Wednesday, 29 September 2010

Cambridge Housing Society adopts SharePoint 2010

SharePoint 2010 rocks!!!
One of the latest SharePoint projects I have done was to build an Intranet based on SharePoint 2010 for Cambridge Housing Society. As there are many companies out there who have used SharePoint 2007 or WSS 3 before, I should say the new edition provides much more functionality and also it is a lot friendlier to the end-user. 

CHS Group, a charitable housing association uses a Microsoft SharePoint 2010 based Intranet to provide integrated document management and collaboration.

SharePoint 2010 provides a solid foundation and platform to continuously improve productivity in CHS Group by enhanced collaboration and more efficient document management. – Michael Cloete ICT Manager with CHS Group.


Country: United Kingdom
Industry: Charitable and Social Services

Customer Profile

CHS Group, founded in 1927, formerly Cambridge Housing Society, headquartered in Cambridge, is a charitable housing association, covering 6 Local authority areas across Cambridgeshire and North Essex. Providing affordable homes for over 7,000 people and community care services including support and investment to over 2000 people. Using a team of 400 highly motivated and dedicated employees.

Business Situation

CHS was storing over 300 Gb of business documents comprising mainly Word and PDF's,in a hierarchy of folders accessible via folder shares. With a large number of documents and over 400 employees this method was very in-efficient with a significant negative impact on operating efficiency. Due to the time spent searching for data/information/documents, difficulty in collaborating on documents from locking, lack of version control, etc. Also, there were no formal tools or solutions in use to facilitate collaboration & communication across the company.

In summary the company was operating suboptimally and inefficiently without the assistance of collaboration and document management tools /software.


CHS decided to review solutions that better suited their business requirements in the areas of collaboration and document management. These requirements included the need to provide a formal document management solution; provide collaboration capabilities such as forums, blogs, central news announcements, wikis; low cost and well proven; easy to use; easy to support and maintain.
CHS decided that an Intranet web site would best meet its needs, and identified Microsoft's SharePoint 2010 as best meeting its business requirements, both in the short term and the long term.

SharePoint Foundation 2010 was implemented with an Information Architecture utilising departmental sub sites, that provide 'productivity' aids such as calendars, whereabouts, tasks, project tasks etc.
In addition, Search Server Express 2010 was implemented for a more enhanced and integrated search experience, encompassing SharePoint sites, network folders, web sites etc

Pygmalion designs and implements SharePoint 2010

To assist in the implementation of SharePoint, Pygmalion, a Microsoft Gold Partner was contracted.
Pygmalion provided services to implement a document management and collaboration solution based on SharePoint Foundation 2010.

Activities included:

Planning & Design
Defined and documented the business requirements and further refined the key functionality and features required
Designed Information ArchitectureDesigned templates for web sitesDesigned document libraries and templates for documents.

Develop , Deploy & Test Stage.
Installation and configurationDeveloped the site structure and navigationImplemented web site brandingMigrated data from the existing intranetProvided end-user and system testing

Low cost
Using SharePoint Foundation 2010 there is no licence fee (if Windows Server licences are already in-place).

Improved User Productivity
Productivity has been improved due to the reduced time to search and find information and data; ease of saving documents into a structured document library.

Short Implementation time / Rapid deployment
Solution was designed and implemented in a matter of weeks, using a well tried design methodology and standard out of the box components.

Ease of updating content
Using the built-in content management system it is now easy to for non-technical people to update content using familiar word processing type interfaces and templates.

High Availability and Reliability
Solution was built using the well tried and tested SharePoint platform without the need for custom software development.

Easy to use and powerful systems administration
Easy to use administration with a familiar Windows interface

Powerful Document Management
The built-in document management functionality offers a range of powerful features such as:
auto-archiving; check-in /check-out; use of mandatory templates for specific types of documents; ability to implement business processes using work-flow wizards; ability to add meta tags to documents to assist search and categorisation.

Improved and Granular Security
The solution allows for security and access to data and information to be configured in a centralised and formal manner.


  1. Hi Amin ,
    Thanks for your great post .
    I'm Ramin Ahmadi and I'm a SharePoint developer .
    I read your post and I think you can help about my solution .

    I want to develop an application for my company ( kind of correspondence application ) .

    we have between 200 and 500 number of letters( documents ) every day and everyone should see their letters ( I must to create a page with nice interface for this ) , what should I do about this scenario ?

    is it right that save all documents in one library ?

    if save documents in several document library it's hard to retrieve data for each user !

    what's your idea about this solution ?

    I waiting for your response .
    this is my mail if you like to answer me :
    Thanks .

  2. Hi Ramin,

    I am not sure if I get the question right.
    If the question is regarding best practices for implementing taxonomy, that is a difficult and tricky one.
    First of all, I should mention there is no right or wrong answer to this, however it is a matter of preference and business analysis which can lead a solution to be efficient in a certain context.
    I always tend to think first about the security of documents, level of permissions, how they map to business groups, versioning, check-in check-out requirements etc.
    As an example if there is a Finance department which has its own set of documents and require to be isolated from other documents, then I might have one dedicated Library for Finance.
    If there is a set of documents that should be revised before publishing and workflows are triggered if item created or changed, then it again makes sense to have a dedicated library for it.
    If there is no specific requirements on the documents and it is only a matter of setting permission on the library to allow users to see their own items, I would go for one library and set list permissions to meet the business need. It also can be done by using filters on the Views (Created By = [Me]).

  3. Heya¡­my very first comment on your site. ,I have been reading your blog for a while and thought I would completely pop in and drop a friendly note. . It is great stuff indeed. I also wanted to there a way to subscribe to your site via email?

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