Arsenal's Office & SharePoint 2007 Deployment
It's been frustrating not being able to write about some of the great projects I have been working on over the past year, but with the launch of 2007 Office system last Thursday I can finally start to talk about some of the work I have been doing. One of my projects was selected as the primary EVO (Exchange-Vista-Office) launch story.
The video is pretty thin on the technical details, but if you are interested...read on.
Arsenal have just moved into a new purpose built stadium and along with that, they now also have a state of the art IT infrastructure including in-stadium wireless, handheld devices and new stadium management software. With increased capacity for hospitality events the old siloed ways of working simply do not scale. Arsenal have an all-new hospitality management system, but they wanted visibility of upcoming events across the entire organisation so that people in sales, marketing and event planning could all collaborate. They also wanted this information to be available offline, and available for management to easily get an overview of stadium activity.
The solution we put together is (not surprisingly!) based around MOSS 2007 and Office 2007. First we built an event planning site in SharePoint whose main feature is a shared calendar. Next we added an integration layer between SharePoint and their corporate hospitality system. This means that as the events sales team add new events or opportunities they are synchronised into SharePoint for all to see. From these calendar items users can spawn team sites where they can collaborate to plan the event. Users are also able to subscribe to the calendar's RSS feed and synchronise it down to Outlook to give them offline access to upcoming bookings. This is just the starting point for Arsenal. Future projects under consideration include an extranet workflow solution to enable the club, their sponsors and advertising agencies to collaborate on the design, review and approval of the ads placed on the new electronic pitch-side hoardings you can see in the video.
In a future post I'll write about the Vista gadget Arsenal have created to keep fans in touch with latest news from the club.