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The First Group energizes employees and sees higher productivity with Microsoft 365

The First Group (TFG) is a dynamic, integrated global property developer with a fast-growing portfolio of upscale hotels and real estate asset management services. Business drivers for their Microsoft 365 digital transformation included: becoming an employer of choice by improving collaborative and staff engagement; and lowering the cost of production. In addition, Todd Energy wanted to streamline its operations and give staff the information tools they needed to work wherever they were located. 

The solution implemented pulls together fragmented information and operations into one easy platform. Since go-live, staff – from corporate teams to in-field maintenance – have been creating and consuming information seamlessly via Microsoft Teams, SharePoint, One Drive for Business, Stream, OneNote, Planner, and Power Platform. Collaboration across departments and locations has been enabled making it easy and fast to access the right content at the right time, anywhere, any place. Better decisions, through improving the visibility of information and processes, have been enabled via Power BI and Power Automate. 

Challenge 

The First Group faced two main challenges; firstly, employees including new recruits and millennials increasingly expected straightforward digital ways of working. Shafraz Nasaar, VP of IT at The First Group, sums it up “we‘ve got a number of generations in our workforce and they want to come into an organization where they can work digitally. It’s important for TFG to have a foundation that allows them to do that.” 

Secondly, people were sharing files on multiple network drives, hard drives, desktops, and various intranets. Fragmented information was impacting collaboration and productivity and the ability to have the right information at staff’s fingertips out in the field. 

Strategy 

Microsoft 365 was selected as the solution platform and Delphi Consulting, a Microsoft Gold Partner and Microsoft 365 specialist, became trusted advisors and implementation partners. 

“Collaborate with Microsoft Teams” 

Microsoft Teams has been a game-changer for collaboration at TFG. As an example, Teams was the primary mechanism for the TFG and Delphi project team working together. We used chat, video, and screen sharing, OneNote, shared files and lists, plus Planner – all within the Teams interface with huge reductions in email use. This success has been mirrored in the wider organization. 

“Information consolidation for anywhere working and collaboration” 

For staff, finding and retrieving information were constant sources of frustration. The solution had to be simple to meet their needs. TFG targeted the consolidation of its development project files as an early solution to improve productivity and provide a seamless experience for staff. By integrating the with Office 365, folders for each project were automatically created and staff dragged and dropped the relevant content (scopes of work, reports, contracts) into the folder. They were used by multiple teams and everyone accesses content directly wherever they are. 

“Modern Workplace; Less Paper and Flexible Working Arrangements for Better Work/Life Balance” 

Todd Energy has a vibrant culture with great opportunities to learn and grow. Office 365 has enabled them to take this further, working more easily across the organization. 

Result 

Office 365 has been instrumental in fuelling collaboration, increasing productivity, and reducing risk at TFG. For example, staff in the can work anywhere accessing project document content via their mobile devices. Staff report that it is 60% faster to find information than before and availability in the field is a gamechanger. 

Information and forms that are integral to the safe and efficient operations of Todd’s plants have been made more accessible on the intranet and are now viewed by staff on average 40 times per week. 

Collaborating on projects has improved using Microsoft Teams for development and maintenance projects and other initiatives. This, coupled with the use of Planner to manage tasks, has made it easier to resolve issues and make progress. 

Productivity and collaboration have improved. Office 365 enables staff to confidently share and rely on the information. Time is saved and collaboration improved with the co-authoring functionality used in complex documents.