Project Description

Streamlining approvals and document management with SharePoint.

Replacing a legacy document management system with a Gartner Magic Quadrant Leading Solution.

The Challenge

RigNet are the world-leading networking provider for connecting and securing sites and operational assets in industries that rely on remote operations. They are a team of skilled problem solvers that provide optimised solutions for their clients that deliver a competitive advantage.

In carrying out their day-to-day operations RigNet generate a high volume of exceptionally valuable documents. In 2020, the document management system they were using to manage these files was being closed by the platform’s creator and was no longer generating backups.

The Solution

Their document management system was a fairly complex system. Documents weren’t as simple as a single file, gaving us the opportunity to utilise some interesting SharePoint functionality to streamline processes. Including reducing storage costs and speeding up the approval process, but to also maximise their Microsoft 365 investment.

Document Sets were a clear solution to the challenge of complex file storage. Document Sets are a special type of content in SharePoint. In basic terms a Document Set is a group of related documents that you can manage as a single entity. With the use of Document Sets, internal and external shareholders with access were able to view each “document” in a single space, where all parties could collaborate on all and without the duplication of any effort.

Following the creation of these Document Sets we performed a migration moving all of their documents to this new format in their SharePoint tenant. This new system created a clear auditable trail that had been lacking from the original system and was important for the companies’ goals moving forward.

We combined the trusted document management system with Power Automate to streamline the approval process. Today, documents no longer needed to be manually emailed or approvals chased, saving valuable time. Now when a user marks their role as complete the document continues on it’s journey without the need for user intervention.

We also created a test environment that provides users with the opportunity to build and test without impacting the new solution. The test environment will play a key role in ensuring the longevity of the solution without risking any accidental deletion or permanent changes, giving the team the opportunity to creatively solve their unique challenges.

The Outcome

This project’s primary goal was simple, replace an end-of-life document management system. However, this project became so much more. It presented RigNet with an opportunity to futureproof their document management system whilst encouraging their highly-skilled, ultracreative workforce to keep solving complex business problems.

The team are now using the solution and no longer have to worry about missed backups. The format of their documents is much easier to use, especially for newer users, with a clearer policy for sharing, approving, and collaborating.

By removing the need for a second system and integrating their document management system onto the SharePoint platform they were using for their intranet, we have been able to reduce costs and maximise the ROI on their Microsoft spend.

“Initially Thinkshare designed a bespoke set of Workflows for us, to automate our Document Approval and Document Control processes within our Sharepoint site. These were designed to our specific requirements and worked very well, however a number of areas for accidental user error type problems were identified, and Thinkshare then modified the workflows to add error messages & e-mails which have all but eradicated the accidental errors.

Some time later, we had to migrate our whole Sharepoint platform from one environment to another (for operational reasons), which involved all user e-mail addresses changing from one Corporate directory to another. Thinkshare liaised with the new corporate IT team to facilitate the migration, which happened overnight with the minimum of disruption. ” – Peter Bruce, Senior Manager of Engineering.

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