The insurance and service provider Baloise is building the workplace of the future. 1stQuad was able to accompany Baloise on its first steps on the way to the Digital Workplace.

The majority of the Baloise Group’s 6000 employees work on computers. In view of the rapid market development and new customer and employee needs, these workplaces are undergoing a major change: The Baloise Group would like to align the workplace consistently with today’s possibilities. The goal is integrated and networked solutions that also support new working methods in the best possible way.

1stQuad Solutions AG was able to accompany the Baloise Group on the decisive first steps on its way into the digital future. Based on Microsoft technologies with a focus on Office 365, an integrated Digital Workplace platform is to be created that will replace existing solutions based on Lotus Notes and Magnolia.

Step 1: Vision and strategy

According to Baloise-CEO Gert de Winter’s vision, the integrated workplace should not only improve cooperation within the company, but also significantly improve the exchange with customers and partners. 1stQuad supported Baloise in formulating the mission and strategy as well as concrete objectives from this vision.

The first step was to identify the three “must-win battles”: Creating relevance for the respective target groups, promoting cultural change and enabling integrated working methods. In this way, the foundation of a common understanding, an assessment of the situation with prioritisation of key requirements and an overview of all existing requirements were created. At the same time, the important topic of “culture and change” was discussed: How can the desired change be supported by appropriate measures?

Step 2: Building blocks and rough concept

On the basis of the strategy work and the needs identified, five central elements of the new workplace could be identified, based on proven good practices, the so-called building blocks: news and employee communication, content and information architecture, collaboration, search and the home screen. For each building block 1stQuad developed together with Baloise a rough concept, relevant user stories as well as a rough visualization of the targeted surface in the form of wireframes. This allowed the new intranet to be presented conceptually, and the project team members could well imagine the future user experience.

Step 3: Technical feasibility

A technical feasibility study quickly made it clear that Office 365’s standard capabilities did not cover all requirements. An examination of the building blocks in relation to the requirements showed where coverage with Office 365 on-board resources is sufficient and where functional gaps exist.

Step 4: Evaluation

Advanced intranet solutions and frameworks fill the gap between the standard capabilities of Office 365 and today’s enterprise requirements. The market offers a variety of such products, some of which are very fast-moving, that are difficult to keep track of: Some solutions appear and disappear within a year. A careful evaluation was necessary. Various sources were used, in particular the “Clearbox Report”, which compares 26 intranet solutions in detail.

The aim of the evaluation was to select a product that strategically fits Baloise’s new Microsoft orientation and best covers the functionality identified in the rough concept. In order to avoid a lock-in effect, the selected product should also be easily detachable from Office 365. Also essential was a flexible interface for building new business functions and applications.

The intranet solution Wizdom from the manufacturer Webtop emerged as the winner from the detailed evaluation. Wizdom convinced the jury with its large range of functions that matched Baloise’s requirements, its lively partner landscape and its attractive licensing model.

Looking to the future – Next Steps

The Baloise Group’s Digital Workplace is now about to be implemented. In the coming six months, a first release is to be produced, with which stakeholders can gain initial experience in a targeted manner. The challenges are great with the emerging changes in individual project streams. One of the most important hurdles will be the cultural change that digital transformation will inevitably bring to Baloise.

"I could really feel the motivation and the will to change for the digitalization of Baloise. By choosing and developing the strategy, procedures and tools for the new employee intranet as part of the Digital Workplace Program, we were able to help set an important milestone."

Thomas Maeder, Digital Workplace Consultant
1stQuad Solutions AG


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Why 1stQuad?

1stQuad accompanies companies and organizations on their way to the “Digital Enterprise”.

We are lateral thinkers, use state-of-the-art technologies and create convincing solutions with a focus on the essentials.
As a reliable companion, we attach importance to a holistic understanding, customer proximity and professionalism.

Since 2009 we love what we do and take responsibility. We are constantly expanding our competencies and offering.
We advise, accompany and realise. We are Digital Workplace specialists with comprehensive expertise in communication and collaboration.
We digitize business processes, develop user-centric applications and create intelligent platforms.
For this we use Microsoft .NET, Azure, Office 365/SharePoint technologies and the many years of experience of our employees.

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your business.”