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SharePoint upgrade for leading childhood education provider BestStart

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BestStart, New Zealand's largest provider of early childhood education, now has over 270 centres nationwide and is licensed to educate and care for 15,000 full-time children daily. To keep up with their continued growth, they proactively seek out new tech to meet their needs.

Challenges 

BestStart were relying on an on-premises classic SharePoint nearing a decade old. Their document management and document search had become unwieldy, with numerous issues: 

  • The SharePoint framework was customised with a plethora of bespoke code, meaning that any updates from Microsoft required "fixes", often with more custom code.  
  • Continual fixes meant reduced speed and poor navigability across the tenant. 
  • Increasing frustration amongst centre managers who needed a modern, faster system. 

 

Introducing Microsoft SharePoint Online 

BestStart decided to upgrade to SharePoint Online – a modern, cloud-based solution that would allow them to collaborate and share information across the organisation. It would also allow them to:  

  • Introduce governance and strategic controls. 
  • Support compliance obligations. 
  • Improve end-user experience with easy access to information and resources. 
  • Create an intranet for their team.  

 

Workshops & planning 

Through a series of workshops together, we walked through the current business processes, identified documents to be migrated, and decided where they should be located.  

We also delivered 'train the trainer' sessions, so that BestStart had knowledge experts within the organisation. Sean O'Donaghue, IT Manager, BestStart:  

"Our training with Theta on the Modern SharePoint framework was well executed by a knowledgeable team. That team was able to articulate key concepts to our users in a manner that was fit for purpose for our organisation. Technical concepts were broken down into easy to grasp components, ensuring our team left the workshops feeling empowered."

Results 

  • Faster document searches.  
  • Improved governance has created more trust in returned search results. 
  • Tighter control over important documents, policies, and procedures.   
  • Improved accountability and visibility for those responsible for maintaining critical documents. 
  • A fully mobile responsive intranet – in line with BestStart's "mobile-first" strategy.  
  • Ability to integrate Microsoft Power Platform. 

 

Next stop, chatbot 

BestStart is now looking to integrate a chatbot into their SharePoint to further assist users with search queries.