Corporate SharePoint Portal for Boundless Internal Collaboration

  • Single collaboration platform for geographically distributed employees to cowork on information, documents, and ideas.
  • SharePoint intranet with custom branding to promote corporate culture and foster employees’ engagement.
Expertise
Collaboration Solutions
Content & Document Management
Verticals
Manufacturing

Iflexion delivered a fully-fledged corporate SharePoint portal to unite geographically dispersed offices of Ferronordic Machines and to use it as a driver of corporate culture and brand communication.

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 a corporate portal based on Microsoft SharePoint 2010. The intranet was going through several difficulties:

  • Poor performance that was slowing down employees’ activities.
  • Absence of a convenient document management system, which was complicating document management processes.
  • Outdated intranet design unaligned with the corporate branding standards, which affected the overall corporate culture and employees’ loyalty.

Having moved the solution to SharePoint 2013, Ferronordic Machines decided to improve it and fix all the issues. The Customer turned to Iflexion to address these challenges and put their intranet back on rails. 

Challenge

Considering the Customer’s geographically dispersed team and key requirements for the SharePoint portal development, the main project goal was to create an effective tool for internal communication:

  • To drive staff engagement in corporate activities and projects.
  • To create a single platform that would encourage employees to share content across the company.
  • To foster internal culture of transparency for employees to better understand the company’s goals and assess corporate achievements.

Solution

The delivered portal has the following features:

  • The main site with general information available for all employees (news, updates, basic corporate information for newcomers, etc.).
  • Departmental subsites that contain separate document libraries, surveys, lists, static pages and different web-parts. Representatives of different departments were involved to define the exact structure of each subsite.
  • Subsites of regional divisions to support employees’ collaboration in regional offices.
  • Project subsites are created from a pre-built template and include a document library, a list of project members, and a calendar;
  • A central document library that contains all corporate documents.

Users access the solution according to their role-based permissions. There are several key user roles:

  • Site collection administrator — a privileged user who manages the entire SharePoint site collection, adds new functionality and controls the intranet performance.
  • User — a typical employee who works with documents in the main library or looks for information.
  • Reader — a user with limited permissions who cannot add or edit documents.
  • Subsite administrator — a member of a department, regional division or a project member who manages a subsite content.
  • Team member — a user who can add content to existing document libraries on a subsite and read all the information on this subsite.

One user can have different permissions across different sites and subsites.

Development Process

Iflexion’s team of 4 SharePoint developers, a designer, a project manager, a business analyst and a QA engineer participated in the project to cover the full cycle of portal development. The project consisted of 3 phases.

Phaze 0. During the zero phase, the team made up a technical design specification to describe the scope of work in detail.

Phaze 1. The first phase included the creation of a functional corporate portal with document libraries, subsites, news, static pages and links to corporate resources.

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

The first project phase also supposed customizing the portal and designing it in line with the corporate style.

Phaze 2. In the framework of the SharePoint portal development, the team delivered additional SharePoint features such as employee surveys, the organizational structure, birthdays, the corporate calendar and custom web parts, including currency exchange rates, weather, and clock.

Iflexion also provided the Customer with testing and quality assurance services. Our QA engineer performed smoke, regression, acceptance and functional testing. The QA specialist detected several critical issues as well as numerous minor defects; SharePoint developers then fixed all of them. 

Results

Iflexion accomplished the SharePoint portal development for Ferronordic Machines on time and on budget. The Customer got a fully functional intranet for employees to collaborate continuously within a centralized solution.

SharePoint 2013 allowed for designing a more user-friendly solution. Ferronordic Machines intranet demonstrates high performance, thus enabling employees to find the required information and to fulfill their tasks with lesser effort. Finally, the Customer got a corporate medium that ensured a dynamic organization-wide collaboration, contributed to employees’ loyalty and strengthened corporate culture.

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