The Salvation Army found themselves increasingly reliant on an aging, SharePoint-based intranet as a platform to communicate with its growing number of partners. Using an old version of SharePoint the Salvation Army platform was nearing end of life, causing a variety of intranet administration and management challenges.
Information anarchy had become a major issue for the organisation, with masses of data residing in multiple, disparate systems, which made up the existing intranet. This had led to data duplication, publishing inefficiency and inconsistency throughout the organisation.
Making sure new content was added and updated across the intranet was also proving to be a problem, as responsibility for publishing was centrally managed by just one person and bottlenecks occurred when they were away. Frustratingly, people who were better placed as authors and contributors across the organisation, were not granted sufficient permissions to self-manage their content.The manual process for updating and editing the intranet’s content led to inconsistencies in branding and duplication.
The appearance of the site was incoherent, looked old fashioned and needed improvements to make it easier to use and more appealing.
The Salvation Army engaged with bluesource, to design a totally revised intranet architecture on a new Microsoft SharePoint platform. The revamped intranet would not only replace the older systems, but added further functionality – including integration with third party applications and acting as a gateway to information within the organisation. The gateway consisted of two core areas, firstly the intranet, for publishing information to the whole organisation and secondly collaboration sites – where members of a team or project worked together.
SharePoint is now used in a limited way to automate workflows. For instance, an automated sign off process for ministers-in-training at The Salvation Army’s William Booth College. The Salvation Army UK and Ireland Territory also embraced a distributed content authoring model, with more key individuals given responsibility for their own areas of the intranet, ensuring more current and appropriate content.
In addition to the design and implementation, bluesource provides telephone support on a break/fix basis for SharePoint and an agreed level of ad-hoc consultancy. This is designed to assist with any issues around the infrastructure components of SharePoint.
Head of Corporate Systems
The Salvation Army now has a well branded and logically organised intranet to create improved communications across its operations. The platform acts as a gateway for timely, relevant and consistent information throughout the organisation and provides a firm foundation for future developments.
They can now really deliver on their reputation as a people-centric organisation, by using a technology platform that encourages more effectively collaboration between its internal stakeholders and third parties. This is proving vastly beneficial to the humanitarian efforts and continued success of the UK and Ireland division.
The new intranet, with its better navigation, search and structure, now enables users to effectively access and manage content, and to make better informed business decisions. This new platform has also delivered a significant increase in the efficiency and effectiveness of the organisation’s content processes – whilst reducing staff operating and technology maintenance costs.
“The highly efficient platform is also delivering associated operations and resource cost savings. bluesource offered a high level of SharePoint technology expertise, support and advice to ensure that the platform was delivered as smoothly as possible and that our staff were well trained to utilise its benefits”
Head of Corporate Systems