Create IT’s Collaborative Solution approaches geographies and streamlines communication in Ascendum Group

The solution implemented by Create IT has strengthened collaboration, involvement, commitment and knowledge sharing among all employees of Ascendum (1400 in 18 countries), through a more agile and real-time communication, based on a centralized and easy to use online platform (intranet).

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Ascendum Locations

The Challenge

Ascendum, one of the largest suppliers of equipment solutions for infrastructure and construction, operating in 18 countries, was looking for a collaborative solution that would help getting geographies closer and leveraging communication between all its 1,350 employees, as well as promote the proximity with the administration.

The main challenges were to be able to present, in a structured and centralized way, relevant information to employees; integrate the communication and collaboration infrastructure of several countries; and promote the sharing of knowledge and information among all employees, creating a productive collaborative environment.

"There was a need for a solution to share general information about the group, as well as guidelines that top management wants to ensure that are received simultaneously by all employees. In addition, we wanted to also stimulate informal sharing of information, easily and immediately, between all employees", explains Rui Galamba, IT & Business Development Director at Ascendum.

Ascendum Intranet

The Solution

The solution designed by Create IT for Ascendum's challenges resulted in the development of an online portal (intranet) based on the Office 365 tools where Yammer plays a predominant role. As a Microsoft Gold Partner for 4 skills ( 'Application Development', 'Application Integration', 'Collaboration and Content' and 'Cloud Platform') and a wide experience in similar projects, the option for Create IT came naturally and had Microsoft's recommendation. 

"We were invited by Ascendum to do a proof of concept based on Yammer and Skype tools as a communication support to teams from different continents. The proof of concept was a success and, from there, we set up a project for the entire organization", said Raul Ribeiro, Create IT's Project Sponsor. 

Create IT solution aimed to take full advantage of Office 365 technologies, with special focus on SharePoint and Yammer platforms, and was based on three fundamental pillars:

  • A social intranet for sharing information that was dispersed, allowing a faster collaboration
  • A classic intranet for sharing more structured and reviewed information, and top-down corporate communication
  • Integration between the previous two and the office collaboration tools (Office 365)
Ascendum's Intranet

Luís Belo, Technical Manager at Create IT, says that "We have established points of communication and information sharing not only between the board of Ascendum and the teams geographically distributed, but also between the teams, as a way of bringing the active participation to the search for solutions in their day-to-day work".

Create IT approach allowed scale economies in terms of licensing, with a significant cost reduction, and the total alignment with the infrastructure services outsourcing strategy (cloud services tailored to the geographical dispersion of Ascendum), as well as accelerate the consolidation and adaptation processes of the Yammer platform to the internal communication strategy of Ascendum.

It is further noted that for Ascendum it was critical that the content management system was sufficiently user friendly to be able to distribute the responsibility for the contents to different profiles. "We delegate part of this creation and insertion of more structured contents to different geographies and different people, with distinct profiles and functional and technical capabilities. It was therefore essential that everything was fast and simple", reveals Rui Galamba.

"Throughout the project, Create IT successfully addressed to specific challenges that were appearing and always worked in a true partnership with Ascendum, having also invested in analysis and research, which allowed to achieve all the goals initially set", highlights Rui Galamba.

Ascendum Intranet

The Results

The main added value of the project was the spirit of unity brought to Ascendum, an organization of large dimension and major cultural and geographical differences.

"With the new portal, Ascendum managed to approach and increase collaboration between teams, and improved the way subsidiaries communicate with each other. It empowered our employees with more information and strengthened team spirit. Regarding quantitative gains, it's difficult to measure in the short term. Ultimately, the intranet is likely to be reflected in a lower attrition rate, but this direct relation is always difficult to measure", says Rui Galamba.

The success of the project resulted in a partnership for ongoing maintenance and continuous improvement between Ascendum and Create IT, which is now the Office 365 Ascendum partner.

"As typical at Create IT, we worked in a single team concept, where there is close proximity and alignment among all. Nothing gives us greater satisfaction than see the before and after, the current motivation of people, the way they began to interact and communicate regardless of their location, and how we all contributed to a better Ascendum", concludes Maria João Ferreira, manager of the project.

Ascendum Intranet

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