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NATO SharePoint 2010 Case Study - Web Content Management_ROI SharePoint Consulting

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NATO SharePoint 2010 Case Study - Web Content Management - Procurement Improvements and easier content management by Power Users and Business Users

NATO SharePoint 2010 Case Study - Web Content Management - Procurement Improvements and easier content management by Power Users and Business Users

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  • 1. Customer Solution Case Study NATO Agency Updates Website to Reflect Technology Expertise, Support ProcurementOverview “Our mandate is to assist NATO in moving forwardCountry orRegion:Belgium/Netherlands technologically. SharePoint Server 2010 helps usIndustry:Government agencies enhance and expedite the process of acquiringCustomer Profile leading-edge partners and technology—that isThe NATO Consultation, Commandand Control Agency (NC3A) provides important work.”technology support for the North Steven Janis, Project Manager, NATO Consultation, Command and Control AgencyAtlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). Itrelies on many technology services and The NATO Consultation, Command and Control Agency (NC3A)products from the private sector. of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) needed toBusiness Situation improve its website to better reflect its position as the coreThe NC3A needed to improve itswebsite to better serve its NATO NATO technology provider. The agency relied on an agingcustomers. It also needed to streamline website platform that required a manual process for contentweb content management processes. updates. NC3A chose Microsoft SharePoint 2010 for InternetSolution Sites as the foundation for a new website that providesThe NC3A chose Microsoft SharePoint2010 for Internet Sites as the prospective technology partners, NATO customers, and othersfoundation for its new website, taking with current information about the agency‟s services. Usingadvantage of centralized contentmanagement, search, site templates, SharePoint 2010, the agency launched its new site in less thanand interoperability with other two months, has streamlined site management while expandingsystems. functionality, and has given content owners the tools they needBenefits to update the site easily. The solution is also highly Enhanced website appearance Streamlined development, interoperable, allowing the NC3A to incorporate electronic management, administration procurement and e-commerce capabilities in future phases. Flexible, extensible platform
  • 2. “Our agency is the Situation easily interact with our suppliers,” says The North Atlantic Treaty Organization Steven Janis, Project Manager at NC3A.technical leader at (NATO) is a 28-country alliance from The former NC3A site was largely static, North America and Europe that works to wasn‟t up-to-date with current NATONATO, but our site safeguard the freedom and security of its branding, and its search functionality waswasn‟t conveying a member countries through political and limited. “Our agency is the technical military means. The NATO Consultation, leader at NATO, but our site wasn‟tleading-edge technology Command and Control Agency (NC3A) conveying a leading-edge technology supports NATO and its mission through image. It was a very basic portal thatimage.” the research, acquisition, and used a lot of HTML code,” says Janis. Steven Janis, Project Manager, NATO development of advanced technology. “The site had very little wow factor.” Consultation, Command and Control The agency was created in 1996 by Agency combining the SHAPE Technical Centre The former site provided basic and NATO Communications and information about the NC3A; information Information Systems Agency; and, as the about the agency‟s contractors, including outgrowth of those groups, is at the contact details, descriptions of services center of NATO consultation, command, offered, and pricing; an area for and control. contractors to view requests for proposals (RFPs); and an area for One of the main missions of the NC3A is customers to view prenegotiated NC3A to procure commercially available BOA contracts with contractors from all Command, Control, Communications, 28 NATO nations. But to better facilitate Computers, Intelligence, Surveillance, interaction with customers and and Reconnaissance (C4 ISR) capabilities contractors, the NC3A needed to from more than 600 private companies, incorporate electronic procurement (e- or business partners, who contract with procurement) and e-commerce NATO. The NC3A provides these C4 ISR capabilities. For instance, it needed to capabilities to its “customers”—the implement secure self-service tools that NATO alliance and partner nations. NC3A would allow contractors to update their purchases on behalf of its customers a information on their own and submit range of C4 ISR products including bids and respond to RFPs online. It also computer hardware, software, and office needed to enable customers to easily machinery, as well IT support, search for products and services based engineering, and maintenance services on their technology or business needs, for NATO commands. NC3A also and to make purchases online. provides a suite of services, and offers, through its Basic Ordering Agreement In addition, the agency wanted to raise (BOA) business partners, the ability for its awareness for and offer services and business partners to purchase items from solutions alreadydeployed for NATO the BOAs for NATO projects. missions and commands to NATO alliance nations. “Essentially, we wanted The NC3A had outgrown its current to be able to have all of the NC3A website in light of its need to keep up business—from updating product and with strategic projects. “We needed a service information, to bidding, invoicing, better way to showcase our technical and „reselling‟—all go through the capabilities and innovation to agency‟s website,” explains Janis. prospective customers, and also, to more
  • 3. an upcoming conference or to feature a current project. “We wanted to be able to create new sites easily, without a lot of IT involvement,” says Janis. Finally, the NC3A needed to update its website in a short time frame. “As NATO‟s technical leader, our Internet presence was well behind other technical and NATO organizations, so the need to promptly refresh our image was considered mission-critical.” SolutionFigure 1. New home page of the In May 2010, the NC3A evaluated several NC3A site, based on solutions, including Microsoft SharePoint Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for Internet Sites. The agency relied 2010. on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 for its intranet, and the platform also was widely used by NATO at large as the basis for an extranet that linked its The agency made limited use of member nations. Thus, the NC3A was connection to file shares and databases convinced of the merits of SharePoint as to feed information to the site, but for a platform for Internet sites and the most part, the content updating collaboration, was familiar with process was manual and time-intensive. SharePoint Server administration, and For instance, to repurpose content such was experienced in Microsoft .NET as RFP information from the NC3A Framework development. For all these intranet to the public website, an reasons, “we felt that moving employee had to download, reformat, immediately to the SharePoint platform and republish the information. was a natural progression. It also offered Employees created new content in so much out-of-the-box functionality Microsoft Word and then added the that we could take advantage of,” says HTML markup language to it before it Janis. could be published. It took the full-time efforts of five employees to manage the The NC3A embarked on the first phase site. “It was effort-intensive and the risk of its deployment at the end of May. factor was high,” says Christophe Opitz, With the help of a web design Business Information Analyst at NC3A. consultant, NC3A redesigned its website, “One little formatting mistake and an and, with the help of Microsoft Services, entire page or area of the site could be installed Microsoft SharePoint 2010 for broken. We needed a web content Internet Sites and migrated its existing management environment that didn‟t content from the old site to the new. The require coding skills.” site was launched at the end of July 2010 (see Figure 1). “Our goal was to quickly The NC3A also needed more flexibility to launch the new look and feel and create subsites, for instance, to advertise progressively add more functionality to
  • 4. the site, and to integrate the e- The agency will also use out-of-the-boxprocurement and e-commerce aspects SharePoint Server 2010 workflows toby fall of 2011,” explains Janis. initiate website updates and to ensure that content is published in a consistentOut-of-the-Box Tools manner. With SharePoint Server 2010In the second phase of its deployment, integrated workflow, any change that isin-house and external developers are made to the site is automatically routedusing Microsoft ASP.NET 4.0, part of the to a designated series of approvers,Microsoft .NET Framework, and the which may include copywriters, editors,Microsoft Visual Studio 2010 Ultimate designers, and marketing managers. Thedevelopment system to customize and agency plans to fully implement theseincorporate new functionality to the site. aspects of its new web contentThe agency also engages many out-of- management environment when thethe-box features of the Microsoft second phase of the deployment isSharePoint Server 2010 platform, complete, in July 2011.including web content managementfeatures such as master pages and page Collaboration Environmentlayouts that include official NATO design The NC3A will also take advantage ofand branding guidelines. To update SharePoint Server 2010 built-inexisting content or create new content, collaboration tools such as profile pages,NC3A content owners will use a web- which contractors can use to displaybased text editor to modify site content. information about their company‟sThe editor includes the familiar Ribbon products and services. The agency alsofeature, part of the Microsoft Office plans to implement SharePoint ServerFluent user interface, and with it, users 2010 forms-based authentication tocan add or edit site content, for example, enable contractors to create “public” andupdate bidding opportunities or RFPs for “private” profile areas. For instance, acontractors on a Bulletin Board area of public area could be used to advertisethe site, without help from the IT contact details, services offered, anddepartment. To further simplify the involvement in NATO projects, while acontent management process, the private area could be used to publishagency is creating a central repository in project schedules and pricing. Forms-a SharePoint list, to store all digital based authentication would be invokedassets, including graphics, logos, and to automatically validate user‟smultimedia files. From the repository, credentials against information in thecontent owners can select assets to Active Directory Domain Servicesinclude on a given webpage. directory service. “We are evaluating our security needs and the full range ofThe site templates also allow the agency potential solutions, but the built-into quickly and easily deploy new subsites security capabilities of SharePoint Serverto advertise upcoming conferences, or 2010 will play a key role in our initialfeature current, high-profile NC3A environment,” says Janis.projects such as its involvement in theconstruction of the new NATO Central Site Taxonomyheadquarters. To enhance the site‟s search functionality, the NC3A will take advantage of SharePoint Server 2010
  • 5. Future Plans Finally, the NC3A intends to integrate comprehensive e-procurement and e- commerce capabilities, including online bidding, online RFP submissions, and transactional capabilities, into the site by October 2011. “We are currently evaluating e-commerce platform choices, including Microsoft Dynamics [business management software],” says Janis. “SharePoint Server 2010 will allow us to create an interoperable environment regardless of which platform we choose.” BenefitsFigure 2. NC3A news page on Using SharePoint Server 2010, the NC3A SharePoint Server 2010 with quickly enhanced its public image with a embedded video broadcast. new, compelling website. During a phased rollout, in which it will add functionality to the site through October managed metadata capabilities to 2011, the NC3A is experiencing faster centrally define taxonomy for its website development and easier management content and to easily manage and apply and administration. The agency is tags to content, including its complete confident that it has adopted a platform catalog of contractor services and that will allow it to scale and expand its products. Contractors will use online online presence. forms based on InfoPath Forms Services in SharePoint Server 2010, which can Enhanced Website Appearance include preset metadata, to add, delete, The NC3A deployed a new, updated or adjust items to the catalog of website that better reflects its position as products and services. The agency also a technology leader. “With SharePoint plans to implement the Microsoft FAST Server 2010, we were able to quickly Search Server 2010 for Internet Sites to build a modern-looking site that enhance its capability to deliver context- enhances our public image. Our site now sensitive search results to users. “We reflects who we are and what we do,” want site visitors to get suggestions and says Opitz. Master pages and page ideas based on relevance to their search layouts will ensure that all changes made term,” says Opitz. The agency is also to the site abide by NATO brand considering building a comprehensive guidelines, and simple, straightforward database using Microsoft SQL Server tools for including audio, video, and 2008 data management software, and graphics make for a more engaging, invoking Microsoft Business Connectivity interactive user experience (see Figure 2). Services in SharePoint Server 2010 to connect to stored product catalog data. A stronger, more technology savvy and modern image also helps the agency attract new contractors and propel the
  • 6. “Knowing that we mission and success of NATO. “Our scalable solution that supports mandate is to assist NATO in moving connection to other applications is a have a flexible, forward technologically,” says Janis. huge advantage,” says Janis.scalable solution that “SharePoint Server 2010 helps us enhance and expedite the process of supports connection acquiring leading-edge partners and to other applications technology—that is important work.”is a huge advantage.” Streamlined Development, Management, Administration Steven Janis, Project Manager, The NC3A is taking advantage of out-of-NATO Consultation, Command and the-box SharePoint Server 2010 features, Control Agency its existing Microsoft .NET development expertise, and SharePoint Server administration knowledge to create and maintain a web content management environment that vastly streamlines daily work efforts. The site was created quickly, in less than two months, and the agency will progressively implement new features and functionality, including e- procurement, e-commerce, and a site refresh through fall of 2012. With a web-based text editor that does not require coding, centralized digital assets, site templates that include prebuilt brand images and guidelines, and integrated workflow, the NC3A will significantly reduce the time it takes to perform site updates. It will also ensure that updates are done accurately and without undue reliance on the IT department. Flexible, Extensible Platform With SharePoint Server 2010, the NC3A has a website platform that it can expand to meet many business needs.SharePoint Server 2010 is interoperable with many different products and technologies, such as e-commerce software, enterprise resource planning software, and other database-driven solutions. “We will soon incorporate full e-procurement and e- commerce capabilities into the website, and knowing that we have a flexible,
  • 7. For More Information Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010For more information about Microsoft Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 is theproducts and services, call the business collaboration platform for theMicrosoft Sales Information Center at enterprise and the Web.(800) 426-9400. In Canada, call theMicrosoft Canada Information Centre For more information about Microsoftat (877) 568-2495. Customers in the SharePoint Server 2010, go to:United States and Canada who are www.microsoft.com/sharepointdeaf or hard-of-hearing can reachMicrosoft text telephone (TTY/TDD)services at (800) 892-5234. Outside the50 United States and Canada, pleasecontact your local Microsoft subsidiary.To access information using the WorldWide Web, go to:www.microsoft.comFor more information about NATOConsultation, Command and ControlAgency products and services, call (32)2 707 84 40 or visit the websiteat:www.nc3a.nato.int Software and Services Technologies Microsoft Server Product Portfolio − Active Directory Domain Services − Microsoft SharePoint 2010 for − InfoPath Forms Services Internet Sites − Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 − Microsoft FAST Search Server 2010 for Internet Sites − Microsoft SQL Server 2008 EnterpriseThis case study is for informational purposes only.MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS ORIMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.Document published July 2011