Housing association uses Microsoft Sharepoint Server to improve efficiency

Two housing associations have used Microsoft SharePoint Server to manage their internal and external internet sites and improve information flow.

A housing association has used Microsoft SharePoint Server to manage its internal and external internet sites and improve information flow.

Leicester Housing Association and ASRA Greater London formed an alliance with Nottingham-based organisation Family First Group to become the LHA-ASRA Group and its internet site went live in May this year. It is currently rolling out separate sites for the divisions of the organisation, as well as an intranet for staff and an extranet with forums and document sharing for key stakeholders and tenants' representatives.

Application developer Michael Mayer said, "The main benefits of Microsoft Sharepoint Server are that it integrates well with the other applications we have, like the Office suite.

"It also enables better sharing of information."

He said the new system had taken the pressure off the IT department.

"The IT department was heavily involved in keeping the websites and intranet running and collecting information. We are not designers or journalists, so we were not really the right people to do that. We should just be empowering other people to do it. With the new technology, employees can easily log in and change information."

Phase one is complete after www.lha-asra.org.uk went live in May. In phase two, as the intranet is completed, the housing association will be able to enjoy comprehensive internal document and workflow management and collaboration via intranet and extranet sites.

Mayer said, "The idea was to put together a group site, then launch separate company branded sites. We hope to roll out the second phase by September."

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