Comment on Office Live Collaboration Site

I am not sure it has much value for SBS customers. I setup a collaboration site and tried to envision our Habitat for Humanity affiliate using it. Although Office Live Collaboration looks like it has the potential to do the job, it would require a lot of customization to get board members to look at it on a regular basis. My first guess is that it would require too much customization work for the perceived benefit. I expected a bit more CRM, project tracking, and accounting features. I guess I was expecting something that looked like an integrated Salesforce.com and QuickBook Online application. Right now it looks too much like a standard Sharepoint site.

As the Treasurer for the last couple of years I have been keenly interested in making our affiliate make better operational and strategic decisions. Charities are competing for the same funds and volunteers. Donors and volunteers are expecting a better experience for their time and money. They can make a different choice. I do not think I am stretching things too much when I compare a charity’s donors and volunteers to a small business’s customers. A charity has key performance indicators and line of business(LOB) activities that are very much like a small business. Making timely operational and strategic decisions is key to survival. With a geographically dispersed workforce this decision making process becomes more difficult. The areas of improvement I feel there is the most potential for are:

  • Improve collaboration amongst the board of directors members.
    1. Collect committee reports in one location.
    2. Access a common schedule for meetings and other key events.
    3. Keep track of committee’s monthly objectives.
  • Identify and report on key indicators.
    1. Construction status by house/project
    2. Donation status by house/campaign
    3. Mortgage/Delinquency status
    4. Partner family application status
  • Improve operation
    1. Track employee hours.
    2. Track expense account forms.
    3. LOB activities reporting and approvals.

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