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Multi-national Venture Capital Firm

Office 365 Tenant Migration & Architecture Design

 
Background

We were brought on as IT consultants by a venture capital firm that provides equity capital to young companies. The firm acts as a general partner to various investors in the United States and United Kingdom.  The venture capital firm had gone through a name and organizational change.  With its name change, the firm purchased a new Office 365 Business Enterprise tenant and wanted to use this opportunity to restructure and organize their firm intranet and expand the collaboration features of SharePoint Online to better serve their United Kingdom team and provide a secure way to collaborate with their external partners.

Challenges

There were several challenges the firm faced with the legacy intranet that they wanted to address and rectify before moving to the new Office 365 tenant:

  • Increase intranet visibility and usage among staff and partners in both countries.

    • Many users are unaware of or do not use, the firm’s intranet to access or store documents.  

    • Teams rely on traditional communication tools like email and their desktops or hard drive to store information.

    • Users often work from different versions of the same document.

 

  • Users have trouble moving content from one library to another (i.e., the use of Windows Explorer to copy files).

  • One Drive sync does not work consistently as designed so it has turned users off from using it.

  • There is a lack of user understanding of how both SharePoint Online and One Drive can be used.

  • Document hyperlinks continued to reference the old firm name; confusing users that attempted to save documents offline to be synced to SharePoint later.

Approach

As subject matter experts in both Office 365, SharePoint Online, and designing intranets, the i5 team took a step-by-step approach to this project to prepare the firm’s leadership and its staff for the changes and to complete them with as little disruption to their day-to-day operations as possible. 

First, we started with what we like to a call a digital “yard sale” by meeting with the individual teams and performing an analysis and cleanup of their existing data.  This gave the staff the opportunity to take a close look at what files they needed to keep, purge outdated data, and decide on the best way to organize relevant data in the new environment. 

Next, we made recommendations related to the firm’s options for a cost-effective enterprise migration tool and prepared their legacy intranet for migration. We performed a complete redesign of the architecture of the firm’s site collection to create a more functional intranet rather than an organizational intranet.  We consolidated and streamlined more than 100 subsites, over 40 of which contained outdated content, and more than 150 SharePoint security groups with permission redundancy, down to a well-organized site collection of 45 sites and an easy to maintain SharePoint permission group structure of 50 security groups.  Additionally, we trained the staff on using metadata to classify documents in document libraries as many of them complained of being unable to quickly find documents in a deep folder structure.   

 

Finally, we developed a customized user guide and provided hands-on training to the U.S. and U.K. staff on the features and functions of SharePoint Online and how it interacts with One Drive.  To maximize efficiencies, including costs,  we took a train-the-trainer approach by training a small group of power users who would, in turn, train the rest of the staff at a convenient time for the firm.  

Outcome

With a new, fully-functional, and well-organized intranet, providing the firm with customized and comprehensive user training increased the value of their tools exponentially.  As a result, the firm had a better understanding of how to fully leverage the out-of-the-box capabilities on their SharePoint-based intranet without spending extra money on third-party tools.  They learned how to share content, securely, with their external partners without sacrificing the integrity of their firm’s data. This also led to an increase in the staff’s usage of the intranet a better understanding of how to use One Drive and sync.  In collaborating with their internal and external partners, the firm was able to reduce data redundancy and work from updated versions of documents in real-time.     

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NAVAL SEA SYSTEMS COMMAND
(NAVSEA Headquarters)

Workforce IT Solutions Support

 
Background

i5 Technology Group was brought on as a subcontractor to manage and execute multiple task orders for services including, but not limited to, managing current, and building future, capabilities on the NAVSEA’s enterprise platform, iNAVSEA.  

We supported the NAVSEA Chief Strategy Office (SEA 00X), Chief of Staff (SEA COS), Command Administrative Services (SEA 00A), and Corporate Operations and Total Force (TF) Directorate (SEA 10)’s mission by maintaining the overall health and performance of the Command’s administrative and workforce custom application; facilitating cross-organizational communication for the development of enterprise tools; and the strategic planning for future migrations and upgrades. 

 

Workforce Support 
Employee Rotational Assignment Tool

In support of the Command’s goal to create and maintain a workforce that operates to meet the demands of the NAVSEA customer as efficiently and cost-effectively as possible, the i5 team developed a rotational assignment management tool on the Command’s intranet, iNAVSEA to facilitate the program.  The RA management tool served a select group within the NAVSEA and Shipyard community as a resource for information about available rotational assignments and provided an online tool to submit applications directly to the posted rotational assignment currently seeking applicants.  

We met with representatives from the six participating programs to gather business and functional requirements and to identify the target audience. We developed the Rotational Assignments Management site and met the following objectives: 

•    Provided a central repository of resource documents for NAVSEA employees interested in a rotational assignment.
•    Provided a catalog of developmental rotational assignments for NAVSEA employees to use as a decision-making tool.
•    Allowed candidates to apply online to a rotational assignment directly, alert their supervisors when an application has been submitted and allow candidates to follow the progress of their application.
Having a central, online tool to manage these rotational assignments gave employees visibility into career development opportunities such as training courses, mentoring, and full-time and temporary assignments while providing supervisors and managers with transparency into the career paths of their employees.  

 

 

Bring A Child To Work Day Registration and Event Management Portal

NAVSEA SEA 00A provides administrative and management services to SEA 00 and all components of NAVSEA Headquarters.  SEA 00A is responsible for administrative support that meets Command objectives and as a part of those objectives oversees the annual Bring a Child to Work Day event.  The Bring A Child To Work Day is an annual event hosted by the NAVSEA Staff within the SEA 00A office. 

As the lead development team, i5 developed a SharePoint-based online event registration tool that allowed NAVSEA staff and contractors to register to participate in BACTWD touring events by age group, select their child’s lunch option, and submit a signed consent form for the event.  

For the administration of the registration tool, it allowed BACTWD organizers to track and export headcounts for each touring session, track the count of each meal selection, and payments received from participating employees. 

The BACTWD Registration and Event Management Portal was a great asset to the planning and managing of this annual NAVSEA event by:

  • Contained built-in controls to prevent overbooking of sessions

  • Sent automated email confirmations to registrants with a custom schedule of their selected events for convenience

  • Gave NAVSEA staff and contractors the ability to select age-appropriate events for their children

  • Provided a cost-saving and efficient way to count attendees and the number of meals, preventing the command from buying food in excess

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U.S. MARSHALS SERVICE

M365 Cloud & SharePoint Platform Management, Development, and Migration Support

 
Background

The United States Marshal Service (USMS) headquarters is located in Arlington, VA and the 94 USMS District offices have sub-offices in more than 450 geographical dispersed staffed sites throughout the United States, Alaska, Guam, the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands, Mexico, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, Hawaii, and the Virgin Islands. The USMS Information Technology Development Branch provides application/technology development, market research, business process assessments, business case analysis, web (Intranet & Internet), and production-level support with the goal of delivering quality COTS, local applications, and technology solutions supporting the USMS mission and strategic goals.

 

i5 Technology Group was awarded its second, 5-year contract as a subcontractor to the USMS IT Development Branch (ITD) providing management and oversight for the 2010-2016 SharePoint Migration; planning and managing new development in the M365 GCC High Cloud; maintaining the overall health and performance of the SP platform; facilitating cross-organizational communication for the development of enterprise tools; stand up and oversight of the SharePoint governance process; and strategic planning for future migrations and upgrades.

 

Synopsis

We worked with the Strategic National Stockpile team to modernize the process of capturing and reporting its daily activities in support of the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS).  The mission of this team is to maintain and ensure the secure delivery of critical medical countermeasures in the event of large-scale public health emergencies, including the transportation of the COVID-19 vaccine. 

Challenges

They are dispersed across multiple field offices in the U.S. with officers and inspectors working on-site and in the field.  They use PDF forms to report on daily and weekly activities which are emailed to their leadership for review and approval, a spreadsheet to manually compile all the data points of each form into one “dashboard” view monthly, and a shared drive is used to store the data.

Challenges
  • Multiple paper forms and spreadsheets to capture data points

  • There are three PDF forms to capture the following:

    • Weekly exercises, contacts, training, meetings, security, and law enforcement events

    • After action reports for significant events

    • Deputy collateral activities

  • There is a redundancy of information captured in each form.

  • It can be challenging for field inspectors to complete PDF forms in the field, often waiting until they are in their respective offices to complete paperwork. 

  • Manual compilation of data from sources to deliver complete reporting to senior SNS leadership and the CDC.

 

Between the three sources, the SNS team leadership is required to provide reports to their business integration center and agencies within HHS.  This information is compiled manually from each source into a spreadsheet, requiring the team to enter some 100 points of data for each reporting officer or deputy.

Approach

We decided to use PowerApps to develop custom forms for data entry and Power Automate to automate the process of approving after action reports and reporting.  The process for reviewing and approving AARs automated notifications to chiefs to their request review and signature, included the capability to digitally sign AARs and sent an automated email confirmation when the AAR review was complete.  This provided a low/no-code, turnkey solution in the cloud with accessibility from both stationary and mobile devices. 

We used SharePoint lists as the backend data sources for capturing and storing the data which provided several benefits to the SNS team:

  • Accessible from any place; in the field or the office

  • A central location for the data, ensuring the accuracy and continuity of information across all reports

  • Immediate ability to make changes to drop menu selections in their forms without reliance on IT to make changes

  • Multiple options to extract and manipulate the data for different types of reports depending on the requirement     

    • Online filtering and grouping capabilities within the portal so inspectors can view their weekly statistics easily

    • Ability to export to Excel and share with external sources

    • Develop powerful dashboards with Power BI to display and/or share externally with leadership and partnering agencies

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