Knappett Projects Inc. is a general contracting and construction company based on Vancouver Island with projects throughout British Columbia. They have been in operation since 1986, and according to company Vice President, Daniel Behrens, specialize in “residential, institutional, commercial, and civil industrial projects”. They have completed six hundred projects over the course of almost three decades and continue to work on some of the largest and most complex builds on Vancouver Island.
Knappett was using Box.com as a secure, cloud-based, file storage space. It served their needs as an inexpensive, easy-to-use repository for corporate files. Then they received a notification from Box.com administration that the licensing model was changing. Knappett would now have to pay around $25 per person per month and every staff member who wanted to access the files needed a license. This hefty annual cost for a tool that serves a single purpose as a file repository pushed Behrens to investigate other options.
Another file management pain point that needed attention involved people working externally. Anything done out of the office – by people offsite on laptops – was being saved directly to their device. If they lost a laptop, they lost everything. Knappett needed a solution that would allow them to back up data on all devices.
Furthermore, Behrens noted that the company was “struggling with finding a place where everyone in the field and the office could collaborate effectively”.
Knappett already used Microsoft 365 for email and the Microsoft Office desktop applications (Word, Excel, PowerPoint, etc.). Behrens realized their current Microsoft 365 subscription came with a file storage option included – Microsoft SharePoint. Setting up Microsoft SharePoint to act as a company intranet and file storage space made sense and would save the company a great deal of money.
Behrens setup a single SharePoint site, copied over the existing file folder structure from Box.com, and moved Knappett’s files over using a free migration tool. A data migration of that scope and caliber can be tricky and onerous, especially when attempting to do it yourself.
The migration worked, but Behrens realized things were not perfect and he could use some assistance. For example, some files did not make it over, search was surprisingly slow and – most frustratingly – managing who had permission to access certain folders was tedious and painful.
Behrens reached out to Regroove for their Microsoft 365 and SharePoint experience to address his concerns. His goal was to get SharePoint working at a level where Knappett could manage it in-house. However, conversations expanded to focus on the big picture of their needs. Regroove listened and shared their recommendations on what the best option was for addressing all three issues – file storage, backups, and org-wide collaboration – at once. They focused on recommending Microsoft apps and services available within Knappett’s existing Microsoft 365 subscription to provide more value without paying more per month. This included:
- Rearchitecting the files stored in Microsoft SharePoint into multiple SharePoint sites to immediately resolve the search and permissions challenges.
- Implementing Microsoft OneDrive to harness the power to of automatic backups of all files on all devices from anywhere with an internet connection.
- Implementing Microsoft Teams for company-wide communication and collaboration as it has a mobile app that allows people out in the field to stay connected to conversations and access files without touching a computer.
Regroove also worked with Behrens to remediate the migration process that resulted in files not making it across. Their team held a series of sessions to map out a sound site architect that considered necessary design decisions to successfully incorporate teams-connected SharePoint team sites. Sites and teams were setup and files were migrated to the correct locations. Staff then received training to answer questions and help them reimagine the way they could work using the Microsoft Teams app.
Outcome and Benefits
Upon completion of the migration, as well as the integration of SharePoint and Teams, Behrens noticed a considerable difference for Knappett’s day-to-day operations.
He outlined that, first and foremost, the fact that all their company files and communications were integrated seamlessly was an improvement over their previous way of doing things. With all their files in the Microsoft Cloud, it became much simpler for files to be backed up, saved in the correct places, and accessed for use.
Behrens also noted that communication between team members at Knappett has become a lot easier, particularly singling out the chat function of Microsoft Teams for its ease of use. Questions can be shared in a group chat, eliminating both the need to cc: a handful of people and emails flying back and forth.
Team members are sending less project-related emails as well and transferring less data back and forth. Every construction project gets a team where everything about that project is stored. Data can be accessed and used by both office workers and staff in the field without making copies.
Sharing files is much simpler for their organization. Staff are now sharing a link to a file instead of sharing duplicates of a file as email file attachments.
This seamless integration is exactly what Behrens was working towards for Knappett, and he especially appreciates the work Regroove conducted to help with their migration and integration of the Microsoft applications.
By migrating their company data to SharePoint and integrating Microsoft Teams as their main method of inter-company communication, Knappett Projects Inc. have seen considerable improvements in their ability to communicate, and their ability to access and share their company’s data.
All communications, file storage, and their email are integrated seamlessly within their Microsoft 365, and they were able to achieve this without having to purchase additional subscriptions or third-party application was a welcome bonus to them as well.
This solution was built using:
- Microsoft SharePoint
- Microsoft Teams
- Professional know-how
- Patient and meticulous data migration specialists