Ready Steady SharePoint

At the start of a new year, new beginnings are to be expected. My own is a big step, not just “cycle more” or “give up chocolate.” This year, after ten happy and successful years at The Salvation Army UK & Ireland Territory, I have decided to move on to a new opportunity.

This is the first of two posts about this move. Next month, I’ll talk more about my new direction. Today is a good time to look back over my time at The Salvation Army.

When I joined The Salvation Army in 2002 in a newly created position as Database Administrator (Development), the IT team was then about 12 people (now 25 people), and was the largest organization (5000 users) I had ever worked in. Along with Corporate Databases, applications and later SharePoint, the Corporate Systems Unit was an exceptional team including some of the smartest, most driven, and most amiable people I know. (Some were all three!)

Naturally I had a lot of fun with technologies through freedom, flexibility and encouragement from our inspiring Chief Information Officer. Some of the highlights include: administration, configuration, design and implementation of SQL Server databases, Web applications; Administration and configuration of SharePoint farms & site collections; business systems project upgrades; collaboration and intranet management; proof of concept work with PerformancePoint Server 2007 and Qlikview BI products.

My primary focus was always on users and their requirements. People still tell me how surprised they are at what and how we do to support the Mission of The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army UKI corporate systems in these years has grown from a small set of applications to comprehensive platforms and infrastructure. It has been exciting to see our influence grow and for us to establish a strategic information role in one of the most successful charity within the sector. But I enjoy a smaller organization and a different rhythm to my work. As I have been thinking about how my career will change over the coming years and my passion for Microsoft SharePoint products and technologies, it has become clearer that a change was inevitable.

It would be wrong to assume that this change means that I am unhappy with The Salvation Army, or that we have had some great disagreement over strategy or direction. I will be leaving with no disappointments. I am moving simply for a new, thrilling opportunity: it’s a personal career move that I’m delighted to make and SharePoint is all we need!

And so, I wish the fondest farewell to my colleagues at The Salvation Army, with whom I have been most closely involved over the years.

So, where am I going? I am joining PointBeyond.com, as a Senior SharePoint Consultant. In my next post, I’ll write more. I look forward to telling you more about this role and what promises to be a thrilling new direction for me with the most exciting company I have seen in years.

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Chirag is an Independent Consultant at Patel Consulting, Chartered IT Professional, TOGAF9 Certified Architect and Microsoft Certified Solution Expert (Productivity, Data Platform) based in London, UK with more than 15 years of industry experience. He works with a wide variety of clients in many sectors, designing and implementing business collaboration, data and information management solutions and services based on SharePoint and Office 365 technologies to create business value for both themselves and their customers, including UK Microsoft Gold Partners with deployment, upgrade and migration services delivery. Chirag is an active SharePoint community participant, frequent speaker at local and international events including SharePoint Saturdays and Collab365. He is also one of the co-organisers of the SharePoint User Group UK (London) region. In 2011, for his valuable contributions to Microsoft TechNet forums he received a Microsoft Community Contributor Award. In his little spare time he enjoys cycling, cricket and every year participating in Charity bike rides and Duathlons. You can find him online at www.techchirag.com and follow Chirag on Twitter at @techChirag.

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Posted in SharePoint
2 comments on “Ready Steady SharePoint
  1. Séan Donnellan says:

    Congratulations on the new job Chirag, nice post.
    I know they will miss you – as will the Noodle bar…. !

  2. Rowlesy says:

    Organization with a z. We are not American!

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