Logistics Company SharePoint Development
- $50,000 to $199,999
- Willing to Refer
"PortalFront delivered on everything that we needed."
- Washington, District of Columbia
- 51-200 Employees
- Phone Interview
PortalFront designed and developed a SharePoint application to collaboratively manage contract deliverables. They also hosted the application on their cloud, and now provide ongoing improvements.
PortalFront’s training sessions ensured employee buy-in and led to a successful system integration. Their support was exceptional and their subject expertise was unparalleled. They also offered a clear methodology and approach, which made the process straightforward.
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
Can you please provide some brief background information about your company?
We are a large business located in McLean, Va. We provide a variety of services. The company is a contract service provider for SharePoint mostly for logistics operations.
What is your role and responsibilities?
I am a director of business development. I was the lead for the project. I changed positions, and took over as the transition manager once the contract was awarded. I just finished transitioning this contract. I also put together the request for proposal for the SharePoint work. PortalFront won that bid.
OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE
What were your company’s business goals for this particular project?
The interest that we had in SharePoint development was to support a logistics contract that we had won. Part of the requirement in delivering services included a SharePoint application, where we would manage all contract deliverables as a collaboration tool for this program. This includes notification to the individuals who are proving the contract deliverables, requests in a workflow process and many other processes.
How did you select SharePoint software compared to some of the other platforms you could have used?
SharePoint for us was a requirement that was identified within the solicitation that the government provided.
Are you satisfied with SharePoint?
I think it does what we need it to do. SharePoint is a Microsoft product, people are familiar with Microsoft and it’s integrated into Microsoft. All of the information that we’re exporting, exports into the suite that we have easily.
What was your process for selecting PortalFront?
There were 13 companies that bid on the request for proposal that was submitted. We reviewed all of the proposals. Our IT director, me, and the CEO made the final decision. We received price quotes back from everybody to include the technical approach on how they would build and design what was put in the RFP for the SharePoint tool. From 13 companies, it was narrowed down to three. We had the three do a presentation on WebEx. Ultimately, the best company was selected based on their presentation and approach.
What parts of the project was PortalFront involved in?
PortalFront was involved from start to finish. During our meetings with the final three companies we received business plans. PortalFront was involved from the beginning of the concept for the data that would be migrated, to the look and feel of the information, and how it was going to be maintained. PortalFront created everything from the beginning concept all the way to final execution of the system.
Were any other technologies used besides SharePoint?
There’s other technologies for the program, but none that were aligned to the work with SharePoint.
Can you give us a sense of the size of the initiative in dollar terms or personnel hours?
The size of the job is right at $70,000. The number of hours was directly associated with the size of what it was. That was the base. We turned this into a two-phase approach. The initial base phase was just to get the database established with all the key components to it. The key, the tables, what the processes were going to be, and standing up a Web portal was one of the requirements. It had to have the ability to allow individuals to request access, and include a notification system for any information that we dropped into the portal.
So, once the base requirements were established, we shifted to phase two, which kind of expanded on the base. We added a website portal, log-ins, and the notification email. It actually turned into a workflow for each of the processes that we have, and then changed into a dashboard associating each of the processes for the deliverables that we were assigning. Phase two is still ongoing with changes. You don’t really know what fields you may need, and how the information is going to be distributed until you actually start using it with employees in the field. That’s where we are now.
As far as the SharePoint server, everything is working. PortalFront delivered on everything that we needed. It’s just changes for additional things that we think would enhance its capability.
When was the initial part of the project completed?
The end of January of 2013.
RESULTS & FEEDBACK
Do you have any statistics or metrics to track improvement?
We went through milestones, Gantt charts to show exactly how much time was being spent and the percentage of the things that were being done. All of it was being communicated through Microsoft Project. We were adding tasks for each of the various functions that we were looking to either change or to define. They were defined in the detail that was needed to take action, those things were put on the project plan within the task areas of the work. That is how it was managed. We didn’t keep metrics per say.
Was there a marked improvement in efficiency?
Oh, absolutely. PortalFront has provided a lot of customized training sessions for our employees so they would understand the new system. That has been great for getting employee buy-in.
How did PortalFront perform during the project?
I’m going to use them again. That’s probably the best testament for the support that I’ve received on this program. I talked to their lead about developing another RFP, making sure that all of the things that I want to capture in this are captured in the RFP and work with them. I want PortalFront to provide a good RFP, so that my team will have a good idea for pricing.
I want to use them again on another project. That’s probably going to take a little longer than this one, along the same lines, and it’s more of a recruiting-HR application.
What is unique or special about PortalFront compared to some of the other companies or vendors you have worked with?
They were very clear in their methodology and approach on how they would develop and support the program. They understood the process, and the language in the RFP was not just regurgitated back. They articulated their thoughts and processes for the RFP. If there was something unclear, and then they would write back and ask for clarification. They showed a lot of initiative when trying to understand the RFP. They were not the cheapest, but showed the best understanding.
Looking back on the project, is there any area that you think PortalFront could improve upon or you would do differently?
They’re on the West Coast and we’re on the East Coast, so there is a time difference, but that was taken into account when we selected them. They have addressed that by extending work hours so we would have someone to speak with. It was just a time zone difference from California to Virginia.
Service & Deliverables
On time / deadlines
Value / within estimates
Willing to Refer5.0
"Absolutely, and my team already has given them new business.