AFM-Telethon : A synergy between business processes and information technology functionalities 

by Esther Daga

Starting a digital transformation project is never easy, especially when it comes to applying new collaboration methods, while learning a new technology. This involves changing one’s habits, changing user habits, revising internal communication methods, and coping with a possible reluctance to change.

AFM-Telethon’s Digital Transformation

Faced with so many unknowns, AFM-Telethon launched a Powell 365 collaborative intranet portal in 2016. This portal uses SharePoint online, with a Powell 365 intranet overlay, enabling users to access all the different Office 365 functionalities within the same interface. The reasons for setting up this intranet are based on the inabilities of the group’s older portal, which was “obsolete, on a platform designed in line with a short deadline…” explains Karim Guenanèche, a Windows and Exchange systems administrator in Généthon and the technical Office 365 administrator on the AFM-Telethon intranet project. “A desire for modernity and to collaborate easily with all AFM-Telethon laboratories,” pushed the group to update their portal.

Microsoft Technologies

SharePoint Online has been a part of AFM-Telethon services since 2013. While the infrastructure of almost all entities is based on Active Directory and Exchange, it is obvious that Microsoft technologies are an essential part of internal operations for the association. Wishing to take a hands-on approach to the workforce, the DSI decided to generalize the existing technology for one of its laboratories and all its volunteers while extending intranet access to the entire association. “A generalization of Microsoft’s SAAS offer seemed more opportune,” adds Guenanèche.

The Next Challenge

While technical changes may be evident, appropriation of employee adoption is not always as obvious, especially in an organization where ancient operations are solidified and cross-departmental. Changing an end-user’s relationship with information technology is a multi-step process. We often talk about consumerization of IT and how employee operations must evolve with the modern workforce. This digital transformation project is a perfect example.

The succesful launch of this portal is partly due to the federation’s IT teams and indeed, the design team who conducted a proactive reflection, while staying in line with the project. It is also thanks to the effective internal communication of all the entities involved (labs and AFM-Telethon). The next challenge will, of course, be the network wide adoption of Synergy, AFM-Telethon’s new and improved collaborative portal. According to Guénanèche, it will be a difficult “transition away from sharing information via email chains” but he is confident that the collaborative aspect of the new portal will “support users” and in turn simplify the change management processes. Synergy is a sure success!


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