It’s been more than four years since I joined Microsoft taking on the role of Higher Education Business Manager and back in 2004 there was only a handful of universities using SharePoint. I used to hear about SharePoint version 1 as being unsuitable for a university, which seemed a bit harsh especially as SharePoint 2003 (version 2) was already a mature and well established platform. Thanks to a number of early pioneers SharePoint 2007 is now widely deployed throughout UK Higher Education and is used to support a broad range of needs ranging from simple document management to business intelligence and VLEs and increasingly universities are recognising the value of SharePoint in its entirety and will deploy it as a platform connecting it to multiple content and data sources and people, like the diagram below shows.
One of those early pioneers was Kingston University and in particular Ian McNeice who did much to promote the use of SharePoint in higher education and challenge my own thinking about the possibilities for SharePoint. Ian’s background led him to focus on the business benefits and he always looks for value and simplicity in a solution, it has to make a difference and people have to be able to use it. Thanks to Ian and Kingston we published a number of case studies such as these:
Kingston University Offers Students Enterprise-Class Tools Through New Portal Solution
University Reinforces Excellence in Research with Innovative Blogs and Shared Research Sites
and an IM interview with Darren Strange, Microsoft’s UK product manager for Office and Ian McNeice.
Kingston University: the future's bright with 2007 Office
Ian left Kingston University a couple of years ago and has worked on some impressive SharePoint projects in both the private and public sector reaching global deployments. I’m pleased to have maintained contact with Ian because I still find him a useful source of inspiration for the full capability of SharePoint and he has started a blog which makes interesting reading.
SharePoint continues to gather momentum and is already used as a number of customer facing web sites in the sector examples include:
Royal Academy of Music
University of Gloucestershire
and the list is growing. Increasingly, universities have taken the concept laid out below and are using SharePoint as a platform to enhance communication and collaboration across all people in the campus. I apologise about the quality of the wording on the SharePoint pizza wheel, what they say is
Portal (in the middle), Collaboration and Communication, Projects & Portfolio, Search, Enterprise Content Management, Business Process Integration, Business Intelligence
Portal (in the middle), Collaboration and Communication, Projects & Portfolio, Search, Enterprise Content Management, Business Process Integration, Business Intelligence
This helps to show some of the capabilities of SharePoint but it’s not stopping there. There are a growing number of partner solutions for delivering VLE functionality into SharePoint such as:
Luminosity Content Server
Podcasting kit (yeah I know learning isn’t just about Podcasting)
From here we can go onto explore Business Intelligence and the graphic below helps , from a technology point of view, how SharePoint delivers is but the important thing to note is that it’s about getting business intelligence onto the screens of the people who need it most. The problem in many organisations is that it’s difficult to predict who those people are, it’s not always just the execs. I know one university in the North East that has given a SharePoint based BI solution from VC down to PL – hoping to catch as many analysts along the way to create a more agile and confident business.
So in four years, SharePoint has certainly come a long way in and is providing a wide range of benefits to UK Higher Education. This is, in part, thanks to those early pioneers and visionaries and also the the many partners that are committing to delivering value back to this important sector. To learn more about what SharePoint can do for your university please get in touch or speak to one of our partners.
I meant to post this a while ago now but after meeting Glenn Jones, Director BMN, during the UCISA conference the other week I thought I really should do this. BMN has worked with Universities UK (UUK) to develop a new website in MOSS. If you visit the UUK website you’ll see that it is now:
For more information on BMN and the UUK case study please follow this link.
So the moment you’ve been waiting for is to see the site itself in all its Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 splendour and that is here
On Tuesday, my colleague Nick Umney and I were up in Newcastle for JISC Infonet’s Building Bridges conference at the fabulous new Gateshead College Baltic Campus.
The reason for visiting was to present to the delegates how Microsoft SharePoint can be used as an EDRMS (Electronic Documents and Records Management Service) since this is one of the many capabilities of the SharePoint platform. We only had 30 minutes to cram as many demonstrations of the capabilities of SharePoint in and Nick did a tremendous job.
As a backdrop – Nick prepared this presentation which delegates all took away with them on a JISC memory stick.
Several of my colleagues and I have been using this video to set some context for discussions and presentations recently. It shows a tour through a university which is using some of Microsoft’s latest technologies such as live translation in MSN, Surface, Deep Zoom and several others in there that you might recognise. I see some kind soul has posted it on Soapbox which makes sharing it a little bit easier.
I saw a survey earlier this year which showed that only around a third of UK universities have a CRM solution. This struck me as low given the competitive nature of student recruitment, the need to recruit the ‘right’ student for your institution and the growing expectation that some funds are likely to come from alumni. Then there is research grant management/funding relationships and employer engagement. In fact there are so many reasons why universities are embarking on a transformation journey to implement CRM. Over the last few months I’ve seen my own activity around CRM increase significantly and the partners I’m working with have increased in numbers.
So, I’m pleased to introduce the following webinar for later in April which I hope will be an illuminating event.
Discover Microsoft CRM for Education - Free Webinar, Thursday April 24th, 10:00am
Pythagoras CRM for Higher, Further Education, Schools and Learning Academies provides the tools for easily creating and maintaining a clear picture of the information that educators and administrators need. This solution developed with Microsoft Dynamics helps drive consistent, measurable improvements in daily work processes, promotes more effective cross-departmental collaboration, and enables new levels of efficiency.
Our free webinar will take you through Pythagoras’ offering and introduce our unique approach to the sector. Register here to take part.
The pressure is growing on educational organisations to perform with the efficiency of a for-profit business. A customer relationship management (CRM) solution enables you to build closer relationships with your students, tutors and lecturers. It helps you improve your student recruitment and retention rates and, by combining data sets, lower the administrative burden. This Student Relationship Management (SRM) solution combined with all the usual features of Microsoft CRM creates a cost effective and flexible solution.
The above image represents the classic student journey at UK Education establishments. But typically how many systems do you use to track this crucial journey ? The chances are there are many, but a Pythagoras’ SRM solution provides a single point of reference for the whole student lifecycle.
SRM – Managing the full student life-cycle
Effectively manage your data to ensure consistent and targeted communications
Plan and run campaigns and events to targeted audiences and measure the results
Respond quickly and consistently with all enquiries and maximise acquisitions
Student Record Management
Consolidate your existing student records data into meaningful, holistic information
Proactively deploy Interventions to maximise student success
Automate processes and drive change through Outlook, Web and Mobile tools
Plan more successful events with your Alumni and measure the results
Generate more income from major donors by understanding your targets
Build a 21st Century network and communicate your brand
The latest version 4.0 of Microsoft CRM is ideal for the Education sector. The new version allows you to help streamline vital processes around the organisation. Microsoft Dynamics CRM fits the way you work. CRM integrates easily with your existing systems, including the Office system software your users rely on, and has the flexibility to wrap around your processes. And through Academic license pricing, the upfront cost is significantly lower than any off-the-shelf Education CRM solution.
Alan Enfield, Vice Principal at New Line Learning Academy, said: “We chose Pythagoras because they listened to what we wanted, and they set up a working model with our data. The fact that they have a dedicated educational business unit showed us that they were serious about what they do and not just after adapting a standard sales model to get a quick financial return. They were interested in our approach to the problem, and we felt that they wanted to produce a good working solution almost as much as we did.”
DreamSpark was announced for university students quite some time ago so what’s new? Well, what’s new is that we have now announced that the DreamSpark programme is now to school students as well. This means that through no-cost access to design and development tools school students can become much more engaged with technology to support and advance their learning and skills. It could also help to promote further study at university in areas such as technical design and development and re-ignite a passion for technology and the possibilities presented through software.
For more information please see the official press release and don’t forget to make your university students aware of what they can already access when they visit DreamSpark. I’m pleased to see some universities are already promoting DreamSpark such as Edinburgh, Edgehill and Bucks New University,
Whilst this is not Higher Education this is a really interesting video showing how Surface can be used to aid learning. Whilst this is clearly not HE I’m sure you’ll get the idea of just how Surface can transform some learning processes.
I know of some UK universities that have ordered Surfaces and should be getting delivery any day now. They are going really well in the US and I’m trying to find out what they are using them for.
Please get in touch if you want more information.
This Friday, my colleague Ian McKenzie, is hosting a Live Meeting on “Information Governance and Assurance in the Public Sector”. It’s one of a series that he’s been running, and I thought it would be worth telling you about this one because it has relevance to your challenges. And the good news is that you don’t need to move away from your computer, as it’s run as an online meeting on the web.
According to the UCISA Top Issues Survey, Information Governance isn’t in the Top 10 issues that university IT teams are thinking about. And “Identity/Access Management” only makes it to number 5 of the Top 5 list of Emerging issues. Which surprises me, because across education at the moment, there seems to be a bit of a stir going on about Information Security, following on from the various reports about Data Handling and Data Sharing. I have found that when talking to people about this issue, there’s a lot of useful information already out there – and that the challenges we’re facing in securing information in education are often very similar to challenges faced by bigger departments across Whitehall.
Here’s the details from Ian:
The next Live Meeting in our series on how you can optimise the use of Microsoft technology to improve the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of Public Sector ICT will focus on information governance and assurance. This Live Meeting explores the Microsoft technologies that enable Public Sector organisations to address the security requirements of the recent Data Handling (Cabinet Office) and Data Sharing (Information Commissioner’s Office) reviews. During this Live Meeting our experts will provide you with an overview on: Microsoft technology for establishing a secure ICT infrastructure and protecting confidential information ‘at rest’ on devices and ‘on the move’ for an increasingly mobile workforce Microsoft customers and the benefits they are realising from applying Microsoft technology to their information governance challenges Our experts will demonstrate, with practical examples from Public Sector organisations, how Microsoft’s approach to information governance can enable the secure deployment of public services online, including the new services that will be enabled by Government Connect that links local authorities to central Government data via GCSx. What the Live Meeting will cover: 11:00 Opening remarks and Live Meeting guidance 11:05 Microsoft and Information Governance 11:45 Questions and Answers 12:00 More information and next steps When the Live Meeting takes place: Friday March 20, 2009: 11:00 – 12:00 How to take part: Simply click on the link below for more information and to register to take part. You will automatically be sent your access details to connect to the Live Meeting on Friday March 20th at 11:00: Microsoft and Information Governance All we need is 1-hour of your time at your desk, in front of your PC/web browser and Microsoft experts will explain how you can get more out of your investment in Microsoft technology by implementing flexible and mobile working solutions that improve information access and increase staff productivity
The next Live Meeting in our series on how you can optimise the use of Microsoft technology to improve the economy, efficiency and effectiveness of Public Sector ICT will focus on information governance and assurance.
This Live Meeting explores the Microsoft technologies that enable Public Sector organisations to address the security requirements of the recent Data Handling (Cabinet Office) and Data Sharing (Information Commissioner’s Office) reviews. During this Live Meeting our experts will provide you with an overview on:
Our experts will demonstrate, with practical examples from Public Sector organisations, how Microsoft’s approach to information governance can enable the secure deployment of public services online, including the new services that will be enabled by Government Connect that links local authorities to central Government data via GCSx.
What the Live Meeting will cover:
11:00 Opening remarks and Live Meeting guidance
11:05 Microsoft and Information Governance
11:45 Questions and Answers
12:00 More information and next steps
When the Live Meeting takes place:
Friday March 20, 2009: 11:00 – 12:00
How to take part:
Simply click on the link below for more information and to register to take part. You will automatically be sent your access details to connect to the Live Meeting on Friday March 20th at 11:00:
Microsoft and Information Governance
All we need is 1-hour of your time at your desk, in front of your PC/web browser and Microsoft experts will explain how you can get more out of your investment in Microsoft technology by implementing flexible and mobile working solutions that improve information access and increase staff productivity
If you do attend, come back to this post and add a comment on it’s value – it’ll be helpful to others and to me (eg should I be telling you about some of the other Live Meetings that Ian runs?)
I’ve just been sent this and found it a useful source of inspiration to where the future of Microsoft Office maybe heading. It’s been put together by Microsoft Office Labs as a Vision for 2019.
Tuesday 24th March 2009, 15:00 - 16:00
This session will be presented by Microsoft, Oxford Computer Group and Alistair Sandford from the University of the West of England and will explain how education providers can:
· Manage secure access to applications from within the firewall or for remote access
· Support internal, remote and external users with improved security, an enhanced user experience and simplified management
· Protect applications and provide the following; end point security, single sign-on, access policies and control, data cleaning, integrated application firewall and granular access control
Introductions from presenters
IAG Solution Overview and Demonstration
Customer case study review of the solution by Alistair Sandford from the University of the West of England
Q & A
Dominic Watts (Microsoft), Darren Bonehill (OCG) and Alistair Sandford (UWE)
Registration is quick and easy, please use the following link to confirm your attendance and you will receive an Outlook calendar entry with full details:
About Oxford Computer Group
Oxford Computer Group (OCG) is a Microsoft Gold Partner and Partner Of The Year Winner (2008) that specialises in identity and access (IDA) management. OCG has an enviable repository of expertise, solution components and training courses from 300+ identity and access deployments and from training 3,000+ people on Microsoft IDA technologies. Education customers include King's College London, the University of Reading, Royal Holloway University of London, University of the West of England and many more.