Unified Corporate SharePoint Knowledge Base

Itransition provided an established full-cycle software development company with a custom SharePoint-based solution that serves as a single access point to the customer’s references, case studies, and collateral marketing materials.

Context

An established full-cycle software development company needed a solution that would serve as a centralized repository of their references, case studies, and collateral marketing materials. There were several reasons for the customer’s marketing department to request the development of a new solution:

  • Need for a structured portfolio: as a service company, the customer needed a neatly organized portfolio of the accomplished projects to demonstrate their technology expertise and domain knowledge to potential clients.
  • Substantial sales management workforce: the amount of employees inevitably grows as the company business goes up. It was critical to ensure that newly hired sales managers would have all the necessary educational and marketing content at hand.
  • Absence of automated update process: one of the project goals was to develop a solution that would not only serve as an easily accessible and convenient document storage but also facilitate the update of the stored marketing materials.

Solution

Taking into consideration that the Customer already had an Office 365 enterprise subscription, Itransition’s specialists offered to leverage the SharePoint Online capabilities to address existing challenges. Moreover, the platform provided several important benefits vital to successful collaboration and knowledge management:

  • SharePoint enables effective cooperation of different user groups.
  • It is scalable, user-friendly, and can be easily customized in accordance with the customer’s business needs and corporate brand book rules.
  • It provides internal and external users with remote access to materials.
  • It is integrated with the internal components of business operation (for instance, Active Directory) used by the company on a daily basis.

Once authorized, users of the SharePoint knowledge base can access the stored marketing content and work on it in line with their rights:

  • Sales and project managers can view and download the documents.
  • Project managers can change the statuses of reference contacts.
  • Marketing specialists can view, download, upload, and edit the materials.

Case studies & collateral materials

The developed solution represents a SharePoint knowledge base with relevant document management capabilities. It hosts all the necessary content that supports the company’s daily business development operations. The marketing specialists revise and update the documents regularly so that all users can work with the latest document versions and follow the history of changes.

All materials are stored in folders organized by categories (case studies, technology expertise presentations, domain knowledge presentations, one-pagers, etc.). Employees can find needed documents by entering relevant keywords into the search panel or by using built-in filters.

Portfolio

The Portfolio part of the SharePoint knowledge base contains screenshots of the products developed by the customer and serves as supporting materials in the sales cycle. The Portfolio is integrated with Dropbox where marketing specialists store high-resolution versions of the images.

Users can search for the screenshots relating to certain projects by entering keywords or applying filters (for example, to sift out the content by company name, solution type, technology, or industry).

Customer References

As a company providing full-cycle software development services worldwide, our customer aims at establishing reliable connections with their clients, who often share their references to confirm the quality of the work done. That’s why one of the project goals for Itransition’s SharePoint consultants was to create and implement a reference base integrated with the knowledge base and enabling an automated reference validating process.

The solution automates the following processes:

  • Sending emails to account managers with reminders to update the reference status
  • Updating contacts’ statuses

Once in 3 months, all account managers receive a notification letter from the marketing department with a request to confirm the relevance of the references assigned to them. The letters contain the following information on references:

  • Contact person name
  • Company name
  • Link to the case study
  • Current reference status

After receiving the notification letter, an account manager either leaves the reference status with no updates or changes the status to one of the possible options. The solution allows changing status right from the letter by clicking the embedded links. Once a manager clicks the link, the relevant status is changed to:

  • Active—the reference contact information is up-to-date; one can contact the person for reference
  • Inactive—the contact is currently unavailable for reference
  • Dead—the contact information of the reference is no longer valid

All users can view the detailed reference data displayed in the base:

  • Contact person name
  • Company name
  • Industry
  • Contact person’s position within the company
  • Contact details
  • Account manager who manages a certain contact
  • Additional information about a contact person
  • A link to a case study of the fulfilled project
  • Contact status

Users can also search for certain reference contacts by applying filters (by company name, solution provided to the client or industry a client operates in).

Results

Itransition successfully implemented a custom SharePoint knowledge base that is actively used by the customer’s employees. The delivered solution enabled the company to structure numerous marketing materials and create a single point of knowledge for employees across different offices. Owing to the automated process of marketing materials update and reference contacts validation, marketing specialists and sales representatives can now be sure that the materials they work with are always relevant and up-to-date. Document versioning supported in SharePoint enabled the Customer to eliminate the risk of content duplication and related business errors.