The U.K. Food Standards Agency is a government agency responsible for food safety whose staff draw on the latest scientific knowledge from multiple sources. Its existing data sharing and collaboration environment encouraged a culture of silo working. The agency chose a new environment based on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 and the suite of related server technologies.
The agency’s existing data sharing and collaboration environment was not fit for their purpose for several reasons. Part of the problem was historic underinvestment in IT, and the IT systems had also been inherited from the several different departments from which the agency was formed. However, officials also saw the need to improve productivity through smarter working with new IT tools.
They wanted a new system with a low total cost of ownership, to improve the collaboration framework with external partners while ensuring that security needs were paramount and they wanted to contribute to their targets for reducing the carbon footprint of the organisation.
The agency appointed ICS Solutions, to design, develop and implement collaboration tools using Office SharePoint Server 2007, Microsoft Office Groove 2007 software and Microsoft Office Communicator 2007. Supported by Microsoft, the solution was deployed on 900 desktops within 15 weeks, with ICS Solutions also delivering an intranet refresh project to replace the static based content with the SharePoint content management system and search functionality.
Throughout the project, ICS Solutions worked closely with the Food Standards Agency to ensure that the desired increases in productivity, efficiency, and collaboration would be achieved.
A range of differing key technologies and solutions were implemented to: Centrally manage intranet, extranet, and Internet applications, Provide functionality for the intranet and Internet, Connect people with information and expertise efficiently, Improve decision making by presenting business-critical information in one central location, Provide access to both structured and unstructured information across disparate systems, Ensure that information could be shared without divulging sensitive data, Comply with regulatory requirements through content control, Simplify everyday business activities and Provide a simple, familiar, and consistent user experience.
The new tools will help the agency to meet government targets to reduce the carbon footprint of all public sector enterprises. By using presence awareness, video conferencing, and instant messaging, the agency travel budget will be greatly reduced over the next few years.