Migros-Genossenschafts-Bund (MGB), a leading Swiss retailer, planned and designed an intranet relaunch with a focus on usability, design and a new platform. MatchPoint partner Namics was chosen to specify and implement the complex requirements. It was the start of a row of MatchPoint projects in five major divisions.
Following an intense phase of consulting and requirements analysis, diverse proofs of concept were done to verify the technical feasibility. The results were documented in an extensive technical documentation. This was the basis for the planning and implementation of the new intranet.Today, MGB has a highly personalized multilingual intranet featuring complex news management, centralized document management and diverse functional extensions. By using the MatchPoint framework, SharePoint functionality could be amended and a big part of the requirements could be met by configuration instead of custom development. Last but not least, MatchPoint's intuitive search Web Parts with integrated find-on-type and refinement features were a considerable added-value to the overall usability of the solution.
Inspired by the results of the MGB intranet, GMZ decided to go the same way. Meanwhile, MatchPoint Partner itsystems had developed a standardized intranet application on top of MatchPoint, providing most of the important features of a modern intranet. The GMZ intranet is based on this solution and quickly became a central hub for information and documents for more than 1200 employees in 150 sales points.
Improved usability, personalization and content management
On a parallel track, the Migros Basel Cooperative (GMBS) made a strategic decision for SharePoint to replace its file server. Also, there was an urgent need to replace a rudimentary intranet platform and administration of company documents and information used up to that point and to provide the 1100 users of the various organisation units with an up-to-date information platform.
Since the out-of-the-box SharePoint functions alone did not deliver the expected results and no global overviews or user-specific views could be created in orders and project management without extra programming, GMBS added MatchPoint to its platform and integrated it with SAP. By implementing their new architecture based on our framework, GMBS was ready for future challenges and had a flexible, expandable and – equally importantly – manageable SharePoint application platform. New applications ranging from news management, document management, collaboration workspaces and composite content applications such as change request management have been implemented with a very short time-to-market.
After analysing the customer’s needs, MatchPoint Partner itsystems developed a collaboration platform based on a SharePoint server, which is used as a central document management system (DMS) for GMBS. itsystems developed a new SharePoint information architecture and the documents which had been administered on the file server until then were migrated to the SharePoint environment. Thanks to the MatchPoint tagging function, all documents are automatically tagged when saved in the SharePoint document store. This automatic allocation of metadata (tags/concepts/topics) allows users to search for documents quickly and easily by topic, delivering relevant results.
Metadata-driven content across applications
The SharePoint platform was intended not just for use in document management, but also as an information portal for staff. All GMBS news should be accessible centrally via the intranet. One important requirement was to present the news in such a way that employees can clearly see at a glance which information comes from the managing directors and which is more general. The MatchPoint ontology allows new articles to be easily tagged and shown as required. One of the strengths of MatchPoint is that content such as news or documents can also be administrated locally. Tagging enables the articles to be shown automatically in the appropriate overview.
GMBS wanted to allow their staff to manage documents and exchange information across divisions and departments. Above all, the necessity of sending documents back and forth by e-mail and thus producing an unmanageable number of versions was to be eliminated. In addition, the staff should be able to create and administrate their workspaces independently and to add tags. Alongside the document store, the workspace consists of a MatchPoint form (Site Property Editor Web Part), with which the meta data (tags and empty fields) can be managed independently by the members of the workspace. Tagging with MatchPoint tags allows the content to be personalised for the employees and shown irrespectively of the effective storage location. In addition, the MatchPoint role model allows GMBS users to manage authorisations for the workspace conveniently as they please. This technical consolidation not only allows for savings in financial and staffing resources, but relieves pressure on the entire IT infrastructure. The workspaces make the organisation of cooperation between and within departments and divisions easier and more efficient. The most recent documents and information can be accessed at any time, so that time is no longer wasted asking which is the latest version.
Integration of composite content applications and process support
GMBS as well as GMLU have implemented process support using MatchPoint workflows and forms, as well as integration with LOB systems. One example at GMBS is the request management in the IT department. Requests to GMBS IT were previously recorded and managed in a SharePoint list. This approach has proved to be inflexible and unmanageable. With MatchPoint, this type of application can be implemented quickly and easily. All GMBS staff can send a request to IT using a MatchPoint form. With this form, a storage space is created for each request, in which additional information can be stored. The process information for each application is also maintained in a MatchPoint form in the form of meta data (tags).Thanks to the simple-to-implement MatchPoint extensions and with the help of the MatchPoint API and expressions, selected fields can be made visible and/ or editable, depending on the meta data “Request status” and “Request role” (authorisation). This speeds up the entire processing procedure and makes it more transparent.