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Case Study
Emergency service thrives on SBL document management solution

A new flexible knowledge and document management solution which can fully integrate with front and back office systems was required by Humberside Fire and Rescue Service (HFRS).

The Hull-based service, founded in 1974, has 1,041 operational staff, including 29 control room specialists covering a population of 890,000 within 1,356 square miles in the local authority areas of Kingston–upon-Hull, East Riding of Yorkshire and North and North East Lincolnshire, including The Humber Estuary and main towns of Scunthorpe and Grimsby.

HFRS senior IT officer, Gavin Hudson, says: “We also required a portal to enable data to be made available throughout our organisation offering simple and swift access to documents, procedures and processes as well as providing staff with a dynamic, informative and personalised Intranet capability. The selected system was also required to improve document template management and standardisation and have a flexible portal framework capable of handling change within the service including the addition of new technology. A secure and controlled data search was also required as well as the ability to enhance user-collaboration capabilities and offer a more delegated approach to data management.”

HFRS had settled on a Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 (MOSS 2007) system and, although MOSS 2007 was still in pre-release, SBL had one of the UK’s first Microsoft technology specialists for that product within its Professional Services team.

SBL was chosen for the assignment and their project manager devised a strategic plan for deploying MOSS 2007 in a Sharepoint Farm and the implementation of the Intranet, team sites, document management and search features of MOSS.

As the project progressed and HFRS was made aware of the full capability of MOSS 2007, additional activities were added including the creation and integration of InfoPath Forms into the system.

Two HR forms were chosen for the pilot test. These were the Absence Recording Form and a Personnel Temporary Appointment Form. Absence Recording Forms had previously been paper based and sent between divisions by post which meant that they could easily be lost or remain in a manager’s in-tray awaiting approval. Meanwhile, the Temporary Transfer Form was also an excellent test for the workflow and approval-feature within MOSS 2007.

SBL worked alongside HFRS technical staff to ensure that the system was deployed across all servers in the Sharepoint Farm and that the document management system was implemented correctly with existing documents organised and transferred to the right places and access rights and alerts assigned to each one.

Training was provided to all the system users, including how to create bespoke Team and MySites. SBL also built custom scopes within the MOSS search capabilities.

“The critical nature of much of our work and the large number of staff we have in diverse locations, means it is crucial that we have a flexible and effective document management system and Intranet service” adds Gavin Hudson.

“The SBL solution has made our internal communications much faster and more efficient. SBL was selected for this project on the basis of the company’s status as one of the foremost suppliers of MOSS 2007 deployment services at that time. The team assigned to the job quickly proved its wider professionalism in how they understood our needs and delivered exactly what we required. The training SBL provided was relevant and easy to understand. We have total confidence in what they achieved.”

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