About the Organization
The Toronto Central Community Care Access Centre was founded in 1950. Community Care Access Centres (CCACs) are a government-funded point of contact for public access to home care, community services and long term care homes. The Toronto Central CCAC serves 80,000 clients annually and has over 600 employees across the city.
The Business Problem
TOCCAC had an intranet. However, employees considered it to be difficult to manage and maintain. Kateryna Kramchenkova, application specialist, IT, TOCCAC, explained that the organization’s large number of remote workers did not have a single point of contact for engagement and information sharing. “Under the old model, there was no unifying central information portal for 50 percent plus of employees who were not in the office every day,” she said. “For this reason, it was also difficult to communicate and share up to date happenings. There was no connective-ness but the model we wanted to use was “connecting us” and connecting the workforce. There was a lot of staff discussion about it, and the path towards the new Intranet was a staff engagement tool: staff were encouraged to provide input.”
TOCCAC chose SharePoint 2013. The solution provided the organization with a single point of contact for its remote employees and allowed them to share information and engage with their colleagues.
“The implementation of SharePoint took two years from start to finish,” Kramchenkova commented. “The first phase included analysis and requirements gathering, looking at the current system, what was in place, what was needed and what would work to support the on-site and remote staff in having a central source that they could access.”
“The second phase involved the design,” she continued. “The CCAC used a design firm Naked Design, to create a customized front-end. The back-end implementation was done by Microsoft and Navantis, in partnership with University Health Network’s Shared Information Management Services (SIMS). Navantis worked with TCCCAC to provide project management, programming, testing, UI, UX, quality control, bug fixes, in tandem with SIMS.”
Lessons Learned and Best Practices
Kramchenkova noted that TOCCAC learned some important lessons during the implementation process. One of these lessons was that it is important to survey users to find out what their requirements are.
“Challenges in implementation included the fact that it was new,” she added. “SharePoint 2013 had never been used before in Canada. The decision was made to go with the most updated version than using 2010 as no upgrade would be required in the near future. The implementation was the first experience for Navantis and SIMS, and it was overall a positive experience.”
Kramchenkova also recommended best practices to follow during a SharePoint implementation. “It is important to have a SharePoint expert on site who understands the architecture and the potential of the product,” she stated. “Also, have a group of users/champions/ambassadors to use and to showcase to others in the organization about the potential uses of the software platform. Provide internal training for all staff and show the benefits of how it can streamline processes and create a more collaborative work environment.”
In addition, she provided some advice on the best way to use SharePoint. ““People Search” is used as a main organizational directory, pulling information from “Active Directory” – also talks to Lync and Outlook – an integration of all technology platform tools used within the organization, resulting in a more streamlined efficient, effective, system and less duplication of updating information,” Kramchenkova remarked.
Kramchenkova pointed to a number of benefits TOCCAC has realized since implementing SharePoint. The organization has leveraged workflow and e-forms functionality to minimize paper forms and improve administrative functions. It has also started using SharePoint for many data capture projects.
She commented that in general, information is more up-to-date, and SharePoint has reduced the number of multiple versions of documents.
TOCCAC’s staff has shown enthusiasm for SharePoint. “The system is user-friendly so it engages employees; more people can update now,” Kramchenkova said.