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The first month saw:

  • A 67% increase in the number of files on SharePoint

Bringing data efficiency, compliance and quality assurance to an international charity.

Farm Africa is a UK-based charitable organisation that empowers farmers, pastoralists and forest communities in eastern Africa to grow their own income, reducing poverty and changing lives. This international charity provides training to help these groups to grow more food, look after their livestock and make a living using their natural resources sustainably. Last year they reached an amazing 1.9 million people in Eastern Africa.

Aim

As an international charity, Farm Africa has offices across  five  countries; the  UK,  Ethiopia,  Kenya,  Tanzania  and  Uganda.  The charity came to us with an all too common problem: all documents, across the organisation, were managed through a number of disparate and disconnected platforms, largely in a deep folder structure and, in many cases, held as multiple versions across folders.

The charity had taken the step to establish an Office 365 SharePoint site but was yet to use it effectively. Many of the SharePoint users didn’t trust that the information stored there was valid, and moved, copied and saved multiple versions outside of the platform, exacerbating the issue.

We were brought in to not only solve the functional challenge but also look at improving adoption of the tool across the workforce.

Approach

Our key priority was to ensure Farm Africa were getting the most from their Office 365 subscription, while delivering value to the community of users across the 5 countries. Together with the Farm Africa leadership we knew we wanted to create a tool that gave a quality assurance of programme delivery across all of Farm Africa’s locations, and established a ‘live’ platform for project management, tracking and collaboration.

We established a SharePoint intranet and project platform for document storage and management suitable for housing all of the charitable programmes documentation in a consistent format, and all accessed via an appealing and intuitive interface. Permissions set within the tool allowed named individuals to view, upload, edit and manage folders and files, and private group configuration gave management to select teams of GDPR compliant files.

We delivered all this with the end user firmly front-of-mind and with a rollout plan that on-boarded previous sceptics the system showed an immediate positive impact in the way Farm Africa manage data and run their business.

Results

The first month saw:

  • A 67% increase in the number of files on SharePoint
  • The average active files per day increased from 50-60 to 110-140 per day
  • Intranet homepage hits increase of 113%

Farm Africa now have:

  • A new search capability for finding documents fast
  • An intranet to communicate internal news and updates to employees
  • Accessible from any device using SharePoint app or mobile web browser

“Working with Silicon Reef was an absolute pleasure. From the outset the team really made it their objective to understand how Farm Africa operates as an organisation, and sought to build a SharePoint site that would really work for us. Throughout the process Silicon Reef were on hand to answer questions and offer support and guidance. They introduced us to Microsoft Teams as a platform for working and were keen to ensure that we made the best of the entire Microsoft package that we have.”

Emma Dennis, Head of Technical Services