This case study explains how Compete366 worked with Gulf Keystone Petroleum (GKP) to build a Sharepoint Intranet and collaboration hub.

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Business Background

Gulf Keystone is the operator of the Shaikan Field, one of the largest developments in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq.  The Shaikan Field is one of the largest oil discoveries in the Kurdistan Region of Iraq and has been in production since July 2013.

The Company’s strategy is to create value for all stakeholders by driving sustainable and profitable production growth from the staged development of the Shaikan Field, balanced with distributions to shareholders.

Gulf Keystone’s business is split across a London UK head office and operations in Kurdistan, where the production facilities are located.

The Business Challenge

As with many large, geographically dispersed organisations with multiple teams, communication between different projects, stakeholders and team members is challenging.

As Shaminder Johal, Data Manager explains:

We wanted to create a sense of community across the whole business and provide one central place for collaboration and communication. Our goal was to have one common place to share information, highlight our projects under HSE, Production, Corporate Social Responsibility and much more to spread awareness and celebrate our teams’ achievements.”

The requirement was to create one central hub where information such as policies and procedures, calendars, success stories, training programmes and news could be shared, as well as teams daily collaboration capabilities.

The Human Resources department had spent a lot of time creating much of this information and needed a way of making key policies more visible to everyone.  The team wanted to avoid employees needing to search through emails, shared drives or Sharepoint.  They also wanted to ensure that employees were accessing the most current and up to date version of any document. This process, which resulted in the Employee Hub was the trigger for the transformation process.


The Solution – Sharepoint Intranet

Gulf Keystone IT decided the best way to achieve this would be to create a company Intranet site to serve not only as the central repository of internal portals (HR, Branding, Cybersecurity, HSE, Policies, Production, departments workspaces) but also with easy links to key systems, company news and future developments.

As Max Tamola (IT and Digitalisation Manager) explains,

We decided to build our Intranet using MS Sharepoint – as it’s a core part of the M365 suite, and as we were already using this technology.  Sharepoint Online is a very flexible, integrated and secure solution to implement this kind of project. It is a very good tool to support the development of two key IT workstreams: Digitalisation and Cybersecurity”

GKP was undertaking a wider digital transformation journey to transform the company, reduce paperwork, and improve processes.  Sharepoint was also chosen as it will support this journey, becoming a starting point and tool to enable and support more digital transformation process.

Gulf Keystone had been working with Compete366 over a number of years for the provision of its M365 licences, so was the obvious partner for this project.

Compete366 kicked off the project and started building the backbone of the system in October 2022.  Gulf Keystone were encouraged to take a look at various Sharepoint sites that Compete366 shared for inspiration, and to see what could be achieved.

As the build of the Intranet site progressed, the team at Gulf Keystone were encouraged to give feedback to Compete366.  The team was keen to use the GKP colour scheme, and create their own banner styling and have input into the high level page styling, all aligned with GKP´s branding policy.

Once the framework of the Intranet site was built by Compete366, this was handed over to Shaminder for onward content uploads.

As Shaminder explains

“The Compete366 consultant created a template of each page and he was really good at supporting and showing us helpful tips to design the page. I found it really easy to add various webparts, create visual content and to add new pages. The consultant was very responsive to any queries that I had.”

As Max adds:

“Our new Sharepoint Intranet ensures that our key messages are visible from the outset for new employees as they join, and is a good reminder for all current employees too.”

Project Overview

The initial structure of the Sharepoint Intranet was built by Compete366.  After the project scope was agreed, Compete366 delivered a fixed price project, and ensured a smooth hand over to Gulf Keystone to run.  The aim of the development was that after the initial project, the Intranet would grow organically,  using internal talent at Gulf Keystone to keep the content fresh and updated.  It is envisaged that the Intranet will grow over time as the team grows.

Key Intranet areas

  • Employee Hub – access forms, Learning & Development, pay and benefits,
  • Health and Safety – employees can connect to a dashboard for live stats – visibility of improvements made.
  • Policies and Procedures – company wide and departmental – quick access to the most up to date and relevant information.
  • Cyber Security news and updates.
  • Production – live production data
  • Key Events – what’s coming up
  • News – e.g. CSR project updates on a range of projects eg. working with local olive farmers , water installations.
  • Departments – where collaboration workspaces were created for each department

The Benefits

Cost Savings

  • GKP did not need to buy any additional licences as everything was already embedded in their monthly M365 subscription.
  • It is easy to train existing IT Team members to make further customisations to the Sharepoint Intranet, removing the need to hire a developer for further work.

Knowledge Sharing

  • Sharepoint Intranet allows for targeting of content into different groups by division, location, functions, or seniority level.
  • Robust document and library capabilities of Sharepoint help achieve state-of-the-art knowledge management and collaboration

Integral to M365 licences and security

  • SharePoint is an integral part of Office 365 suite and this ecosystem offers a lot of in-built features and functionalities that users were already familiar with.
  • Using SharePoint as an intranet allows personalized digital workplaces and leverages easy integration with Active Directory profiles.
  • Sharepoint is protected by the integral Microsoft cybersecurity measure (Microsoft Multi Factor Authentication) which ensures that commercially sensitive information is protected.
  • SharePoint online provides full mobility, allowing users to connect from any device, anywhere without the use of expensive VPNs.
  • Sharepoint is a highly scalable solution. The Sharepoint add-ins offer unlimited growth possibilities.

The Gulf Keystone Intranet was launched by the CEO in early February 2023.

As Max explains “The feedback from employees has been really good, and we can see from the analytics that we’ve had good engagement already.  Business members are also giving us good ideas for improvements.” 

As Shaminder comments “Our Compete366 consultant was really amazing – he always gave us his time and was available whenever we had a question.  He is very knowledgeable and shared some great insights with us.  I would definitely recommend using Sharepoint to create an Intranet, and to build it in partnership like we did to give it the personal feel that we were looking for.  I’m happy that we managed to deliver a great result with limited resources – Compete366 were really supportive and good to work with.”

Next Steps

One of the key project drivers was to get staff used to using the Sharepoint Intranet, which will then allow for an additional project to migrate document management over to Sharepoint online.

And the company is about to launch a new landing page for Gulf Keystone’s Global Women’s Network which seeks to empower women in Kurdistan.  The oil industry is typically male dominated and the company is keen to encourage more women to work for them.



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