Custom CMS Development and Intranet for Philips Consumer Lifestyle
- Open-source CMS customized for the manufacturer’s business needs
- Collaboration-driven intranet for a Philips product division
- Focus on cost-efficiency and scalability
One of the Philips product divisions turned to Iflexion to develop a custom CMS and implement a new scalable intranet on top of it, in order to drive team collaboration and training.
Philips Consumer Lifestyle, a Dutch division of the multinational electronics giant Philips, manufactures and sells consumer electronics and accessories. The company was looking to replace their outdated content management system used as the foundation for the internal portal (intranet) of the Philips Pronto product team. This legacy CMS required advanced technical skills to manage it and obstructed the intranet management. The company’s goals were to facilitate content management for non-technical staff as well as make the CMS easily scalable.
To win the project, Iflexion’s team put together our best practices in intranet development and proposed a custom CMS based on an open-source technology. Such a custom-built solution would help to address Philips Consumer Lifestyle’s unique business processes and introduce a cost-efficiency element by taking license costs out of the equation.
The project included custom CMS development and implementation of a new intranet on top of this CMS for use by the Pronto division’s product managers, engineers and trainers.
The Custom CMS
Iflexion’s CMS engineers customized and deployed the OpenCms platform to introduce the following:
- Core features, including content publishing workflows, integrated templates, a sitemap, and navigation management.
- Content areas, such as the distributor finder, testimonials, use cases, maintenance and service guidelines, installers, events, news, product descriptions, and more.
- The training and examination module, where users can take up the company’s online courses relevant to their position and pass internal tests in line with their content access rights.
- File sharing, to enable content distribution across teams and departments.
- User account and access management, which allows admins to create, manage and deactivate user accounts, assign user rights, set content access levels, etc.
The portal became the go-to place for storing and managing corporate information related to the Philips Pronto team’s operations. It supports both static and dynamic content and contains such components as:
- News and corporate events
- Organizational chart
- Product descriptions and reference materials
- Corporate firmware, uploaded and downloaded by users
- A collaboration-driven forum
- Corporate e-learning center
Iflexion split the custom CMS development into several phases that covered the full cycle of activities:
- Refining the customer’s initial requirements and shaping the vision for the future solution
- Developing, testing and implementing primary features, such as user management and meta-information management
- Delivering secondary features, such as forum integration, the examination module, file sharing, and custom content components
- Designing and implementing the UI, including HTML slicing
The key development phase was carried out in iterations, with the deliverables demoed to the customer incrementally to incorporate their feedback. Working on the project on Iflexion’s side were a project manager, a business analyst, a technical team lead, developers, and a QA specialist.
Iflexion created the content management system based on OpenCms, a Java-based open-source platform that enables easy content publishing and editing. Java Enterprise Edition and open-source libraries were leveraged to minimize workload-related costs and deploy system components as independent applications for easier maintenance.
Model-View-Controller (MVC) was chosen as the architectural pattern, which allowed us to create a secure solution protected against cross-site scripting and cookie vulnerabilities. Security was further enhanced through the full HTTPS/SSL support and user data encryption.
The intranet was integrated with the WebTrain third-party system that provided the basis for the corporate e-learning center.
In just under one month, we released the first version of the intranet to the Philips Pronto team who could start getting used to the new portal immediately. In the following months, we refined the solution and introduced additional features before fully launching it live. The portal is available across browsers and can be easily scaled to accommodate more users as needed.
The success of this solution earned us the next project with Philips, this time with their lighting controls division, Dynalite, which requested a similar content management system for themselves. The custom CMS components developed for the Philips Pronto team were effectively reused to minimize the total cost of ownership for the division.
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