The parties share responsibility for the first worldwide connection on this level
The three Dutch software specialists SIMgroep, Finalist and Open Social have jointly developed a Microsoft 365 connection for the Open Social platform. The initial incentive of the software specialists was to meet the needs of Dutch public authorities, and they are now also making their knowledge, experience and technology available worldwide to the Drupal community, the open source software on which the Open Social platform is built.
Microsoft 365 Connection
In the Netherlands, many local government authorities use the Open Social platform for intranet and participation solutions. With the Microsoft 365 connection, SIM responds to the need of these government authorities to easily integrate professional collaboration via Microsoft 365 with the social collaboration via SIM Open Social. In this way users can work together on documents, share information via Teams groups, and easily start up, read and actively follow chat sessions, mail and agenda activities.
The Drupal Community also warmly welcomed a Microsoft 365 connection, because the integration of Microsoft 365 in Drupal can be extremely useful for many other sectors as well. For example, it is possible in a Drupal intranet to load relevant information from MS Teams.
“Thanks to our connection, you can easily link from your subjects and messages on a timeline on the platform to documents and entries in Office without the rights, roles and authorisations getting lost. And that is not only easy for the end user, but even an absolute condition for a CISO,” observes Roelof Schram, Director Intranet and Participation at SIMgroep.
The three Dutch software specialists Finalist, SIMgroep and Open Social joined forces to make the Microsoft 365 connection possible. After the functional needs were worked out on the basis of input from a customer group of around 10 public authorities and a consulting agency from the government market, the three parties put together the necessary budget and staff capacity. SIMgroep and Finalist assumed responsibility for developing the connection, then Open Social joined in to activate it in the platform.
Jasper Van Schelven, Business Unit Manager at Finalist says, “This is the strength of the open source community. We look for the common interest and allow that to weigh more heavily than possible considerations of competition. That proved to be the basis for an excellent collaboration, which we hopefully can extend to other sectors as well.”
Roelof Schram, Director Intranet and Participation at SIMgroep says, “The cooperation reinforces the current offer with a powerful integration with the Microsoft 365 app. We were able to combine this correctly on the social intranet platform. In this way you create a personalised and readily comprehensible solution. Together we have greater carrying capacity and the range to offer public authorities a dedicated platform with all desired functionalities and connections where they find one another more quickly online, regardless of location.”
The concept has already been rolled out at the two organisations that are expected to take the connection into production in the first quarter of 2022.
Taco Potze, founder and CEO of Open Social says, “Open Social and SIMgroep have already been active partners for almost two years and they are working together to offer online community and intranet solutions to municipalities and administrative bodies in the Netherlands. SIMgroep adds unique sector expertise to our cooperation, as a result of which we can position Open Social as a powerful platform for digital transformation with integrated communication and collaboration tools such as Microsoft 365.”
SIMgroep is the official owner of the module in Open Social and offers it on its marketplace in collaboration with Open Social. Finalist has the right to use the module for its Drupal-based Digital Working Environment, and can also offer professional support. Furthermore, the code is freely available for the open source community.
Finalist creates modern digital experiences for important phases of life. 90 highly-educated colleagues work with passion on modern and user-friendly websites, portals, application integration and customised apps for more than 1,000,000 end users in the Netherlands. End users for organisations in the markets of healthcare, housing corporations, education, media and non-profit, where a wealth of domain knowledge is built up. Finalist is independent in its technology choices and embraces the open standard like no one else.
SIM, active in the Benelux and the Dutch Caribbean, has supported local public authorities with websites, social intranets and other online services for over 20 years. With its digital service provision, SIM makes it easier for millions of people to deal with the government online every day. More than 180 clients – including municipalities, provinces and district water boards – are already working with one or several solutions from SIM.
SIM, established in Rotterdam, has 70 employees and is part of Conxillium, a group of IT companies specialised in high-quality software for a more reliable and customer-friendly local government.
About Open Social
Open Social is a top-tier SaaS company based in Amsterdam and Enschede, The Netherlands. Open Social is specialised in online community and membership management solutions. We have mastered the art of sharing, serving some of the biggest international NGOs as clients, including the UN, Greenpeace and the Pachamama Alliance, and winning several international awards in the process.
Open Social places sharing at the heart of everything we do, because that is what transforms a group of individuals into a community. As people share their goals, their innovations, their knowledge and stories, they become a unified community that can change the world. That is why we say Open Social is #MadeToShare
For more information, picture material or to request an interview with Finalist, SIMgroep or Open Social: https://www.simgroep.nl/social-intranet
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