Collaboration where no-one is left out

Customer stories | Childcenter Borgele

Kindcentrum Borgele

Balloons, cupcakes, a real time machine, the deputy mayor on duty, and more than 1,100 visitors. This is how KindCentrum Borgele in Deventer was festively opened. A facility center where four institutions care daily about the development of young children. Since February 2018, these institutions have not only been working together physically in one space but have also found each other digitally. On Fellow intranet (formerly known as Viadesk) where employees meet, collaborate, and share their knowledge.


The old situation

The decision was made to merge a public primary school, a special education school, a childcare center, and an orthopedic daycare center. The 110 employees spread across four organizations needed to be united on one social platform to collaborate and share knowledge.

The solution

A user-friendly social intranet that connects all employees, is easy to use, quick to set up, and facilitates both collaboration and knowledge sharing. Fellow Digitals meets all these criteria.

The result

Everyone is findable for each other Formation of knowledge groups Information and expertise are accessible Safe collaboration Creates employee engagement

Everyone can participate

KindCentrum Borgele is housed in a particularly beautiful building that has been home to a public primary school, a special education school, a regular childcare center, and an orthopedic daycare center since early 2017. A unique concept in the Netherlands where children from primary and special education come together.

“From the government’s perspective, youth care, childcare, and education should collaborate as much as possible. But for children with special care needs, there is actually little provision in combination with education,” says General Director Huub de Haan. “KindCentrum Borgele provides this. Children who rely on special education or care get the chance to interact with children who attend regular primary school. Conversely, children from regular education get to know special needs children. Everyone can participate.”

Kindcentrum Borgele

Organizing collaboration

The four partners of KindCentrum Borgele have their own knowledge and expertise, each with their own working methods and digital networks. Ensuring smooth collaboration was quite complex. Huub de Haan: “We used to work independently, like separate shops. We had to organize this well. A crucial first step was the realization of the new building, a transparent and sustainable collection point where everyone comes together. A ‘miniature ideal society.’ We are very satisfied with how this is developing.”

The second step was recently taken by bringing all employees and colleagues together online. “They can meet at the central coffee corner, but the fact is that not everyone has a break at the same time. So we started our search for a ‘virtual place in the cloud.’”

The search for a suitable social intranet

Everyone worked in their own environment with their own tools. Logical, but not convenient for good collaboration. “The new platform had to be transparent. People need to see each other, learn from each other, help each other. Of course, from a social point of view to create more engagement but also to create a more efficient working method,” says Huub de Haan.

De Haan began his search on Google. Just entering keywords and seeing who the providers are. “The search quickly extended offline as well. We talked to many people and asked about their experiences with social platforms. During visits to other organizations, we encountered many solutions that didn’t work for us. We combined all that information with our requirements, a list compiled based on the wishes of our employees. Because a good social intranet starts with the user’s needs.”

Huub de Haan heard good things about Fellow Digitals and decided to schedule a meeting with Anke, the social intranet consultant from the Amsterdam provider. An online demonstration followed. “And from that moment it went very fast. The Fellow intranet fit our needs perfectly. But we wanted certainty; you don’t embark on such a project for a short period. That’s why we used a trial platform for two months to test everything. The testing was very satisfactory.”


The choice fell on Fellow Digitals. “We got started immediately. The platform went live within two weeks. This allowed us to present the new social intranet to all 100 employees during a joint study day. Anke and Roel from Fellow Digitals conducted a fun and informative workshop, where everyone got behind their laptop to fill in their profile and upload a photo. We concluded the day with an online quiz, ‘know your colleague.’ Employees were shown a photo of a colleague and had to guess who it was and what their role was within our organization. A fun, educational, light-hearted, and very functional afternoon.”


Much is said and written about adoption. How do you ensure that employees actually use the social intranet? Huub de Haan: “We started with early adopters, about 15 people who were very enthusiastic about the platform. They set a good example and showed the rest how the Fellow intranet works and what the benefits are. For example, how to organize new activities online (Friday afternoon drinks) or reserve meeting rooms. We say: show it, surprise each other with new things. That’s very stimulating.”

The first results

A few weeks have passed. Many employees are active on the social intranet. A large number of groups have been created. The calendar is widely used, and the date picker and survey tool are also very popular.

“We already see that goals are being achieved. The ‘Autism’ group is a great example. Here, people with shared interests or knowledge find each other. They share everything, make appointments, make plans, and work on projects. If I now search for ‘autism,’ I suddenly see 7 colleagues who have expertise in this area. This is how you unlock knowledge and increase engagement. That’s wonderful!”

General Director Huub de Haan

The future

Huub and his team will further develop the platform. “A connection with our Office 365 environment may follow soon, but we’ll tackle that later. For now, our focus is on the social intranet. Ensuring that goals are achieved and people enthusiastically start using the intranet. The contact with Fellow Digitals is very pleasant; the lines are short and the people are very helpful. We hope that our collaboration with Fellow Digitals will help us carry out our most important task. The care and development of the child must be central. Every child should have the opportunity to develop in their own way. No one should be left out. Children with and without disabilities meet here every day and learn to accept each other. That’s beautiful to see. I hope our approach will be followed throughout the Netherlands. We are committed to this!”

Hans Koekkoek

Business Development Manager

Hans Koekkoek

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