Cambridgeshire Constabulary was part of the Microsoft early adopter programme for SharePoint 2013, and working with Microsoft, Cambridgeshire Constabulary’s ICT Strategy and Programme Manager, Phil Silvester, identified Black Marble as the partner to progress the project. We instilled the most confidence in him with our track record, knowledge, delivery skills and general outlook.
Phil said "One of the key strong points of Black Marble are their staff. I have had the pleasure of dealing with a large number of their staff. All have been very approachable and willing to help with any questions no matter how trivial or complex. Their staff have a rare talent of being able to explain things both in a technical manner and also in terms that for non-technical people can easily understand. "
Black Marble’s approach to any SharePoint implementation is to carry out a full Vision and Planning engagement, to gather business requirements. This includes a series of workshops from a Governance, Compliance, Information Architecture, Engineering, Design and Business perspective, where we engage closely with key stakeholders to determine how the SharePoint implementation will be used and supported. We recommend this approach for all organisations planning a full SharePoint implementation, as the level of detail required, though the number of workshops of each type will vary depending on the size of organisation. We always recommend running the full complement of workshops, to get the best results.
As they are a Police force, there was a strong emphasis on Governance and Compliance, and a great deal of time was spent ensuring the requirements and planning for these areas was correct. Indeed, working out the kinds of content that can and cannot be stored within SharePoint, was a major aspect of the engagement.
The process emphasised a combination of Governance (the rules and regulations of how it is managed) and Compliance (these are the legal restrictions that affect the implementation). This includes how to manage the rules, who is responsible for it, and so on.
As well as these atypical requirements for the SharePoint implementation, Cambridgeshire Constabulary was also seeking the more typical benefits that come with a professionally implemented solution – improved Search, reduced storage overheads, avoidance of information duplication in different locations (typical issue that comes with organisations that have historically used File Shares to store information) and to take advantage of the collaborative features available in SharePoint, across the whole force, and not just specific departments.
In addition, Cambridgeshire Constabulary is increasingly working with Bedfordshire and Hertfordshire Constabularies, and needed a solution that would be capable of effectively bringing those forces into the system, and with all three receiving the same level of service. In fact, the solution designed and implemented by Black Marble has further future-proofed the system, ensuring that any number of additional forces could be added, each receiving the same level of service.