I’m always on the lookout for real world solutions of Microsoft Business Productivity Online Services, especially those for SharePoint. As such, I came across the following blog post:
from Mick Huxley. Although he is a techie he is also a volunteer for the SES (State Emergency Services). Now this is basically a totally volunteer organization that provides a major amount of emergency and disaster relief. Interestingly, it seems that the SES has been given BPOS accounts.
Mick’s blog post talks about:
“Personally I have seen EOS/BPOS yield immediate results for my unit. We have Distribution Lists, owned by our Controller for the distribution of incoming pages. He is able to update the list membership on the fly to ensure that only unit members whom are active are notified. Likewise each week an automatic email is sent advising of the Duty Officer, Team Leader and Operations Controller for the week.”
he also speaks of the benefits of SharePoint:
“SharePoint has provided us with a location to store our unit documents online and work on them away from Local Head Quarters (LHQ). This has improved my Units ability to focus on training and incidents. Whereas previously some members would skip training to complete “paper work” they can now work on the docs, outside of training nights, and spend training time increasing their skills.”
he concludes that
“Is the SES the only Organisation that would benefit from BPOS?? No, not at all. Hosting these solutions outside the Organisation can reduce time to provision, reduce technical headcount, reduce carbon footprint, reduce datacentre requirements for cooling and power and reduce Capital Expenditure, whilst improving availability and potentially security.”
The trouble is that most people simply look at SharePoint and expect it to ‘magically’ do everything. You gotta mould to your needs and this requires some investment to get the most out of it. SharePoint is simply a tool, like Excel, you only get out of it what you put in.
To me this is simply more evidence that BPOS and hosted SharePoint provide real solutions for any organization, commercial or not. As much as I am disappointed by the current lack of uptake of SharePoint I feel better when I see stories likes these from the front lines. I know that one day soon we’ll reach a tipping point and people will begin to recognize the benefits SharePoint can play in their organization.