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Located in Saint-Herblain near Nantes, REALITES is a major and disruptive player in new real estate in the west of France and throughout other regions. The company comprises a diversified portfolio of businesses that have expanded through organic growth. With its rapid expansion and a fast-grow¬ing workforce, the limitations of its internal communications and informa¬tion management systems was increasingly proving a constraint to everyday operations. As part of a strategic project to create and empower a more agile, responsive organisation, REALITES implemented Workplace Go, a powerful collaboration solution from Konica Minolta. Built on the Microsoft Office 365 platform, the fully customisable solution allowed REALITES to meet their specific communication, collaboration and productivity needs.
There comes a time when most businesses go beyond the configuration of the IT infrastructure that helped launch their early successes. It is in this situation that REALITES found itself as it grew through diversification. Its old information exchange system was becoming more and more an obstacle to collaboration and information sharing: its 350 users were confronted with the difficulties of access to information by the multiplicity of support and different versions: mails, old internalised intranet, visibility of versions.
One of the main challenges was its existing intranet. “It had become unattractive and was only used to access network links or real estate development files. This existing system no longer met the needs of cohesion and sharing,” explains Nathalie Gonnard, Director Organisation and IT. This has also been problematic as the business has grown. About ten new employees join the company each month in its various subsidiaries. New processes were needed to help support new members. This growth also meant that REALITES needed a scalable internal portal that could evolve with the company.
REALITES wanted a modern infrastructure solution that would facilitate access to information internally and link internal applications via a single unified platform. In addition, they needed a solution to facilitate and improve external communication via social networks. These numerous requirements made the project a strategic priority for the company and for the new IT Director of REALITES, David Léaurant.
After identifying the need, REALITES began to assess potential solutions. As an existing customer of printing solutions, REALITES had a long-standing relationship of trust with Konica Minolta. Therefore, they were one of the first candidates to be considered for a solution like this. After a short evaluation phase, the Workplace Go demo showed that it would be perfectly suited to the company. It won an internal benchmarking test against another renowned social platform.
This solution allows companies to build a modern intranet that is, where necessary, fully customisable. It offers the advantage of combining Microsoft Office365 solutions in a unified interface to meet REALITES’ communication, collaboration and productivity needs. Thanks to its responsive design, users can connect to Workplace Go on a desktop computer, tablet or smartphone. They have a single view of key information about the company, the team and the project, internal communications and various Microsoft applications. In addition to simplifying the efficient management of daily work, Workplace Go provides a powerful unified search function to facilitate access to information. It transparently replaced a legacy system based on the SharePoint 2010 intranet. For REALITES, this powerful combination of features was ideal.
The management of REALITES recognised that the project was a strategic priority: once the decision had been made, their objective was to carry out live deployment at the latest in early 2020. Despite this very tight schedule, Konica Minolta was able to meet the challenge: a customised Workplace Go solution was planned with Konica Minolta, the project being scheduled from June to November 2019.
One of the first implementations of Workplace Go, the Konica Minolta and REALITES teams started from a relatively blank page. The project was led by the company’s IT and communications departments. During the workshops, the Konica Minolta team met with specialists from the two departments as well as with the business teams. The objective was to ensure that the intranet design reflected the real needs of the users. It was based on custom models and perfectly suited the range of user needs within the company. From the start, they worked together to define the scope of the deployment, establish a project methodology and identify the best models and widgets to use for the intranet.
In terms of knowledge transfer and training, Konica Minolta organised a two-day administrator training session, then trained an internal trainer of the REALITES team to be able to provide additional training on Workplace Go. In future, this “train the trainers” session will allow the company to offer in-person sessions and create video tutorials.
The key to the success and speed of implementation was that REALITES’ management was truly 100 percent behind the project, with Nathalie Gonnard as committed sponsor. The success of the deployment testifies to the power of relationships. Konica Minolta’s team has forged strong working relationships with their REALITES counterparts. In turn, the REALITES team was not only won over by the flexibility of the Workplace Go solution – they also appreciated the time invested by Konica Minolta. They appreciated that Konica Minolta was able to provide various solutions, including Workplace Go, as an integrator. With a Konica Minolta project manager always on site, the internal team was always able to access expert support.
From the signing of the contract to direct deployment, the project was delivered within six months. Workplace Go is now used on a daily basis by approximately 350 users and has received excellent feedback. “Our experience with Workplace Go is that it is a solution that really appeals to teams that are already using Office 365, is very easy to deploy and has a very quick return on investment for us,” concludes David Léaurant. This positive experience led REALITES to consider a second phase of the project, the implementation of new functionalities and services as well as an increase in the number of users.