NZ Super Fund leverages SharePoint 2013 intranet for staff education and collaboration

The New Zealand Superannuation Fund is a global investment fund with the purpose of helping to pre-fund part of the future cost of universal superannuation in New Zealand.

A screenshot of NZ Super Fund's new intranet.

The NZ Super Fund is managed by the Guardians of New Zealand Superannuation, a 100-person investment organisation based in Auckland.

Since 2001, the Government has contributed $14 billion to the Fund.  That money has been invested by the Guardians around the world, and today the Fund stands at more than $25 billion, including more than $3.5 billion in New Zealand. Since investing began in 2003, the Fund has returned 9.5 percent p.a. The Fund is a 37.5 percent shareholder in Datacom.

The Challenge

The Guardians aims to have a transparent, collaborative work culture, and to make it easy and efficient for staff to access the information they need to do their jobs. In the early days of the Guardians and Fund, with just a handful of staff, this was fairly easy to achieve.  By 2013, however, staff numbers were around 80, and the Guardians had grown to the point where a stronger focus on internal communications was needed. With plans to further increase the Guardians’ in-house investment capability, and staff travelling globally on a regular basis, investment in a new intranet could be justified.

By implementing a modern, social intranet, the Guardians aimed to enhance information-sharing, dialogue and collaboration across the organisation.  It also wanted to make it easier for staff to find key information, and to better manage a range of workflows and business processes. Central to the business case was the development of a staff education site that would enhance the induction process and help capture staff knowledge and know-how.

As the Guardians is a Crown entity, the new intranet also needed to be compatible with the Public Records Act and integrate seamlessly with the organisation’s document management system, eDocs. The integration with eDocs was the main technical risk in the project.

The Solution

The Guardians’ new ‘SuperCharged’ intranet utilises Datacom’s intranet accelerator for SharePoint 2013. The accelerator is a pre-defined framework that provides a cost-effective intranet structure and functionality based on commonly accepted best practice.

Datacom worked closely with the Fund’s design firm, Insight Creative, to implement an attractive and professional visual design for the site, and identified a simple, elegant ‘linking’ solution for the integration with eDocs in tandem with supplier TechTonics.

Features of the Guardians’ ‘SuperCharged’ intranet include a social-media style newsfeed on the home page; personalised home page links for each staff member; the ability for all staff to blog; an individual profile page for each staff member; and a series of seven video-based education modules on topics ranging from responsible investment to risk management.

The Partnership

Datacom’s team was housed on site at the Guardians’ offices during the project. This move facilitated close collaboration between Datacom and the Guardians, and helped enable quick decision-making.

Another key success factor was the establishment of a Business User Group comprising 15 key people from across the Guardians. This forum, which was particularly active during the discovery and requirements-gathering phase, facilitated wide engagement with the business.

The Technology

  • A pre-configured Datacom intranet accelerator for SharePoint 2013 with built-in social media functionality.
  • Hardware requirements slotted easily into existing infrastructure at the Datacom data centre.

“Datacom’s accelerator was a great solution for us. It saved time, reduced cost and gave us confidence that our design was based on proven, best practice principles.”

Catherine Etheredge - Head of Communications, NZ Super Fund


  • A March 2014 staff survey found high levels of staff satisfaction with the new intranet, with strong ratings for speed, ease of navigation and design appeal
  • Great adoption of social media features, including a popular CEO blog
  • Following positive staff feedback about the initial set of education modules, a further four are being rolled out.