Empowering Wessex Water with Customizable SharePoint Templates

customizable sharepoint templates, sharepoint, wessex water, governance, permissions, provisionpoint

About Wessex Water

Headquartered in Bath, Wessex Water is a regional water and sewerage business serving
2.8 million customers across the south west of England, including Dorset, Somerset,
Bristol, most of Wiltshire and parts of Hampshire. Established in 1988, Wessex Water is
today recognised by regulators as one of the leading water and sewerage companies in
England and Wales. Employing around 2,300 people, Wessex Water has been owned by
YTL Power International of Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, since May 2002.

Key Business Drivers

Back in 2017, Wessex Water was looking to undertake a major migration project to shift
from its on-premise SharePoint 2010 installation to a cloud-based environment using
SharePoint online. As part of this project, Wessex Water wanted to introduce the ability for
users to easily and automatically create their own relevant SharePoint project sites.

Explains Simon Day, Application Support at Wessex Water: “We wanted to enable our
2,300 employees to create their own SharePoint project sites, as the IT team was currently
addressing these requests manually which involved several hours of IT effort per site. This
would no doubt reduce the pressure on IT, however we also realized this new self-service
functionality comes with its own challenges, such as site duplication, compliance issues
and the inevitable IT sprawl.”

As part of the Collaboration Competency Centre at Wessex Water, Simon and the team
recognized that a SharePoint provisioning solution was key to meet their site collections
requirements, control sprawl, speed up site creation while reducing the workload on the
IT team.

The ProvisionPoint Solution

After some extensive research, Wessex Water selected ProvisionPoint Enterprise – a
powerful Office 365 governance solution – in order to meet their SharePoint provisioning
requirements. This SaaS solution was deployed at the same time as the global roll out of
SharePoint in 2017 across the organization.

Simon explains: “We knew exactly what we wanted – a repeatable, templated service for
our SharePoint users to create consistent SharePoint project sites and site collections. As
a major utility company, we also had strict guidelines to adhere to, and ensure compliance
rules were followed. Each project site had to feature access to specific components, such
as libraries, metadata and appropriate content types.”

Effectively, a bespoke customizable SharePoint templates was developed for Wessex Water, with a configurable set of rules built-in, so users could automatically create consistent and compliant SharePoint project sites, without having to contact IT.

ProvisionPoint Enterprise defines how each SharePoint project site is created, with a configurable set of rules for all the site components, including lists, libraries, features, content types and site columns. The full range of classic SharePoint site collections can be provisioned, including classic team sites, the records center and the document center.  

"ProvisionPoint Enterprise automates the creation of repeatable site collections that meet our exact business requirements and strict guidelines."

Why ProvisionPoint Enterprise?

SharePoint users can now create as many sites as they like, without having to get IT involved. Based on the project type, each SharePoint site features the appropriate content types along with access to specific libraries and metadata, and follows a defined approval process.

Simon adds: “One of the features of ProvisionPoint Enterprise is that when a site request is made, it automatically checks if one already exists to avoid creating a similar site, avoiding sprawl and site duplication – which was one of our initial concerns when this project commenced.”

Simon continues: “Users feel empowered and are able to create sites much faster than before – there are no more bottlenecks. It has been well received by our users, who are are creating between 5-30 sites a week. We can currently account for 1,800 SharePoint sites which have successfully, compliantly and securely been created since launch.”

Future Plans

Based on the success of the SharePoint provisioning and templated sites, Wessex Water is now exploring using ProvisionPoint Enterprise to manage the governance of Microsoft Teams and Office 365 Groups across the organization.

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