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Case Study

Modern SharePoint Intranet Helps Construction Company Communicate with Users

A large construction firm hired Netrix to move their legacy corporate intranet to Office 365. Instead of implementing a standard “lift and shift” migration, Netrix’s architects and Microsoft MVPs consulted with key stakeholders to map desired requirements to features in Office 365 and build a roadmap to the cloud that aligned with Microsoft’s Office 365 roadmap.

Even as Microsoft released new functionality to its Office 365 platform, Netrix’s close communication with stakeholders and the use of an agile project management approach positioned Netrix to maximize the client’s budget and deliver more business value in shorter release cycles.

Netrix Case Study Construction
Netrix Case Study

The Situation

The Netrix client is a large construction firm with operations nationwide. Like many firms in the industry, the client sought to gain a competitive edge by eliminating bottlenecks in business processes touching field operations and back-office staff, including:

  • Forms management, approval and data collection
  • Safety incident alerts, reporting and analytics
  • Intracompany communication and announcements
  • Departmental and cross-functional collaboration
  • Centralized, corporate directory with search capabilities by project history, expertise and reporting structure

With key business processes relying on email, internal file shares and a VPN-only corporate intranet, the organization struggled to modernize business processes to meet the demands of a mobile workforce with an increasing percentage of millennial employees.

During the roadmap engagement, Netrix also uncovered critical business data living in paper and PDF forms on file shares that prevented the client’s analytics team from effectively identifying trends in safety incident reporting.

The Challenges

The client’s existing solutions to these business problems combined a mix of legacy on-premises applications including file shares, email and IBM Notes databases that lacked single sign-on capabilities and relied on VPN access when users were outside of the corporate network.

Enhancing existing applications required long development cycles on aged platforms and training an increasingly-youthful user base presented challenges due to the legacy platforms’ lack of a mobile-first, modern user interface.

Even after choosing to centralize on Office 365 as the primary platform for the solution, the client struggled to map their unique requirements to the appropriate Office 365 features. Architectural decisions were often delayed due to apprehensions about product roadmaps, development of new applications stalled when Microsoft released new functionality, and adoption of Office 365 was slow.

The Solution

Netrix met with 80+ stakeholders across 17 departments in the corporate office and across the country to understand the business needs and build a backlog of features and user stories.

Netrix adopted a two-pronged approach to building a roadmap to implementation, in which:

  • Client stakeholders reviewed the backlog and prioritized functionality (needs/wants/nice-to-haves).
  • Netrix mapped requirements to solutions in Office 365 and estimated the effort required to implement the solutions, including out-of-the-box functionality and custom development, if necessary.

Netrix then graphed these features by business value and level of effort to highlight “low-hanging fruit” solutions with high business impact potential that can be implemented with the least amount of effort.

Beginning with the low-hanging fruit, Netrix began implementation of the complete roadmap starting with small chunks of work in two-week development sprints, remaining flexible enough to re-prioritize or even re-architect components of the larger solution as new Office 365 functionality was released.

The Netrix delivery team continues to work closely with stakeholders and the client’s IT department to continuously deliver Office 365 cloud-based solutions to:

  • Empower field superintendents to report on-site safety incidents from a mobile form and notify users enterprise-wide, with at-a-glance BI reports rolling uptime-to-report, bodily injury heat maps and intelligent breakdowns of incidents by type, job, region and sub-contractor
  • Publish announcements company-wide or to specific departments and initiative teams with rich content (photos, integrated documents and maps) and mobile notifications
  • Enhance the searchability of forms and documents across teams
  • Provide collaboration centers for teams of all sizes to publish customized, rich content
  • Allow all employees to look up coworkers and contractors by role, project history and skillset

At the start of each development sprint, the client has the opportunity to re-prioritize the backlog of features as priorities shift. Similarly, Netrix can quickly implement new technology as it is released from Microsoft to augment, or even replace, functionality being built in-flight. It’s a great way to ensure Office 365 enables success in the business.

Key Results

Pains

  • Legacy on-premises solutions built on aging platforms were unable to meet the needs of a younger, mobile-first workforce and became increasingly costly to maintain.
  • Traditional intranet application lacked global search and buried critical business data in documents, forms and file shares.
  • Inability to report on key business process metrics such as safety incident reporting.
  • Cloudy vision of how to align Office 365 products, services and custom development with business needs throughout the organization, resulting in slow adoption and “paralysis by analysis.”

Gains

  • Implementation focused on utilization of out-of-box solutions augmented by development only when necessary, aligned with Microsoft’s roadmap.
  • Cloud-first, mobile-first applications built on the industry-leading Office 365 platform that are accessible anywhere, from any device.
  • Flexibility to change requirements as business needs shift, ensuring that the implementation budget is maximized and development isn’t stalled while waiting for releases.
  • Documented roadmap to Office 365 with a backlog of features and mappings to Office 365 functionality optimized for maximum business impact in the shortest amount of time.

Our Approach

Netrix incorporates agile development best practices into our application development operations and prioritizes the evolution of your development teams by introducing market-leading best practices. Whether modernizing the applications you have in place today or developing new custom solutions for your unique business challenges, our team provides the experience and resources necessary to gain new functionality and efficiencies.

Technical Expertise

Our Microsoft-certified engineers develop software applications using the most modern technologies, ensuring that your application is usable and maintainable in the future. Our primary technical expertise includes:

Microsoft Stack

  • .NET development, MVC, MVP, MVVM

Modern Web Application Development

  • HTML5, CSS3, JavaScript, jQuery, Angular JS, Knockout, Single Page Applications

Database Architecture

  • SQL, MySQL, noSQL

Azure Migration and Development Services

  • App Service, Web Roles, Worker Roles, Table Storage, Blob Storage, Queues, and Service Bus
  • Cloud-Based Architecture

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