it been used to communicate crucial information it has enabled staff to log on and work remotely, accessing their documents from home.

We’ve gone from having 20 remote workers a day to up to 150, which is a huge jump for us. Thankfully Valo Intranet enabled us to allow remote working. It means that people can get on with a lot of their work without the need for terminal services.

Darren Harvey
IMNT Manager

Safe and secure platform

One of the huge selling points of Valo Intranet is that it keeps pace with Microsoft updates. This is especially important from both an IT and a hospice perspective.

Patient confidentiality and cyber security are high on agenda. So, anything that fits in with that and is updated, patched regularly and maintained is of a huge benefit to them, says Darren.

Staff like the look and feel of Valo

The comms team, in particular, really like the look and feel of Valo, although the majority of users have no idea they are using SharePoint, nor Valo, as it has been branded to look and feel like St Oswald’s.

St Oswald's new intranet named 'Oswald'

Staff at St Oswald’s Hospice love their new Valo Intranet named ‘OsWorld’

Feedback from staff is positive. They feel their new intranet, named ‘OsWorld’, is really useful to use. They like the fact that they can post news stories which look and feel really good. And they’re happy that staff are now engaging with and responding to the posts.

They especially like the news alerts feature which they’ve used a lot recently. It’s proved to be very useful and beneficial to the hospice to get messages out to people straight away.

Valo Intranet is user-friendly and easy to navigate!

Darren Harvey
IMNT Manager

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