How an Educational Intranet Connected 77,000 Employees to Job-Critical Resources 

The Department of Education of Western Australia struggled with siloed information across 68 different sites where staff were directed to find resources, services, and information about processes. 
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Key Takeaways

  • Centralizing knowledge base content improves the user experience. The biggest hurdle the Department of Education had to overcome was the search difficulty since information and resources took so much time and effort to find, with no common search functionality across the 68 sites. The Liferay solution was initially integrated with the old system and allowed for search of all content across all of those sites, before any new content was added. The new intranet now quickly connects staff to the information they need. 
  • Standardizing publication type and processes saves time. Standardization of content creation processes has simplified work for content creators and enables users to better leverage available resources. 
  • Gathering actionable feedback results in meaningful changes. Consistent feedback from staff members made it clear that the original 68 sites were hard to navigate and time-consuming. In transforming their solution, the Department of Education encourages users to provide ongoing feedback (good or bad) about their user experience. This allows for continued streamlining, enhancing, and adding of functionality based on user feedback.


The Department of Education in Western Australia provides support for the staff of more than 800 government schools. By empowering school staff with the right tools and guidance, the Department of Education sets a vision for children to become lifelong learners and vibrant community contributors. 
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The Department of Education staff felt insufficiently supported and frustrated by disparate legacy systems. These legacy systems slowed down productivity and added unnecessary complexity to their daily tasks. 

The Department of Education's disconnected legacy systems resulted in: 
  1. Valuable people hours wasted. The staff spent hours of time looking for job-critical information across 68 sites. This time could have been used for more important tasks, such as student interaction and classroom management. 
  2. Inaccessible and inconsistent documents. None of the 68 sites had a unified interface, which made them a nightmare to navigate. Additionally, the documents were in formats that were hard to read across devices. 
  3. Lack of standardized content creation process. Neither the sites nor the content being published on the sites had a clear or consistent design, creation, or review process. This made existing content unwieldy and challenging to maintain. 
The Department of Education's project team determined they needed an intranet that provided staff on-demand access to all information necessary to perform their job. The team wanted to control what information was being published to specific, targeted audiences while maintaining design standards and minimizing content structures. 
Ikon [our intranet built on Liferay] provides the single point of entry for all staff to discover the myriad of information, services, and application that staff need to work efficiently."
Brad Elborough
Principal Consultant


The Department of Education chose Liferay DXP as their end-to-end solution. Their public website was already on Liferay DXP, so familiarity with Liferay helped speed up the process. Campfire Digital Services, a member of the Liferay partner network, assisted with a successful launch. Campfire has extensive experience working with education departments and government bodies and understands the complex needs of the K-12 world as well as the unique relationship between the student, parent, and central services staff. Campfire was able to bring that experience to the table by identifying key features and functionality that would match the Department of Education's use case.
Despite a tight turnaround, the Department of Education was able to work with Campfire to deliver their tailored intranet, Ikon (Information and Knowledge Online).

With a search feature for the 68 legacy sites, Ikon supports their staff with the following:
  • Updated and relevant communication. The intranet provides a space for news and important updates where users can browse articles and review the weekly email bulletin. It integrates with the Department's HR system and a bulk email system to ensure seamless communication. Built using multiple content structures, the intranet takes advantage of Liferay's user segments so that central service and school staff can view personalized content that's relevant to them.
  • Operational information. Users can filter content by topic and/or the right associated business area. Easy integration with a rich text editor the Department of Education was already familiar with made for a smoother transition. Leveraging Liferay's flexible design elements, Campfire was able to create several more page templates since go-live to take advantage of new functionality that is available.
  • Supporting and detailed information. By customizing a "Related Resources" space, Campfire created an unobtrusive, accessible way for users to view extra content not necessarily tied to the immediate process. Liferay has also been able to integrate with the Department's records management system, allowing access to thousands of documents while maintaining one source of truth. In addition, users can find detailed content giving insight into processes and central services projects, available via another structure.



With Ikon as their unified knowledge hub, 77,000 staff members access the intranet across more than 800 schools and several central services worksites, including in regional and remote areas. Ikon now has up to 70,000 concurrent users and 1.9 million pageviews a month, a 300% increase since March 2020 as COVID-19 has made online resources even more vital. Due to responsive design, views on mobile devices have increased from 2% to 20%, giving staff members the freedom to access Ikon from anywhere, on any device. 

Although initially those who had worked with the old sites were skeptical of the new vision for Ikon, once the intranet was running, the Department of Education received positive feedback from both new and long-time staff. 

Their intranet, Ikon, enabled the Department of Education to: 
  1. Leverage a user-friendly and intuitive site. Ikon is integrated with enterprise systems that improve the user experience and make Ikon easy to use. This is especially important as staff members are scattered across all of Western Australia, so centralized training on how to use the intranet would have been a logistical challenge. 
  2. Easily find and access resources and services. The search function of their custom intranet makes searching for and consuming relevant content faster and easier. The right use of Liferay's content structures and content principles that both follow best practices means that once found, content is easy to read. 
  3. Follow a simplified content creation process. Now that there is a centralized process for content creation and publication, it is easier for content creators to create and upload resources and train new users as well. 
Principal Consultant for Ikon, Brad Elborough, sees the intranet as "an ongoing, evolving platform." This is just the beginning of more improvements to come as the team adds more Liferay features and functionality with the help of Campfire in a continuous delivery cycle of 6-8 week agile sprints.

Because of the success of the intranet, the Department of Education plans to integrate Ikon with more department applications and systems, creating an even more personalized experience for staff. Doing so will help further the Department of Education's goal to equip their staff in teaching and inspiring the students of Western Australia to accomplish great things in their communities.