New intranet fuels PatoGen’s growth

Norwegian fish-health company PatoGen has created a new Omnia-based intranet. While strengthening worldwide corporate ties, this new communications platform ensures that all employees are constantly updated on company news and that relevant information is always easily accessible.

– Our new intranet enables us to channel news and share information in a well-structured and uniform manner. We previously shared internal information and news by word-of-mouth or e-mail, methods that were inefficient, non-transparent, and unreliable. Today, all employees, in every office and laboratory both in Norway and across the world, have access to the same information at the same time. This has had a really positive impact on our efficiency, team management, operations, and on-boarding processes, says Chief Digital Officer Noralf Gamlem at PatoGen.

Speedy implementation with Omnia

PatoGen offer a wide range of services designed to help fish farmers and others in the aquaculture industry to increase profitability, predictability, and productivity by preventing fish infections and diseases. With Norway’s most modern laboratories for the detection of fish pathogens and using well-proven methods of analysis, PatoGen can also provide its customers with the necessary tools to achieve cost-effective and animal-friendly production.

Headquartered in Norwegian Ålesund and with laboratories and sales offices spread across Norway, as well as in Scotland and Chile, the company employs around 50 people. Three years ago PatoGen was only half that size and had just the one office, with an integrated laboratory. Back then there was no intranet, with internal communications handled via meetings, e-mail, and other unstructured channels. But when the company started to rapidly grow and spread its wings geographically, the need for a dedicated and uniform digital communications platform became all the more urgent. In early 2018 management consequently decided that PatoGen had to build an intranet, based on a modern, role- and task-based standard platform.

– We were able to handle internal communications fairly well when there were only 25 of us working closely together in one office, but we knew even then that there was a lot to be gained from having a well-structured digital communications platform. The benefits of establishing a transparent and efficient digital channel, in which all internal information could be consolidated, categorized, and archived, were only too apparent. You shouldn’t have to hang around the coffee machine in order to pick up vital company news. And then when the company started growing at an unprecedented pace, the situation became really acute and required resolute and quick measures, Noralf explains.

After a thorough business and information requirement analysis, PatoGen concluded they needed a flexible standard intranet platform that had a role- and task-oriented functionality and that was easy to manage and implement. The platform also had to be easily integrated with Office 365.

– We wanted a simple turn-key solution, an intranet in-a-box, which could be implemented and in our users’ hands as fast as possible. In searching for the right platform, we studied ClearBox Consulting’s market reports. Omnia was one of three products that stood out in the Clearbox analyses. We were very impressed after meeting with the Omnia team, and felt they could provide efficient and reliable support and also that they had a robust plan for further developing their platform, Noralf concludes.

The implementation project started in March 2018 and Omnia was up and running throughout the organization only two months later.

Organization welded together via intranet

With the new intranet, PatoGen can ensure employees around the world are kept in the loop on the latest company news and that they can access the same information simultaneously. The intranet has also made it easier for new employees to get to know the business and its operations.

– It used to be quite difficult for new personnel to find information, in particular older bulletins and news, since most of it was e-mailed around the organization. Today, though, everything is accessible in one place. With powerful categorization and search functionality, it’s very easy to find what you are looking for. With a shared and transparent communications platform, we’ve improved both the on-boarding of newcomers and the integration of the entire organization across country, laboratory, and unit borders. This gives us more growth power since our visions, strategies, and future road map are now there in plain sight for everyone to see and act on, Noralf emphasizes.

Teams integration offers new opportunities

PatoGen uses mostly Teams to meet and collaborate online, and they plan to use the application as the first line of tools for employees to access projects, information, and other online services. Omnia will then be seamlessly integrated inside Teams as an app.
– Teams is our key application for internal collaboration, discussions, and knowledge forums, but we also want to make the intranet the preferred platform for our employees’ daily work. Through integrating Omnia as an app in Teams, we can create an optimal solution for our way of working, where the starting point for all information and knowledge-sharing is our internal collaboration, Noralf points out.

Noralf says that Omnia’s role- and task-oriented interface has significantly boosted employees’ productivity since they now can find relevant information and resources much easier and faster.

– Our users find enhanced and personalized accessibility to news and other information to be one of the most valuable features of the new solution. We anticipate further improvement opportunities for our internal communication and work processes, which the intranet will help us achieve, Noralf predicts.