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  • SYNERGY | Australian University Case Study

    Home Services Team Insight Company Contact A Leading Australian University Streamlining Workflows With Nintex Summary Data Synergy simplified our clients on boarding process from 5 - 6 days to 20 Minutes Industry Education Geography Australia Consulting Nintex Workflow & Process Automation technologies SharePoint Nintex Challenges/Goals A complex staff hiring process involving manual data entry and traditional communication methods required streamlining and updating. Solution/Approach The deployment of SharePoint with a few third party software components delivered huge time savings and streamlined processes between departments. This is done by via a Nintex Workflow which drives the approval and rework requirements of the business process. Results A hiring cycle that would often take more than a week to complete is now a 20 minute process. The Administration team have greater self sufficiency with automated workflows, huge productivity gains and greater transparency of the entire process. Overview Our client, a leading Australian university, employs 100’s of temporary training staff on a semester by semester basis. The hiring process previously required many pieces of information being entered into an Excel spreadsheet and then a printed copy being distributed to stakeholders. Subsequent manual steps were required by various areas to complete the process. Challenges/ Goals Our client’s staff hiring process was dominated by manual data entry, hand-written forms, and traditional phone/email communication with prospective employees being offered temporary sessional contracts. The manual process provided limited visibility of the work schedule lifecycle due to fact that there were many manual steps that were not auditable or traceable. The ability to introduce a transparent and collaborative approach to the process was critical to our client’s ability to reduce administrative overheads and improve the staff hire process. ​ Synergy was asked to focus on automating and improving three key areas of a heavily manual, errorprone, inter-departmental administration process. These key areas were; ​ Creation and approval of the work schedules; Completion and acceptance of the work schedules; Timesheet completion, upload and approval. ​ Our client ultimately wanted a no-code solution that was system driven, simple, intuitive, traceable, and met strict document management and auditing policies. We knew that we could deliver a solution that would exceed their expectations and provide a platform capable of future enhancement. Solution/ Approach During our review, Synergy identified multiple interface points where third party applications could provide a superior solution. We embarked on designing and implementing a solution to enhance our client’s existing IT infrastructure investment and provide opportunity for future development. ​ Our design utilises a multi-tier SharePoint 2010 Enterprise farm leveraged across multiple departments, streamlining document management, enabling inter-departmental collaboration and improving the interface. Synergy’s solution was delivered using a combination of; Nintex workflow to ensure work schedules were auditable and traceable Breaking down the workflows into smaller segments allowed for better change management. The smaller functional sets trigger each other as tasks progress through the process. We defined the following order to gain these efficiencies; Initial Approval (State Machine) Process Form Data Candidate Offer process Create Timesheet Transactions Email Update (when required if a typo happens) A state machine workflow provides the best solution when it is necessary to jump back and forth between different but repetitive steps in a process, where advancement is dependent on an outcome. The “Flexi task” action is a highly versatile, self-contained action that is similar to the “Request approval” action, as it allows you to request the approval of numerous users and to create alternative outcomes without being bound to only “Approve” or “Reject”. The design is based on standard SP Group Security principles and lookups. InfoPath 2010 forms for document creation and management Form performance was critical given the large amount of data, logic and validation to perform when populating the form. We optimised the original form to improve online performance and ensure a pleasant user experience. Further, we reconfigured the form data validation properties and behaviour to remove immediate validation upon field change, implementing a selection box enabling the user to trigger data validation. SQL to read the InfoPath forms and create the records We used SQL to write the data to workflow variables and create an SQL record for the employee and for the contract. This removed manual entry by the administration staff and increased the accuracy of the data. Muhimbi PDF converter for the creation, conversion and security of all contract documentation The Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint enables end-users to convert, split, merge and secure common document types such as MS-Word, InfoPath, MSG/ EML (email), Excel, HTML, among others, from within SharePoint using custom Nintex and SharePoint Designer workflows or even a Web Service call. Once all data has been committed to the database, PDFs are generated from the InfoPath form using the Muhimbi PDF Converter for SharePoint. Layer 2 BDLC for creating a list connection to the backend SQL Database We chose Layer 2 BDLC for its interactivity and due to limitations of OOB SharePoint external lists, which Layer 2 BDLC addresses. This is especially relevant for the Universities sessional employees list which has been setup to integrate with Layer 2 BDLC. Public facing website for online offer acceptance We developed a public facing website built on ASP. NET technology to keep it light and efficient. It’s designed to send approved offers to a candidate with a link providing access to relevant details on an e-response site. ​ This unified communications solution streamlined processes between departments using a multi-stage state machine workflow which drives the approval and rework requirements of the business process and keeps the process transparent to all involved. Results Synergy’s solution deployed a multi-stage state machine workflow to drive the creation, approval and rework requirements of the business process. This increased the accuracy and compliance of contract information and streamlined the processes, reducing the administrative workload. Administration staff are now confident that offers and acceptances will be made in a timely manner and have greater visibility of the contract throughout its lifecycle. ​ The automated process and use of online forms ensures work-schedule templates are up to date and there is no loss of the paper based transactions, which dogged the previous manual process. Productivity has increased and the whole process has improved customer service. ​ Decreased Business Risk - our solution provides better document control, backup and disaster recovery solutions and increased data security and management. Reporting allows greater control over the entire process, with easy error identification and resolution. ​ Our solution used the existing infrastructure to leverage the current IT investment in software assets, allowing project budget to be utilised so Synergy could train essential staff. The University staff have been able to operate autonomously since Synergy handed the project over. ​ Automated Workflows - provide a seamless process and remove duplication, saving time and effort for administration staff. Data validation, workflow alerts and workflow logic streamline the process and engage staff only when necessary. The workflows provide staff with a clear picture of the status of each workflow step. ​ Improved Productivity - the offers process now takes 20 minutes rather than a week. This massive time saving allows University staff to focus on other important tasks, safe in the knowledge that the employee offers are being produced efficiently and securely. Back to Case Studies

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  • Westport Dental Associates

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  • Owner

    Human Resources It’s time to be appreciated Your employees see you as an enforcer of policy while the business sees you as a necessary evil in terms of cost and overhead. Let SYNERGY help you change the discussion. The HR function is vital to the health of any organization but all too often the tools available to you are lacking both in terms of efficiency for you and usability for your employees. ​ If you have an HRIS system, chances are it’s not fulfilling its promise (it might even have further complicated matters). If you don’t have an HRIS system, then you are likely trapped in spreadsheet and email purgatory. SYNERGY provides multiple solutions to help you escape the status quo and travel to a place, where amongst other things, you can: Enhance your connectivity with your employees Help you publish and manage your employee handbook and policies Enhance onboarding and off-boarding Help streamline the benefit administration process Improve outbound communications using tools to cut down on email Help manage the exit process Help you automate today's manual processes

  • Owner

    Marketing Agency knowledge without the agency price tag. Your goal is to bring together your products and services with potential customers. You don’t have to do it alone. Goals are great (and to be encouraged) but how can you achieve, and continue to achieve, when the digital landscape is changing daily. With SYNERGY, you can focus on your messaging and let us focus on the delivery. We can show you how technology can help you better reach your potential customers and continue the conversation with existing ones, resulting in improved customer acquisition and retention. Imagine a world where you can: Understand your customer’s online behavior Interact with your audience more effectively Deliver your message to any device Continually improve online user experience

  • SYNERGY | Arcadia Case Study

    Home Services Team Insight Company Contact Arcadia Retirement Residence Improved patient care through effective collaboration Summary Data Arcadia has been Hawaii's premier retirement residence since 1967. Industry Eldercare Geography Hawaii, USA Consulting SharePoint Consulting Training Services technologies SharePoint Windows Server Hyper-V Challenges/Goals 7 geographic locations Need to organize information per locations and functional area Need to surface resident data securely Solution/Approach Complete discovery to understand unique requirements Develop dynamic Employee Portal taxonomy to manage information Use BCS to surface only non-sensitive resident profile information Results Improved collaboration among staff Ability to locate and view information in meaningful ways Improved quality of life for residents who are better informed Overview Arcadia has been Hawaii’s premier retirement residence and one of the finest in the nation since 1967. Residents enjoy panoramic mountain, ocean and Diamond Head views, plus unparalleled access to all of Honolulu's social, cultural, educational and entertainment facilities. Arcadia offers a gracious, compassionate and dynamic environment, with a continuum of assured lifetime care with a staff that works diligently to satisfy the physical, social and spiritual needs of every resident. Challenges/ Goals Arcadia Retirement Residence, a local, not-for-profit holding company, is comprised of seven not-for-profit operating companies, each operating from its own location on the island of Oahu. ​ With nearly 400 employees spread across seven locations, most of whom require access to similar information, a central repository to store and organize information related to client-care was critical. Furthermore, occupants of ACS’s two residential facilities desired a way to find other residents with similar likes and interests. ​ Arcadia invited Synergy to assist them in improving collaboration among staff, as well as to help provide an interactive means to communicate effectively with and among residents. Solution/ Approach Synergy professionals spent time in a Discovery process in order to understand the unique requirements of both the ACS staff and the residents who have made Arcadia their home. This process uncovered the need for a secure intranet portal where employees could share information and collaborate in a dynamic environment. The Discovery also identified the need for a client-facing portal that residents could utilize to learn about current activities and to locate fellow residents. ​ Synergy’s solution was to build out a SharePoint environment using Hyper-V servers. Within the SharePoint environment, multiple web applications were created to accommodate Central Administration, My Sites, an Employee Portal and a Resident Portal. Once the SharePoint environment was in place, the next step was to build out the Employee Portal so that staff could begin collaborating more effectively. A portal taxonomy was put into place that accounted for the multiple locations as well as the functional units (such as meal service and sanitation) that spanned those locations. In this way, employees could locate the information most relevant to them. ​ After the Employee Portal was well in hand, attention turned to the Resident Portal. Out of the box Announcements lists and the Publishing feature were leveraged to provide information of interest to residents. Importantly, one of the key requests was a means for residents to locate one another without the need for ACS staff to maintain multiple contact lists. Details for each occupant living in ACS facilities were already being maintained in an electronic medical records system. ​ Synergy developers leveraged SharePoint’s Business Connectivity Services (BCS) to tap into this existing data source and bring only the appropriate information into Active Directory. With Active Directory populated via BCS, residents could utilize the out of the box People Search to locate their fellow occupants. Synergy went one step further and created a custom Search Page to make searching as simple as possible for the elderly population. Results With the SharePoint portal in place, ACS staff now work in a collaborative environment which means less time is spent duplicating information. Additionally, they can more easily find the information that matters to them. These improvements have resulted in significant time savings on a day-to-day basis. ​ Residents now have easy access to current information regarding social events and other items of interest happening at the Residence. They also have a means to locate fellow-residents through a simple search interface that allows them to search on a variety of familiar parameters such as name, facility or apartment number. Back to Case Studies

  • SYNERGY | Barclays Case Study

    Home Services Team Insight Company Contact Barclays PLC Global Training. Local Trainers. Summary Data Barclays PLC (LSE: BARC, NYSE: BCS) is a global banking and financial services company headquartered in London. Industry Financial Services Geography USA United Kingdom China Consulting Intranet Branding & Design Nintex Workflow Process Automation Training Services technologies SharePoint Nintex Challenges/Goals Resolve inconsistent adoption and disparate user understanding of SharePoint technologies, and address support issues through SharePoint and Nintex Workflow training. Provide globally consistent and corporate branded training at Barclay’s diverse regional hubs. Custom-crafted courseware. Solution/Approach Provided custom-crafted courseware and virtual training environments directly addressing customer needs. Collaborate closely with Barclays to ensure our courses and training are evolving to meet the dynamic client needs. Built and implemented SharePoint knowledgebase and collaborative environment to ensure all Synergy trainer resources are fully up to date on all communications and developments at Barclays regardless of location Results Increased adoption of SharePoint improving utilization and end user capabilities. Reduction in support overhead for the improved sites. Wider population of skilled users and site administrators, realized the advantages of decentralized administration Overview Barclays PLC (LSE: BARC, NYSE: BCS) is a global banking and financial services company headquartered in London. As of 2010 it was the world's 10th-largest banking and financial services group. Barclays PLC has operations in over 50 countries and territories across Africa, Asia, Europe, North America and South America and around 48 million customers. As of June 2011 it had total assets of €1.94 trillion, the third-largest of any bank worldwide (after BNP Paribas and HSBC). Challenges/ Goals Barclays PLC has made a significant investment in the SharePoint technology stack. SharePoint is used to offer document management, business process automation and as a collaboration platform for staff located around the globe. Barclay’s goal in approaching Synergy was to design and deliver a training solution on SharePoint and Nintex Workflow technologies that would be consistent across three regional hubs. The solution needed to incorporate SharePoint best practices, internal policies and hands on lab exercises. It was also identified as critical that the courses addressed and resolved common support issues as identified by the support desk. The overall stated goal was to ensure a more consistent global adoption of the technologies offered by SharePoint and Nintex, while reducing end-user reliance on IT support. Solution/ Approach Synergy’s approach to delivering a solution for Barclays was at the outset to work closely with Barclays’ SharePoint team to identify and document common support issues form the user population. Once this discovery was completed, we created custom-crafted courseware from our premium courseware materials and created courseware to specifically emphasize the course materials that addressed the stated learning requirements. Our consultants worked closely with the Barclays team to edit and review the courseware. We then carried out a pilot training program with key staff at each regional hub to demonstrate the effectiveness of the course materials. Following the pilot program, we moved to regularly scheduled training in each regional hub. In addition to the courseware customization, we created a series of virtual machines (hosted within our training environment) using Barclays SharePoint Branding (Master Pages and Themes) to ensure each student training experience was identical to the look-and-feel of their live environment. To ensure that the training solution was consistent across the globe, we identified a training project manager who connected with our trainers around the globe on a regular basis to share lessons learned from each class. A SharePoint Wiki site was set up to document Barclay’s specific processes, user feedback, and classroom experiences. All communications with Barclays Learning and Development staff, the SharePoint team, and students are communicated to all consultants engaged with Barclays to ensure we are all offering involved, up-to-date support and training. By leveraging the social collaboration features of SharePoint, our consultants work closely with each other to ensure our team has a solid, up to the minute understanding of all aspects of Barclays training in spite of time zone differences and geographic diversity. Results Synergy provides ongoing monthly training across the regional hubs delivering training, providing post-classroom support. We make ongoing changes to our courseware to adopt and implement customer relevant knowledge. Trainee satisfaction with our trainers have resulted in an increase in course attendance through internal referrals, and in many cases, a rework of many of the sites and site collections in use to leverage the skills and knowledge gained during the classes. Adoption of business process automation through workflow has improved, with more Site Administrators understanding the powerful capabilities of workflow. Sites that were previously difficult to support and use are now more self-sufficient. 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  • SYNERGY | Bankstown City Council Case Study

    Home Services Team Insight Company Contact Bankstown City Council Global Training. Local Trainers. Summary Data Bankstown City Council is one of the largest of the 177 councils in New South Wales that provide over 100 services. Industry Government Geography Australia Consulting Training Services technologies SharePoint Challenges/Goals Train over 600 users in SharePoint Solution/Approach Bankstown City Council tendered for a series of face-to-face end user training to facilitate the implementation of their new systems. Results Council staff participated in a comprehensive on-site training program which more than adequately prepared them for the rollout of the new systems Overview Bankstown is a vibrant city just 20km south-west of Sydney CBD and home to approximately 200,000 people from over 160 different countries. Bankstown City Council is one of the largest of the 177 councils in NSW that provide over 100 services. With the deployment of SharePoint 2013, the Council wanted to ensure they provided the best training methods to ensure their investment is utilised to its widest potential. Challenges/ Goals Bankstown City Council has recently deployed Microsoft SharePoint 2013 and Recordpoint as its new EDRMS (Electronic Document and Record Management System) and branded it iShare. The prime objective of iShare was to improve the technology options available to staff by replacing an existing application with SharePoint. The benefits to staff of this project were numerous and provided an up to date technology solution to council. As a result of this major change, Bankstown City Council chose to tender for a series of SharePoint 2013 face-to-face end user training. Bankstown chose Synergy as its preferred training partner to deliver this major training requirement over a period of 4 weeks in the lead up to its production release. The 600 staff received a range of training from initial end user through to advanced SharePoint champion levels. Council’s staff training audiences consisted of three groups: 1. End users – Information Workers (in excess of approx. 550) Objectives Required: Overview and Introduction Searching Document Management Workflows / Tasks and emails 2. Champions – Site Administrators (approx. 20) Objectives Required: Content types Content management Workflow management 3. Specialists – Records Management and Information Technology (approx. 25) Objectives Required: Creating Sites Customising Sites Site Administration SharePoint Permissions List and Library management Content Types and Metadata Content Management and Workflow management Information Management Policies Solution/ Approach Synergy approached this engagement initially by holding a series of with the Bankstown Council Projects team to build the training solution. These discussions focussed on the exact training requirements and preferred delivery methodology for the training of their staff on the iShare platform. These training needs analysis findings were crucial in developing the customisations required to both deliver the custom iShare training courseware and the training itself. Custom Courseware Development and Testing After the training needs were analysed and identified, Synergy begun the task of creating custom courseware, labs, Instructor guides, Wiki’s, QRG’s and the training environment. These were delivered to council for review, tested, modified and approved to maximise the training solution offered to staff prior to training. Training Reviews & Refinement During the initial component of training delivery the Bankstown Council Project Team and Synergy engaged regularly after each training session to further review and refine the delivery of the content. This was extremely valuable for both parties so that together our shared paths of meeting council’s training objectives and Synergy’s custom training delivery were aligned. It also allowed the course to be continually improved as content was refined as per the feedback of participants. In addition to the custom courseware and e-learning materials, Synergy created a custom Training Survey on the iShare platform so that staff members could give real time feedback on the training delivered. Again this allowed the Bankstown Council Project Team to identify areas of improvement and further refinement of the courseware and our training delivery. It also allowed the Council Project Team to quickly identify and resolve any staff anxieties or fears held towards the new EDRMS. Post Training requests At the successful conclusion of the Synergy training program Bankstown City Council requested Synergy to provide assistance on the ‘Go Live’ date of the project. This provided a familiar face to raise any concerns or issues with the platform during the first few days of implementation and also freed up the Bankstown project staff to concentrate on the rollout. All issues were logged with the project team so additional assistance and technical escalations could occur as quickly as possible. Results The overall result for Bankstown City Council was a comprehensive program of training that introduced staff to the core features of SharePoint. This allowed staff to be prepared for the rollout of the new technology and minimise the amount of downtime in learning a new piece of technology. The training solution will also provide for the future by allowing current staff to re-sit the training via the courseware and training environment along with future training needs of any new staff that join council. Back to Case Studies