Associative Trails

Sheppard Robson Intranet

Speedy Intranet Implementation

How we delivered a fully-featured company intranet with Active Directory integration in double-quick time.

The challenge

Sheppard Robson came to us with an urgent requirement to build an intranet to host company news, Quality Management documents and a wealth of other information. The system needed to integrate with existing staff data (contained in Microsoft Active Directory and Axomic OpenAsset) and be easily updated by non-technical staff without learning additional HTML or design skills.

The client had a very tight timeline, meaning the whole system had to be specified, built, delivered, tested and launched in less than 3 months.

Personal toolbox for every user

The solution

The intranet was built to make the most of the client's existing infrastructure, meaning no additional server software was required. The standards-compliant HTML interface is accessible by all staff using a standard web browser.

Extensive personalisation features allow all staff to tag pages, subscribe to internal news feeds, edit their profile page and access lists of frequently visited pages. External news feeds displayed directly on the intranet home page allow staff to see external press coverage about the company.

Intranet content is managed by non-technical members of staff via their web browsers. Key features include:

  • A Microsoft Word-style rich text editor to write page body text.
  • Granular administration privileges meaning author access can be restricted to certain sections of the intranet
  • Administrators can be assigned different depth of privileges
  • Full versioning and rollback
  • Sophisticated "see also" link functionality, automatically generating lists of related links using page metadata and vector space techniques
  • User tagging
  • Page archiving with immediate restore
  • Content review scheduling and expiry warning
  • Internal news feeds/blogs supports sports clubs and other groups
Portal-style homepage with news feeds
Staff profiles with editable fields
Rich page editing - no technical skill required

“Thanks very much ... you have done a great job and all the contributors are really pleased with the site. I ... appreciate all the effort you have put in and the good ideas you came up with.”

The outcome

The new intranet is available to all client employees via their web browsers. People with authoring privileges can create and edit their own pages. The system was delivered, tested and populated within a two-month period over the summer holiday season.

Fully editable hierarchical navigation
Pages include related links and user tagging
Content review workflow - no more timeworn information

Technologies used

Adobe Coldfusion, SQL Server, XHTML, CSS, RSS, jQuery.

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