Case study

Phoenix Group

The Phoenix Group was founded in 1857 as The Pearl Loan Company, and today is the UK’s largest long-term savings and retirement business. The group’s various firms specialise in the management and acquisition of closed life and pension funds, and include Phoenix (Life & Life Assurance), Phoenix Wealth, Standard Life, ReAssure, and SunLife. These businesses collectively hold 13 million customers, £300 billion of assets under administration, and a 166% shareholder capital coverage ratio (June 2021).  

The Phoenix Group came to ClerksWell due to our expertise and proven track record in bespoke and beautiful front-end builds. They wanted to display their SharePoint web content without SharePoint’s visual restrictions.  

The Challenge 

The Phoenix Group needed their content on multiple pages, for each of their different companies, without the rigid design restrictions of their SharePoint CMS. However, they still wished to retain the strong management abilities, ease of use, and familiarity that SharePoint offered them.  

The challenge, therefore, was to build a ‘hub’ on top of SharePoint’s core features, to solve their problem of a rigid and restrictive front-end, without damaging the back-end, which was fully functioning and pleasing to the client.  

The Solution 

ClerksWell had suggested to The Phoenix Group that a hub build would be their best solution. Therefore, we began this project by building them three separate hub applications, drawing content from the SharePoint API. The purpose of these applications was to service the content from the SharePoint CMS in a way that was far more dynamic, exciting, and personalised than SharePoint’s native infrastructure restrictions allow for.  

These elements presented in the forms of ‘hub tiles’ for increased functionality, and custom layouts to offer The Phoenix Group greater control over their content. This approach not only matched the client’s vision for their digital workplace, but also provided them with a distinct tailor-made editorial interface, enabling content authoring and regular content updates to be developed by Phoenix themselves, with minimum training and/or skills.  

The technical team here at ClerksWell then went above and beyond for our client and developed a custom alerts system for recent publications. This system meant that The Phoenix Group could change labels, alert images, the hub location of the alert, notification frequency, and elements positions etc. to minimise their dependability on a supplier.  

The Phoenix Groups Digital Workplace
The Phoenix Groups Digital Workplace

The Result 

This solution provided The Phoenix Group with fresh, exciting and customisable designs for their original content. The hubs that ClerksWell created ensured a scalable environment for The Phoenix Group that covered all their companies; generating a digital workplace that expanded at the same rate as their business. This new system was built to ensure ease of cross-platform management and was such a success to the extent that it was awarded the Best Digital Workplace at the Digital Impact Awards event.