The
SLG (Shared Learning Group) consists of 3 London Boroughs, 3 city councils, 2 county councils, 2 Metropolitan Councils and an independent state government all working in collaboration with Microsoft to share best practice and knowledge. Members seek to improve citizen experiences of councils through jointly delivering business-driven innovative solutions with ICT as the key enabler. 

The movement from the SLG extranet to Office 365 has led to enhanced collaboration across the 11 SLG member organisations. This has led to several benefits for the organisation including members were able to make changes and improvements to the extranet without having to rely on a single hosting member; members without Lync Server or Office Communications Server were able to make use of Lync Online and Office 365 without additional infrastructure; finally Office 365 led to direct cost savings for the hosting authority allowing them to reduce their on-premise infrastructure.

Alan Kirkham, Service Director for ICT and Procurement at Wakefield Council and current chairperson for the SLG, commented, “Infusion consultants were given a simple brief to migrate the Shared Learning Group’s extranet and website to SharePoint 2010 in Office 365. The final project was discovered to be in reality rather complex. This was a challenge which Infusion met with professionalism, commitment and enthusiasm. Along the way numerous problems were encountered but swiftly overcome. The result is that the SLG’s 11 local authorities, Microsoft and partner organisations have a flexible collaborative platform in the Cloud, a new website and are able to keep in touch and run Live Meetings via Lync.”

Posted by Lucy Gilbert - Microsoft in Government UK.