SharePoint Staff Portal

Tools and Technologies

  • Microsoft Office 365

  • Microsoft SharePoint

  • Microsoft SharePoint Designer

  • Microsoft Power BI

  • Microsoft OneNote & OneDrive

CLIENT: University of Exeter (UoE)
CONTACT: Ray Spicer
Project Manager
INDUSTRY: Further Education


The University of Exeter combines teaching excellence and high levels of student satisfaction with world class research at their campuses in Exeter and Cornwall. They are a member of the Russell Group of leading research-intensive universities. Success is built on a strong partnership with students and a clear focus on high performance.

The Challenges

Creating a staff portal for the storage, cataloguing and retrieval of documentation.

Serving a possible 4,500 staff, the existing portal content was out of date and the platform was coming to the end of its natural operational effectiveness. Additionally, it lacked the ability for a taxonomy and other features that are built into Microsoft SharePoint.

Our role was to define the requirements and deliver a scope and design for the new staff portal, with a focus on usability, search and collaboration.

The OfficeLabs Solution

Our business analysts began with discovery of who would be using the portal, how they would wish to use it, and what sort of data would be stored, shared and collaborated on. A crucial part of the analysis was to discover which parts of the existing portal were still in use, and how best to transition these functioning areas over to the new system with the minimum of disruption.

At UoE there was a conscious shift away from the physical workplace, replacing it with a device agnostic, work anywhere approach. The forward vision of this was therefore “work on whatever you like, wherever you like.”

The impact that an effective gateway to information can have is immense; all staff off site or onsite will utilise the functions daily, even if in some cases they don’t even know it. Incorporating collaborative features into everyday working practices will benefit the entire organisation. The ability for users to have clear and defined task lists will highlight areas of pressure and bottlenecks, and result in effective work management. In effect, every member of staff that uses a computer will be affected positively by this solution.

Specifically, we looked at how the introduction of out-of-the-box capabilities such as task lists and calendars would provide immediate benefits to the working practices of the staff.

Our deliverable was a full and comprehensive set of documents, which considered the options, resources, features, design and effort required to produce a fully functional staff portal.

Business Benefits

By analysing the way staff worked with information on a day-to-day basis and their current working practices, combined with our knowledge of the Microsoft Office 365 product, we could give insight into the design of how an electronic portal and data repository would flourish and support the people who would be using it.

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