About the client
The client is a Swiss construction company with a tradition of more than 100 years. It combines stability with innovation and is constantly looking for new concepts. With a broad portfolio of services, it offers optimal solutions for complex tasks in almost every aspect of the construction process.
The client’s situation
The client reached out to IXTENT to replace its system for creating project websites. The company previously used a template system, which it developed itself, but over time it has ceased to meet the client’s increasing demands.
The client’s specifications
The required solution was intended for 50 departments of the company, each which has its own website, and each website can have x sub-websites according to the number of projects. The main page of the project website lists all sub-websites and their statuses. The client required a proven and reliable tool for quickly creating these project websites, while upgrading their existing SharePoint to the latest version (from 2013 to 2019). The new solution should be user-friendly, automated as much as possible, and adapted for setting up project websites with a single click.
Our proposed solution
IXTENT offered the client a proven and effective solution, IXTENT Project Office, developed by IXTENT, which can be implemented into any SharePoint environment. This solution allows customizable project creation and management. Each project is represented by a SharePoint website in the website collection. It is an out-of-the-box solution, which is easily scalable/customizable to its user via XML.
The most powerful feature of Project Office is its ability to set up new projects based on highly configurable project templates. A project template is an XML file, which contains project settings and can contain many other artifacts (predefined “folder” structures according to project methodology or internal guidelines, and even templates such as checklists, forms, or standardized documents).
The solution was further modified according to the client’s requirements, support for four languages (English, French, Italian, German) was set, and other required parameters were added – setting of the owners of the specific websites, access rights and others.
Therefore, the overall solution implemented at this company in a SharePoint 2019 environment consists of several website collections containing standard websites, SharePoint artifacts, and the IXTENT Project Office add-on solution. The root site collection serves as a presentation layer for the entire SharePoint solution, and is the main entry point for each user. In addition, there are specialized collections of websites, which are part of the collaboration layer and provide users with space to create, collaborate, or search for information. For each division and department of the company, there is a website collection that provides additional sub-websites via templates.
Benefit of the solution for the client
What does it look like in practice? The client works with a collection of 52 websites, each collection can contain any number of other websites. There are hundreds of them in total …
When creating another project, the project manager simply clicks on the parameters, i.e. the project template (according to the purpose of the website collaborate/knowledge), the required language and appearance of SharePoint … and the project can begin. User privileges, templates for the document types, auto-classification of documents, and other features are set automatically.
Miroslav Kačena, Head of the SharePoint Team, commented on the project: “One of the main benefits of implementing IXTENT PROJECT OFFICE is the elimination of errors that are usually caused by manual execution of the process.” Overall, it has facilitated the creation of the client’s project websites, eradicated errors, and maximized the efficiency of the processing of projects. Now, things that took employees x hours to perform manually are done with a single click, increasing the speed and efficiency of the work by hundreds of percent.
The project office for this client is the largest SharePoint project for Switzerland, where IXTENT has a local office in cooperation with its partner, Iseolabs.
Demonstration of the system – Validation and conversion of the project phase