The GPT Group

4 Jan 2020

Building a collaborative Office 365 experience

The GPT Group is one of Australia’s largest diversified property groups with a $24 billion portfolio of managed assets across retail, office, logistics and development opportunities. The GPT Group has a national and mobile workforce of 450 permanent staff and 200 external service providers who need to access its systems.

Collaboration is key to its success: the organisation’s breadth of properties and developments requires its staff and suppliers to access and work on vast volumes of documentation however this was increasingly hindered by an ageing on-premise legacy platform, SharePoint 2007.

“We had an existing SharePoint solution which was approaching end of life. That was the key driver for the project,” says Chris Burling, Head of IT Architecture and Program Delivery at The GPT Group. “For example, the older platform couldn’t store larger files and we weren’t able to share content externally with partners and suppliers.”

A new, modern platform for centrally and securely managing information was required. While The GPT Group had previously migrated to Exchange Online, its potential remained untapped because the ability of Microsoft Office 365 to facilitate better information management and collaborative working had not yet been fully realised.

The GPT Group teamed up with Telstra Purple to review its existing practices and develop a modern, cloud-based platform to empower its workforce.

Key Issues

  • Document management and sharing was fragmented and had become inadequate to support its increasingly mobile and dispersed network of employees and service providers across the country.
  • The solution was heavily customised and required external developers to deploy even the most minor updates, this costly and inefficient setup obstructed collaboration.
  • Managing information was a cumbersome task.


The GPT Group engaged Telstra Purple to develop a cloud-based system to centrally and securely store and manage information across its national network of employees and suppliers. The solution was multifaceted, combining the capabilities of SharePoint Online, OneDrive for Business, Microsoft Flow, Office 365 Groups and Microsoft Azure to support the transition.

Deep knowledge of the Office 365 ecosystem and a close relationship with Microsoft enabled Telstra Purple to leverage emerging capabilities in the platform rather than expending unnecessary time and resources developing a custom-built solution. This not only saved The GPT Group time and money, it also provided the organisation with an easy to use solution that was self-sufficient and mobile-friendly.

As part of the process we:

  • Defined, designed and delivered a solution that enabled The GPT Group to better collate, manage and share its documents centrally, efficiently and securely.
  • Managed the transition and migration of over 4760 GB of data to Office 365 as 3.2 million OneDrive files and 1.3 million SharePoint online documents across 47 Team Sites and 830 CAPEX Office 365 groups.
  • Developed machine learning to cleanse legacy data before migrating it to the cloud. This Artificial Intelligence was a vital part of the transition, reducing the complexity of legacy data and drastically condensing the time taken to migrate documents from seven to two days per site.


Telstra Purple’s solution presents the possibility of a future at The GPT Group where adoption and evolution of cloud-based collaborative working is driven from the ground up – constantly leveraging technological change to support efficient and effective working.

The solution has also immediately impacted The GPT Group’s network of suppliers – overhauling the company’s handover process and making its document sharing more efficient. It removed the barriers to help our staff manage their documents and information effectively. 

"Our teams are now spoilt for choice with the capabilities in the platform and flexibility it provides them for different ways of working. The platform supports us working with our suppliers in a secure way. When it comes to the end of a project with a supplier, our handover of documentation takes place through the cloud, rather than hard copy or email,” - Chris Burling, Head of IT Architecture and Program Delivery at The GPT Group

  • 50,000 tenant-related documents transformed through automation
  • Automation has helped save 400+ hours of time previously spent on manual labour
  • 102,000+ data points for validation and 180 million+ validation checks