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Network Services Company: Using Portal and Collaboration to Bring Value | Portal Excellence Conference 2009


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Michael Porter, Principal, Portal and Collaboration Solutions at Perficient, along with Paul Roche, CIO Network Services Company, presented this at IBM Portal Excellence Conference on Wednesday, …

Michael Porter, Principal, Portal and Collaboration Solutions at Perficient, along with Paul Roche, CIO Network Services Company, presented this at IBM Portal Excellence Conference on Wednesday, October 14, 2009.

In a continuing effort to deliver value-added services and provide access to timely and relevant information, Network Services wanted to provide its employees, members and customers a central place with personalized access to Network Services' applications and information. They also wanted to provide self-service collaboration tools and automate the submission of key forms.

Network Services teamed with Perficient, an IBM Premier Business Partner, to deploy IBM portal and collaboration software
including WebSphere Portal Server, Lotus Web Content Management, Lotus Quickr and Lotus Forms.

The first of two portals deployed focused on enabling business user management and publication of content for Network
Services' public website (, including information about customer segments served, products and services provided, and member organizations. Among other benefits, the new portal improved the time-to-market for company information and placed realtime control and ownership of content in the hands of business users.

Deployed in a matter of weeks, the second portal focused on providing members a secure, central point of access to
applications, reports and content with single sign-on and member self-service management of their user accounts. The portal provided members more efficient access to the applications and information most relevant to them while reducing administrative costs through delegated user administration. This new portal and collaboration platform based on IBM software is key to realizing Network Services' goals for reducing cost, empowering self-service, improving time-to-market, and improving member and customer satisfaction.

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  • 1. Session S17 Network Services Company: Using Portal and Collaboration to Bring Value Speaker(s): Leo Radovsky, Michael Porter
  • 2. Agenda
    • Introduction
    • Business Requirements
    • Project Goals
    • Solution Deployed ( )
    • High Level Architecture
    • Project Results
    • Lessons Learned & Future Plans
  • 3. Background
    • Network Services is a member-owned organization of more than 75 best-in-class member-distributors with combined annual revenue over $15 billion. Our goals are to utilize national account solutions that:
      • Reduce the total supply chain costs of our multi-site customers
      • Network of distributors throughouth the United States.
      • Improve the service levels that these national customers provide to their customers
  • 4. Before the Portal
    • Dated web site
    • Multiple websites/profiles
    • Lack of collaboration
    • Hard to update/modify
    • Static “irrelevant” content
    • Lack of access rights
    • IT is the content owner
    • Functional Limitations
  • 5. Business Requirements: Process
    • Started with Roadmap
    • Wanted to align portal technology to the needs of the business
    • Created a vision with senior management
    • Dove into pain points and priorities with various organizations
    • Created a roadmap before kicking off the first project
  • 6. Business Requirements: Vision
    • Members
    • Network Services Employees
    • National Account Customers
    • Prospects
      • National Account
      • Members
    • Suppliers
    • Branding
      • Current web site
    • Communication Facilitate communication for all departments
      • To all constituents
      • Decrease costs through “the grease” of communication
      • Implementation Process
      • Reports
      • Content
    • Grow National Account Sales business
    Constituents Strategies
  • 7. Roadmap
    • Roadmap is starting point
    • Things will change
    • Combination of
      • Business objectives
      • Technical dependencies
    • Need to be realistic
  • 8. Challenges
    • Scope
      • Don’t boil the ocean at once
    • Org Preparedness
      • New technologies
      • New way of doing business
    • Skill Set
    • Adopting Portal Concept
    • Content
    • Legacy Applications
      • Commerce systems
      • Databases
    • Other Projects Dependencies
  • 9. Project Goals:
    • Phase I
      • Company Website
    • Phase II
      • Member Access Portal
    • Phase III
      • Employee Portal
    • Phase IIII
      • Supplier Portal
    Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
  • 10. Project Goals:
    • Phase I
    • Company Website
      • Redesign
      • Portlets
      • Content
      • Communication
      • Content Publishing Process
  • 11. Project Approach
    • Team formation
    • Software/Hardware Requirements
    • Environment Installation/Configuration
    • Business Requirements
    • Scope/Phases/Timelines
    • Technical Requirements
    • Development
    • Deployment
    • Support
  • 12. Project team
    • Executive Team
    • Steering Committee
    • Technology Team
    • Perficient
    •   Portal Architect                
    • Portal Specialist        
    • PM/BA                        
    • Visual Designer                
    •   NSC
    • Portal Program Mgt
    • Portal Technical Architect
    • Portal Information Architect
    • Systems/Networks
    • DBA
    • Content/Design/Usability
  • 13. Deployed Solution
    • Software
      • Portal
      • Quickr
      • WCM
      • LDAP
      • Database (SQL, DB2)
      • Development standards
        • J2EE v1.3 (JDK v1.4)
        • WebSphere Portlet Factory v6.0
        • WebSphere Dashboard Framework v6.0
  • 14. Deployed Solution
    • Physical
      • Virtual Machines
      • Dev/QA/Production
  • 15. Implementation
      • Phase I
        • Design
          • Theme and Skins
          • UI Specs
  • 16. Implementation
      • Phase I
        • Content
          • Templates
          • Publishing Workflows
          • Syndication
  • 17. Implementation
      • Portlet - Contact Us
          • Use Cases
          • Layout
          • Functionality
  • 18. Implementation
      • Portlet - Member Locator
          • Use Cases
          • Layout
          • Functionality
          • 3 rd party software integration
  • 19. Implementation
      • Phase I
  • 20. Project Goals:
    • Phase II
    • Company Portal/Member Access
      • Redesign
      • SSO
      • Self-administration
      • Custom Roles/Content Access Rights
      • Role-driven content
      • Legacy Apps “portletized”
      • New Applications
    Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
  • 21. Project Goals:
    • Phase II
    • Company Portal/Member Access
      • Redesign
  • 22. Project Goals:
    • Phase II
    • Company Portal/Member Access
      • SSO
  • 23. Project Goals:
    • Phase II
    • Company Portal/Member Access
      • Self-administration
  • 24. Project Goals:
    • Phase II
    • Company Portal/Member Access
      • Custom Roles/Content Access Rights
  • 25. Project Goals:
    • Phase II
    • Company Portal/Member Access
      • Role-driven content
  • 26. Project Goals:
    • Phase II
    • Company Portal/Member Access
      • Legacy Apps “portletized”
      • New Applications
  • 27. Results
      • Company Image/Branding
      • Fresh/Relevant Content
      • Easier to Modify/Administer
      • Dynamic/Scalable Framework
  • 28. Lessons Learned
    • Develop Vision
    • Develop Roadmap
    • Develop Team
    • Prioritize Change Requests
    • Timelines
    • Integration
    • Rollout lessons
    • Training
  • 29. Questions
  • 30. Additional Information and Resources
    • WebSphere Portal – IBM Site
    • WebSphere Portal Business Solutions Catalog
    • Websphere Portal Developer’s Zone
    • Product Documentation and WebSphere Portal Wiki
    • Education
    • WebSphere Portal Blog
  • 31. Please take a few minutes to fill out the session survey. Thank you Session ID: Session: Presenter(s):
  • 32.
    • © IBM Corporation 2009 All Rights Reserved.
    • The information contained in this publication is provided for informational purposes only. While efforts were made to verify the completeness and accuracy of the information contained in this publication, it is provided AS IS without warranty of any kind, express or implied. In addition, this information is based on IBM’s current product plans and strategy, which are subject to change by IBM without notice. IBM shall not be responsible for any damages arising out of the use of, or otherwise related to, this publication or any other materials. Nothing contained in this publication is intended to, nor shall have the effect of, creating any warranties or representations from IBM or its suppliers or licensors, or altering the terms and conditions of the applicable license agreement governing the use of IBM software.
    • References in this presentation to IBM products, programs, or services do not imply that they will be available in all countries in which IBM operates. Product release dates and/or capabilities referenced in this presentation may change at any time at IBM’s sole discretion based on market opportunities or other factors, and are not intended to be a commitment to future product or feature availability in any way. Nothing contained in these materials is intended to, nor shall have the effect of, stating or implying that any activities undertaken by you will result in any specific sales, revenue growth or other results.
    • All customer examples described are presented as illustrations of how those customers have used IBM products and the results they may have achieved. Actual environmental costs and performance characteristics may vary by customer.
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