Scottish Power

Company: Active IntranetCustomer: Scottish PowerScottishPower has developed from a regional electricity supplier into a leading multi-utility business. It owns five subsidiaries in the UK including ManWeb and Southern Water and has become an international player with the acquisition of Pacificorp in the US. It began in 2000 by announcing a joint venture with the Royal Bank of Scotland, offering products ranging from financial services to energy to their combined 16 million customer base.

The Challenge

“We needed a simple, comprehensive intranet document publishing and collaboration solution that we could use, update and maintain ourselves without the hassle and expense of continually using our IS division,” explains David Socha, Project Manager with ScottishPower.

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“We initially had just one corporate intranet, but separate divisions didn’t find it useful and we ended up with a confederation of intranets.”Web-publishing skills amongst the staff were also a rarity, so a prime requirement of the publishing software solution was that it should not increase the general load on staff and that they should not be required to learn new skills.

The Solution

Active Intranet™ delivered a solution that allowed business people with average computer literacy to build the intranet themselves. Technically, this is possible because Active Intranet™ converts over 60 common software packages to html at the server. This means that users can post up material instantly rather than wait weeks for a web master to translate their documents.ScottishPower chose a very large 3 node AIX Lotus Domino cluster as the main deployment platform for Active Intranet™.

This means that when a new site, area or collaboration database is created on one of the nodes it is almost instantly duplicated on the other two nodes.


So far Active Intranet™ has been rolled-out to approximately 2,500 of the 10,000 licensed users. The modules within the intranet are incredibly flexible and can be set up for a range of functions. However, by creating a number of customisable templates, ScottishPower can ensure that all documents conform to the company’s brand guidelines.CommunicationActive Intranet™ hosts Power Systems’ Safety site, giving immediate access to up-to-date safety flashes, briefings and reports.

It also links to the ScottishPower Corporate Policy which provides essential information in an industry where safety is paramount.

Devolved Publishing

Engineers within the Power Systems Management Centres and in the field work together on the high voltage network and have to plan ahead effectively to avoid clashing with other dangerous work which affects the security of the system. Once a couple of people had received a day’s training on Active Intranet™ they were able to manage and develop their own intranet. Diaries are displayed and updated on just one web address, increasing efficiency and giving more widespread access.

The Results

Active Intranet™ delivers all the functions of a standard company intranet but can be set up by different departments or groups of users to build and run their own mini intranets, extranets or internet websites.

It can be run by a non-technical member of staff with minimal training. Active Intranet™ devolves day-to-day maintenance to the users, constantly providing them with vital local or departmental information and allowing for global project groups and communications.As well as a growing Power Systems engineering documentation library there are also areas devoted to operational planning, safety, business services, location plans and promotion of the values strategy within the company.

The Benefits to ScottishPower:

• Easy publishing for all users.•Collaboration application for easy discussion groups.• Simple set up within a matter of days.• Scaleability.• Easy integration with existing IT infrastructure, including Microsoft packages and bespoke software.• The ability to train non-technical users to build and run their own sites in a day.• Very low maintenance and costs.