Increasing Monthly Active Users by 300% through Migration to a Corporate Portal Powered by Umbraco
The client is an international IT company headquartered in Germany. With over several decades of global market presence, the company has acquired hundreds of customers, including well-known European, American, and Canadian enterprises.
In our initial discussions with the client's team, SaM Solutions identified and categorized the existing problems of the corporate portal:
- Data Relevance. The portal contained various types of company materials (news, corporate policies, instructions, etc.) but a significant portion of the content was outdated. This posed a challenge since it led to confusion among users, hindered productivity, and potentially exposed the organization to compliance risks due to obsolete policies and instructions.
- UI/UX and Performance. The portal design and layout of the page templates were behind the times, leading to an unappealing appearance. The complex content structure made it difficult for users to navigate the portal and the slow page load speed negatively affected the user experience.
- Functionality. The corporate portal lacked essential features like data search, content filtering, convenient media viewing and notification options, causing employees to struggle with information retrieval and have an inefficient browsing experience. The absence of timely updates and plugins impeded the introduction of any new functionality.
- Portal Management. The content management aspect of the portal presented challenges with visual content customization, block templates, and the content approval process. User management had operational issues as well.
- Integrations. The lack of integrations with internal and external systems was a source of frustration for the client's employees as it hindered workflows and decreased operational effectiveness.
- Security, Maintenance and Support. The on-premises portal was powered by SharePoint Server 2013, which was nearing the end of support in April 2023. Without upgrading, the portal would have been exposed to data breaches, posing severe security risks.
- Access.The portal was only accessible through the corporate intranet or via a VPN client. This limitation resulted in a small number of active users and extremely low engagement.
Striving to solve these problems, the client had to choose between migrating to SharePoint Server 2016/2019 or transitioning to an alternative portal platform available on the market.
The business consultants at SaM Solutions started with a detailed analysis of the Client's requirements. After understanding all the challenges and needs, we proposed to leverage Umbraco – a flexible and intuitive content management system, which is tailored to support internal collaboration within companies and could offer the Client’s business many benefits such as:
- Reduced expenses (due to Umbraco’s open-source nature)
- User-friendly content management
- Easy customization and personalization
- Streamlined workflow and document management
- High security and role-based access control
- Seamless integration and extensibility
- Out-of-the-box support for multilingual sites
We also provided a detailed plan ensuring that the portal would go live within 4 months. Our planning took into consideration the time the Client needed to perform all the necessary updates of corporate materials.
Inspired by our proposal, the Client greenlit the implementation of an Umbraco-based corporate portal under the Time and Material (T&M) pricing model.
SaM Solutions put together a team that included a product owner, a front-end developer, a back-end developer, a UI/UX designer, and a QA engineer. Relying on the Agile methodology with one-week sprints, our team maintained full transparency of the progress and had regular calls with the Client through Microsoft Teams.
Throughout the collaboration, we designed and developed a secure Umbraco-based portal. The new portal is fully responsive and compatible with any mobile device, which helps employees to stay updated on the go.
Our team safely migrated the selected data from the old solution to the new one and smoothly integrated the platform with the existing corporate IT ecosystem – including HRM and Azure Active Directory (AD) – as well as with external third-party services. We also synchronized the portal with the Client's event mobile application, thus streamlining the management of corporate online and offline events and meetings.
Moreover, SaM Solutions' specialists successfully enabled access to the portal outside of the company's intranet and now employees can access the portal without VPN. We have also implemented the ability to display specific pages based on user roles and the office they belong to. Access to the portal remains highly secure thanks to the authorization and single sign-on (SSO) authentication features provided by the solution's integration with Azure AD.
Powered by Umbraco, the revamped corporate portal allows the Client’s staff to:
- Access the company's internal rules, policies and other materials
- Stay up to date with the latest corporate news
- Receive prompt notifications about all events and meetups
- Easily find coworkers in the employee database
- Manage their resumes
- Create and manage their orders across a wide range of food delivery services
- Explore available corporate discounts and social benefits
As a result, SaM Solutions delivered a brand new corporate portal to help the Client address security concerns, improve the performance and UX, establish all necessary integrations, and increase the key metrics.
CMS: Umbraco 11
UI design: Figma
Back-end: NET 7, ASP.NET 7 MVC
Database: Microsoft SQL Server
Cloud: Azure Active Directory (AD)
Integrated development environment: Microsoft Visual Studio
DevOps: IIS, Docker, Kubernetes, Azure DevOps (Boards, Repos, Pipelines)
Communication: Microsoft Teams
SaM Solutions rolled out the new corporate portal within the planned budget and the time frame of just 3.5 months.
Pleased with the portal's robust functionality and ease of use, the Client stated that the new solution was extremely well-received by both top management and employees. The users are now able to easily obtain corporate information and receive notifications in real-time, which effectively promotes collaboration within the company and improves employee-organization alignment.
After introducing the portal delivered by our team, the Client reported 3x more Monthly Active Users as well as a 460% increase in the views of corporate news and events. In 3 months, the new portal’s Average Time Spent on Site was 300% higher (2.26 min) than the annual average of this same metric on the old portal.