Improved efficiency and reduced total cost of ownership for a retail giant
The customer, a leading discount retailer based out of the US, was using a home grown application for store operations and communication. This involved manual processing and made the collaboration between stores, in terms of consolidation and management of real-time inputs, a huge challenge. Due to the absence of processes, the training of employees also proved expensive.
A consulting vendor provided a high level roadmap and IT strategy with Microsoft SharePoint 2010 as the core platform for delivering portal and collaboration solutions. The customer had partnered with local vendors to kick start the implementation.
Mindtree, appointed to implement one of the solutions, soon became a major partner. We implemented multiple projects including the intranet, the corporate website and the store collaboration portal.
Here’s how Mindtree helped transform the roadmap into reality making SharePoint the core portal and collaboration solution for the organization.
The business challenge
Even though the roadmap was deﬁned, there were several gaps that kept it from being realized. Some key challenges were as follows:
- The roadmap and strategy document were highly technical and required professional inputs across multiple aspects, including architecture, design processes, governance and best practices
- The customer had no offshoring experience and the onsite deployment of resources had a direct consequence on cost. The challenge here was to build customer conﬁdence in the offshoring model so they could save on the onsite-offshore resourcing
- The business was not clear how SharePoint could play a major role and deliver content and collaboration requirements of the business to the portal
- Mindtree ﬁrst reviewed the existing roadmap and sketched out the priorities for solution implementation as well as detailed recommendations on the architecture, approach, processes and so on
- Mindtree’s SharePoint architects reviewed the existing architecture and recommended and implemented one that would cater to both the short-term as well as the long-term needs, to be future proof
- The innovation team met with the key customer stakeholders once a month to present solutions and ideas relevant from the customer business standpoint
- Mindtree recommended a team model that made optimized utilization of resources with a mix of onshore and offshore deployments
- SharePoint speciﬁc delivery and implementation processes were brought in to deploy solutions in the given time frames
- A dedicated team was set up for the support and maintenance of the implemented solutions
Mindtree started the engagement with two people for support and then went on to build a dedicated SharePoint team for the customer. We enabled collaboration across the customer’s corporate offices and 7,000 odd stores. Mindtree currently provides continuous SharePoint application development, support and maintenance services. The following solutions were built and are supported by Mindtree:
- Enterprise collaboration intranet built using Mindtree’s PeopleHub framework
- Innovation management solution implemented using Mindtree’s InnovationHub framework
- Corporate website implementation which enabled communication and collaboration through the corporate office hierarchy, provided a learning center for assimilation and user training, reduced learning / training periods and eased the induction process for new recruits to stores
- Helped transition from a completely onsite team to an optional mix of onsite and offshore teams, reducing considerable costs
- Automated a couple of test cases to showcase cross browser testing simultaneously. Store locator and home page test cases were automated in this PoC
- The Performance Testing Framework (PTF) was utilized for functional and performance testing of the portals
- Our SharePoint CoE was regularly provided best practices and guidelines for implementation teams and innovative concepts for customer teams
- Other business solutions included store task management workﬂow, direct to store portal solution with Oracle backend integration and other enhancements
- Increased employee productivity and efficiency within corporate offices and stores
- Enabled targeted, real-time communication across stores (previously done by email) through the portal
- Solution architecture aligned towards a uniﬁed platform brought down the total cost of ownership for the IT organization
- Simpler user experience increased the user adoption of the implementation
- Comprehensive online training material reduced training efforts