Accountable Consultative Relationship Builds Trust and Value

Business Situation

SASED moved to SharePoint three years ago but had to part from the implementing consultancy. They tried another consultancy but ended that relationship because their consultants behaved more like contractors and their project managers didn’t add value.

SASED knew they needed support but were wary of trying another IT consultancy. They were tired of not knowing who was working on their project – they only wanted one person they knew and could trust.

Other challenges included:

  • Portals were confusing and time-consuming.
  • Districts and board members wanted an extranet to communicate with each other.
  • Documentation was piling up with inadequate file management.
  • User Experience was frustrating.

"Core brought together not only the intrinsic skill sets that we sought to add to our project, but more importantly these skills came attached to approachable, thoughtful, honest human beings."

Neil Perry | Director of Technology | SASED

Our Solution

Though our expertise could solve many of their technical challenges, the real issue was earning their trust and proving our value as a partner. And that could only be solved by developing an accountable relationship with them. At the beginning of the project, one of our consultants went onsite and worked alongside them for 2 days to gain rapport and earn their trust. All other work was done remotely by that consultant and another he brought on to help. We also demonstrated value by steering them in better directions.

The Results

We introduced a small team at the onset of the project. Each team member was responsible for specific scope items, but the entire team was available to support each initiative when needed. By the end of the project, wariness had given way to excitement. They enjoyed our accountable partnership and saw consultants as people who guide and challenge them to make the right decisions.

Other benefits include:

  • Simplified portals and improved user experience – now it takes 2 clicks to access the right file, not 6-7.
  • Restructured all their document libraries to focus on file meta data rather than folders. Doing so eliminated hundreds of unnecessary folders, simplifying file searches.
  • Built extranet so districts, board members, and parents could communicate with each other.
  • Used Power Apps to quickly build multiple mobile forms (ex. - direct deposit, mileage) with Flow approval workflows.
  • Flexible working relationship to adjust for changing needs.

School Association for Special Education in DuPage County

The School Association for Special Education in DuPage County (SASED) is a special education cooperative in northern Illinois. SASED member districts provide special education and related services to the majority of students with disabilities ages 3 through 22 that reside within their boundaries.

Services include specialized instructional environments for students with moderate to severe or low incidence disabilities, placement of highly specialized staff, provision of consultative services and professional development, leadership in the field, and direct service to students, their families and the staffs that serve them.

Technologies Used

Microsoft Power Apps

Microsoft Power Automate

Microsoft SharePoint