The Connected Hebrides

Joe MacPhee, Development Manager of the Western Isles Council (or in their preferred Gaelic name Comhairle nan Eilean Siar), was one of the very engaging presenters at Microsoft’s event for local authorities that we held recently at our campus in Reading.  Under the theme of ‘Delivering the Digital Town Hall’, the event focused on innovative communications and collaboration solutions and included customer stories from the length and breadth of the country, including  the Western Isles, Torfaen, Wakefield, and the London Boroughs of Newham and Lewisham.


Over 70 local authority representatives took part and they were able to get more in-depth information on communications and collaboration solutions including Microsoft Office Groove 2007, Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, Enterprise Search , Microsoft Office Live Communication Server 2005  and EDRMSThe key to the event was not just to talk about the technology but to hear the real-life stories from local authorities about how they are using Microsoft products and partner solutions  to deliver on the promise of transformational government.


Now, back to Joe’s presentation.  It is worth taking a look at for a couple of reasons.  It is an innovative use of Microsoft Office Groove 2007 (which they implemented with Microsoft partner d2i Solutions) to help them overcome the significant travel challenges of their remote location.  I believe that many other areas of the UK with travel issues of a different nature (e.g. urban traffic) could also find the ability to work collaboratively using this kind of technology support to be very valuable.  Looking at the photography, it is also a superb advertisement for the spectacular Western Isles of Scotland which, as you’ll see,  is seeking talented people to help grow the economy and population of the Hebrides.


To see a selection of the presentations from the Delivering the Digital Town Hall event, you’ll find a link at the Microsoft UK Public Sector home page early next week (July 9th).


Although we cannot promise to travel as far as the Western Isles, we are planning to stage more regional events later this year and into next year, so do check our events page for the latest information.


Posted by Ellen

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