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Scottish Natural Heritage: an award-winning digital workplace

  • New digital workspace delivered on-time, on-budget
  • Recognised at 2017 Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards
  • Staff reading up from 30% to 85%
  • 250% increase in dwell time for social collaboration space


Funded by the Scottish Government, Scottish Natural Heritage’s (SNH) mission is to promote, care for, improve, and sustainably use Scotland’s wildlife, habitats and landscapes.

The challenge

Unproductive working practices and a lack of two-way engagement was proving a problem for Scottish Natural Heritage. Finding relevant content quickly was also a daily struggle for staff. Meanwhile, the organisation's communications team was struggling to provide timely updates on key news and business critical updates.

With a legacy of siloed systems, Scottish Natural Heritage needed an integrated digital workplace that would make daily tasks simpler and would support more flexible working practices.

With the government’s emphasis on services built using open standards, Scottish Natural Heritage was looking for an open and flexible intranet to deliver a joined-up digital strategy that could support organisational change. But with limited budget and staffing resources, SNH decided SharePoint was not the right solution for its needs.

Looking for a single technology to bring its website and intranet projects closer together, SNH selected Atrium, an open-source, Drupal platform that serves as the foundation for building complex intranets, extranets, and community portals.

Atrium became our technology of choice because it presented the option to have an open-source, out-the-box intranet configured to meet our immediate needs, while serving our future digital ambitions.

Martin Stubbs-Partidge, communications officer at SNH


The next challenge was finding the right supplier to help build and implement an Atrium solution tailored to the organisation’s needs. With its focus on the problems SNH wanted to overcome, at a cost it could afford, Inviqa (formerly iKOS) stood out as SNH’s technology supplier of choice.

Our Solution

Our work with Scottish Natural Heritage formed three phases:

  • Discovery: workshops with key stakeholders to gain a deep understanding of the project goals and how success would be measured to help prioritise and inform decisions
  • Atrium customisation and implementation
  • Integration of various disparate systems and data sources to provide superior user experience


Take a look at this video for a feel of how the new intranet works:

Transforming the workplace

Thanks to our collaboration, Scottish Natural Heritage now has a digital workplace that is driving immediate ROI savings and uncovering longer term opportunities.

On its first day of launch the workspace received 2,200 visits from 659 users spending an average 16 minutes per session – with a total 9,600 visits secured in the first week.

Key achievements year-on-year include:

  • Increase in overall dwell time
  • 250% increase in average dwell time for the ‘Social Room’ collaboration space
  • 50% increase in number of visits to the internal information library
  • Securing an average session length of 12 minutes
  • Securing an average 4.5 page views per session
  • Compliance with mandatory read articles up from 30% to 85%


Inviqa fully met our needs and a lot more besides! Our most important content is now found, reviewed, and communicated from a single source of truth.

Martin Stubbs-Partridge, communications officer, Scottish Natural Heritage

Working better, together

The new workplace puts users at the heart, allowing them to get things done, work better together, and be more digitally connected.

Key features of the intranet include a homepage that shows organisation-wide content, such as news from the press centre and featured blog posts, and an information library offering easy search and filtering by category to access the organisation’s most important content.

Thanks to complex data integrations from Inviqa and SNH’s internal software and infrastructure teams, SNH colleagues no longer struggle to connect with one another. A staff directory enables colleagues to find a specific person by name or other criteria, such as department, location and skill.

And finding relevant information is less of a headache. The most important content within the document management system is now more easily searchable and supportive of the organisation’s authentication and authorisation needs.

An award-winning workplace

SNH, together with Inviqa, was recognised at the Step Two 2017 Intranet and Digital Workplace Awards for its ‘outstanding contribution to the fields of intranets and digital workplaces’. 

Martin Stubbs-Partidge, communications officer at SNH, said: ‘We're delighted that our continued relationship with Inviqa has helped us achieve a global award. It shows the value of our partnership, and we’re now looking forward to tackling our next set of challenges including a major module upgrade’.

Inviqa has supported our move towards more flexible team working and real-time collaboration. The team has improved our use and understanding of analytics, enabling us to listen and react to user needs faster and more subjectively.

Martin Stubbs-Partridge, communications officer at SNH

Adopting Agile practices

The partnership with Inviqa has also led to the trialling of Agile working practices at SNH, according to Martin:

'Agile was not only completely new to me and my colleagues in internal communications, but also to the organisation! Since launching the intranet other teams have begun to trial Agile practices through the use of Trello.

'To overcome security and information management concerns Inviqa helped us develop an integrated Kanban Board. We’re now able to securely introduce Kanban practices across a greater number of pilot teams reaping benefits way beyond the original scope of the intranet project'.

Inviqa is a technology partner and consultant specialised in ecommerce, content management solutions, and custom stoftware development. Get in touch to discover how we can support your digital journey.