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PRP Architects

​​​​​​​PRP Architects and Core

Overview​

Mike Harvey, a trained architect changed roles to become IT director in 1985. When his role first began he used an IBM PC for word processing—and that was it. Since then, IT has become central to how PRP Architects operates. The company is drawing up a blueprint for the future in which Microsoft Office SharePoint Server plays a significant role.

PRP is the most established residential architectural practice in the UK. It has 250 employees in four offices across the country. With the company's quality assurance system, every e-mail and document is printed out and filed. "This is obviously frustrating to a lot of people," says Harvey. PRP's project aims to upgrade this paper-based system with a digital one.

The big challenge with a large, multi-office company is to avoid reinventing the wheel. "Part of the brief was to help people find out if something had been done before," says Harvey.

Core's solution

Core is a Microsoft Gold Certified Partner. Harvey identified SharePoint Server as the right solution after evaluating other solutions and seeing a demo of the product. The first stage of the project involves using SharePoint Server to index and search PRP's Knowledge Net—the company's intranet—which serves as a repository for files.

The new SharePoint Server intranet gives every member of staff a company home page. From there, they can access company news and popular architectural Web sites. There's also a company phone directory, which users can search by name, role, or area of expertise. There's a technical tab, which lets architects download standard drawings. Most important, the search tool lets users search the thousands of documents in the Knowledge Net.

Core built an add-on for Microsoft Office Outlook that lets staff tag files and e-mails with customer information and store them for quality assurance purposes. They are indexed by SharePoint Server and, hence, searchable. Although this functionality is still being tested it promises to revolutionise the company's filing system and save a lot of time and printing.

An important business benefit is that SharePoint Server is widely supported and flexible. It isn't dependent on a single firm to implement or maintain and doesn't require in-house technical expertise. The biggest benefit comes from putting information at everyone's fingertips. As the practice adds documents to its database, search becomes increasingly valuable. Employees can easily and quickly find information for and about clients to enhance customer service.


 

Users that have been able to test the service are ecstatic. "They think it is absolutely wonderful that they don't have to print documents and can easily find what they need." (Mike Harvey, IT Director​)


Tags

Collaborative Working     Microsoft SharePoint