WSB’s use of SharePoint had outgrown its current capability and needed a refreshed architecture that made the tool more user and mobile-friendly, flexible, and valuable for their employees. Transitioning the legacy system over to new modern infrastructure was going to take a team of experts to make sure the job was done right, so WSB reached out to the Emergent Software team to begin.  

WSB started the project with two phases in mind: Phase 1 was a test run of their first dive into any modern Microsoft Office 365 program and would create a new Client Portal framework. After Phase 1 was complete, Phase 2 would entail a larger redesign of their current employee portal. Both portals would take full advantage of the new tools, programs, and features that are integrated into modern versions of Office 365.  

Phase 1: Create a new Client Portal to enhance collaboration between employees and clients 

WSB’s team was experiencing many pain points using their outdated Client Portal. Document management permissions and sharing had become difficult, a lack of consistent processes and tools made project management inefficient, the current portal had made collaboration between internal teams hard and was not easily accessible on mobile devices. After identifying these pain points with the WSB team, our team began the design phase of the new and improved Portal.  

The new and improved Client Portal goes beyond simple functionality to provide robust features and a great user experience that adds value. The new Client Portal addresses all the pain points listed above by accomplishing the following:  

  • Team organization chart: By adding a team organization chart to each client portal, both the WSB team and their external clients understand each member of the team and their role in the project. For internal employees, the organization chart makes communicating across teams simple.  
  • Client Portal set-up form: When requesting a Client Portal for each external client, a form is used to capture necessary information to keep the creation of the portal consistent and standardized. 
  • Create project tasks: In the Client Portal, WSB team members can create necessary project tasks for visibility between teams.  
  • Add “my followed content” to My Dashboard: The WSB team can “favorite” and “follow” specific projects and pieces of content on their dashboard, to stay organized while working on multiple projects for different clients.  
  • Project metrics: Specific project metrics are outlined on every Client Portal, giving both the WSB and external team visibility into the deliverables and goals the teams are working toward. 
  • Metadata-Driven document management 

The new and improved Client Portal was well-received by the WSB team. With a standardized process now in place, the Client Portal framework is easily duplicated for easy organization, communication, and collaboration across client projects.  

Phase 2: Debut a brand-new wellness and employee portal 

After completing phase 1, the next phase involved re-building the internal employee portal. Before starting work on redesigning the entire employee portal, the teams tackled a smaller project to serve as a pilot: an employee wellness portal. The PowerApps-based solution is designed to make data entry into the solution simple and allows for custom fields and views to be created to accommodate special events and wellness initiatives. The solution utilizes built-in forms and templates that allow for easy customization by the WSB team. Overall, the wellness portal was well-received by the WSB team and now serves as an all-in-one hub to support their wellness initiatives on an easy-to-use, cloud-based infrastructure. 

With a successful debut of the employee wellness portal, the WSB team was now ready for a complete overhaul of their legacy employee portal system, modernizing it to be well-designed, interactive, and modern for their entire team. The employee portal is an internal resource for the team to receive important updates, respond to company event invites, and a platform for social recognition of team members, among many other things. The Emergent Software team began the overhaul by utilizing existing out-of-the-box functionality of all Office 365 has to offer. The WSB team also requested the addition of an employee directory to the system, as this was a growing need for employees to be able to communicate with other team members in WSB’s 500+ person team, often spread across multiple states. Emergent Software created a customized solution that simplifies this into an easy-to-use tool. 

The brand-new employee portal utilizes a modern SharePoint framework and templates for ease of use by the entire WSB team. WSB team members can now easily browse the self-service employee portal to receive important company updates and communicate with members outside of their departments by using the employee directory, all on any device of their choosing.  

Overall, the new and improved Client and Employee portals have been well-received by the WSB team. Both new portals have enhanced communication, collaboration, and take full advantage of all the modern features SharePoint and Office 365 has to offer. The new Portals have already brought tremendous value to both internal and external business processes and both teams are excited to partner further to explore more ways to improve their processes and business intelligence. 

The WSB team was recently awarded a 2020 Marketing Excellence Award from Zweig Group for the internal employee portal created by our team. We extend our congratulations to the team for a job well done! 

“Their team is always professional and looking to make sure that we’re happy as a customer and getting what we need.” 

Charlie Wild, IT Application Administrator - WSB

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