Nokia Networks had a very good problem: hundreds of customers in over 20 countries across Europe and Africa. But, with very little consistency across projects and an unorganized intranet, project managers were left relying on siloed information, emails and phone calls to keep their projects on track.
Exactly how was Nokia able to achieve their vision for a secure and centralized project management extranet and intranet in 99% less time and 75% cost savings? Read about how using BindTuning products - in particular, Clutch, provisioning engine - and highly specialized customization by DevScope resulted in a centralized project extranet for each customer with clear and efficient communications and visual dashboards all launched from a user’s desktop and ready-to-go in less than 10 minutes.
Nokia is a global leader in the technologies that connect people and things. Their Nokia Networks Europe Project Delivery Center (EPDC) team works with hundreds of customers based in over 20 countries in Europe and Africa, providing project management support for telecommunications firms and other large enterprise customers.
The increasing demand for Nokia Networks’ project management services created significant communications challenges for their project managers. With clients spread across multiple time zones, their project managers expended a great deal of time and energy ensuring that cultural and language differences did not cause unnecessary confusion about work requirements or daily tasks.
Nokia employed several channels to share information with their clients, relying in particular, on emails and phone calls to keep project teams in sync. Unfortunately, this meant that critical project data was often stored in PowerPoint presentations, Word documents, spreadsheets, and email threads that were not always accessible to the entire project team.
Nokia Networks needed a unified communications channel that would speed up project on-boarding and ensure that all their project management teams and customers could access up-to-date information about individual projects. They also needed a solution that would enable project managers to track key performance indicators for all their active projects.
Digital Transformation Outcomes
Enable project managers to streamline the way they set up managed projects
Create a communications channel that would provide greater transparency
Microsoft® SharePoint™ Office 365 ®
BindTuning SharePoint ™ Office 365 ® Themes and Web Parts
BindTuning Clutch Provisioning Engine
- Secure access for internal and external users
- Integrated customer portals and project sites
- Automated site creation
- One-click replication of project assets and metadata
- Configurable user permission levels
An Ideal Partnership
Nokia wanted to improve their productivity and reduce potential miscommunications between project teams and their clients. With this goal in mind, Norberto Figueiredo, the PMO Manager at Nokia Networks decided to look for a solution that would be simple to use and easy to update.
Figueiredo did not want an application that would create additional work for his team. His goal was to avoid the need to create an in-house solution that his team would then need to support. Instead, he focused on finding a product that would integrate with the tools his team already used: specifically SharePoint and Office 365.
We were impressed by what we saw when we researched BindTuning’s products. It was obvious that their predefined solutions would accelerate development on the customer portal we wanted to develop for our project managers.
An extranet could allow his team to dramatically streamline the way they managed their projects and interacted with clients. Clients would have one place where they could view their active Nokia projects view a description of individual project scopes and services being rendered and interact with project assets and other Nokia tools. Team members would be able to more easily update current action item lists, project status indicators, and contact information for the entire project team.
After explaining his needs, Figueiredo realized that BindTuning would make an ideal partner. “BindTuning understood exactly what we were talking about within a very short period of time,” Figueiredo confirmed. “They immediately understood our pain points because they understood the project management world. We were talking the same language. Shared the same concerns. This made our communication very easy.”
Although BindTuning’s existing web parts and themes would satisfy the majority of Nokia’s needs, BindTuning brought in DevScope, an experienced BindTuning development partner, to create several custom web parts. These new web parts would eventually provide Nokia’s project managers with an array of specialized reporting tools.
As a certified partner for BindTuning, we have a lot of experience developing components that fully integrate with BindTuning’s themes. We were able to create a UI experience that felt very fluid, one that allowed Nokia and their customers to have a seamless user experience when navigating through the sites.
Fast Lighting Development
Nokia’s project managers did not have a consistent approach for onboarding new clients or starting new projects, creating an uneven client experience. What’s more, setting up new clients or new projects would typically take several days.
Nokia asked BindTuning to help them achieve the following goals:
- Generate new customer portals on demand
- Easily create individual project sites inside individual client portals
“We agreed to develop and deploy a working proof of concept for the two portals in just two weeks,” said Beatriz Oliveira, CEO and Founder for BindTuning. “During this period we would run tests and incorporate feedback for the next iteration.”
BindTuning and DevScope worked closely with Nokia to gather all the requirements for the two site templates. The resulting solution involved deploying BindTuning’s new Provisioning Engine (a long-awaited product that was now being deployed for the first time) and creating two customized site templates, one for customer portals and another for individual projects.
Since BindTuning’s theme and web parts only needed minor changes to reflect Nokia’s corporate branding, they were able to incorporate actual customer data into the proof of concept. Once the proof of concept was released and approved, BindTuning and DevScope began work on the next stage of their development cycle. Over the course of 6 to 8 weeks, they developed the new custom web parts and fine-tuned the Provisioning Engine.
This new solution offered several key benefits:
- Reduced development time. Project managers could now launch fully functional SharePoint sites engine from a desktop app in less than 10 minutes instead of the 2-3 days it would have taken them before.
- Improved user experience. Users were presented with a unified, seamless UX/UI experience that was visually appealing and easy to use.
- Easy upgrades. The Providing Engine is designed to enable easy upgrades, ensuring that Nokia’s sites remain compatible with future SharePoint standards.
- Seamless integration with Office 365.
Since BindTuning’s theme and web parts only needed minor changes to reflect Nokia’s corporate branding, they were able to incorporate actual customer data into the proof of concept. Once the proof of concept was released and approved, BindTuning and DevScope began work on the next stage of their development cycle. Over the course of 6 to 8 weeks they developed the new custom web parts and fine-tuned the Provisioning Engine.
We were very excited to have a partner that could develop a solution that could be integrated into our systems. We didn’t want a standalone tool.
An Integrated Solution That Exceeded Expectations
The results speak for themselves. In less than three months—thanks to BindTuning’s agile process, their Provisioning Engine, site templates, customizable theme and web parts, and their strong relationship with development partner, DevScope—Nokia was able to deploy a new communications channel that enabled more efficient, transparent client communications and improved project management reporting.
The portal connects to Nokia’s Internet and phone book, making it easier for project managers to maintain updated contact information for all their projects. Figueiredo was thrilled to see that BindTuning was able to integrate the portal into their existing access controls, a solution that enables users to have a single sign in. “We didn’t have to find another solution to control login access for our users.”
Easier collaboration with remote teams
Nokia’s global customer base made it all the more critical to have a system that would enable their internal teams and external users to have access to a consistent set of tools and up-to-date information.
This goal was made all the more difficult by the fact that the employees associated with a particular project or client relationship often changed over time. Among other things, this meant that project managers needed to maintain and distribute an up-to-date list of who to contact for specific issues—a challenging, time- consuming task when you’re overseeing hundreds of projects at a time.
The Provisioning Engine enables Nokia to create customer portals and project sites that include all the common assets that Nokia’s project managers need to manage their projects. For example, in addition to Nokia-specific assets, the site templates include a new tool that helps customers know who to contact when they have a technical issue or need to reach out to the project manager. Another tool was designed to replace an Excel-based spreadsheet that listed current action items. What’s more, project managers are now assured that every project is correctly tagged with the right metadata, enabling them to more easily track the status of all their projects.
“This project will increase visibility into what our customer knows,” Figueiredo affirmed. “Until now it was very hard to do that.”
Reporting Dashboards That Keep Everyone On Track
The provisioning engine ensures the consistent configuration of customer and project sites. This made it possible for Nokia to more easily aggregate their project data.
The custom web parts designed by DevScope include new functionality that tracks key performance indicators (KPIs). Project managers can roll up their projects into a dashboard that includes progress indicators that reveal how their projects are doing at a glance.
Planning for future enhancements
The new portals have been well received by both project managers and Nokia’s customers.
“Everybody immediately recognized this as added value and something that they would like to use,” said Figueiredo. “Inside Nokia this was seen as a very simple, elegant solution. Everybody understands what this is and what he or she can do with it. Our customers appreciate having an easy way to communicate with us. They also like that it allows them to better understand what we are doing for them.”
Every time someone outside of my team learns about our new extranet, they immediately ask if they can use that for their project, because this solution is exactly what they need./p>
Now that Nokia has migrated their customers into the new portal, Figueiredo has received a number of suggestions for additional features from his project managers. He anticipates working with BindTuning again to scale up the solution and develop it further.DOWNLOAD RICH PDF VERSION