Sunshine Coast Council Upgrades to Modern Cloud Intranet

Sunshine Coast Council (SCC) is a local government district in South East Queensland, a diverse region with picturesque hinterland towns, coastal urban centres, waterways, national parks, state forests, bushland, rural areas and scenic mountains, and is home to over 303,000 residents.   

Sunshine Coast Council - Sharing Minds

SCC wanted to implement a new Intranet and collaboration platform using Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint Online (SPO) and Microsoft Teams. The new solution allowed them to move away from their ageing internal SharePoint site.  

The new Intranet has enabled SCC staff to collaborate and share knowledge easily across the organisation by configuring out of the box SPO features and functionality and by leveraging the emerging functionality of O365 Groups and Microsoft Teams. 

AvePoint was engaged to provide a solution which would work alongside the SharePoint online environment and provide a platform for governance and self-service, with the aim to streamline IT support and reduce the burden/overhead on IT resources at the Sunshine Coast Council.

With the consultation of the Sharing Minds team, AvePoint Governance Automation was successfully implemented to meet the needs of the Council and ultimately provided a solution that enabled a smooth rollout to thousands of council staff. 

Sunshine Coast Council
Sunshine Coast Council - native animals

“Some of our key considerations included improving the navigation and discoverability of sites and documents, pages, news and lists.  We also wanted to align with Microsoft’s communication and collaboration models and leverage the capabilities of the cloud.”  

 Other considerations from the SCC team included: 

  • Configuring Out of the Box Functions, Features and Templates and minimising custom development 

  • Leveraging new O365 features and apps being regularly added by Microsoft 

  • Integrating Communication Sites, Team Workspaces and Project Online records with Content Manager based on Site and Document Metadata and Labels 

  • Ease of supporting and governing the platform long-term without the need for significant human resources 

  • Ability to federate searching across multiple platforms and respositories 

Could you explain some of the nuts and bolts of your solution?  

Sunshine Coast Council - case study

The SharePoint online platform solution was built with: 

  • Modern communication sites as basis for information sharing, eg. news and events, contact pages (uni-directional information sharing) 

  • Microsoft Teams sites as a collaboration platform for teams within the council (bi-directional information sharing) 

  • A document centre/library for fact sheets, guides, templates, etc. as a source of truth for council files 

  • Intricate metadata schema to enable efficient labelling and searching of content 

  • Delve personal profile sites to uplift personal brand at the council, enable easy collaboration between peers, and create connections more easily 

  • Project online sites for project teams 

AvePoint Governance was used to: 

  • Provide access to SharePoint services via a request and approve method; council staff could enter the AvePoint portal, request the desired service (new comm site, new team site, change site owner, change site name or URL, etc.) and have this approved and provisioned automatically by the AvePoint platform 

  • Govern the environment by tracking usage, give sites a ‘lease’ period which needed to be extended via request (stops unused sites hanging around forever unnoticed) 

  • Manage the approval process of the creation of new sites 

Have there been any surprising outcomes from the initial rollout of this solution?   

“The AvePoint service can provide more functions than what is required currently but it will allow us to leverage this further in the future.”

SCC - truck

Why did you choose Sharing Minds? 

“We chose Sharing Minds as we were seeking a vendor who could deliver a complete solution.  We wanted a system that was modern, smart, responsive and mobile whilst ensuring that our requirements for governance and information management were met.   

Sharing Minds were able to demonstrate superior knowledge in the technical and information architecture design and a solid understanding of our specific requirements as a Local Government agency.   

Their expertise combined with their Partner Product Suite meant we could get access to everything that we need with a single point of contact.”

How would you say this solution ties in with your overarching organisational values or goals? 

“This solution is a significant stepping stone in building upon our value of Working as One Team.  We have developed a modern, smart and responsive platform that provides our staff with the capability and tools they need to deliver high standards and service excellence.“


For further information on Microsoft collaboration tools and AvePoint Governance Automation, please send us your details below or call 1300 611 359 to speak with a team member today.

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Delivering value to BSR Group Franchisee Members with Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint and LiveTiles

BSR Group is the franchisor to the Betta Home Living brand of stores. The company turned to Interactive and Sharing Minds for a better way of delivering the right content to the right people at the right time and invested in a fully-managed Office 365 solution for Intranet, email and office tools.

Interactive logo - Sharing Minds
Case Study - Sharing Minds


The solution migrated an existing on-premise email facility to a cloud-based Microsoft Office 365 environment, along with migrating an existing WordPress intranet to a Microsoft SharePoint site.

The SharePoint environment was enhanced using LiveTiles technology delivered by Sharing Minds and the boosted security and access provisions available in the Azure cloud.


This combined gave end users in the BSR network single sign-on access to a significantly improved user interface and provided the BSR headquarters team with a solution that eased the publishing of quality, branded content to their franchise network.

“Interactive and Sharing Minds were the standout partner combination for our requirements and our new Intranet is already achieving greater productivity for our franchisees and staff,” explained Kai Voss, IT Manager, BSR Group.

BSR GROUP - Betta Home Living technology


  • Improved member engagement

  • The Franchisee Intranet is now available on any device

  • Diminished complexity for users, increased security for the business

  • Reduced support and administration requirements


The key focus of the BSR Group is assisting franchisees to maximise their offering to the customer and to provide support to franchisees to enable them to compete in a market which has become progressively more competitive. Using Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint and LiveTiles in combination, BSR franchisees can now access critical information on offers, new promotions, billing, and other core knowledge on any device from wherever they may be.

BSR GROUP - Betta Home Living product


BSR Group approached multiple partners for their requirements. “Interactive and Sharing Minds were the standout partner and gave complete confidence that they had the team with the right experience and knowledge to successfully deliver our project.”

O365 has enabled BSR to secure and control their data whether it be user-related, email data or Members Intranet posts. They can utilise password policies as prescribed in their IT Policies and Procedures to ensure that users have access to the appropriate information.

Support and administration time has been reduced. Now that BSR has access to support tools such as Office Admin Centre, its help desk can manage day to day tasks with ease from any device.

“Our Group vision is to be the leading independent retailer group providing home appliance and furniture solutions to consumers. With Interactive and Sharing Minds’ help and our new Intranet, we are closer to reaching that goal.” - Kai Voss, IT Manager, BSR Group.

For further information on Microsoft Office 365, SharePoint and LiveTiles, please send us your details below or call 1300 611 359 to speak with us today.

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Horizon Housing's SharePoint Online Intranet and Microsoft Flow

Known for bringing hope and opportunity to low-income home owners and tenants, Horizon Housing is one of Australia's leading providers of low cost housing.  They are an award winning not-for-profit charity, formed specifically to provide affordable community housing for those who need it most. 

Welcome to H-Net2 - Horizon Housing

"We initially brought Sharing Minds in to redesign and implement a SharePoint Online intranet, and learn alongside their consultants so we could become self-sufficient in managing the SharePoint environment ourselves."

"Once our intranet was established within the organisation, we then wanted to set up some workflow tools which would help us with the management of our Tenant Application Register and various Tenancy Plans.  And with that, we needed additional training for our team."

Sharing Minds developed a series of Microsoft Flows and trained Horizon Housing on how to use the tool. The Horizon Housing team then built a variety of processes that were able to provide a seamless process flow (forgive the pun) throughout their organisation.

“We wanted to make sure Horizon Housing felt supported at all times by our team, and the process consultant was on hand at all times," explained Ben Creamer, Sharing Minds.

What would you say is a big tick for this workflow project?

"There was a section of our business who never hit their KPIs.  In the past month they have, because of process management in Microsoft Flow."

Horizon Housing

For further information on Microsoft SharePoint Online and Flow, please send us your details below or call 1300 611 359 to speak with us today.

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A Phone Book Solution for SharePoint

Within many businesses the challenge to provide an up-to-date functional phone book application can be a difficult one.  Common struggles can be as simple as finding clear details in order to get in touch in a timely manner.

Many groups rely on excel spreadsheets and information provided by a mail system (i.e. Outlook) where each user needs to have an account to be continually managed. 

Within the health care industry, this management issue can be compounded where only up to a third of users have a network account, the majority of other staff (doctors, nurses, volunteers, etc.) use a group network login or have no access to the network.


Why use SharePoint?

SharePoint allows us to create solutions and combine separate information sources in order to deliver a single interface for contact information, regardless of its source.

Sharing Minds has developed a 'plug-in' module that enables customers to quickly and easily deploy a functioning and effective 'Phone Book' within their SharePoint environment. This Phone Book module:

  • Provides one interface for the display of all contacts

  • Provides standard interfaces for the management of contacts not stored within the corporate network (i.e. Active Directory)

  • Allows Phone book users to be tagged in other SharePoint functions (i.e. Document Management)


Solution Development

The solution was created to work across the entire environment and maintain contact information on multiple types of contacts, while maintaining security - ensuring that users only see the contacts they are supposed to.

Below is a screenshot of a live Phone Book solution for a national health care provider.

The SharePoint Phone Book in action

The SharePoint Phone Book in action

The solution uses a combination of standard Microsoft SharePoint technology and a small custom built component to manage both non-network and network contacts, ensuring that everyone can be found in one location using one format.

Contact card

For further information on Microsoft SharePoint phone book capabilities, please send us your details below or call
1300 611 359 to speak with us today.


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