Redefining the Way a Firm Engages Dealers + Partners
Case Study: Microsoft SharePoint Extranet
A leading North American distributor of printing and finishing equipment initiated an effort to redesign its extranet site. This effort would better serve its dealers, partners, and key customers. Its current dealer extranet was outdated in presentation and technology. It also only served dealers. The company’s overall goals were to enhance communication, efficiency, and collaboration. In addition, the organization wanted to make it easier for its business partners to sell and service its equipment. As a result, the client contacted Aciron to identify the best platform as well as to design, develop, and implement a custom extranet.
How We Added Value:
Aciron conducted a requirements-gathering assessment to understand the specific business and technical requirements, goals, and vision for the new system. After thoroughly evaluating different extranet platform options, the client and Aciron decided on using Microsoft SharePoint 2010. Microsoft SharePoint 2010 would allow the client to design and develop the new extranet while successfully meet all of its unique needs.
Aciron met regularly with the client to gather requirements and develop a sound strategy for Microsoft SharePoint extranet configuration, customization, and implementation. As part of this process, Aciron prepared storyboard presentations and process-flow diagrams. With these documents, the client regularly reviewed, provided feedback, and made adjustments to the development of the system. Following an agile development approach, Aciron engaged key stakeholders and provided regular status updates, delivering complete visibility into the progress of the project.
Aciron installed, configured, and customized a Microsoft SharePoint extranet. Thus, enabling the client’s dealers, partners, and key customers to work efficiently with the client. The user-friendly, intuitive SharePoint extranet includes updated features, functionality, and design elements. Therefore, allowing the client to easily manage, inform, and sell to different customers, dealers, and partners.
The SharePoint extranet, among its robust capabilities, includes user-specific dashboards. Thus, providing users with an easy-to-read view into important relevant information specific to the individual user. The system also has robust search functionality and robust security features. In addition, the system has contact management capabilities and customer and lead tracking. Furthermore, the dynamic product database allows authorized users to quickly find information on parts, the stock of parts and parts’ associated pricing.
The system was developed to be scalable and flexible, such that it will easily adapt to the client’s evolving requirements. After the initial launch, Aciron migrated the client’s relevant existing data to an updated version of the extranet. We also implemented other enhancements, such as integrating the extranet with relevant third-party applications. The extranet pulls data from Salesforce and the client’s ERP to provide users with real-time, up-to-date information. Since implementing the extranet, the client is experiencing increased collaboration with their external dealers, partners, and key stakeholders and continues to work with Aciron to expand the system’s functionality.