For the final portion of his keynote at SPTechCon in Boston, Microsoft's Christian Finn brought Steve Conley, Boston Red Sox Director of Information Technology to the stage for a special Q&A. Steve explained that the Red Sox organization consists of "about 250 people" and, of his role as IT Director, he said, "If you have to turn it on, I'm probably going to get called." A screenshot was then shown of Red Sox Central, the organization's intranet portal in SharePoint. Among features such as news links and webcasts, there is also a pair of Weather Web Parts. As Steve put it, "Just like any baseball team, we're obsessed about the weather," so there are forecasts surfaced in Web Parts on the homepage for both Boston and Fort Myers, FL (where Red Sox spring training takes place).
Requesting credentials for access to Fenway Park was the next manual process to become automated in SharePoint. Creating an online request form where requestors would describe their role, where they need to be in the park, etc., allowed for the process automation of what had also formerly been a manual paper request process.
Another use for SharePoint that Steve discussed involved the means to process player fan mail. All (snail) mail that's received is entered into SharePoint (not scanned at present, but "We're thinking about it"), and as "an intern initiation process," the mail is catalogued in such a way that when players get to their mail, it allows for "semi-personalized responses back."
Finally, Steve shared details around the online invoice process that he's implemented for the team. The goal was process automation for all billing, integrated with their ERP system using a workflow-based approval process, and the goal has been achieved with SharePoint. Steve explained that for "three months of the year, we're in Fort Myers," and those are the "busiest months of the year in terms of ordering stuff." When the invoicing was all done on paper, invoices would bounce between Boston and Fort Myers, and due to the bouncing back and forth, Steve joked that the paying of late fees had almost become a part of the process. Needless to say, now that the process has been automated in SharePoint, those late payment fees are now a thing of the past.
Naturally, the presentation concluded with the giveaway of a pair of tickets to tomorrow's game at Fenway, and one lucky fan, er, conference attendee walked out of the keynote with an unanticipated prize.
Read our complete coverage of SPTechCon Boston 2011:
- Greetings from Boston & SPTechCon!
- 'The 7 Most Important SharePoint Success Factors,' with Richard Harbridge
- Keynote: Microsoft's Christian Finn Shares 'The 7 Habits of Highly Successful SharePoint Customers'
- Steve Conley, Director of IT for the Boston Red Sox, on the Club's SharePoint Deployment
- Geoff Varosky and Christian Buckley on '9 Ways to Become a (SharePoint) Rock Star'
- Joshua Haebets on 'Accommodating the Mobile Workforce with SharePoint 2010'
- Jeff Shuey on 'Social Media and SharePoint – How One Tweet Can Bring Your SharePoint Server Down'