Compliance Management and SharePoint

 

Posted by Gary Voight, CorasWorks President and CEO

I was talking with a prospective business partner who was considering moving into Microsoft SharePoint.  They asked whether compliance management is a good application for SharePoint.  My response was that compliance management is often a perfect use case for SharePoint.

Most compliance management scenarios really are a tracking, tasking, and reporting requirement. Often, a basic document management solution is an integral component.  Here are some elements of a compliance management application:

  • Each permit application is a “project” that has timelines and milestones, and needs collaboration to meet the deliverables.  A shared document is often the basis of collaboration, and the end product of the application.  The permit application process may take several steps…each could be considered a “stage-gate” for work flow and tracking purposes.  Each stage-gate is a collaboration process in itself.
  • Permits need to be maintained.   Permits generally have monthly, quarterly or annual updates.  The compliance manager needs to track the pending deliverables and make sure the organization is prepared in advance.  A shared calendar can be used to visualize the permits renewal process.  Dashboard-style displays can be used to visually illustrate progress against deliverables.  Tasking can be employed to remind workers of their deliverables, and should be integrated with email.
  • Organizations must be ready for ad-hoc compliance information requests and compliance audits.  Ad-hoc requests and audits can be disruptive and time consuming.  Unfortunately, they cannot be ignored and often come at bad times.  A properly designed compliance management solution will have all the data and documents readily accessible for these purposes.

I can’t think of a more appropriate use for SharePoint.  CorasWorks has built and delivered several compliance management solutions.  Some examples include:

  • A compliance management solution for a large pet food manufacturer.  This firm must maintain permits with local authorities for more than 20 locations.  In our solution we help them track submissions to local government authorities and the EPA, and we help them respond to compliance audits.  A significant component of that solution is around tasking and task management.
  • We recently delivered a Sarbanes-Oxley compliance solution for an electrical utility in the Midwest.  For this customer we replaced an older existing packaged product with a solution we built for them on SharePoint.
  • We helped a green energy firm build a permit management compliance system.  As many of their employees are remote, this solution also incorporates mobile access.
  • An IT audit solution where each audit was considered a project.

In all of the above examples a main driver for our customers is the ability for them to maintain and extend whatever we built.  The CorasWorks Platform (v11) and our other software products always enable our customers to support themselves…if that is what they desire.

Bottom line:  Compliance management is an outstanding use case for SharePoint…..and for CorasWorks.  To learn more about our customer implementations and experience, send us an email at info@corasworks.net or give us a call at 866-580-3115.

 

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