From Pioneer to Commodity Producer – Collaboration in Education


“Whether a school wants a fully functional staff portal in days or a University seeks a teaching aid for a business school on a repeatable, cost-effective basis or a Further Education college wants a fully integrated information centre solution, anything is now possible.”

Back in March 2009, we highlighted the early pioneering work of SharePoint in Education. One of those early pioneers was Ian McNeice who did much to promote the use of SharePoint in higher education and challenge our own thinking about the possibilities for SharePoint. Ian’s background at Kingston University led him to focus on the business benefits and we reported how Ian always looks for value and simplicity in a solution - it has to make a difference and people have to be able to use it.

The original article can be found here: How far has SharePoint come in UK Higher Education?

Seven years on it was time to revisit Ian to see how things had developed since those pioneering days. Today Ian has stepped over the fence and joined our elite group of UK Microsoft Gold Partners. A year after we spoke to Ian he co-founded Morgan & Wolfe, a niche SharePoint consulting company specialising in SharePoint business strategy which has led to a complete pre-packaged SharePoint solution for education and other sectors.

Ian explains the evolution:

“The key issue has always been the same, how does an organisation extract the greatest business value and impact from such an extensive platform as SharePoint? We set about answering this back in 2007 with the development of the SALEM® services framework for SharePoint which allowed organisations to define a clear, cohesive service roadmap for their users. It was based on what we had seen work successfully at Kingston.

Having used with framework successfully with a number of international companies, we then turned SALEM® into a global certification programme. This allowed us to reach a global audience of diverse organisations (e.g. US Pacific Fleet, Portuguese Government) to see whether a framework strategy could work for successful SharePoint delivery internationally. In fact it was so successful that organisations started to request not only a strategy but a complete, pre-designed solution.

With the advent of Microsoft cloud services and SharePoint 2013 features, for the first time Morgan and Wolfe was able to take the inherent logic of its framework and turn it into a simplified, structured information architecture which was then used to develop a complete architected solution which today we uniquely call a Business Centre (CBC®) – a one stop shop window for organisational and institutional information. This has ultimately led us to be able to deliver enterprise-class SharePoint, pre-designed, tested and de-risked and delivered in days rather than months.”

Morgan and Wolfe

Ian summarises:

“Those early pioneering days really were critical for us to understand how educational organisations would leverage collaboration software. This has led to where we are today with the power of the Microsoft cloud and our ability to pre-package collaborative solutions for education with no server-side code at a speed that could only have been dreamed about back then. The idea that a client needs to spend months trying to design something from scratch no longer makes any sense to us.

Whether a school wants a fully functional staff portal in days or a University seeks a teaching aid for a business school on a repeatable, cost-effective basis or a Further Education college wants a fully integrated information centre solution, anything is now possible.”

Education teaches us that anything is possible and in late 2015 it is exciting to see just how far SharePoint in Education has indeed come.

Further information can be found at www.morganandwolfebc.com


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