CUSTOMER: The customer is a Nigerian Financial Service provider quoted on the Nigeria Stock Exchange with branches nationwide.
CHALLENGE: The Customer ran a corporate portal on SharePoint 2010. The solution served both internal and external users as a single collaboration area. Unfortunately, due to insufficient SharePoint maintenance and support, the portal became hard to manage and use. To put their SharePoint portal back on the rails, the Customer engaged PIQto perform the following activities:
The PIQ Team met with the company’s team and performed following activities:
After this was done, following the Customer’s requirements, PIQ’s SharePoint team started with migrating the SharePoint 2010 solution to SharePoint 2016, the platform’s latest version at that time. Using the database attach method, a SharePoint developer and a SharePoint administrator performed a two-step migration:
SharePoint 2010 → SharePoint 2013 → SharePoint 2016
Concurrently, we restored all the missing and defective functionality (SharePoint templates, metrics and sources) via Windows PowerShell.
When the migration was completed, the PIQ SharePoint development team moved on to the solution redesign.
The major objective was to rebuild the solution that would serve as:
PIQ created a new architecture for the solution.
Currently, the SharePoint portal includes 3 major components:
The portal homepage welcomes both internal and external users and lets them see the latest organizational announcements and the corporate calendar. It also provides direct access to numerous portal resources via quick links.
The departmental sites include a variety of SharePoint sites united into a single site collection. The sites support departmental activities, on the one hand, and cover specific business processes, on the other hand.
Thus, the portal hosts the following sites:
Each site represents a collaboration area with a departmental calendar, announcements and an individual document storage. Each site keeps departmental policies and objectives, department- or domain-specific metrics, as well as includes reports covering different aspects of department activities.
The Contractors’ sites are designed to ensure smooth collaboration between the Customer and their subcontractors and make the activities of the latter streamlined and transparent. The SharePoint sites also enable contractors to manage their internal processes (for example, HR-related activities), as well as to participate in bids, manage customer relationships and report an array of performance and compliance metrics.
Apart from contractor-specific reports, the Customer also wanted to have enterprise-wide reports reflecting the overall business outcomes in different periods. To enable this, PIQ assisted the SharePoint team in integrating the portal with Microsoft Power BI suite. This made the key metrics on the Customer’s and contractors’ performance to be seen right on the portal pages. Using the dynamic Power BI reports, the Customer’s management can compare business results achieved in different years and months and make decisions relying on accurate business data.
The project covered all the Customer’s initial requirements and allowed the organization to:
The managed services are ongoing and the SharePoint team is continually customizing the portal and adding new business-critical features.
TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS
Microsoft SharePoint 2016, Microsoft Power BI, Microsoft SQL Server 2016, SharePoint Designer 2013, Visual Studio 2015, Windows PowerShell.
CUSTOMER: The customer is a part of a large international parcel delivery network with service depots in more than 50 countries. They also have delivery partnership agreements with other courier companies all over the world. In Nigeria, their network has more than 210 agency and branch offices nationwide all collaborating intensively to deliver parcels nationwide and all over the world.
CHALLENGE: Collaboration has been a challenge in the company and since effective collaboration of employees is business-critical to the company, the Customer decided to develop a fully functional intranet to make the working process more dynamic, let employees connect with their colleagues easily worldwide, provide teams with a quick access to the corporate content and use a variety of collaboration tools.
SOLUTION: After the Establishment Stage, PIQ’s SharePoint team started with defining the general structure of the future intranet to create a clear-cut and flexible architecture that would allow managing, supporting and extending the intranet effectively.
Once the general structure of the solution was outlined, the project entered the development stage where PIQ’s SharePoint development team delivered various components of the intranet to make it user-friendly and feature-rich.
This includes the following:
A personalized web part is displayed on the intranet homepage. This way users have all the necessary corporate resources at their fingertips.
In the framework of SharePoint customization, the team also styled the intranet according to the corporate brand book and enabled responsive design of all intranet pages enabling smartphones and tablets availability.
The new SharePoint online intranet helped the customer to reach several goals:
TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS
CUSTOMER: The customer is our partner’s client, Emirates Integrated Telecommunications Company, DU Telecoms Dubai (DU), a telecommunications services provider for the United Arab Emirates and is a semi-government company based all over the UAE. DU offers fixed line, mobile telephony, internet, and digital television services across the United Arab Emirates. It is one of the two telecom operators in UAE founded in 2005 with more than 2000 employees.
The customer had been struggling to implement a telecom Sales Force Automation (SFA) system which can be scaled up to support complex processes, product structure, and integrate multiple backend systems. Previous attempts made to implement it using other technology products and platforms had failed twice.
TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS
Dynamics CRM, SharePoint Online, SharePoint Designer.
CUSTOMER: The Customer is an insurance company in Nigeria with branches in the United Kingdom and 8 countries in Africa.
CHALLENGE: The Customer’s employee portal was based on a third-party platform. The portal had an unattractive design and not user-friendly interface. Also, it didn’t support language localization.
REQUIREMENT: In order to deliver on the scope of work as defined, after subscribing to the Office 365 Suite, the Customer decided to develop a new employee portal in Office 365.
SOLUTION: PIQ’s team developed an employee portal on SharePoint Online according to all requirements of the Customer. The team implemented custom layout of the portal pages’ with the help of tiles (web parts) and in line with group permissions.
The available tiles included the following:
Some of the tiles were designed to be manually controlled by Community Managers (Upcoming Events) or a Global Community Manager (News Carousel).
PIQ’s team also created the Actions button on the portal’s home page. This button opens a drop-down menu that allows creating a document, a survey, an event, a community, etc.
Our specialists developed three levels of navigation for the employee portal:
We also created the three-level system of automated notifications that differed in their purposes and distribution channels:
To improve user adoption, our team also created user manuals intended for two groups of users:
Our SharePoint experts provided control over the user’s country location through Active Directory. Thus, the intranet can identify users by their country location. Depending on it, the employee portal can display the navigation either in English or in Spanish, as well as the localized content. Besides, users can change the main navigation language manually or via language settings in their user profile. Also, a built-in translation capability relying on the Bing application functionality was introduced into the employee portal. It can be used for translating blogs, news, comments, etc. The supported languages are English and Spanish.
TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS
SharePoint Online, SPFx, Azure App Service, Azure Cognitive Services, Azure WebJobs, React JS
CUSTOMER: The customer is a client of PIQ. It was incorporated in Nov 2007 with the registered office located in West Yorkshire. It is headquartered in England. STG is holding or owning securities of companies other than banks. The Group provides a comprehensive range of construction services to support every stage of the building and property lifecycle, from design and build, refurbishment and regeneration to minor works and long-term maintenance contracts.
The brief was to achieve the following:
Procentrics-Binayak delivered an app which provides a centralized repository for tracking defects across projects which automated notifications of Defect details to Defect Manager through an email.
CUSTOMER: A multinational company with interests in financial services and sells products in more than 10 countries.
CHALLENGE: Being a multinational company, the Customer had regional IT service management teams using local ITSM systems based on BMC Remedy. There was therefore a conflict between use of BMC Remedy and ServiceNow.
(BMC Remedy is an American company offering SaaS-based and on-premises software and services in areas including cloud computing, IT service management, automation, IT operations, and mainframe while ServiceNow is also an American software company based in Santa Clara, California that develops a cloud computing platform to help companies manage digital workflows for enterprise operations, and was also recognized for innovation).
This caused inconvenience when planning, managing and coordinating the settlement of IT service issues. Since the customer decided to migrate to ServiceNow, it became important to interface it with BMC Remedy and configure the system. One of the key requirements was to put the system in accordance with the Customer’s business workflows so as to introduce ITIL processes of service transition and service operation, and ensure IT service consistency among regional departments.
SOLUTION: Applying a deep understanding of ServiceNow and ITIL practices, PIQ’s ITSM experts delivered a solution that supported the following 5 processes:
Initially, PIQ’s team configured the Workflow module to translate the end Customer’s process diagrams into the language of ServiceNow, as well as determine workflow functionality by using workflow activities. This way, multi-step processes regarding change management, incident management and request fulfillment were automated by bringing together employees and involved configuration items in a single manageable area. For instance, with change management, the consultants defined the entire life cycle of a change from its initiation through approval to closing. PIQ’s experts also implemented the following additional features to make the software smoothly complement the end Customer’s business processes.
This brought the following benefits:
PIQ’s ITSM team also used a dynamic script to implement the end Customer’s idea of translation into English following every notifying message. If compared to changing content in templates, this solution helps the end Customer to quickly and easily edit the English version in all notifications at a time, if required.
RESULTS: The end Customer received a customized ITSM solution supporting the following processes:
The project implementation helped the company to unify and standardize IT service management for all departments.
The combination of the ServiceNow out-of-the-box functionality and PIQ’s respect to the specifics of the end Customer’s workflows resulted in 3 major benefits for the end Customer:
TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS
CUSTOMER: The Customer is a Nigerian group that is into diversified business and needed IT to coordinate their business. Started as an investment outlet, today the company is into insurance, oil and gas and residential real estate developer, whose portfolio includes offices, shopping centers, network of petrol stations, insurance company branches and Micro Finance Bank.
CHALLENGE: Striving to attract new clients and increase the loyalty of the existing ones, the Customer is continually expanding the scope of their online services and coordination of all its services. Therefore, the company needed long-term professional maintenance of its IT infrastructure for all their companies to increase the quality and achieve sustainability of its products. With that in mind, the company chose to use PIQ’s team of certified ICT professionals.
SERVICES: The project engages 7 ICT support specialists, some of them are involved on a part-time basis. In compliance with ITIL standard recommendations, IT infrastructure support services are provided by the 2nd and 3rd line support specialists during the Customer’s business hours while the Customer’s in-house IT specialists are responsible for the 1st line support.
According to the SLA signed, PIQ’s specialists support 28 IT infrastructure elements and provide corresponding services on the following:
RESULTS: Long-term collaboration between PIQ’s ICT specialists and the Customer is continuing with the IT infrastructure in the hands of our certified professionals thereby saving the Customer from such common problems as frequent network outages, repeated breakdown of critical resources, security breaches and the accumulation of unstructured data. Addressing these challenges, in its turn, ensures flawless performance of the Customer’s IT services.
TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS
Zabbix 2, ManageEngine ServiceDesk Plus, Jira
CUSTOMER: The Customer is an IT company focused on providing software development and IT services. CHALLENGE: The customer’s BMC-based ITSM system was integrated with their clients’ ITSM solutions so as to enhance the quality of Service Desk support. This way, the customer’s clients could use their in-house ITSM solutions to track the incidents and requests outsourced for processing. Once the customer decided to migrate to the ServiceNow platform, the challenge was to preserve existing integration workflows within the new ITSM system. (ServiceNow is also an American software company based in Santa Clara, California that develops a cloud computing platform to help companies manage digital workflows for enterprise operations, and was also recognized for innovation) Initially, there were around 20 integrations to migrate. Yet, anticipating similar integrations in the future, they wanted a scalable solution that would make next integrations quick and easy. In addition, the solution had to comply with the strict internal security rules. SOLUTION: Our experience with ITIL processes and both ITSM platforms (BMC and ServiceNow) allowed us to elaborate the concept of the integration solution in line with the customer’s specific requirements. At the first stage, our ITSM experts came up with an integration roadmap and standardized documentation needed for every integration. This included templates for integration workflows, data mapping, and test cases, which were used to formalize clients’ integration requirements at the pre-development stage. As the customer’s policy restricted direct access to their ServiceNow system, the delivered solution involved an intermediary in the integration chain, the Integration Broker. Since the Integration Broker was a third-party web service, PIQ’s team had to establish the connection between the customer’s ServiceNow system and the Integration Broker. INTEGRATION PROCESS Utilizing the ServiceNow platform’s functionality, Procentric delivered an integration application and incorporated it into the customer’s ServiceNow ITSM system. In each instance, the two-way integration process takes the following steps: The integration application retrieves data on an incident / request from the customer’s ServiceNow system and sends it to the Integration Broker. The Integration Broker transforms these data in accordance with the integration rules and sends it to the client’s ITSM system in an acceptable format. Following a similar workflow, data is transmitted from the clients’ ITSM solutions to the customer’s ServiceNow system. This way, the application allows the customer’s clients to use their own ITSM solutions to track the incidents and requests processed via Service Desk support. ServiceNow integration application The ServiceNow-based integration application includes an integration logic and 3 configurable components that can be tailored to each of the customer’s clients: integration parameters, configuration details, and business logic. Integration logic describes the overall integration workflow, that is how the system should work to push and pull messages between the ITSM systems. Integration parameters contain integration rules defining which tickets and how to transmit. Configuration details include general information about a client and the Integration Broker. And Business logic contains a client’s specific requirements for data mapping. Additionally, Procentric incorporated integration logging into the app to keep the history of data transactions between the customer’s ServiceNow system and clients’ ITSM solutions. To ensure the consistency of data transactions and a fast service recovery in case of a system fault, our team implemented the status monitoring feature, including email notifications about failed transactions, automatic daily reporting, and the option of automatic / manual resending of the missed data. RESULTS: The project resulted in migrating 20 integrations with the customer’s clients’ ITSM solutions to the new ServiceNow-based system. In addition to providing Service Desk support, the customer can now offer integration with the clients’ ITSM systems as an extra service through the reusable integration application delivered as part of the project. The established workflows and the delivered functionality can be used for future integrations, which leads to reduced integration costs and a decreased integration delivery time (around 2-3 months). As at now around 50 integrations have been performed via the delivered solution. TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS ServiceNow.
CUSTOMER: PIQ’s Customer is a consulting and technology company in Nigeria focused on design, development and integration of enterprise custom applications that work across IBM, Oracle, Microsoft, Adobe, Google and Autodesk platforms to develop for their end Customer which is a federal agency responsible for pension operations who requested for assistance in creating a project management system.
CHALLENGE: The main target was to get a solution that would streamline project creation, participation and contribution, especially for simultaneous projects with PFAs.
SOLUTION: To provide secure and convenient access, all projects were allocated to separate spaces, so that in accordance with the security rights users have access only to those projects they participate in.
In cooperation with the federal agency, a project template was created which possesses such attributes as the following:
Procentric created a custom workflow that ensures that once a project has been started, the corresponding template is filled in automatically.
Some other custom workflows were created. For example, one of them notifies the responsible manager about new documents uploaded or the existing files modified. To collect activities regarding all the documents (e.g. for the future notification), SharePoint EventReceiver was implemented. All information about projects is archived in the central storage.
With the solution users were able to achieve the following:
The project management solution relies on both out-of-the-box and custom SharePoint features.
After 3 months of work, the federal agency got the project management solution which, once implemented, helped streamline the project's workflow, providing convenient access to the separate project spaces with all the relevant project materials. The solution is currently being used by the agency.
TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS
CUSTOMER: An international IT services provider, an expert in design, development and delivery of custom software solutions, IT consulting and IT outsourcing services. The Customer has attained a number of Microsoft competences as well as has been an IBM PartnerWorld member since 2010.
CHALLENGE: As an IT services provider, the Customer needed to monitor carefully all the efforts and resources spent on projects, including logged and paid time tracking. In order to record project information accurately as well as to ensure timely preparation of monthly reports, project managers and coordinators were forced to spend a considerable amount of time. Therefore, to facilitate tracking and reporting processes, the Customer needed to create an analytical system for project management purposes.
SOLUTION: Procentric team developed Data Warehouse (DWH) database structure as well as integration packages to load data from a variety of projects information sources.
The data sources are:
In order to facilitate the project management process, the system was designed to let project coordinators load data outside their workplace.
To ensure data-driven decision making, a variety of reports, metrics and attributes were implemented to the system.
A number of tools and techniques were used for the reports building and analysis of pooled data:
The Procentric team created a variety of customizable tables that allow recording each detail and person around a particular project or customer while the information about a particular project can be observed by a project manager or a coordinator, who has specific privileges.
PIQ created a fully integrated system for project management analysis and reporting that ensures the following:
As the solution was successfully implemented, the Customer is able to make use of its reports and analysis. The Customer was satisfied with the quality of the delivered solution and now it is actively being used.
TECHNOLOGIES AND TOOLS
Microsoft SQL Server 2008R2, Microsoft SQL Server 2012, Microsoft Integration Service 2012, Microsoft Analysis Service 2012 Tabular Model, Microsoft Reporting Service, Microsoft SharePoint, Microsoft Excel, Microsoft PowerPivot, Power View, Silverlight, T-SQL,DAX.
CUSTOMER: The Customer is a Nigerian international IT company that delivers custom software solutions and provides professional IT consulting and IT outsourcing services for businesses all over the world.
CHALLENGE: The Customer used their SharePoint 2013-based corporate intranet actively as a unified collaboration hub and a central document and workflow management system ensuring the company’s daily business processes and supporting uninterrupted employee collaboration. With SharePoint 2016 released, the company decided to upgrade their intranet. Switching to the newest version of the platform, the Customer wanted to benefit from numerous advantages, including the solution’s better performance, improved data protection, the possibility to adapt the intranet to mobile devices and more.
SOLUTION: Our team started the SharePoint migration project with assessing the current state of the intranet. Procentric experts analyzed the following:
The analysis performed by the SharePoint team allowed the specialists to draw up the migration plan and start the project’s active phase. The project was divided into several stages in order to enable a step-by-step migration of the intranet content and solutions without interrupting the company’s daily business processes.
The team created the backups of all content databases to ensure data safety and used Windows PowerShell to export the solutions. Procentric paid particular attention to the migration of such vital solutions as a contract management system and quality management system that contained a large number of custom features. All custom workflows within those systems were migrated with SharePoint Designer 2013.
The marketing and sales site collection was migrated separately to ensure a correct transfer of all materials and keep the integration with the Customer’s website. A deeply customized home page of the intranet was migrated with no deviations in functionality and design.
At the final stage, our SharePoint developers collaborated with the Customer’s SharePoint administrators to migrate SharePoint MySites, configure them properly, activate files of custom solutions, adjust authentication issues and fix log errors. The administrator’s involvement was also required to ensure the intranet integration with a customer relationship management system and a corporate project management system.
RESULTS: Procentric fulfilled the SharePoint migration project within the planned timeframe and budget. The upgraded intranet shows a much better performance. Particularly, employees highly appreciated an improved page response time. Furthermore, the upgraded internet now allows users to:
Moreover, the enhanced security became a great advantage for the Customer’s SharePoint administrators, as they can control the exchange of sensitive data permanently.