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Wellways Australia is a leading not-for-profit provider specialising in mental health, disability support, carer, youth and community care services. From an organisation formally based in Victoria, Wellways has grown to one of the largest mental health and disability service providers with staff operating in ACT, NSW, QLD, TAS and VIC across 97 work sites and remotely.

The Challenge

Over the past 5 years, Wellways expanded rapidly. We significantly increased the number of staff, office locations and states of operation. With this growth came silos between offices, teams and states, leading to difficulties sharing information and knowledge across the organisation.

Wellways had built an intranet on SharePoint 2013. The only way staff were able to access it was with an Office 365 account and we didn’t have the opportunity to give our casual workforce an account. The staff who could access it couldn’t find what they needed. Email was the only way to mass communicate with our workforce. There was a saturation of information coming through to people’s personal inboxes from top-down communications to peer-to-peer communication, and people disengaged with emails.

A modern intranet would solve these challenges. It would unify the organisation, streamline processes of cross-location information and knowledge sharing, and centralise core business processes to all staff.

I don’t think I can speak highly enough of the Elcom team. The support they have provided us has been substantial. At its core, we wanted an intranet that works for people and lets them find the information they need to do their jobs – and that’s exactly what this intranet does. Kiel Hall, Digital Producer

The Solution

We first looked at what staff needed from an intranet. Front of mind was that it had to be accessible for everyone, including our ground support staff who work remotely and only use handheld devices. The platform needed to be responsive, as well as allow users to be created directly in the intranet so it didn’t matter whether someone had an Active Directory account.

The selection criteria went through experience, cost and support provided. We chose Elcom because they had worked with other NFPs, they could offer us support after deployment, and the cost compared to a lot of the other vendors was quite reasonable as well, particularly as they offer an unlimited user licensing model. Their servers, data and hosting are also located within Australia, which is one of the usual requirements for grant applications we apply for.

It’s been a wonderful experience working with the Elcom team. They have been very accommodating, especially with new requests and changes from our side. The implementation has been smooth, and I’m really pleased with the intranet.

The new intranet is responsive, and our entire workforce can access organisation-wide information, knowledge, resources and news, all on their handheld devices.

We designed the intranet around the ability to find what people need. The homepage features quicklinks to common staff resources such as accessing training. Search can also be used to find and filter documents, pages and articles that are most applicable and relevant.

The homepage alerts function is great for notifying staff of critical business updates. We can link it to a page that is mandatory for everyone to read and then report on how many people have or haven’t read it, and group the data by states, regions and areas of work.

The Staff Directory integrates with Active Directory and includes additional fields for expertise, skills, interest and pronouns. This and our searchable directory of our office locations, service regions and their contact details, saves our heavily dispersed and casual workforce a lot of time in trying to find the right person to assist them.

The platform makes it easy to create information pages and news articles, add review dates and assign content owners. Publishers can also upload documents, set expiry/review dates, assign owners, and choose relevant metadata which includes selecting relevant compliance standards associated with the procedure and regulatory items that are external links. They can easily replace documents with new versions to retain existing metadata and taxonomy.

We have now met our goal of getting a user-friendly intranet up and running for all staff to access. We will continue enhancing the intranet as more feedback comes through. To improve the user experience further, we will be setting up security permissions to provide different views and personalised content to different groups. We also plan to introduce online communities for staff to connect and collaborate around topics of interest, as well as look at what systems we have and how they might integrate with the intranet.

The Benefits

It has been a wonderful experience to work with the Elcom team. They’re incredibly professional and helped us build an intranet that serves everyone in the organisation and makes it easy for them to find the information they need to do their jobs.

The platform itself is easy-to-use and does not rely on technical users to make updates and changes. We plan to open up publishing to more people including the Finance team to maintain payroll information and update cost centre codes which change throughout the year.

Key ways the intranet benefits Wellways:

  • Ensures all staff and volunteers have access to the intranet, including those who do not have an Active Directory account.
  • Improves internal communications across all offices at all staff levels, delivering the latest business updates, news and content in a central interface that can be viewed on mobile and tablets.
  • Centralises organisational knowledge, policies and procedures through department pages, services and program pages, document management, taxonomy, user-friendly navigation and optimised keyword search.
  • Promotes a positive culture and collaboration for all staff members through publishing cross-team news and positive success stories, discussions in online communities and sharing updates in social feeds.
  • Support connectedness with a Staff Directory integrated to Active Directory and Office Locator.
  • Improves business efficiency by streamlining manual processes. For example, simplifying onboarding and orientation of new team members. Induction packages, which includes user guides, policies, processes and staff information, can be hosted on the intranet where it is easy for people to find and reference in the future.

Want a PDF version of the Wellways Intranet success story? Click to download.

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