Case Study: Productivity soars as ATO wins back 55,000 hours a year with ‘Intranet Accelerator’


  • 55,000 hours per year in effort regained
  • Innovation platform launched across ATO
  • $1.5M per year in annual ROI realised

The Australian Taxation Office (ATO) is the Australian Government’s main revenue collection agency, with a work-force of 25,000+ employees, spread across 36 locations across the country. Maintaining strong connectivity between staff and departments, upholding transparency, and ensuring business data was easily found and highly accessible were all areas of opportunity.

The ATO recognised an enterprise portal and collaboration platform—a “modern intranet”— would unite the organisation across their geographical and departmental borders and allow them to move much of their data off aging, siloed technologies and into the Office 365 cloud. Engage Squared assisted them in the project and together they delivered a solution that created huge gains in productivity and started a new era of employee engagement and satisfaction.


In order to search for users and provide staff regular communications across the organisation, the ATO was operating across three different platforms that worked in isolation from one another.  The existing systems did not take full advantage of modern browsers. There was a lack of transparency between departments and important internal news was segregated into multiple channels throughout the organisation. Employees were inundated with emails containing updates and project information, with a significant number of the messages having no relevancy to their division.

Accessing employee information was a frustrating and lengthy process, as the various data associated with a single individual was stored on multiple systems and often had to be collected from more than one place.

There was a social disconnect across the organisation, largely driven by the difficulty in finding and connecting with colleagues, coupled with the lack of a centralised platform for accessing internal documents and sharing important news and updates.

Ongoing use of siloed legacy platforms was making capturing and reusing knowledge efficiently a challenge. The internal user experience did not live up to the standard set by the user experience ATO provided to the public.

Engage Squared demystified the process and technology. Our people are really excited by the new intranet that will connect them across the region and deliver business  outcomes in a new and flexible way.

– Scott Keane, Director of Digital Projects, Australian Taxation Office

Solution Strategy

Engage Squared were chosen by the ATO as part of a closed tender process to deliver an Office 365/SharePoint Online Intranet. The aim of the intranet was to create a single source of truth for relevant news and information for the ATO workforce. Additionally, this would help to improve communication and connectivity across the broader organisation by utilising the platform to create networks and connections, as well as foster greater knowledge sharing nationally.

The project had a tight delivery timeframe of 3 months. To successfully deliver a quality solution in this short timeframe, an Agile project methodology was adopted. A Minimal Viable Product (MVP) was the goal, with Engage Squared and ATO iterating through each phase together.

Within 3 months a fully responsive, custom Office 365 SharePoint Online Intranet was deployed in the production development after extensive User Acceptance Testing. The development of a mobile, cloud-based intranet enabled ATO employees to access information from anywhere, on any device, providing their workforce with a new level of flexibility and efficiency.

A centralised platform provided a single source of truth and made the consumption of company news and project information a pleasure, rather than a chore. Content was personalised and targeted to the employee’s division and geographical location, with fresh information available on the homepage every day.

The integration of Microsoft ‘Flow’ supported a decentralised publishing model – meaning any ATO employee could create and upload content using in-built templates that maintained a uniformed ‘look and feel’. On submission, an automated approval process notified the Internal Communications team, who then reviewed and published the content to the intranet. This model reduced the burden on the Internal Communications team, while enabling a constant flow of current news and updates. The introduction of a platform where employees could proactively create and share content allowed teams to connect online in a new and exciting way, fostering  greater knowledge sharing and building networks across departments.

There was a significant decrease in the time to locate employee details through the development of an integrated ‘People Directory’, reducing search time from 1+ minutes to under 30 seconds. With 13,000+ searches completed daily, this added up to approximately 55,000 work hours a year, or 1.5M$.

This significantly improved employees’ ability to connect and build networks across their 36 branch offices, driving a more collaborative and connected workforce.

  • Customer

    Australian Taxation Office

  • Products and Services:

    SharePoint Online, PowerApps, Microsoft Flow

  • Industry:


  • Country:


Why Engage Squared?

Engage Squared is an Australian-based Microsoft Gold Partner. We’re Modern Work Specialists and have been named as the 2021 Partner of the Year for Australia. We specialise in creating <people> friendly technology.