A New Methodology to Manage SharePoint for Nouryon


About Nouryon

Nouryon produces a vast range of chemicals that are used in the manufacture of
everyday products such as paper, plastics, building materials, food, pharmaceuticals,
and personal care items. Officially formed in October 2018 after separating from
AkzoNobel, this speciality chemicals manufacturer has over 11,000 employees operating
in over 80 countries around the world. With a history spanning 4 centuries, Nouryon is
headquartered in Amsterdam, with operations and manufacturing plants running out of
various locations including the Netherlands, Germany, Sweden, China, the US and Brazil.

Key Business Drivers

The separation from AkzoNobel was announced in 2018. Besides the logistical shift of
IT kit, LANs, WANs and more, from 250 different locations to 80, the small IT team of five
were challenged with a timeframe of just six months to migrate around 11,000 staff along
with 4,000 SharePoint sites from AkzoNobel to newly formed business, Nouryon.

Explains Scott Lewis, SharePoint Solution Architect at Nouryon: “The SharePoint sites at
AkzoNobel were out of control. All staff was able to create sites with no control measures
in place, it took days or sometimes weeks to get a SharePoint site set up, and some site
collections were even 17 layers deep. This experience taught us a very valuable lesson:
We needed to ensure, without fail, that this situation was not replicated at Nouryon and it
was paramount we adopted a solution to help us achieve this.”

Scott continues: “As one of the very few SharePoint experts in the business, the stakes
were high to get this new project right. I understood the pitfalls of SharePoint and this
business split gave us the opportunity to start from scratch and get it right once and
for all.”

The ProvisionPoint Solution

“We wanted to empower the user while significantly reducing the burden on the IT team – as we are just five staff supporting 11,000 people in every time zone with all their Office 365/SharePoint requirements.” Scott resumes: “We needed a way to avoid IT sprawl as experienced before, while enabling staff to set up their own, modern SharePoint sites quickly and not have to wait days or weeks for a response.”

After some extensive research, Nouryon selected ProvisionPoint Enterprise – a powerful governance solution – to help them with their SharePoint migration and ongoing provisioning.
Scott continues: “ProvisionPoint Enterprise created 4,000 sites and then all we had to do was copy over the content from the AkzoNobel environment to the new Nouryon environment. The process was all automated – it was so simple.”


Scott adds: “ProvisionPoint Enterprise designed automated forms for various SharePoint sites and templates, which display the owner, image and change permissions. This means designated owners can easily create sites, simply by filling out a form and applying the template – and the new site is instantly created with a consistent look and feel. Also, each site has 2 owners who can be contacted directly to be added to the site. This takes the pressure off our very small IT team as there is no need to raise a support ticket. So, it’s almost self-serve, as users can go to the owners in order to obtain access, but with delegated permissions and templates, IT remains in overall control.”

Why ProvisionPoint Enterprise?

As part of the migration project, we knew we wanted to create modern sites and features using SharePoint sites collections. ProvisionPoint Enterprise lets us define which users can create SharePoint Site Collections and how they are created, which ultimately reduces pressure on IT resources. We also wanted to avoid the creation of subsites, while using PnP templates and SharePoint lists. The ProvisionPoint team listened closely to all our specific requirements to deliver a solution that works exactly the way we need it to. And all this was achieved in 6 months.”

Today, with ProvisionPoint Enterprise, Nouryon creates around one new SharePoint site per day and users can get access to a new SharePoint site immediately.

“Not only do ProvisionPoint really understand Microsoft 365 and have helped us swiftly troubleshoot any issues we have encountered, but they continue to add new features and capabilities to support all their customers on their Office 365 journey,” concludes Scott. “We have not had to invest in an enormous technology solution that we only use one part of – we
have a flexible, agile tool that works exactly the way we want it to.”

We’re delighted with the ProvisionPoint SharePoint governance solution. We’re creating one new SharePoint site per day and users can get access to a new SharePoint site immediately. It just works!

Scott Lewis, SharePoint Solution Architect Tweet

Scott adds: “Nouryon is delighted with the SharePoint migration project and today could not live without it. It just works. For 99.9% of the time, I simply don’t need to worry about it. And if for any reason there is a problem, I’m immediately notified by email to resolve the issue swiftly.”

Future Plans

Moving forward, Nouryon recognized that ProvisionPoint Enterprise also supports the provisioning of modern SharePoint sites with or without an Office 365 Group, which they are yet to roll out fully – but is coming soon. Scott explains: “As Skype is retiring, we will be rolling out Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Groups with the goal of exclusively using Teams by Autumn 2020. Office 365 Groups and Teams also includes a shareable staff planner which is a nice feature offered by ProvisionPoint Enterprise. Initially, we will not allow staff to create their own Teams, in order to retain control and governance around naming conventions for email – but we know ProvisionPoint Enterprise can help us effectively manage all of this.”

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