Increasingly, Solid Energy's business demands were driving the need to deliver a strategic information management platform, with an upgrade to Microsoft Office SharePoint Server or MOSS 2007 being the primary component.
As a major New Zealand energy company, Solid Energy is a leading producer of coal for export and the domestic market. Their business environment stretches across New Zealand involving a chain of businessled processes including extraction, processing, marketing and distribution. Reliance on an existing Microsoft SharePoint 2001 platform had become a significant risk to the business. In a typical end-of-life scenario, it was unsupportable, fragile, and difficult to manage, with limited scope to expand functionality. Solid Energy undertook a significant ‘market sweep’ of both technology and potential partners. Exploring and discarding a bolt-on upgrade, Solid Energy was looking to make an investment that would yield long-term business gains. Greater business collaboration and document management efficiency were high on the agenda.
Solid Energy had extracted all they could out of their existing SharePoint 2001 platform. Recoverability and business risk was an issue, functionality was limited, and knowledge and support for some business processes had been lost over time. As lead project sponsor, Christine Dormaar says, “Intergen had the most MOSS knowledge in the market. Their relevant skills gave us confidence that we had the best people to produce the result. They took more of a business view, rather than just a technical approach which was necessary if we were going to achieve our business outcomes. Cost was important and the project actually went on to come in on budget; in fact we would have been under had we not decided to extend the scope in some areas.”
Solid Energy also put a lot of weight on a partner's willingness to put a team into their environment, and for 12 months, Intergen's team was on site during the business analysis, development and delivery of this project.
Solid Energy emphasises that whilst phase one of their MOSS-led strategy delivers an updated intranet, document management system and key business portals, that they are only at the starting gates in realising the potential of their investment.
Information and Records Manager, Elizabeth Kennett comments, “We've achieved immediate out of the box functionality that has made certain business processes much faster and we have a far greater level of reliability and security. A bigger and more relevant intranet has been delivered to over 500 people within the company and a smaller group of what I call ‘super users’ has better functionality at their disposal, with the potential being enormous for the future. Legal and Projects portals manage valuable documents and contracts, with a full recovery plan in place. But beyond offering better workflows, and effective document management, we are starting to see increased collaboration and that's one of the key outcomes we want from our long term strategy.”
Solid Energy takes the view that they needed more than a new document management system and new intranet: it's a platform that supports the Integrated Business Framework for our business, according to Christine Dormaar. “MOSS has given us the scalability to get where we want to go for a number of initiatives. We have identified over 67 key opportunities already. It's a case of the sky's the limit and we expect Intergen to be instrumental as we look at areas where we can add business value.”
Christine Dormaar says, “MOSS has given us a business framework with the potential for further functionality has been achieved in tandem. Microsoft SharePoint Server 2007 has cemented Solid Energy on a more efficient business path with a platform capable of delivering their collaboration vision in the future.”