Jamieson Vitamins is Canada’s leading vitamin and natural health product manufacturer. The company has a track record of excellence spanning nearly 100 years, a portfolio of more than 280 natural health products and customers in over 40 countries across the globe.
To maintain their track record of success, the company considers teamwork and entrepreneurship as critical guiding principles to how they conduct themselves and the behaviours they value as an organization. Jamieson partnered with MRS as part of the company’s ongoing initiative to optimize ROI on their Microsoft cloud services – an integral part of their teamwork and collaboration practices.
Extracting maximum value from investments in Microsoft cloud products
Like many of our clients, Jamieson recently acquired Office 365 Business licenses. As long-time SharePoint users they began reviewing SharePoint Online – the fully managed cloud-based version of SharePoint as part of Office 365 Business. Very quickly the company learned there are new, different and exciting ways of developing and implementing solutions in the Microsoft cloud. They recognized there was untapped value in Microsoft cloud products waiting to be utilized.
While it was still familiar, it wasn’t the same as SharePoint 2013 and there were far more powerful features and functionalities that they could leverage to help the company. Site Collections, Hub Sites, Microsoft Flow, PowerApps, the Modern UI, and Office Groups are just a few of the features that are new or have changed considerably. And, of course, with SharePoint Online, there is no access to the back-end server in the shared cloud environment hosted by Microsoft. Jamieson rightfully decided not to just “pull and dump” from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint Online; instead, they would migrate methodically, using proven procedures and best practices.
Identifying and executing on SharePoint migration best practices
Jamieson turned to MRS for guidance and expertise to help them identify and execute on best practices and to ensure a smooth migration of critical existing workloads. With that being said, the company did not want MRS to take the requirements and rebuild or migrate solutions in a black box without any internal input or understanding on the migration process – they wanted the teams of MRS and Jamieson to work in close collaboration with all stakeholders deeply involved and in the loop every step of the way.
Specifically, Jamieson wanted their internal .NET professionals to gain a high-level knowledge and understanding of the system and infrastructure to reduce reliance on external IT staff when making minor additions and adjustments moving forward. The company ultimately needed insights and support from MRS’ seasoned and certified Office 365 professionals on the intricacies of the system while providing members of their internal IT team with a base understanding of how to make more minor changes moving forward. So how to get them up to speed?
A monthly consulting agreement between MRS and Jamieson spanning over a calendar year
MRS and Jamieson engaged in a monthly consulting agreement. Instead of trying to have big burst training sessions of multiple hours covering multiple tasks, we created a timed plan of attack in relation to the company’s migration plan. When it came time to implement a new landing page on SharePoint Online with the Modern UI, we set up a session with the client and have our experts work hand-in-hand with theirs, running over everything the company needed to know to effectively leverage this feature and for them to have adequate understanding to deploy and manage modern landing pages moving forward. When migrating lists and workflows from SharePoint 2013 to SharePoint Online, the same process was utilized. This ensured a specific task-based approach that would directly help the company with what they needed at the time they needed it.
Throughout over a year of working together with MRS, Jamieson’s internal staff now has strong working knowledge and deep understanding of SharePoint Online, the related systems like Teams, Flow, and PowerApps, and how all these systems and applications work together. With this knowledge and expertise now in place, the company saves time and costs by being able to perform minor changes and day-to-day management duties in-house, while working together with MRS on bigger and more significant solutions like enterprise document management, workflow automations, custom applications and more.
Our flexible administrator and developer training program allowed our clients’ professionals to acquire the knowledge they need, when they needed it. We set up a strong tracking system to ensure we tracked the hours used, the topics discussed, and the lessons learned for future reference. Jamieson’s .NET professionals are able to work with our SharePoint experts on individual topics when they’re ready for it, so that all lessons are pertinent to the task they are working on at that time. And they can scale the hours up or down as needed, ensuring that they are offered the flexibility required for the dynamics of their day-to-day tasks.