About HCT Construction Consultants

HCT Construction Consultants is a vibrant and forward-thinking multidisciplinary construction consultancy providing professional services throughout the UK. Their core specialist services are quantity surveying, project management, principal designer, party wall surveying, project monitoring and dispute resolution.

Number of Employees: 20

Partnered with OGL since: 2009

Company Location: Warwickshire

Company Website: www.hctcc.co.uk

SharePoint project for long-standing customer delivers excellent outcome

Fully harnessing the power of SharePoint Online has been a revelation for Wayne Humphries, Director of HCT Construction Consultants based in Warwickshire. Following a systematic review and restructure of HCT’s data, SharePoint is now the central file repository for the company, offering seamless file sharing, remote access and document collaboration for the company’s 20 staff.

The problem

HCT were an early adopter of SharePoint Online – moving their data from on-premise storage to SharePoint’s cloud solution. However, the limited methods of access provided by Microsoft, and the loss of traditional file access that the end users had worked with for a significant number of years left them with a SharePoint solution that was missing the mark. User hostility understandably set in, because of an inherent lack of user-friendliness and intuitive interface. There was one vast document library with no structure or signposting; creating a very time-consuming and frustrating experience when HCT staff simply wanted to access files. In addition to this, the tools Microsoft supplied to allow a connection to SharePoint in a more traditional way were just not reliable. It was clunky and unpopular to say the least.

Wayne remembers: “To be honest, earlier this year (2021) we were contemplating moving back to an on-premise solution for our data, such was our dissatisfaction with SharePoint Online. But deep down I knew that was a backwards step in terms of technology.

The solution

“It was clear we needed to totally start again with HCT and SharePoint”, said Colin Dennis, OGL’s Head of Pre-Sales and Internal Operations. “The current version of SharePoint Online is an excellent data management tool; it’s highly customisable and feature-rich meaning it can be configured to fit a business’s needs and preferences perfectly. But crucially, it must be planned and structured from the ground up.”

So, with Wayne convinced that staying with SharePoint was the right decision following our advice to him, we set about a project to reinvigorate HCT’s use of SharePoint. We began with a full systematic review of HCTs data, ensuring that it was restructured to complement the latest access tools.

Once we knew the type of data they were storing, the rate at which they were creating new data, and the requirements of the business to access the data, we set about designing and configuring their new structure in SharePoint to exactly mirror their needs.

The new solution reflects the business’s structure, features landing pages to ensure the user-interface gives a good experience and has clear signposting to ensure staff can navigate the site easily. Additionally, by organising the data to meet both the needs of the business and also Microsoft’s requirements to allow for simple access an excellent outcome for HCT has been achieved.

In terms of moving the data, we used the OGL toolset to migrate data from the old to the new SharePoint locations, ensuring there was no downtime. The process was completed in the background with no end user awareness. On the agreed go live date our engineers ensured that the new location was visible, and we held a series of user training sessions for the HCT staff.

The outcome

Wayne reflected: “OGL has rejuvenated our commitment to SharePoint. We were at a point where the unreliable method of connectivity provided by Microsoft, and the lack of intuitive signposting within the SharePoint site meant that we were at risk of reverting to storing data elsewhere and losing control. This project wasn’t something we could have undertaken ourselves, we needed OGL’s experience of SharePoint and data migration to plan and complete the task. We’ve worked with OGL for over 10 years so I trusted them to get the job done and ensure our data remained completely secure and safe."

“Our files are now stored on a platform that has been configured to look and feel similar to a traditional Windows fileserver, because that’s our preference, whilst getting all the benefits of SharePoint - exceptional levels of security, an ability to scale up as we grow and seamless integration with other Microsoft apps. It’s been a positive experience to work with Colin and the OGL team to solve the data storage problem that had been a challenge for a long time. Our data is the life-blood of HCT, so the project needed to be in a safe pair of hands, which I’m pleased to say OGL is.”

Colin said: “This has been a great project to work on. HCT were so open to taking our advice about SharePoint and giving it a second chance. We’ve demonstrated exactly what can be achieved with it and have removed so many operational challenges for the HCT team – it’s been a delight to deliver such a good outcome for a very valued customer.”

Speak to a SharePoint expert

“This project wasn’t something we could have undertaken ourselves, we needed OGL’s experience of SharePoint and data migration… it needed to be in a safe pair of hands, which I’m pleased to say OGL is."

Wayne Humphries

Director of HCT Construction Consultants