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UKRAINE – STARTUP AND
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Corporate Culture Transformation: examples of companies that have been strengthened by remote work

The modern worker is a kind of Shiva. Although, instead of multiple hands, they need a lot of intellectual resources in order to reply to emails on time, complete tasks on the to-do list, be in time for all meetings, and still not forget to congratulate a colleague on their birthday.

The situation is alleviated by the tools that help you not to drown in the sea of work-related information. Modern IT solutions can consolidate company news in one place and show you personalized content, arrange all project documentation like a super-experienced archivist, and remind you about a corporate event tomorrow and an important tender the day after tomorrow. 

Examples of such saviors are solutions based on SharePoint technologies customized for unique customer needs. 

Read the article to learn about the stories of 3 Ukrainian companies that not only made the life of their employees significantly easier but also increased the efficiency of numerous processes.

  • Astarta-Kyiv, an agricultural holding which daily creates a common corporate culture for more than 6,000 employees thanks to a single corporate Intranet portal (read more about SmartPoint Intranet at the end of the article). 
  • Avalon, a leading investment and development company in Ukraine, which realized that, with up to 10 construction projects in progress at the same time, it is critical to structure all project documentation. And so, it implemented this task using SharePoint technology. 
  • SMART business, that, in addition to the basic Intranet functionality, enjoys the use of its own inventions: calendars of internal and external events, the museum of merch presenting branded items from all 12 years of the company’s existence, as well as seamless integration with SMART HCM & LMS – a solution for effective human capital management.

Unified corporate culture for agro industry leader ASTARTA 

ASTARTA manages more than 220 hectares of land, the company’s sugar factories process 36 thousand tons of sugar beet per day, which makes it the number one sugar producer in Ukraine. The total livestock of cattle is 22 thousand heads, and the capacity of the biogas complex is 150 thousand m3 of biogas per day. And this is not an exhaustive list of the agricultural holding’s areas of activity.

A large staff is needed to service this scale. For example, during the season, the number of employees reaches almost 6 thousand people. The workers are in 7 regions of Ukraine, some of them are literally in the fields. Therefore, maintaining unified corporate values at ASTARTA is not a trivial task. The management aimed to unite all employees of the company in a single information field, to provide quick and convenient access to programs and services, and, as a result, to strengthen the corporate culture. 

SMART business offered a solution based on Microsoft SharePoint technologies, which made it possible to: 

  • See all company news filtered by thematic sections.
  • Get quick access to corporate and reference materials.
  • The top management is now able to promptly inform about important personnel changes via notices on the main page of the portal.
  • People started getting to know about the birthdays of colleagues 2 days in advance (and, believe us, this is a big improvement for the corporate atmosphere, because everyone is pleased when their holiday is remembered), 
  • The portal has become a repository for corporate photos and videos.
  • Organizational structure was implemented, because in such a large holding it is easy to get confused about “Who manages whom?”.

Besides, integration with the 1C Enterprise ERP system was carried out, so now any personnel changes are instantly displayed in the organizational structure on the portal, and information about colleagues can be found in a few clicks. 

Oleksandr Voynalovych, Chief Information Officer of ASTARTA, describes the holding’s need in a corporate portal as follows: 

“My dream is that we at ASTARTA start the morning not with a coffee, but with the corporate portal. For each employee, this is the so-called gateway to the world of the company. Therefore, for the HR and IT teams, the portal is an interesting and at the same time complex project, because we understand its importance and the fact that it cannot be a sustainable product but must constantly increase the number of useful features for users and become interactive. 

The choice of Microsoft SharePoint for the implementation of the portal was a very successful decision, it is suitable for the implementation of all our plans for the portal and information needs, and also enables to integrate other products of the Microsoft Office 365 system.”

Tons of corporate documentation of a Lviv’s developer Avalon 

Since 2014, Avalon has been developing and constructing modern architectural objects in Lviv. As a rule, a company runs 8-10 active projects at different stages at the same time, so it is easy to imagine what kind of documentation arrays employees have to deal with.

Avalon needed a solution that would organize corporate documentation. So that, relatively speaking, even a newcomer in the company, after a short induction, could easily find a specific project for a specific apartment, even in an architectural object of 2015. All the heavy documentation for AutoCAD had to “hang in the cloud” and be available to employees at any time and from any device. Also, Avalon set the goal of using Microsoft technologies as the developer had already used the solutions of this vendor and was quite satisfied. 

Considering all the requirements for building the document flow, SMART business offered a solution based on a Microsoft SharePoint portal, which has direct integration with Teams. 

This solved the problem of unordered files and documentation. A pleasant bonus of using the technology was that employees who work remotely or are at a presentation can show the project to investors in real time. Now every employee has access to files from any device and from any location. 

Also, the SharePoint portal is synchronized with the on-premise company resources. This makes it easier to work with “heavy files” and architectural software such as Autodesk Revit or AutoCAD. 

Not only employees but also contractors have access to company files. Avalon can be confident in the security of the solution because the SharePoint platform already has versioning, and the portal is synchronized with the on-premise resources – that is, if necessary, you can always turn to the local versions. The solution provides for multi-level settings of access rights and various user roles. 

Anton Shamov, Head of IT Department of Avalon, comments on the project’s ROI:

“We wanted to keep up with the times, so we provided project teams with a folder structure in which all project-related documents were organized according to a specific methodology. The SMART business team immediately understood our business need and completed the project in 4 months. According to our calculations, Avalon will receive a return on investment in less than six months.”

Anastasiia Davydova, Chief Commercial Officer of Avalon, comments on how the company managed to start saving time after portal implementation: 

“Our company closely monitors all innovations and technologies in the global community. Now, when the entire business is digitizing its internal processes, in the era of global digital transformation, the introduction of new software allows us to adapt as quickly as possible to any changes in the market, keep up with the times, organize the work of teams within the company as efficiently as possible, which means faster development and saving the most valuable resource in the modern world, which is time.”

SMART business – best testers of the corporate portal solution 

No one can tell about the goal and basic requirements for the portal better than a person who creates a corporate culture within her own organization – Natalya Onyshchuk, a Managing Partner of SMART business:

“It is very easy for me to talk about the corporate portal at meetings and presentations because I myself am its regular user. When creating the SMART Intranet product, we imagined the environment that will tell our colleagues everything about SMART business: what values we uphold, what traditions we have and who supports them, with which technological systems we work, what solutions are our own development, in which countries our offices are located and who our heroes are. Newcomers can easily get a feel for the corporate spirit, even if they choose to work remotely. And existing employees in a matter of minutes can read the company’s news, ranфging from receiving international awards by the company to the birth of a son of a colleague from a neighboring department.

It is also important to note that various fragments of the portal can be created in accordance with the customer wishes and in line with the brand book.

At a time when hybrid work is becoming more popular, building a corporate culture is becoming more difficult. After all, colleagues can see each other only via video conferencing or in the email addressees for months. At this moment, a unified corporate portal certainly helps a lot. If we work online, why not bring people together with common values online, too?”

If you got interested in creating a corporate portal, we invite you to learn more about it here — [email protected]

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