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Case Study


Applied Materials

Global intranet bridges islands of information

The Challenge
A Fortune 500 microchip equipment manufacturer needed to tie islands of information together in a single, self-maintaining intranet portal. It needed to bring together departments and divisions across the globe and across far-flung business units and subsidiaries, sharing information and ideas to help the company grow and flourish.

The system required distributed administration across largely autonomous departments; each department administrator had to have complete control over his or her section of the web site. Moreover, each primary section of the site had to have its own departmental or divisional "home page." These home pages needed to share common "look and feel" elements, so that users would feel at home in any area, but they also needed to accommodate different types of departmental information, so a certain degree of flexibility was required as well.

They wanted content to flow in a variety of formats: web, video, discussion boards, presentations, spreadsheets, documents, and online magazines. The portal had to accommodate departments and subsidiaries with their own sites, as well as departments who needed standardized templates for self-publishing. Thousands of users were to be managed using LDAP technology from iPlanet.

The site also needed to integrate calendaring, WebTrends reporting, and advanced Search technology. Moreover, content managers from every division, with no knowledge of HTML, had to be able to author themselves, using simple, graphical controls. There was to be no IT management; not even a webmaster.

The Solution
This Fortune 500 giant selected Specific Impulse's web publishing system to give them the ultimate in secure portal self-administration. The system enabled content managers to select from a variety of corporate standard templates and interfaces, all seamlessly integrated into the portal with a common look and feel.

The result was a uniquely customised intranet publishing control panel, featuring over a dozen modules for managing users, department administrators, documents, multimedia, and web content, such as web pages, feature articles, and webzines.

One key advantage to the system, and one of the reasons why the web portal remains a success today, is that they are able to transform the graphic design annually, without having to recode the tens of thousands of virtual database-driven pages on the site. By applying new graphic designs to the templates, all the content flows into the new look. This has saved them hundreds of thousands of dollars in potential web redesign costs over the years.

Specific Impulse professional services served as information architects, developed all the HTML, Javascript and DHTML code for the interface, and continued to provide web development and programming services to the company on a full-time basis for over four years.

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