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Investec fosters SharePoint collaboration with harmon.ie

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Investec Asset Management, founded in South Africa in 1991, deployed SharePoint 2010 to create a central document and e-mail repository, then upgraded to SharePoint 2013 in 2014. The firm integrated SharePoint with other software such as Salesforce.com, and now all of its business processes are done through SharePoint.

Bhuti Mbele, SharePoint technical lead at Investec, says, “In the morning people come in, look at their SharePoint screen and know what they need to do that day.”

Although IT mandated the use of SharePoint, some employees stored documents locally, either on personal or shared drives, according to Mbele, because sharing documents using SharePoint was time-consuming. In fact, client managers sometimes found it so cumbersome that they would ask Mbele to download documents for them.

Mbele could download all the documents quickly because he was using a free version of harmon.ie, the Outlook plug-in that creates a window into SharePoint directly from the e-mail program. Realizing that harmon.ie would make collaboration easier and would encourage use of SharePoint at Investec, Mbele championed adoption of a licensed enterprise version companywide.

“One of the difficulties with SharePoint, and it’s a challenge with any document management system, is how easy or difficult is it to store and access documents,” Mbele says. “Harmon.ie makes it very easy for anybody to be able to receive a document via e-mail and just drop it into SharePoint.”

The solution is helping Investec manage its documents and communications better with onboarding and maintaining clients, internal transactions and the Project Library where e-mails and documents are stored.

Mbele expects to roll out harmon.ie to sales, client managers, operations and legal employees first. “Those divisions are heavy users of SharePoint,” he says. “Their people will see the immediate value in it.” Because so much of Investec’s operation depends on collaborating, sharing and storing documents, harmon.ie is said to help the company work faster and more efficiently. (Image courtesy of ShutterStock.com)

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