The University of Alabama at Birmingham

The university was searching for a solution that rendered SharePoint “usable” for a huge population of users.

THE CUSTOMER: 
The University of Alabama at Birmingham

INDUSTRY:
Education

PLATFORM:
Microsoft SharePoint 2010

 

“We found Virto to be very helpful with support issues and very attentive to our needs as a customer – much of the functionality found in the Virto Workflow Activities Kit arose from our project requirements.”

R. Kevin Gunther-Canada MA | Director, Information Management and Communications

The Challenge

University of Alabama at Birmingham is an internationally renowned research university and one of the largest US academic medical centers known for its innovative and interdisciplinary approach to education.
UAB has roughly 1,000 active users and 30,000 total users. The university was searching for a solution that rendered SharePoint “usable” for a huge population of users. The politics of IT at the institution have made it difficult for SharePoint to be adopted more broadly at UAB, but for the departments that are invested in its use, the solution by Virto (namely Workflow Activities Kit) is definitely among the most important third party components. 

Before working with VirtoSoftware, UAB had used several SharePoint vendor products, but support was irregular. Bug fixes could take 6-12 months, or they were unwilling to modify their standard contract. As a state government institution, it’s bound by some very specific language that must be included in all vendor contracts.

“We found Virto when the Calendar came out, but we jumped when WAK was released. WAK was the game-changer. In my opinion, it is more cost-effective than Nintex (no additional hardware), way cheaper than K2, and more functional than its Bamboo or KwizCom peers.” – says Information Management and Communications Director R. Kevin Gunther-Canada.

Solution and use cases:

The most widely deployed Virto products: SharePoint Workflow Activities Kit; SharePoint Calendar, SharePoint List Form Extender, SharePoint Bulk File Upload

Virto products helped UAB to make a lot of things possible that OOTB SharePoint solutions or vendor solutions simply don’t have the capacity for. Permissions, publishing page management, bulk files management, all of the extended workflow activities have hugely improved the SharePoint environment for UAB users. The improvements have made it possible to automate all kinds of tasks. For example, to replace the cumbersome SharePoint document upload process with a list+attachments, and use the WAK to export the attachments from the list to a document library, all of which is transparent to the end-user.

The solution by Virto has been readily accepted by users and eliminates the need for people to “learn” SharePoint. Users just need to fill out a form without going into the details. 

On a final note, UAB appreciates the customer support service by Virtosoftware. R. Kevin Gunther-Canada stated, “Virto has demonstrated a commitment to its customers that is unique among the Microsoft SharePoint partners we’ve worked with.  We have also found the quality of the solutions to be superior to the other web part vendors we’ve tried to work with.”

Examples of Virto products implementation:

Meeting Room Scheduling Solution

One-Click Registration Form