Corporate Portal: Ensuring Seamless Internal Communication

  • A single collaboration tool for geographically distributed employees to share information, documents and ideas
  • Customer brand features incorporated into the portal design to promote corporate culture
Expertise
Collaboration Solutions
Content & Document Management
Verticals
Manufacturing

Intranet is one of the most important and effective tools of internal communication within large companies. Iflexion delivered a fully-fledged portal providing the geographically dispersed staff of Ferronordic Machines with access to necessary documents and information, company news and events.

Calendar
5
Duration
Months
Gears
7
Efforts
Person-months

Context

Our Customer, Ferronordic Machines, is the authorized dealer of Volvo Construction Equipment and Terex Trucks. The company had MS SharePoint 2010 corporate portal that went out of date with SharePoint 2013 introduction. The performance was low, there was no convenient document storage system, and the absence of corporate design (branding) did not encourage corporate culture development and employee loyalty.

Thus, Ferronordic Machines invited IT companies to tender. Iflexion’s team won and started working on the project.

Solution

Considering the Customer’s geographically dispersed team and key requirements for the new intranet, the main project goal is creating an effective tool for internal communication that will be:

  • The driving force of positive staff engagement in company activities and projects;
  • A single platform that would encourage sharing information and documents among company personnel of all divisions, regions and job roles;
  • A part of internal culture of transparency for employees to better understand company goals and assess the achievements.

The portal structure includes:

  • The main site with general information that is available for all company employees (news, updates, basic company information for new recruits, etc.);
  • Subsites of the departments — may contain a separate library, surveys, lists, static pages, different web-parts. The exact structure of each subsite is defined according to the requirements of the key users of the department;
  • Subsites of regional divisions — will be defined during the second project phase;
  • Subsites of a project — separate subsites for projects will be created from a template and will include a document library, list of project members, and a calendar;
  • Central document library — documents distributed according to the predefined rules mentioned above.

The solution has definite user permission-based roles:

  • Site collection administrator — manages adding new content and the way the portal functions in general
  • Users — most company employees who work with documents in the main library get to know the latest updates, etc.
  • Readers — users with reduced access who cannot add/edit documents
  • Subsite administrator — department, regional division and project members who manage their subsite content
  • Team member — can add content to existing document libraries of the subsite and read other information. One user can use the portal in multiple roles.

Development Process

Iflexion’s team of 4 developers, designer, project manager, business analyst and QA engineer is providing Ferronordic Machines with a full cycle of development services. The project itself is divided into 3 phases, from 0 to 2.

The phase 0 included technical design specification when the statement of work was developed in detail.

The first phase have already been completed and included creating functional corporate portal with document libraries, subsites, news, static pages and links to resources.

Iflexion’s team offered the structure that would meet the Customer’s demands: one main site with subsites for each department, regional division and project. The main library has a shared files folder that contains subfolders with documents of different company departments and regional divisions as well as a variety of sample documents (application forms, standard contracts, supplements, etc.). Each subsite (department area) can have its own library.

The first project phase also included working out the portal design that would be userfriendly and incorporated corporate brand features.

The second phase is being discussed at the moment and will include additional SharePoint features such as augmentation and custom development: employee surveys, organization structure, birthdays, complementary web-parts (e.g. currency exchange rates, weather, clock), a calendar, and so on.

Iflexion also provided the Customer with testing and quality assurance services: our QA engineer performed smoke, regression, acceptance and functional testing. Some issues were detected and fixed, but all in all the quantity of defects was insignificant.

Results

The portal for Ferronordic Machines was delivered on time and budget. The Customer got a fully-functional intranet for company employees, is happy with the results and ready to continue beneficial cooperation with the second project phase.

The capabilities of SharePoint 2013 being embraced within this project allow for more convenient and productive portal search. Ferronordic Machines intranet provides easy navigation and high performance enabling company personnel with quick information access thus saving time and money. Moreover, the Customer got a way for all the employees to bond and communicate within one platform, which leads to enhanced loyalty and corporate culture.

Screenshots

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