A-Gas is a global market leader in the supply of refrigerants and associated products and services to a wide range of industries, including automotive, aviation, medical and manufacturing, among others. With over 500 employees across five continents, A-Gas wanted to bring their team together by introducing a new global intranet to become their central, go-to communication platform.

  • A-Gas Logo

Challenges

  • Disparate offices across multiple contents making it hard to build a sense of company identity
  • Different ways of working across the world with no ‘one size fits all’ approach

Goals

  • To build a central ‘go-to’ place for all employees for internal communications and collaboration
  • To allow each team to continue working in the way that suits them, while bringing people together and promoting a common identity and purpose
  • To be able to easily manage and grow their intranet in-house with a consistent look and feel

Solutions

  • A modern intranet built on SharePoint Online
  • Combination of consultancy, training and targeted custom development to give users power to create consistent pages and sites for a bottom-up approach
  • Show how to make the most of out-ofthe-box tools for maximum value
Three people in meeting room

"Chorus have been a constant support and source of exceptional knowledge from the beginning. Their consultants are consistently on hand to answer any queries or offer ideas and functionality that could be of benefit to our project objectives."

Group Brand and Marketing Manager, A-Gas

People in front of factory

Background

As a global company, A-Gas needed a scalable intranet platform that could support a cross-geographical audience and a widely expanding team. With offices around the world, they wanted to build a shared sense of belonging and to provide a global home for all employees to access internal news and to collaborate in one, central place.

Chorus and A-Gas had already been working together with Chorus providing IT managed services to the A-Gas subsidiary in the UK. With the need for a new intranet and A-Gas already using Office 365, SharePoint Online was the perfect platform choice. It is flexible to different time zones, highly user friendly and has customisation options available to suit the company’s needs.

SharePoint Online has evolved rapidly as a communication platform over the past year or two and comes with a much more user-focused approach,” explains Jason Lee, SharePoint Architect at Chorus. “We were keen to take advantage of these new features and the new modern sites capabilities for this project.”

The new modern team and communication sites are responsive, have a much cleaner user interface (UI) and most importantly, provide an intuitive publishing experience for content creators.

Three people in a meeting room chatting

Putting users first

Hayley Russell, Group Brand and Marketing Manager at A-Gas explains, “One of the best features of the intranet is how user friendly it is, especially for our Content Managers that are based across the globe with varying levels of intranet experience.”

The challenge was establishing the best approach and architecture that allowed each department to continue working in the way that suited them, while connecting all the teams together. Historically, a ‘top down’ approach has been taken with SharePoint, but this can lead to a lack of ownership and a feeling of having a system imposed on users. After discovery sessions, Chorus recommended a ‘bottom up’ approach, where users are trained on SharePoint and Office 365 empowered to create their own sites based on business function ownership. The owners of these sites can request that their sites or content are promoted on regional communication sites. In turn, the owners of these regional communication sites can request that their content is promoted on the top-level intranet site.

Two men with gas cannisters

Keeping consistent branding

“We wanted to enable A-Gas to get the maximum return from the tools available within their Office 365 subscription through a combination of training, consultancy and carefully-focused custom development,” says Jason. To ensure consistency, Chorus developed site designs and site scripts that automatically apply the A-Gas look and feel whenever a new site is created. The new hub sites’ capability in SharePoint Online helps in this regard by providing a global navigation across the top-level communication sites.

“One of the main benefits has been the ability to brand the site in accordance with our brand specification,” explains Hayley. “This enables a seamless user experience as our employees move across the site.”

As SharePoint allows on-demand site creation, users have the power to build sites, empowered with the tools they need, which reduces the risk of shadow IT. This value of ‘enable, not impose’ meant that departments could work how they wanted while still having the support and investment from business leaders. As adoption is one of the largest challenges of a SharePoint intranet, having a bottom-up approach combined with leadership investment ensures that the site is well adopted and, perhaps more importantly, continues to grow and be used regularly.

A-Gas Intranet Homepage

Custom alert banners

While ensuring a global experience, A-Gas also needed to be able to communicate targeted messages based on location. One example, is a custom alert banner, which Chorus built to display messages to users based on office location. These alert banners, built using the latest SharePoint Framework (SPFx) development tools, display custom messages to employees, which can be pushed out globally or for specific offices to allow immediate urgent notifications to quickly be broadcast.

“Chorus have been a constant support and source of exceptional knowledge from the beginning. Their consultants are consistently on hand to answer any queries or offer ideas and functionality that could be of benefit to our project objectives,” says Hayley. “They have gone above and beyond to ensure this project has been a success and we would highly recommend their services to others.”

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