Chemonics Leverages SharePoint for a Collaborative Social Solution

Consolidating multiple intranets across an organization is quite simple, when done correctly. Did you know that SharePoint is just the tool to help your organization accomplish such a feat? Well if not, then read on, because our work with Chemonics proves exactly what a global SharePoint application can do to promote better management of company information, assets and global resources.

Our client, Chemonics, provides project management support for international aid projects. With a staff of 500, and a network of partners that reaches 3,500 individuals across the globe – from metropolitan areas to remote village, the organization required an efficient, scalable and globally-accessible knowledge management system.

Challenge
Prior to working with AIS, Chemonics had invested in a SharePoint solution for collaboration and document management, but it was not really reaping the full value of Sharepoint’s capabilities. Initially the application served solely as a file-share site that held data related to the organization’s proposal and project management processes, but the system was slow and made it difficult to find information. As a result, the application was not well-received by the organization and its users were not readily engaged to improve upon it.

Unhappy users aside, the system held all the data related to Chemonics’ entire proposal and project management processes — including each project’s documentation and deliverables – making it absolutely critical to their business. Simply put, Chemonics’ staff used this solution because they had to—and they complained loudly. Additionally, the company’s primary Internet site was on an antiquated system and made it difficult to update content – which then became out-of-date and irrelevant.

Solution
Our team came in to evaluate Chemonics’ current implementation in order to plan the most effective migration strategy. We found numerous problems with the existing configurations and immediately architected a better solution (including a testing and staging environment phase pre-launch) that would scale to meet Chemonics’ growing data needs. Our team was tasked with consolidating multiple corporate intranets from across the organization into one new, global SharePoint intranet. We determined the business needs and daily usage scenarios and built a visually appealing, collaborative intranet known as DailyChem. DailyChem is a successful and easy-to-use intranet that promotes better management of company information, assets and global resources.

Next we added SharePoint’s MySite functionality to the DailyChem intranet, creating a more social experience for users, complete with newsfeeds and search capabilities fed by user input. The addition of MySites also helped Chemonics resolve an ongoing issue of finding the right human experts at the right time. Previously, company leaders held multiple meetings to discuss human resource availability and expertise in order to effectively staff projects. With the information built into individual MySite profiles, the search for expert resources is now automated, saving search time and getting projects staffed rapidly.

With internal information management processes standardized and working for all employees, Chemonics turned their focus to their Internet site, which was outdated, with a cumbersome content management system that required support from the IT department for every update. The team wanted a dynamic and modern site that would give the outside world a glimpse into Chemonics’ unique company “personality” and attract high-quality consultants as well as long-term staff. Within three months, we helped Chemonics completely rebuild and launch their new website, also on the SharePoint platform. Because the marketing communications team was already familiar with using SharePoint (thanks to DailyChem), they can finally make content updates in real-time without having to call in IT resources. The new site allows Chemonics to keep information fresh and relevant to their audiences.

About AISblog

Since 1982, AIS has provided software and systems engineering services to enterprise companies and the U.S. government. We invest heavily in technology innovations that bring transformative change to our customers and trusted partners. AIS believes in being there for the long haul to advise on IT projects across your entire organization, to work with your teams as partners with the same goal: total project success, and not total hours billed.