A SharePoint-based portal strategy boosts communication and collaboration across organization's global membership base

The American Geophysical Union is a nonprofit organization of geophysicists with more than 60,000 members from 146 countries.

A stronger sense of community
The American Geophysical Union (AGU) sought new ways to communicate, collaborate, and build a sense of community—both within its headquarters and across its international membership—by:

  • Fostering discussions around scientific and entertaining topics
  • Creating a secure location for document collaboration
  • Promoting individuals in research and academic fields
  • Broadcasting thoughts and dialogue within the geophysical world

Collaboration expertise
For assistance, the AGU turned to West Monroe Partners, which offered substantial collaboration expertise—
including deep experience with Microsoft SharePoint, the organization’s existing intranet platform.

The West Monroe project team assessed the AGU’s current SharePoint implementation, recommended
strategies for enhancing communication and collaboration, and then helped AGU design and implement its new
SharePoint-based intranet called The CORE. Initially, the organization introduced The CORE internally,
generating overwhelmingly positive feedback from staff and accolades from the chief information officer for the
quality of work involved. The following year, the AGU extended the collaboration site and functionality to its members worldwide.

New features foster better connections
West Monroe Partners’ recommendations evolved from efforts to understand the organization’s current challenges, not only related to document collaboration but also from a broader culture perspective.

A new homepage for The CORE promotes an interactive experience for all employees, board, and council members. Features include:

  • “Employee of the Day” profiles that feature information from My Site biographies
  • A Twitter feed that displays tweets containing #agu or @theAGU
  • Birthdays and anniversaries for the upcoming weeks

One foundation for promoting connections and strengthening culture came from building AGU “My Sites”— individual portal profiles that supplement the staff directory with pictures, information, and responses to questions
such as “As a child, I wanted to grow up to become a...”

West Monroe Partners also implemented a custom feature, the “Daily Digest,” which allows any individual in the organization to categorize and publish a post similar to a blog. Photos accompanying the posts help connect
individuals with ideas, and other users can comment and “like” posts. This successful feature generated more than 50 posts in its first month.

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