Sun Community Federal Credit Union Success Story
Originally founded in 1954 and having been part of several mergers and name changes over the years, Sun Community Federal Credit Union rebranded in 2002. It now has nine branches and serves more than 36,000 members who live, work, worship, or volunteer in Imperial or Coachella Valley in California.
When Sun Community Federal Credit Union wanted a more modern intranet that improves communications and efficiency, they chose OnSemble to replace SharePoint. Sun Community was using an older version of SharePoint as their employee intranet and had been casually looking to replace it for a while. They had seen demos from OnSemble and other vendors but deemed the project a “nice to have”, not essential, because there were other higher priority projects. That was until they received notice their SharePoint license was expiring and it would not be supported after October 2020.
As Brand Experience Manager for Sun Community, Patsy Ramirez decided the time was right to move to a modern intranet solution to improve communications and efficiency. Not only was SharePoint going away, but there was also an upcoming NCUA audit. She immediately built the business case and volunteered to be Project Owner as she sought buy-in from the executive team and steering committee.
In two short weeks, Patsy and team chose OnSemble Intranet as the “go-to place” for employees to engage with each other. Purchased in early September 2020, OnSemble offered a more interactive and social experience for staff to communicate than SharePoint did. SharePoint mainly consisted of a File Explorer type feel – a main page with folders where static documents were stored but not maintained or updated. There was no place to store images or videos or use widgets to add quick functionality or services.
The credit union wanted to move away from emails as the way of sharing news and updates. They wanted to offer visual employee profiles and more engaging content like social media channels do. Marketing wanted a cohesive branded look for their employee intranet (something not available in SharePoint). The IT team knew it would be quicker to implement and easier to maintain if the solution was hosted.
With the buy-in and plan in place, Ramirez, Monica Carrillo, Sun Community’s Brand Experience Specialist, and Clarissa Morales, IT Specialist, took ownership and sprinted with the project to just knock it out. Positive attitudes from this dynamic trio enabled amazing progress in a short time. Setting up employee profiles, assigning access and uploading all documents while also running a contest internally to name the new intranet were the top priorities.
With the “SunHub” now live, Ramirez and Carillo then created department pages and provided training for the different departments to personalize the pages as they saw fit. Most departments have implemented their respective pages. The goal is now to complete the remaining department pages and plan a scavenger hunt to encourage engagement across the departments.
OnSemble Intranet enables Sun Community’s various cross-functional groups such as Brand Ambassadors, Fraud Squad and Sun Scouts to have group pages for news, events and updates, so Marketing set up those pages. An Employee Rewards and Recognition Program on SunHub was also created and will be launched soon by the executive team.
Ramirez said the highlight of implementing so quickly was the active cross-functional teamwork, even while working virtually for most staff. They held daily 1-hour calls to divide and conquer workload. They completed the work between calls and were ready to field questions. Key to their quick success was knowing what they wanted to accomplish and actively collaborating with OnSemble Implementation Manager Courtney Felt to make it happen.
“It is worth noting Patsy’s team set (and still holds) the record for fastest implementation in the history of OnSemble,” stated Courtney Felt. “And they have stayed engaged with their OnSemble Customer Success Manager Rachelle Orozco since implementation.
Implementing OnSemble helped them identify security gaps with other vendors that weren’t apparent in the old intranet. Since SharePoint only worked in Internet Explorer, Sun Community discovered some vendors needed to update security measures to be compatible with other browsers.
Now that Sun Community Federal Credit Union has a modern intranet that improves communications and efficiency, they are happy they chose OnSemble. All in all, Sun Community is quite pleased with how quickly they were able to implement, and they credit the OnSemble team’s responsiveness with helping them achieve their goals. Employees especially like the visual employees’ profiles with photos and information to get to know staff across the nine branches. They enjoy having one “go-to place” they can access each morning and throughout the day for all things Sun Community. Rather than wasting time digging for content buried in emails. SunHub streamlines communications and saves time!
“As Brand Experience Manager, I am thrilled to have an employee portal that represents our brand and works as the ideal tool for our teams to communicate. I am excited that the OnSemble team keeps working to enhance the platform so SunHub can evolve and we can keep up with the needs or trends of our organization.”
Some words of advice to other organizations still using SharePoint:
“It really depends on a company’s objectives. Our culture is all about teamwork and communication. It made sense to move to a more social, interactive intranet solution that helps support and activate our company culture. It is all about how you want your staff to interact with each other and your members/customers. I see credit unions offering a more friendly vibe, less formal than banks. We are more community focused too,” stated Ramirez.
And what’s your advice for new OnSemble customers just getting started?
- Have a project champion who can lead the way and make it happen.
- Plan how you want to host your intranet and what you want your site to look like. We knew exactly what we wanted so it made it easy for the OnSemble team to show us how to get started.
- Start with the QuickStart page templates and customize from there; it’s the best way to go.
- Have conversations with the other departments to understand how they need information organized and teach them how to do it.