Our client is one of Australia’s largest professional service providers and a leading provider of assurance, advisory, taxation and consulting services.





Professional services

Organisation Size





SharePoint Online, Viva Connections


The core purpose of any intranet is to connect employees to the right information and tools to enable them to work effectively.

With our client’s existing intranet soon to become non-compliant, their Digital Collaboration & Innovation team were in search of a new platform to provide its 10,000+ Australian employees with a modern digital employee experience to enhance productivity and support internal business processes.

With proven experience in developing award-winning digital workplaces, Engage Squared worked to deliver an employee-centric focused intranet to make a non-compliant intranet fit for today’s modern world.

The challenge

When designed well, an intranet acts as a digital front door to connect employees and foster a culture of inclusivity. With published articles able to reach thousands of employees in one click, ease of access to documentation anywhere, anytime, and the simplicity of performing daily tasks all through one platform, the intranet has never worn so many hats for dispersed teams.

Our client’s intranet was soon to be non-compliant, allowing them the chance to redesign what success looked like for their digital home and how their 10,000+ Australian workforce felt connected, productive and informed. Using this as an opportunity to conduct their own discovery activities, our client captured early employee feedback to use as a basis of what their new intranet should address.

Their objectives from this exercise included:

  • An engaging and relevant information source for organisational and leadership issues.
  • Supporting people and partners by connecting and collaborating the organisation through channels of two-way feedback.
  • Allowing people to focus on serving clients through optimisation of admin related responsibilities.
“I need a ‘one-stop-shop’ that is my landing source of truth for all things news and tool related.”
User quote from research

Our approach

With their own research providing a helpful insight into the underlying pain points of their intranet, we began with our own discovery phase. This allowed us to gather feedback from multiple departments, across various channels, so we could review their requirements at a holistic level and offer our expert advice on research captured first hand.

We ran this discovery phase through four main activities:

  • Surveys – We ran companywide surveys to collect feedback on the current environment and what the expectation requirements were of what the new solution should provide.
  • User research – We created prototype personas from the survey and built these out by using our research (this consisted of focus groups, SME workshops and 1:1 interviews), to present our findings and recommendations report.
  • Analysis & Analytics – Using usage and search analytics data, we used this to understand how users were using their existing intranet and the top tasks being performed.
  • Navigation testing – Lastly, we asked users to complete a card sort and/or tree jack test, to help us understand how users were navigating pages and which categories worked for them.​

Together with our client’s own research, this discovery phase soon determined that their new intranet needed to prioritise employee workflow and keep up with a dynamic global environment and evolving ways of working.

The 'Rose, Thorn, Bud' approach was used within our workshops to understand the pain points and desires of employees

Our solution

With an existing investment in M365 licenses, SharePoint Online was a natural fit to ensure BAU costs were kept to a minimum and allowed for a seamless migration of existing content with minimal disruption.

Out-of-the-box components were included to enhance the user experience and improve workflow, whilst the introduction of Viva Connections would reduce the time spent searching for information and would provide easy access for top tasks using the dashboard cards. To achieve custom functionality, we recommended several of Engage Squared’s Intranet Accelerator components, including homepage alerts, page feedback and custom events.

Design phase

From here, the team moved into the design phase, ensuring both a technical and a visual perspective were factors of the designs created. The technical design considered the ease of use, evergreen technology landscape, user requirements, search function and integration, whilst the visual design considered the user needs and digital journey.

We created four main pillars to underpin our proposed designs:

  • User centric design – To visually represent the key functionality and UI of the solution, we created UI designs based on UX and UI best practices before developing high-fidelity mock-ups, wireframes, and hi-fi screens to be tested and vetted for usability without risk to the investment.
  • Technical design – We ran a series of workshops to elicit and define both functional and non-functional requirements. We also identified any integrations to include and developed a clean information architecture.
  • Content design – Using insights form our user research, we developed graphic designs for up to 5 key page templates and created page template to align with their content strategy.
  • Content governance and automation – We worked with content owners to implement a modern approach to content governance supported by automation. We built content governance workflows that ensure all content authors are tasked with reviewing their content within agreed review periods. Additionally, a second governance workflow archives appropriate content monthly ensuring the intranet is free of ROT (redundant, out dated and trivial) content.

Build phase

Over the next 10 weeks, our team worked closely with our client to ensure feedback collected within the discovery phase was being addressed and company objectives were achieved. The phase included rigorous QA and UAT with final sign-off from the client.

The build phase included:

  • Setting up the environment
  • Deployment of key information architecture structures
  • Search configuration
  • Page template creation
  • Configuration activities
  • Building flows
  • Deploying out-the-box components
  • Deploying custom components created to solve complex challenges
  • Content governance and automation
Source: Microsoft - Viva Connections

The result

The final result has successfully addressed all previous issues our client was experiencing and achieved all objectives set out in the beginning.

With collaboration now easier than ever, information easy to find, and users able to identify and perform tasks, easier and quicker than before thanks to the Viva Connections dashboard cards, this intranet has been designed with its people at the heart of what it does.

Key features include:

  • A fit-for-purpose and beautiful design
  • Easy to use content upload for content authors
  • Governance underpinning the entirety of the solution
  • Top tasks applied to different personas
  • Dashboard cards via Viva Connections
  • Personalised and smart search to deliver accurate and relevant search experiences

The cost implications of having this project delivered by Engage Squared have also been met with praise. Our client reported final project costs of just 1/3 of what they projected, had the same work been carried out internally. Furthermore, by maximising their investment in M365, it has kept their users within the Microsoft eco-system and has allowed adoption to be as simplified as possible.

However, the real hero in this story is the time saved that this new solution has provided. Employees are now optimising their time and workflow allowing them to focus on their clients and not waste valuable time on finding relevant information and performing administrative tasks that have been made easier and freed up their time, maximizing utilisation of their existing investments.

The impact

With 1.3m views within the first 10 days of launch and positive user feedback through a companywide survey, the impact numbers represent the positive transformation our client has experienced.

  • A single phase rollout to the Australian-based organisation
  • 1,285,071 views in the first 10 days
  • A reported saving of 60% using our services vs internal resources
  • Maximized investment using M365 licenses
  • A reduction in content pages and admin overhead
  • Automated governance to ensure secure content lifecycle management
  • Reduced BAU costs by leveraging out-of-the-box capabilities
  • An engaging intranet employees enjoy using based on feedback
  • Relevant organisational and leadership information easily sourced
  • ​Improved connection and collaborating two-way feedback ​channels
  • Admin-related responsibilities reduced, allowing client work to remain the priority
“Great work team, massive improvement, thank you!”
User quote after launch

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