PZ Cussons is a FTSE 250-listed consumer products organisation based in the UK, with operations in Europe, Africa and Asia. Its brands include Imperial Leather, Carex, Charles Worthington, Sanctuary Spa, St Tropez and Morning Fresh. PZ Cussons needed a fast and simplified approach to SharePoint development in order to drive collaboration across its global organisation, and turned to Quest to help address its challenges.
In 2010, PZ Cussons launched a company-wide intranet built on SharePoint 2007, primarily to improve collaborative working practises across the organisation, as well as to communicate company news. That intranet has become integral to the organisation’s operational strategy and
is used extensively by many of its thousands of employees globally, with in excess of 2,000 users per day. PZ Cussons has a programme called Spark that encourages new ideas from employees. Each month, those ideas are investigated with a view to introducing them into the organisation. Previously, this was a paper-based programme that operated only within the UK, and PZ Cussons wanted to add it to the intranet and make it global.
To make the intranet-based Spark an attractive and highly-used application, it needed to be intuitive and include rich functionality, such as images and charts. It also needed to include the corporate branding. The intranet team recognised that native SharePoint’s default look and
feel would not give Spark the visual appeal it needed. For instance, entering information into SharePoint is typically done via a text-based list, but PZ Cussons wanted its users to enter new ideas using richly formatted text and images. Some customisation was therefore needed. However, native, code-based SharePoint customisation was contrary to PZ Cussons’ IT strategy. “We tend not to build bespoke applications, which make us heavily dependent on the skills of a few developers for support and ongoing enhancements,” explained Mark Cadwaladr, Digital Technology Manager at PZ Cussons. “We typically prefer off-the-shelf solutions, with a lower total cost of ownership, that can be easily configured and supported by our lean IT organisation.” PZ Cussons’ IT team searched for an alternative approach that would be simple yet robust and would provide the rich formatting that Spark needed to keep the users interested.
The Quest Solution
PZ Cussons heard about Quest Web Parts for SharePoint via Joel Oleson, a well-known SharePoint expert. Quest Web Parts for SharePoint radically simplifies the approach to SharePoint application development. By using ezEdit, Quest Web Parts’ embedded configuration tool, users configure rather than code, which slashes application development time by up to 80 percent. You can combine information; enhance views; and build applications, menus and dashboards – simply – to create collaborative applications and more powerful SharePoint sites.
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