Silva Homes Case Study

Silva Homes launches digital transformation with SORCE and Powell 365

The Mission

To replace an existing in-house built intranet that was no longer fit for purpose or meeting user needs.

Office 365 was being rolled out across the organisation. A new digital workplace was required to bring together the new and complex landscape into a joined-up and user-friendly employee experience.

This new digital workplace should make the most of the exciting new functionality that Office 365 was offering the organisation, whilst making it easier to implement and maintain for a small team.

A new digital workplace would enable colleagues to work more effectively and help the business identify opportunities for business efficiencies and cost savings. The new digital workplace would be launched alongside the rebrand, to give employees a new and engaging way of working and communicating within the newly branded organisation.

The Powell 365 product will enable Silva Homes to quickly deliver a powerful digital workplace that is easy to maintain and available to all colleagues from any device. The Powell 365 digital workplace will be future proofed with regular product updates in line with Microsoft’s development roadmap for Office 365.

The Solution

Silva’s new intranet, Powell 365, has been introduced as part of a business-wide project, which will see administrative processes and communications digitally reconfigured over the next two years. This plan, known as ST21, has been launched following an examination of the housing association’s internal and external workflows and will aim to improve service quality to its 7,400 affordable homes, by shifting 80% of customer-initiated transactions to the web by 2021.

Alan Ward, Silva’s chief executive, commented on the association’s new intranet:

“We are fortunate to employ a fantastic and dedicated group of colleagues and it is crucial that they have access to relevant, current information so that they can excel in their roles. Knocking down internal barriers is a necessary stage in empowering colleagues and driving business efficiencies.”

– Alan Ward, Silva’s chief executive

Improvements in knowledge sharing across the organisation have already been seen. Employees are now able to quickly and easily share news and important information to everyone across the whole organisation, including those employees who work remotely.

The new Business Blog and Performance Dashboard is a fantastic way of providing regular business news, updates, facts and figures in a dynamic and engaging way. All employees are now receiving the same information at the same time regardless of location.

Silva Homes have worked with SORCE to customise the search functionality within Powell 365, creating an intuitive, easy to use and simple standard way of searching. The search is based upon a hierarchical structure and applies to all areas of the site, whether you are searching for documents or contacts. Standardising how a user searches for information has proved to be a great success. Time and therefore cost savings are being made across the business as information is now quick and easy to find.

Employees can now openly pass on compliments and feedback from their customers to their colleagues across the whole organisation which is great for morale. They can also publicly recognise and thank their colleagues for individual actions and achievements. Providing feedback and compliments openly in this way is great for employee engagement.

The new intranet links to key applications such as HR systems and finance systems that are regularly accessed in one central location which is saving considerable time across the business. There are also external links provided for industry specific news, local weather and a live local traffic feed.

The site is packed full of other great features such as Polls, a Community area featuring news with a Health and Wellbeing section, a social Yammer feed, Twitter feed and lots more.

The Result

Silva Homes introduced a new intranet as part of a plan to digitise communications and improve internal efficiencies.

The new intranet has successfully made sense of the complex Office 365 landscape and has digitally transformed the way employees work within Silva Homes. Exciting new Office 365 functionality has been introduced in a user-friendly way that is easy to maintain.

“We are delighted with how empowered our employees now feel; they can quickly and easily add content to the new site and share news and knowledge. Everyone now feels more connected and we all have a better understanding of the different departments within the organisation. This is especially true of our remote workers who now have access to the same information as those who are based in the office.

Everyone within the organisation now has a better understanding of the individual impact they can make on the business which is great; employee engagement and efficiency has certainly been improved.

We are thrilled with our new intranet and look forward to unrolling future developments within the site”

– Justine Thompson, Lead Transformation Partner

As part of Silva’s digital transition, in addition to its new intranet, the association has already rolled out a new website, a customer self-service portal, an income management tool, a development monitoring tool and an asset management system, and is now working on digitising other internal and customer-facing processes.


Client: Silva Homes
Employees: 220
Location: UK
Industry: Housing Association

Client profile

Silva Homes is a vibrant, ambitious and independent housing association with ambitious plans, backed by strong finances and excellent colleagues. They were established in 2008 as a stock transfer association, and since transfer they have significantly invested in, and improved, the homes and services to their customers.

Silva Homes owns and manages around 6,300 rented homes, including 272 shared ownership homes, as well as 1,100 leaseholder properties.

They have around 220 employees providing services which include housing management, supported housing, repairs and maintenance, landscaping, development and central services.

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