By deploying SharePoint Server 2013, the group created a cross-company collaboration platform that unites its different divisions, promotes more cohesive and efficient work and enables a strategy focused on creating synergies between its operations.
Since those early days, the company has gone from strength to strength; expanding further into the food industry and beyond. This growth and development have mirrored the country’s economic development. In the 1990s, Food & Allied Group moved beyond the Mauritian territory and set up operations in Madagascar.
Today it has a wide range of operations in areas as diverse as logistics, business services, hotels and training and education, while still retaining a strong foothold in the food industry and farming. The company also has operations in Kenya.
With 20 companies within the group, communication is important not only for sharing corporate information, but also for enabling management and employee interaction and creating standardized corporate documents.
Faced with continued growth, the company revisited the idea of an intranet. However, this time it wanted to expand beyond a communications tool to a collaboration platform. Because of its earlier experience, it wanted a platform that would be innately intuitive for both end-users and those responsible for creating and uploading content.
Hans Poonith, Group Process and Technical Manager, Food & Allied Group explains, “We learned from our earlier experience and, as a result, put out a tender that emphasized the need for a platform that wasn’t technically complex and one that could be easily shaped and customized to suit our specific needs.”
“User experience was of prime importance for us. We wanted the tool to be user-friendly and attractive in terms of design and layout,” says Pauline Etienne-Cavalot, Corporate Brand Manager.
Following an extensive appraisal, the company chose FRCI, a Mauritian-based IT services provider and certified Microsoft partner. Akthar Dilmohamud, Manager, FRCI says, “It was clear that the company needed a comprehensive collaboration platform that was much more than an intranet.
However, it was also vitally important that any such platform should be easy to navigate and easy to customize to meet new and emerging needs. As a result, we recommended a collaboration platform built on SharePoint Server Enterprise 2013 with SQL Server 2013 as a back-end server.”
FRCI’s extensive experience with the technology and in developing communications and collaboration platforms using SharePoint were among the arguments that led Food & Allied to choose the company as a strategic partner. As the group was also looking for intuitive ease-of-use and easy customization (especially within the context of using the intranet to enhance corporate identity), FRCI’s experience with web design was another benefit of having them on board.”
SharePoint Server 2013 Enterprise is designed to fuse enterprise business intelligence with web content management features and centralize access to enterprise information and applications. It stores, tracks and manages electronic documents and assets and integrates with Office tools, Office apps on mobile devices and Office web apps. In short, it provides an online repository for the collection and dissemination of company information, while also enabling cross-company collaboration.
“SharePoint Server 2013 is a great collaboration platform. We’ve created 20 communities across the platform, and it is being widely used by about 250 people. All the information is centralized and easily available. We can manage projects across companies more easily, create synergies across the companies and knowledge sharing is significantly enhanced,” says Hans Poonith.
For Pauline Etienne-Cavalot, “The new intranet enabled the group to create new features useful to our employees. Moreover, we now have a more dynamic and interactive tool where people can comment directly on some of the news. This has led to more visits on this site. With this intranet, we managed to reinforce our ‘status’ as a group.”
The key benefits of using Microsoft SharePoint Server include:
The new intranet enabled the group to create new features useful to our employees. Moreover, we now have a more dynamic and interactive tool, where people can comment directly on some of the news. This has led to more visits on this site. With this intranet, we managed to reinforce our ‘status’ as a group.