Microsoft Teams I M365 I PowerApps I SharePoint
A trusted Microsoft partner agency, we help clients increase their productivity through effective use of Microsoft 365 technology, specialising in Microsoft Teams and SharePoint. By focusing on strategy, development, process and enablement, we partner with medium-sized to Blue Chip organisations to transform their businesses for the good.
It is our mission to support companies in their transition to an employee empowered working culture, where technical solutions crafted around your team and culture enable people to work in environments and a timeframe that suits them. The result? A more dedicated, productive and happier workforce, and a better bottom line.
With core competencies across the Microsoft stack, enabled by understanding the people and culture in your organisation, we pride ourselves in delivering the human benefit that businesses need as well as the functional change that they demand.
Our services range from expert-led consultancy, campaign-based web or app development and front end creative to full blown migration, strategic road-mapping and full-service development partnerships.
Unilever, Mondelez, Burberry, Farm Africa, Santen, ATP Media, FIFA, Anglo American, Met Office, Ofwat
Committed to their Unilever Sustainable Living Plan, Unilever wanted to allow colleagues around the world to input and participate in this industry-leading programme. They were looking for an Office 365 platform to gain insights into their plans and activities, and measure interest in issues so that they could prioritise their focus. They were looking for a tool that could work in multiple languages, locations and across different devices.
We tackled the challenge by building a highly engaging, creative SharePoint-based solution that gave Unilever live access to the input of 1,000s of employees across the globe.
Unilever now have:
- A tool for employees across the globe to air their voices and choose the programmes they want to get involved with
- A fully customisable site with mobile responsive access
- Security and confidentiality through the secure network of Unilever’s Office 365 platform
The end result surpassed all KPIs and reached a far wider audience than initially anticipated.
Mondelēz International, Inc. wanted to create a hub to elevate their Research, Development & Quality (RDQ) teams’ knowledge of marketing, business and R&D best practices. The outcome would be one custom on-line platform for learning and development videos, as well as downloadable assets.
Silicon Reef partnered with Design Bridge to create an environment that ‘pulled’ people in, rather than ‘pushing’ content onto them. Together, we created a SharePoint site which integrates Microsoft Stream to incorporate videos within the intranet site.
The UX & UI was designed and developed to aid continuous learning and echo that of other familiar content platforms, like TED or Netflix.
In addition to creating an engaging hub for learning content, we wanted to ensure the user experiences were maximised as much as possible to aid them in their leaning:
First 3 months after launch:
- 3,000+ sessions
- 26,500+ page views
- 8,600+ views per session
- 1,600 repeat visitors
- 16 minutes 9 seconds – avg. time spent on site per session
The Mondelēz International, Inc. team told us they were very happy with the product and had received really good internal feedback on the project – including being asked to present the training hub at their big innovation event in front of the Mondelēz International, Inc. CEO and executive team.
REAch2 were focused on developing a brand-new intranet platform which would be utilised across the Trust academy, support and teaching staff. Whilst the intranets main function would be an information portal, the Trust also wanted to create a united culture across the organisation helping employees feel part of a connected REAch2 environment.
Ahead of Silicon Reef’s involvement, there was no intranet platform across the organisation. The team worked solely from email with large policy documents and file sharing going through their email system. This approach led to duplication and people saving and using onto outdated information.
As the Trust grew, the business needed to easily share and communicate the CEO’s messages across the UK team.
A new REAch2 SharePoint intranet solution offered the answer to the business communication and culture challenges.
After our ‘discovery’ review phase with REAch2 it became clear that through our partnership with Attollo – an out of the box SharePoint platform, we would be able to build a system that would deliver on all the REAch2 requirements. This approach would also allow for future growth and expansion as the organisation scales.
Working closely with the REAch2 team, together we outlined the information architecture and designs in the initial planning phase. This included:
- Technical analysis of the M365 tenant setup for deployment of Attollo baseline solution.
- Site content template review to establish the key content that will be required for each content owner.
- Design and branding alignment of the site for desktop, tablet and mobile.
- Deployment of the Attollo solution into the REAch2 M365 tenant.
- Diagnose Stage– training and support for site launch with key site owners.
The global Unilever hair specialist team is responsible for the development of new formulations and product launches within the hair category.
Part of Unilever R&D, this team works across continents and manages a vast range of existing and developing products. This brings with it a massive data challenge: to move, to manage, to store and access data from multiple locations over multiple time zones.
The team was overwhelmed with vast quantities of data based in disparate systems and data centres across the globe. Locating packaging, formulation and product information was a constant challenge.
As part of a global programme to deliver a faster, more agile Unilever, the team were focused on identifying a bespoke library system that allowed easy access to a wide dataset. The new system needed to store detailed product information, imagery and packaging data. The objective was to not only categorise the existing database more efficiently but support the product development team when creating new formulations – helping them to get new products to market faster, and with greater accuracy.
We began by creating a strategic roadmap with a three-year vision. We mapped out milestones and, using agile methods, developed a MVP (minimum viable product) version of the solution and used continuous improvement to learn-and-develop, with later iterations seeing the launch of the wider scope elements.
We understood that – as with most of our engagements – the solution’s success would hinge on it meeting the exact needs and behaviours of the end users. Hence UX sat at the forefront of the project with a focused aim to ensure maximum user adoption post launch. Before developing wireframes and designs, the project team conducted interviews with the focus group and studied the team’s style of working and requirements. Well-embedded user testing became fundamental throughout the project and involved the user group through each milestone to ensure a truly people-led design.
As an international charity, Farm Africa has offices across five countries; the UK, Ethiopia, Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda. The charity came to us with an all too common problem: all documents, across the organisation, were managed through a number of disparate and disconnected platforms, largely in a deep folder structure and, in many cases, held as multiple versions across folders.
The charity had taken the step to establish an Office 365 SharePoint site but was yet to use it effectively. Many of the SharePoint users didn’t trust that the information stored there was valid, and moved, copied and saved multiple versions outside of the platform, exacerbating the issue.
We were brought in to not only solve the functional challenge but also look at improving adoption of the tool across the workforce.
Our key priority was to ensure Farm Africa were getting the most from their Office 365 subscription, while delivering value to the community of users across the 5 countries. Together with the Farm Africa leadership we knew we wanted to create a tool that gave a quality assurance of programme delivery across all of Farm Africa’s locations, and established a ‘live’ platform for project management, tracking and collaboration.
We established a SharePoint intranet and project platform for document storage and management suitable for housing all of the charitable programmes documentation in a consistent format, and all accessed via an appealing and intuitive interface. Permissions set within the tool allowed named individuals to view, upload, edit and manage folders and files, and private group configuration gave management to select teams of GDPR compliant files.
We delivered all this with the end user firmly front-of-mind and with a rollout plan that on-boarded previous sceptics the system showed an immediate positive impact in the way Farm Africa manage data and run their business.
"The interaction with Silicon Reef is faultless."
Silicon Reef provided consulting and training services for a consulting group looking to strengthen their skills in Office 365.
"The interaction with Silicon Reef is faultless."
Jan 27, 2020
The team at Silicon Reef met expectations, providing a top-notch level of guidance. Their effective workflow led to the success of the engagement. Customers can expect a team that delivers for their clients.
The client submitted this review online.
Please describe your company and your position there.
I am an IT training consultant currently managing a number of global IT rollouts for a major Oil and Gas company.
For what projects/services did your company hire Silicon Reef?
We engaged with Silicon Reef to assist in the upskill of our trainers. Specifically around O365 and its applications.
What were your goals for this project?
Our goals were to upskill our trainers in O365 to a level that they could support and train our end users.
How did you select this vendor?
Having worked with Silicon Reef in the past our choice was an easy one. We wouldn't consider using any other supplier.
Describe the project in detail.
As above, we engaged with Silicon Reef to upskill our trainers in all areas of O365.
What was the team composition?
We were provided with the support of a number of Silicon Reef staff. Each with their own area of O365 expertise.
Can you share any outcomes from the project that demonstrate progress or success?
As a result of the sessions that Silicon Reef ran with our trainers, our trainers are now able to support our end users. Both on a training and consultancy level.
How effective was the workflow between your team and theirs?
The interaction with Silicon Reef is faultless.
What did you find most impressive about this company?
It is hard to identify what I find most impressive about Silicon Reef. They excel in all areas. They have never let me down. They always go above and beyond.
Are there any areas for improvement?
No, certainly not that I can identify. However maybe on future projects something may come up.
“Their best selling point is their willingness and desire to understand our operating model.”
Silicon Reef created two SharePoint solutions for a resources and agriculture NGO spread between the United Kingdom and Africa. They made it so all teams can access tools and final documentation.
“Their best selling point is their willingness and desire to understand our operating model.”
Nov 13, 2019
The solution boosted home page hits by 113% and files uploaded by 67% in the first month after implementation. Establishing a regular cadence of communication using Microsoft Teams, Silicon Reef showed personability in teaching their partner about the platform. Their work is set to continue.
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
Introduce your business and what you do there.
I’m head of technical services for a company that works across five countries in East Africa in three areas: agriculture, natural resource management, and market value chains. My role is to ensure the technical quality of each of our programs so they’re able to serve our beneficiaries, provide information, and report back to our donors.
What challenge were you trying to address with Silicon Reef?
One of our major challenges is that we’re spread across six different countries, some of which lack the IT capabilities that we have in the United Kingdom. All of our information was being hosted on independent servers in each country, without any central document repository for our core information that everyone across our organization needed to access.
What was the scope of their involvement?
At the start of the engagement, we had a SharePoint in name only. The person who originally created it was self-taught and without any experience. That led to a dysfunctional solution that was not being utilized at all internally.
Silicon Reef was brought in to redesign our SharePoint in two major projects. The first was to create a central document repository for all of our project and program information, which functions essentially as a final documentation library. Contracts, reports, and other public information are stored there. They designed that system and made it so new and future projects could be added as needed.
The second project is a tool site, containing resources like manuals and other documentation that field teams may need to access. That’s been set up differently in SharePoint to encourage users to actively search out helpful tools for their work.
What is the team composition?
Across the two engagements, there were about 6–7 resources allocated to the project. We only interfaced directly with 2–3 of them.
How did you come to work with Silicon Reef?
I conducted a simple Google search of SharePoint providers, approaching a few for tenders. We received many, but Silicon Reef was the most understanding of our needs and able to take a practical, tailored approach to the work. They also clearly understood our pricing model.
How much have you invested with them?
We’ve spent about $15,000 on their services to date.
What is the status of this engagement?
The first project lasted between June–August 2019, and our second project with them was from August–October 2019. We have an ongoing engagement as well, looking at areas we want to improve upon for our future work together.
What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
There was a 67% increase in the number of files stored on our SharePoint within the first month of implementing the changes. The average active files increased from 50 and 60 to 110 and 140. On top of that, home page hits increased by 113%. This all occurred within the first month of the project launch.
How did Silicon Reef perform from a project management standpoint?
From the beginning, they encouraged us to use Microsoft Teams. We have the complete Office 365 package here, utilizing it as our primary tool for communication. I’d never used Teams before, and no one else here had. Despite us being unfamiliar, they decided to educate us on the platform to develop our capacity to utilize those resources to our greatest benefit. That’s been helpful. They created clear, open, regular, and well-managed lines of communication.
What did you find most impressive about them?
Their best selling point is their willingness and desire to understand our operating model. They visited our offices to discuss our challenges, not having any experience working with organizations in East Africa. Despite that, they took the time to consider what our situation meant for our file system to optimize it for us. They’re also very personable, nice people to work with.
Are there any areas they could improve?
Nothing, at the moment. We’re holding a workshop with them next week to develop areas for improvement. Our continued relationship is a testament to their success with us.
Do you have any advice for potential customers?
Listen to their advice and guidance, utilizing our face-to-face time to develop an output that suits your business.