The MWI in the Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan oversees monitoring of the water sector, water distribution, and wastewater in one of the world’s most water-scarce countries. Its role includes research and development as well as collection of centralised water-related data and consolidation of technical information. The ministry supervises two other institutions—the Water Authority of Jordan responsible for water distribution and sewerage and the Jordan Valley Authority, which manages the socio-economic development of the Jordan Rift Valley.
But information within the ministry was disconnected and usually hard to find. Isam Batainah, Director of Applications, MWI, says: “There was no central place where we could access all the information we needed. Some operational processes were still handled manually and we wanted to speed up the access of information.”
In addition, there were few set processes for document management and compliance, which made the storage, security, retrieval, and backup of documents disorganised and time consuming. Updating content was also challenging. It often required involvement of the MWI IT department since content authors had no tools or specialist skills to implement changes themselves.
Mohammed Zayed, Technology Solution Professional, Microsoft Jordan, says: “Having the documents centralised into one portal was seen as the best way to help employees find information more quickly. Documents resided in different sources and computers across the organisation. It was hard to track versions of these documents and they posed challenges in the backup process. We also needed to structure the information in a portal to reflect the MWI hierarchy of users and departments.”
Microsoft Jordan recommended Office SharePoint Server 2007 to build an e-gateway for the different MWI departments, as a collaboration tool for document and calendar sharing, and to increase the productivity in publishing content online. The MWI also implemented Microsoft Office InfoPath® 2007 for forms, Microsoft SQL Server® 2008 data management software, and the Windows Server® 2008 operating system.
Explaining the choice of Microsoft over open source, Batainah says: “We compared Office SharePoint Server technology to open-source technologies. The easy integration and comprehensive features of the Microsoft environment made us confident.”
Content no longer needs to be commissioned through the MWI IT department. Batainah says: “Members that have permission to use the site—contributors or content authors—can now access it easily from their computers. With a couple of clicks of the mouse, they can upload files, create pages, or publish records.”
The interoperability of Microsoft technology has helped streamline business processes at MWI. Batainah says: “The variety of workflow engines available today will help us improve in this area in the short and medium term—this would not have been possible without Windows Workflow Foundation. It provides tools for quickly building workflow-enabled applications on Windows. The power of the Microsoft .NET Framework development system will help us retrieve and interoperate with different line-of-business applications.”
The next phase of adoption of Office SharePoint Server 2007 will help improve decision making at the MWI. “We’re planning to activate the business intelligence features available in Office SharePoint Server,” says Batainah. “And we’re confident this will help our employees make the right decisions in a timely manner.”
Workflow automation has helped reduce costs and improve productivity and efficiency. The business intelligence features in the solution will assist with decision making and help managers forecast and build scenarios with greater confidence. Batainah says: “With Office SharePoint Server technology, we’re saving significant amounts of time in collecting, processing, and consolidating information that was previously scattered between different departments. We have freed up 30 per cent of the investment allocated for other technologies.”
- Up-to-date Web site. Using its content management system, content authors avoid the need to route material through the ministry’s IT department. This helps ensure that the MWI Web site is up to date with the latest information and news, and frees IT staff for higher-value tasks.
- Information workers get new productivity suite. Using Office SharePoint Server 2007 as a collaboration tool, employees can easily share documents and announcements, and benefit from shared calendars.
- Anytime access to critical data. Decision makers now have anytime access to critical information and avoid making bad decisions based on multiple unreliable data sources.
- Reduced costs of data storage. With its portal, the MWI is saving the cost of processing and maintaining redundant data and document stores. The ability to monitor and control data quality and integrity is much improved.
- Knowledge transfer. Batainah says: “Knowledge transfer is another area we have been able to save on by using Office SharePoint Server technology.”
- Minimal training requirement. Because of the familiar look and feel of Microsoft technology, most users became proficient in Office SharePoint Server 2007 without needing specialised training. Batainah says: “However, we will need to offer some training to help employees use the advanced features in the Microsoft system to the best advantage.”
- Cost-effective licensing and support. Batainah adds: “With Microsoft and e-government support from the Jordanian authorities we have found the best licensing model.”
- Strong partnership with Microsoft. Batainah says: “Microsoft built a strong relationship with MWI stakeholders and our IT team. Microsoft acted as a technical adviser to ensure we got the best out of our products.”
This case study is for informational purposes only. MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.