Irish Defence Forces in one of Europe’s largest SharePoint deployments

7 Apr 2014

Sgt Kern O'Neill, Defence Forces; John Corley, CTO, Spanish Point Technologies; and Cpt Barry Byrne, Defence Forces, at McKee Barracks in Dublin

While it may have one of Europe’s smallest standing armies, the Irish Defence Forces’ global role in peacekeeping has led to one of the largest Microsoft SharePoint and SQL roll outs in Europe this year.

The new enterprise-wide system is being deployed by Spanish Point Technologies and will consist of a fully integrated web platform to improve collaboration and communication, knowledge, document and records management. It is being rolled out as part of the Irish Army’s Information and Knowledge Online (IKON) strategy.

The multi-year, multi-planning project is key to the changing nature of the Defence Forces, which is based both in Ireland and across the globe on international peacekeeping missions.

Information is now a vital resource for modern armies and critical to the conduct of operations.

Brainpower always trumps manpower

“A huge amount of research and time went into this IKON project,” said deputy chief of staff (Sp) Defence Forces Rear Admiral Mark Mellet.

“This represents a major step forward for the Defence Forces; it will enable both improved communication for our personnel at home and overseas, and improved access to information which will enable better decision-making in a shorter time frame, bringing about significant cost, and sometimes life-saving efficiencies.”

Thanks to the new system, the Irish Defence Force’s 9,500 members will experience improved collaboration and improved access to information and corporate knowledge across the organisation between troops at home and overseas on peacekeeping missions.

The system enables members of the Defence Forces to communicate effectively, regardless of their geographical location, and share information and knowledge on a single unified platform.

“With the multiple divisions that exist within the Defence Forces, the multiple documents which they possess, and the multiple locations in which members are situated in, it was clear to see the requirement of the organisation,” said John Corley, CTO, Spanish Point Technologies.

“The Microsoft SharePoint and SQL server solution will enable the Defence Forces to improve work efficiencies. Our expertise in the software world in particular, with Microsoft technologies such as SharePoint, continuously allows us to meet the necessities of our customers, much like that of the Defence Forces.”

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years