Cox Automotive is a global solutions provider that serves millions of car shoppers and more than 40,000 auto dealers across five continents. The company’s products and services bridge the gap between consumers, manufacturers, dealers, and lenders during every stage of the automotive experience.
At the organizational level, Cox Automotive relies upon its intranet, branded as Fuel, to ensure more than 27,000 employees stay informed and remain connected across offices throughout the United States and many countries globally.
Fuel also helps the Internal Communications team achieve departmental goals while executing corporate campaigns designed to improve retention rates, increase productivity, and enhance employee satisfaction.
Far more than a software tool or communications platform, Fuel is a cornerstone of Cox Automotive’s overall success.
Cox Automotive unveiled Connected Revolution, a digital workplace initiative designed to enhance communication and collaboration across the company. An essential element of the multiphase project was to move the entire organization to the Microsoft Office 365 platform.
Cox Communications, a sister company of Cox Automotive, had already deployed SharePoint Online, a cloud-based application within Office 365 used for collaboration and information exchange. Parent company Cox Enterprises was also planning a future move to the intranet platform.
With multiple companies in the same organization currently on—or soon transitioning to—SharePoint, the Jive intranet platform was creating compatibility obstacles for Cox Automotive. These issues exacerbated an already declining usage rate among employees caused by:
- A lack of innovation and new solutions from Jive
- Inconsistency organizing and managing content
- Poor search function performance
- Outdated content
- No mobile access
Cox Automotive needed an efficient, cost-effective solution that would address these challenges, provide a more seamless user experience, and advance the Connected Revolution program.
The IT department at Cox Automotive engaged ThreeWill, a Microsoft-certified partner that previously developed technology solutions for other Cox Enterprises subsidiaries, to lead an intranet conversion effort.
Working together, Cox Automotive and ThreeWill produced a design and implementation strategy to move Fuel from a Jive platform to SharePoint Online and migrate all relevant content to the new system.
The project, which utilized a blend of agile and predictive methodology, was divided into the following four phases:
Phase 1: Discovery and Recommendations (July-August 2018)
ThreeWill launched phase 1 by conducting a series of digital workplace workshops with select leaders of Cox Automotive to strengthen relationships and gain a thorough understanding of the organization’s needs.
Following these discovery meetings, environment testing, and use-case analysis, the ThreeWill team proposed—and Cox Automotive approved—detailed recommendations and timelines for the design and implementation of a new collaboration and communication platform anchored in SharePoint Online.
Phase 2: Workplace Design and Migration Proof-of-Concept
During phase 2, ThreeWill generated Proof-of-Concept (POC) scenarios to demonstrate how the proposed structures and processes would provide a seamless transition to the SharePoint Online platform.
Project managers and engineers also compiled an inventory of all content stored in Jive and created an architecture governance plan to standardize policies, processes, and procedures for future use.
Phase 3: Fuel Intranet Pilot
Working with a team of early adopters and project champions, ThreeWill and Cox Automotive completed a pilot rollout of Fuel to test performance and identify areas for improvement in advance of a full-scale launch of the new intranet platform.
Phase 3 was highlighted by the integration of migration features to support content mapping, implementation of designs and recommendations developed during phase 2, and creation of a detailed production timeline to migrate all existing content from Jive to targeted SharePoint Online sites.
Phase 4: Digital Workplace Implementation
Using digital workplace designs, templates, and recommendations developed as part of the pilot project, ThreeWill, and Cox Automotive finalized migration tooling features before moving nearly 100,000 pieces of content from Jive to SharePoint Online. The new Fuel intranet went live by the end of the engagement, completing a key component of the Connected Revolution initiative.
Since aligning Fuel and all of Cox Automotive’s communications and collaboration tools on the SharePoint Online platform, the company has saved more than $1 million on Jive-related licensing rights. The transition has also allowed the organization to:
- Eliminate outdated content by 70%.
- Empower site owners to manage content for their business units.
- Automate the curation and distribution of targeted content.
- Implement processes to ensure information remains fresh.
- Access and engage with Fuel via mobile devices.
Collectively, transitioning Fuel to SharePoint Online has improved the distribution of content across all Cox Automotive departments, enhanced search capabilities, and increased overall employee engagement. Leadership also has the experience and a blueprint for future intranet implementation projects throughout the Cox Enterprises portfolio of companies.
About Cox Automotive
Cox Automotive is an Atlanta-based subsidiary of Cox Enterprises Inc., a global company with nearly $20 billion in annual revenues. Except for manufacturing vehicles and disposing of them, one of the more than 25 Cox Automotive brands reaches every aspect of car acquisition, retail, ownership, and use. The Cox Automotive family of brands includes Autotrader, Clutch Technologies, Dealer.com, Dealertrack, Kelley Blue Book, Manheim, NextGear Capital, VinSolutions, vAuto, and Xtime.
Ranked in the top five percent of Microsoft partners based on four independent surveys, ThreeWill helps teams work together better by building solutions in the Microsoft Cloud using agile processes. Established in 2001 and based in Alpharetta, Georgia, the company is a Microsoft Partner with many Gold and Silver competencies to help clients transform, innovate and succeed in the Microsoft Cloud.