Special Olympics Canada’s internal communications needed a new, flexible extranet solution to bring together their federated organization of central office staff, Chapter employees and volunteers across Canada.
- Industry: Charity
- Country: Canada
- Company Size: >200, plus 20,000 volunteers
Special Olympics Canada’s (SOC) complex federated structure includes a national body and 12 provincial chapters, divided into several departments, as well as over 20,000 volunteers.
Despite having an old site based on SharePoint, the organization had become reliant on numerous unchecked Dropbox accounts and email for information sharing. This meant that files were difficult to locate and track.
They needed a platform with flexible security and architecture which would allow them to share the right information, to the right people, at the right time, across the different layers of the organization.
As SOC already had experience using SharePoint, and because of their requirement for flexible security and architecture, Valo Premium Partner Creospark recommended Valo Extranet.
Valo’s Mega Menu feature gave the flexibility SOC needed to achieve their overarching goal of providing a single site for sharing information with the Chapters but also allowed for setting permissions, so the relevant information was shared only with the relevant people.
Due to Valo’s flexible platform, Creospark were also able to add Microsoft Teams to the site allowing Chapters to contribute too.
As a charity, SOC was eligible for both Microsoft for Nonprofits, and Valo and Creospark’s charity pricing, which made the project very affordable.
- Cloud-based extranet built on SharePoint
- Benefits from Microsoft for Nonprofits and Valo’s charity pricing
- Mega Menu feature delivers the right information, to the right people, at the right time
- Flexible platform makes for future-proof extranet
- Single site for better communication
Complex structure simplified by Valo’s flexible Mega Menu feature
One of the key reasons Creospark recommended Valo Extranet as the right solution for SOC was the flexibility of the Mega Menu feature to deliver the multi-layered structure the organization required. The combination of head office staff, Chapter employees and volunteers meant security and architecture had to be super flexible to all accommodate different permissions settings.
Creospark set up security groups to assign different permissions according to access requirements, so everyone has the same single entry point with the same menu, then once people begin to drill down, they can only see the content that is intended for them.
This single point of entry was one of the main goals that SOC was hoping to achieve from the project, in addition to architecture that would be logical for all staff and volunteers to find the information they need.
The Chapters are going to be the ones that really benefit from Valo Extranet because now they only have one place to go to get information.
Flexible platform allows for phased development and future-proofing
SOC was keen to take a phased approach in introducing the extranet across the organization, starting with the Sport department. The flexibility of the Valo Extranet platform really allows for this, including during phase one when it became apparent that Microsoft Teams was required to allow two-way communication and content sharing between the National Office and the Provincial/Territorial Chapters.
What had initially started as a project to feed information and documents to the Chapters turned into something more collaborative once employees began to realise what the platform was capable of. This flexibility is something the organization is optimistic about in terms of future-proofing their investment.
Valo Extranet will allow us to grow. People are already starting to ask, “Hey, could we do this? Hey, could we do that?” The answer is going to be “yes” to a lot of those things, because of the functionality that’s there.
Valo increases communication during Covid-19 lockdown
Another benefit of the out-of-scope addition of Valo Extranet within Microsoft Teams has been increased communication during the pandemic.
Despite the Provincial/Territorial Chapters being geographically remote, SOC has found that communication has increased during a time when programs and events have been suspended. “Valo has been a phenomenal help during this time,“ added Denise Strong.
Is your (not-for-profit) organization looking to enhance your SharePoint platform and improve employee engagement? If so, let’s discuss how our solutions add value to basic SharePoint and Microsoft Teams.
Or find out more about how Valo Extranet enhances SharePoint in our blog post here.