The challenge

How do you evolve your digital employee experience from Alfresco to Microsoft 365? 

“We wanted to help our community have everything at their fingertips and thanks to Addin365 support Viva Connections is the solution that provides all Partners and employees a personalised feed that brings together the news, announcements and community posts relevant to them, from across SharePoint, Stream, Yammer and Microsoft Teams conversations. This means we can give all 16,000 St. James’s Place Partners and employees an experience that is relevant to them and will support their productivity.”

Hari Miller

Divisional Director, Corporate Internal Communication


St. James’s Place were looking to deliver a new communications and publishing experience on Office 365. The experience would need to reach 16,000 people; 3,000 employees and a further community of 13,000, in the St. James’s Place Partnership network.

St. James’s Place wanted to provide employees with relevant content. As a global business, this meant the ability to have local authors and support peer to peer communications. St. James’s Place also wanted to have the tools to segment communications and differentiate between strategic and operational communications.

The St. James’s Place Partnership acts as an external sales and client management team for St. James’s Place products. St. James’s Place wanted to support their Partnership better, with more self-service help to resolve problems and answer questions. St. James’s Place also wanted to deliver more up to date content and information to help the Partnership network to manage their clients.

The incumbent St. James’s Place intranet was on the Alfresco platform. Content was stored by department and therefore hard to find and the user experience static. From the editor’s perspective, content was hard to publish and often required technical resource.



  •  A communications and publishing experience that could be owned by the business; easy to edit and manage.
  • A task-based architecture to support employees and the partnership network in finding the content they require to do their jobs.
  • To move content out of PDF documents to pages. This would improve findability and prevent old versions of documents being used by employees and the Partnership network. Content security would also be improved, as pages are less portable than documents.
  • To use communications tools that would allow for targeting of content.
  • A fully responsive mobile experience for anytime, anywhere access to information.

St. James’s Place are working on a brand refresh and required the new communications and publishing experience to carry the old brand initially but to be able to easily transition the visual elements and incorporate them into the user experience.



The solution

St. James’s Place selected AddIn365 products and services, for Office 365.

  • Creative and Page Kit to ensure brand alignment of the new intranet to St. James’s Place current then new brand guidelines, once launched.
  • Site Builder to generate new sites in a single click as different business areas require them.
  • Content Confidence Kit to deliver a bot-based content discovery experience, to compliment Office 365 search.

St. James’s Place also invested in AddIn365 consulting, information architecture, branding and training services.



People to reach




Partner emails send p.a.

“We are a really busy communications team and didn’t want to discover all the capabilities that SharePoint Modern has to offer before being able to start our page layouts and navigation. We wanted a best of breed start point and to iterate from there, which is what the AddIn365 templates allowed us to do.”

Vicki O’Connell

Head of Division Partner & Employee Communications, Corporate Affairs

Information Model

St. James’s Place opted to use AddIn365’s information architecture patterns, to speed up the process of designing navigation, page layouts, lists and libraries. AddIn365 workshopped the standard information architecture patterns with St. James’s Place to make them St. James’s Place specific before these templates were branded. This approach saved on time, budget and effort and has allowed for a higher quality end product, as the start point was already well thought through.

Siloed sites have been reimagined around employee and Partner journeys. The new information model has done away with departmental based architecture and replaced it with pathways that present information based on tasks that employees and partners complete.

The marketing team opted to develop a brand site, using AddIn365’s brand template, to house the assets for the new brand identity being developed by St. James’s Place. This has allowed the marketing team to provide the business with one source of truth for brand assets rather than worry about old versions circulating through the business.


Viva Connections

Up to 40,000 emails could be sent in a single year to St. James’s Place Partners. These emails would be a mix of operational and strategic, high and low priority.

Targeted news and announcements, delivered via SharePoint and consumed in Viva Connections, will replace many of these emails. Communication to all has been replaced with segmentation by audience (all, St. James’s Place employees, St. James’s Place Partnership).

Yammer communities will be set up to represent geographical business areas. Partners and employees will now have a dedicated place to give and receive peer to peer support and collaborate on business priorities.

Operational communications will now sit as a change log beside the content source, significantly reducing the volume of communications whilst ensuring changes are consumed at the right time by St. James’s


AddIn365’s design team worked with the St. James’s Place brand guidelines to provide an experience that focuses on the quality of life that St. James’s Place clients enjoy, thanks to their wealth management.

In early 2022 this look and feel will be updated in-line with the new brand guidelines being developed by the marketing team.


Client Top Tips


We caught up with Vicki O’Connell, Head of Division Partner & Employee Communications to understand what advise she would give to organisations looking to enhance their employee experience, here are her top tips:


– Choose a tool that can align to your brand, as this is increasingly the experience employees have of your organisation, so it needs to communicate your culture and values, as much as allow for the execution of your communications strategy.

– Take your business on the journey with you. We undertook AddIn365’s Success Definition exercise to understand what the leadership and business wanted out of the new platform and kept communicating with them throughout. Our exec is excited about the new communications and publishing experience and different departments have been actively involved in the production of their own sites.

– Think about content production early. Ideally have a dedicated resource to work with the business to get this ready. AddIn365 provide workbooks so that content collation can begin at project kick-off, to maximise time available for this activity.


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