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Chester Zoo

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Chester Zoo intranet deployment

Chester Zoo, the UK’s number one wildlife attraction, had been struggling to use an outdated intranet and document management system. Last updated over seven years ago, the system had several facets with no real structure and had fallen into disuse. The decision was taken to implement a new knowledge management system that would enable sharing and information transfer. 

Current systems were old and outdated

Different departments within the zoo were using several different IT systems for storing digital media. Over time, the systems had fallen into disuse as staff struggled to find content and search for updates. Coupled with an archaic paper-based form process, now was the right time to move to a digital system which would automate workflows, store content and integrate with a new staff Intranet.   

Rather than updating existing systems, Head of IT, Martin King, decided to wipe the slate clean and look for an alternative knowledge management system that would enable the zoo to share information easily and keep staff informed of latest developments at the click of a mouse. Having the benefit of their own in-house IT Department, the zoo also wanted to be able to learn from our SharePoint experts to be able to support and encourage staff to develop the system.

SharePoint implementation

It was like an abandoned wasteland. People would add new content and nobody would know where to find it or how to search for it
Martin King, Head of IT, Chester Zoo.

Core worked with King and his team to implement a whole new solution based on Microsoft SharePoint, offering real value to the Charity.  The project ranged from managing and handling the development of the new Intranet to creating a new media library to store all images and information that the zoo uses on a daily basis. Core even trained the in-house IT team on how to extend and maintain the new software, including guidance on structure and importing content.

The new Intranet is now part of the furniture at Chester Zoo, with the latest information being accessed by staff every day, providing immediate access to policies and forms. Gone are the days of company-wide emails, now replaced with a live noticeboard. There's no more searching through an inbox for information, it is all there at their fingertips ensuring nothing gets missed!

Core gave us the most confidence they could deliver the right solution. They offered real value. It also helped that Core is a Microsoft SharePoint Gold Partner. You know that they know what they’re doing and have proven it time and time again

The solution is built on Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft’s market-leading business intelligence, content management and collaboration software. SharePoint allows organisations to engage with colleagues, share ideas and work together, as well improving organisation of information, people and projects. Through SharePoint you can build Intranets to create new experiences online as well as managing cost, risk and IT Department time on automated tasks with the inbuilt control panels. 

This combination of sharing and organisation allowed Chester Zoo to create an infrastructure that was customised to their own needs, with full branding and an interactive media library. Core provided solid training, detailed documentation and a structured framework for the movement of policy and procedure documents and key content. 

In the future, Chester Zoo are hoping to expand the Intranet and use SharePoint’s built-in features to integrate and manage a range of key tasks, bringing Office 2010 into the system for further benefits and cost savings.

Chester Zoo are now the proud owners of a content-rich SharePoint resource that is used every day by all 250 staff at the zoo

Our staff are at the head of that information. They see it when they log-in, they know what’s current, and they don’t have to go searching for it in their inbox. Things don’t get missed

All staff are now able to find content when they need to. Page views are increasing and staff are now able to quickly and easily find key information when they need to without trawling through several different systems. In the future Chester Zoo are hoping to expand the Intranet and use SharePoint’s built-in features to integrate and manage a range of key tasks, bringing Microsoft Office into the system for further benefits and cost savings. 


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