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Office 365 EDRMS and Contracts Management, HR Records Management and Purchase Requisition apps.

by Jane Turnbull : Move : Improve : Housing Association

Eildon Group

The Eildon Group started back in 1973 and provides housing, care and support services to people right across the Scottish Borders region. Today, the Group is recognised as one of Scotland’s leading housing and care providers and continues to grow by building new homes and developing innovative new services.

The challenge

Delivering Excellence – The Eildon Group is currently on a journey to transform their systems and processes to deliver excellence in all that they do for the people they serve. This includes improving the standard and range of services offered, especially on-line, and to enable smart buildings to embrace emerging technologies such as the Internet of Things (IoT).
Business Transformation – The Group recognised that many of the back-office functions would need to be re-organised and staff provided with new tools and technologies to support new ways of working. One of the first steps was to enable staff to work more flexibly by using a range of devices, including PCs, mobile phones and tablets, to access line-of-business systems and corporate records in a secure, user friendly and cost-effective way.
Changing Culture – The Group knew that they would need to work closely with their staff to ensure that they were on board and engaged with the changes that the new technology would bring to their existing working practices.

The solution

In 2017 the Group decided to migrate much of their infrastructure and applications to the Cloud to reduce operating costs and to enable new ways of working. A central part of this strategy was to adopt the latest Microsoft tools including O365 for Exchange, SharePoint, Skype, Teams and Yammer, etc. Recognising that the Group did not have all the necessary skills in house, Deltascheme was appointed as their partner, due to their proven track record and implementation methodology.

From the outset it was recognised that, before any content could be migrated into O365, a robust Information Architecture (IA) would need to be designed so the system was easy-to-use but protected sensitive information and data (e.g. for GDPR). The IA that was designed considers the corporate structure (typically around ‘processes’), naming conventions, metadata, term sets, permissions, search, content ownership, data protection, data loss prevention and retention & disposition, etc. In addition, the Group has also adopted Nintex to work with O365 to deliver online forms, such as an expense claims and purchase requisitions, which can be filled in by staff on any device, before they are then processed and approved via workflows. Nintex is also used to ensure corporate content is kept up-to-date, by triggering tasks to ‘content owners’ to update their content (e.g. policies & procedures, etc.) for the corporate Intranet, which is an integrated part of the system.

Benefits

The Group have now established a robust platform in O365 that delivers on their objective of migrating applications to the Cloud. The solution is driving corporate compliance and helping protect sensitive information. O365 is enabling staff to access content and collaborate more efficiently, both locally and remotely, via a web browser on a range of devices. Getting the IA right from the beginning is enabling the Group to expand the use of the system relatively painlessly across different business functions and teams. One advantage is that staff can now see all of the content relevant to their role (‘roles-based’ view) meaning they can quickly see all the content associated with the processes they undertake (e.g. ‘pre-termination’), helping them to avoid the risk of missing key content when making decisions. Since implementing O365 and Nintex, the Group has now started using the platform to deliver a range of business applications. This approach avoids the need to purchase
additional products and the creation of multiple silos of information. The initial applications have included Contracts Management, HR Records Management and Purchase Requisition.

The Future

Having successfully built up in-house expertise and deployed O365 to their users, the Group is now looking to extend the use of the platform to enable the business to be able to better respond to a rapidly evolving work place. They also intend to adopt some of the other tools which are available with O365 which include Power BI, Power Apps and Flow to deliver new applications and improve business reporting & insights.

“The work Deltascheme undertook using Nintex afforded us the opportunity to skill up our IT team to manage ongoing migration and business process re-engineering work, creating a more agile and responsive service for our users moving forward.”

Robert McDade
IT Manager, Eildon Group