Pear Inc. was established in May 2019 as a fictitious company to be used in demos and presentations by Regroove. Much like Microsoft’s Contoso or Northwind Traders, Pear is a tease at Apple. In fiction, Pear creates slippery tech products to be distributed worldwide, with offices in three locations.
Pear needed a centralized space to securely store and share important corporate knowledge and documentation with team members. Documents were scattered across file shares and deep inside nested folders on staff desktops. It was challenging for employees and administrators to find up-to-date documents or information. Pear’s CEO, Patty O’Furniture also needed a way to communicate company-wide and department-specific updates to her staff about changes to policies, processes, and events.
With their current set-up, communication took much too long, especially with team members working from different locations and different time zones. This caused a backlog of emails asking where things were and multiple copies of documents being passed around without a consistent way of collaborating. All in all, processes took too much time when productive work should have been getting done.
Pear hired Regroove Solutions to address these challenges. Regroove built a centrally managed intranet website with separate sites for different department and project teams. Team members use these sites to organize files related to the processes that happen daily within Pear.
Regroove created sites for each location, allowing users to go to the sites relevant to them and streamline their work experience.
Administrators use communication sites as news distribution sites to supply live and reliable information within the company.
Regroove recommended SharePoint because Pear was already using Microsoft Office 365 for email and access to the desktop Office programs. It made sense to leverage that further as SharePoint is available for free as part of Pear’s existing Microsoft Office 356 subscription.
SharePoint integrates with other Microsoft Office 365 products well, bringing extra features and conveniences to Pear. It is also the backbone of Microsoft Teams, which Pear staff started using when working remotely to bring everyone together.
SharePoint is also an excellent Content Management System (CMS) for content managers that want to edit and add new web page content quickly and easily, without needed coding skills.
The document management features available within SharePoint, including version history and real-time co-authoring for collaboration across the Microsoft Office products, make it one of the best solutions available at its price point.
Finally, SharePoint’s sound administrative security settings provide different levels of access and editing for various groups and teams, and deletion and restoration protection.
SharePoint had a reputation of being one of the slower pieces of tech to update, but the new SharePoint Online has so many shiny features that now we can’t live without it!Ray Bann, Accounts Payable, Pear Inc.
Customization and Automation
SharePoint offers Pear the option to implement customizations to the look and the functionality of the intranet website. Pear worked with Regroove to create a stunning on-brand design that helped staff feel at home in their new home base.
It can also offer integration with automatic business processes using Power Automate and Power Apps. This allows Pear to have business processes run consistently and quietly in the background.
One customization that greatly enhanced the user experience was the installation of a custom navigation extension. Navo, a unified navigation system built by Regroove, provided a centrally managed menu. This allowed staff to easily search for and navigate to the different sites they had access to by menu or by keyword. This filled a gap in the out-of-the-box intranet navigation experience that SharePoint provides.
Outcome and Benefits
Pear now has a hub where employees can quickly find reliable information and collaborate on different documents they needed throughout the workday.
The ability to work remotely was improved as the intranet supplied a virtual space where users could find information and check-in remotely.
Employee engagement improved as all staff are interacting with the same service in a centralized manner, rather than in isolation.
There is stronger knowledge flow internally with accurate information delivered in real time to the correct audiences.
Knowledge management has also improved, as documents are always up to date. Streamlined collaboration and feedback allows employees to contribute easily without breaking the versioning or duplicating resources.
The company has greater transparency for when a document was last updated and by whom. This removes the need for asking repetitive questions and long email chains requesting updates about documentation.
The advanced security and permission settings make sure that only the correct people have access to edit the resources.
The reliability of document management has increased ten-fold using the new intranet.
Finally, resources are much more easily managed and found, with Navo helping point the way to key sources.
All in all, the custom intranet that Regroove built allowed Pear to save time and money, reducing the time it takes to communicate and find resources, while allowing for easier navigation and collaboration.
This solution was built using:
- Microsoft Office 365
- Navo by Regroove
- Blog: Meet Pear