Client: The mission of the Ronald McDonald Kinderfonds is to help families with children who are ill or disabled. Their goal is to provide children and their family with a warm and welcoming stay in one of their guest Houses, living rooms in hospitals, or holiday homes during times of need.
Children want their parents close by when they are in the hospital, and of course, parents want to be with their children. Thanks to the Ronald McDonald Houses, parents and family can stay just a few minutes from the hospital. Families that stay in one of the Ronald McDonald Houses will feel at home quickly; they can watch TV, cook, sleep, read and relax, while being close to their child. The Ronald McDonald Houses are more than just a roof; parents can also support each other.
There are 15 Ronald McDonald Houses in the Netherlands, located near all academic hospitals, local hospitals, a rehabilitation centre, and a youth psychiatric institution. In 2012, the Ronald McDonald Houses enabled 63,275 nights for 5,120 families.
Informed Consulting is proud to have the Ronald McDonald Kinderfonds as a client. We are incredible impressed with their great work. To help offset the cost of the projects, we used reduced rates. Giving back is important to us and Kinderfonds is not the only foundation that we support. We also do voluntary Office 365 consultancy work for the Tegenkracht foundation.
Solution: Last year, the Ronald McDonald Kinderfonds moved their intranet from SharePoint 2007 to Office 365. One of the applications hosted was a guest registration system for the Ronald McDonald Houses. Volunteers of the houses were able to register the families visiting the Houses and create receipts for their stay.
Because the old solution was custom built for SharePoint 2007, it could not be redeployed to the new intranet in Office 365. Leading to the choice to build the solution in Office 365. In addition, the old solution was not very user friendly, and the volunteers and the management of the foundation requested several new functionalities. Because of the requirement that the solution had to work in Office 365, we chose to use Microsoft’s preferred method for customizing SharePoint 2013 and Office 365 by creating a SharePoint App. The high level requirements for the guest registration app for the Ronald McDonald Houses where simple: the solution needed to be easy-to-use for the volunteers, and reusable for individual Houses. Finely, the system needed to have an option to export the information to create reports. With the functional requirements in hand, we started working on the app by translating the functional requirements into technical specifications, and the following main choices were made:
- We decided to use Microsoft Azure to host our app, as this is the recommended way of deploying a SharePoint app in combination with Office 365.
- We created a full screen app-page instead of one or more app-parts. This choice was mainly driven to offer users an improved user experience. Giving them enough space to display their information.
- We decided to store all information in SharePoint lists in the host-web instead of the app-web, so power-users can easily view and export the information from SharePoint.
- We decided to create a new app in a new site for each individual house, so the data is stored per house and the access to the system can be managed by SharePoint security.
After developing, deploying, and testing with 2 Houses, the guest registration app can now be used in all 15 Houses. The volunteers can now easily find returning visitors, change rooms, checkout families, and create receipts. In addition, the management of the foundation that supports the Houses can pull statistics very easily by using the information from the SharePoint lists.
Informed Consulting was able to help the Ronald McDonald House in a variety of ways. By listening and taking into account needs of the users, we were able to create an easy-to-use solution. Because building enterprise solutions based on best practices is part of our DNA, we were able to create a reusable solution, which saved Ronald McDonald House money. Finally, the solution is scalable and is ready to support the future as new features will be added to the app to help the volunteers and the management do their good work!
Ronald McDonald Kinderfonds told us:
We are very satisfied with our cooperation with Informed Consulting. Informed Consulting built a guest registration app for us that is being used by more than 1000 different volunteers in all Ronald McDonald Houses. They are always ready to help and fulfill an active role in possible changes for the better.Remke Brand, Deputy Director Ronald McDonald Kinderfonds