4-page Case Study - Posted 5/31/2010
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India's First Planned Hill City Deploys Portal Solution to Empower Employees; Increases Collaboration and Efficiency
Lavasa found itself manually managing a ton of information that was difficult to search and expensive to maintain. Employees needed faster access to information and better ways to achieve team collaboration. Working with Microsoft® Gold Certified Partner Wipro, the company implemented an intranet based on Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007. Now, Lavasa is providing employees with a single, central place to get information, helping users increase productivity, and enhance collaboration. With a successful information platform, the company has greater transparency into business processes and significantly streamlines everyday tasks and minimizes paper costs.
Lavasa is free India's first hill city being developed by HCC. A prime offering from HCC, Lavasa is a level of city infrastructure yet to be experienced in India, thus setting a new benchmark in planning, construction and service delivery. It has the distinction of being the largest urban infrastructure project in India and it provides significant economic benefits to the region.
Located near two major metropolises, Mumbai and Pune, Lavasa is fast developing amidst 25,000 acres of land. It is being developed in a phased manner, planned across five town centers. Based on the principles of New Urbanism, the master plan of Lavasa has been developed by internationally renowned design consultant HOK, USA.
In recognition of high level planning and commitment to world-class amenities, Lavasa has received international appreciation from the coveted Congress of New Urbanism (CNU) for its Master Plan and an Award of Excellence from the prestigious American Society of Landscape Architects (ASLA).
Like most new organizations, Lavasa did not have any existing application to take care of internal workflow management, employee self service or internal communications. To add to this challenge, manual entering and merging of data and other such tasks choked employee bandwidth while reducing efficiency and often compromising accuracy. Another major concern was communication and collaboration. Poor integration resulted in lack of updated real time information to respond to queries thus reducing productivity.
“Without a robust collaboration system in place, routine tasks become tedious and time-consuming, which bogs down productivity and undermines morale,” says Vinod Vyas, Vice President - Information Systems, Lavasa. “We were becoming too large an organization to operate without a central database, document management system, or network.”
The Lavasa management identified the need for an integrated intranet portal solution. Lavasa wanted a solution that would eliminate most of the manual processes, increase collaboration, provide quality information, and improve data management to enable employees to work more productively. The organization's primary objective was to deliver a strong integrated solution that would foster collaboration and innovation.Solution
Lavasa decided to address its problems by implementing a Web-based portal solution. The next step was to decide on a platform. After a detailed evaluation of available products on the market, Lavasa selected the Microsoft platform and decided to base its portal solution on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007.
“We chose Microsoft technology, as it provides flexibility, and automates business processes with built-in integration to other applications,” says Vinod Vyas. “It is simple to upgrade and features scalability. It gives much clearer view into each account and is an excellent solution from competitive point of view.”
Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 is an integrated suite of server capabilities that can help improve organizational effectiveness by providing comprehensive content management and enterprise search, accelerating shared business processes, and facilitating information-sharing across boundaries for better business insight. Additionally, this collaboration and content management server provides IT professionals and developers with the platform and tools they need for server administration, application extensibility, and interoperability.
“We were confident that Office SharePoint Server 2007 was the right choice for our organization,” says Roopak Srivastava, Manager – Software Application, Lavasa. “It was easy to administer, easy to adopt with minimal training, and easy to implement without requiring additional development. It was the only information platform that could help us manage information and promote collaboration.”
Lavasa chose to work with Microsoft Gold Certified Partner Wipro to develop its portal solution. The development was done at the head office in Mumbai. The intranet portal in Lavasa is called “mylavasa”. The entire development was done in different phases. Lavasa started with the static information and then continued to take one process every month and automated the same. Some of the modules implemented were Document Management System with workflow, Conference Room Booking, Leave Management System, Stationary Management, and Vehicle Request System. Customizations were done for the Leave Management System, Employee Database, KRA & Employee Appraisal Workflow. Other customizations included Employee Requisition Process, Recruitment Process, President Task reminder for HOD’s, IT Helpdesk, Admin Helpdesk, Stationary Management System, Job Description, and Search Colleague’s extension and number.
The project is still in development process. More and more processes, which can be automated, are being identified on a regular basis.
The Project Management module in “mylavasa” delivers a complete Project Management solution to help Lavasa keep the projects on track and on schedule. “mylavasa” has automated and managed notifications to all project team members to keep task status up-to-date, provide project health status and measurement of key performance indicators to upper management, pull data from multiple project sites into one list for reporting status, and more. This helps the company to maintain all project data ensuring that project team always has the most up-to-date project information at fingertips.
IT staff at Lavasa also made a lot of customizations to its Office SharePoint Server 2007 environment using InfoPath forms and user controls.
Internal information sources are now more integrated, helping to improve data consistency. Lavasa also uses SharePoint Server 2007 to improve its ability to store, retrieve and retain information. The portal serves as a centralized document repository, providing a consistent mechanism to organize, categorize, navigate and manage a large number of documents.Benefits
With SharePoint Server 2007 in place, Lavasa is building a new culture based on the real-time sharing of information and integration, leading to faster decision-making. It also has a dramatic impact on internal communications within the rapidly evolving enterprise.
Presents a Single Unified User Interface
Lavasa wanted a platform to help draw all its employees into one unified company. The company’s intranet information platform, made possible by Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007, has contributed to this. Access to other Microsoft applications is also facilitated through this solution. Users no longer need to juggle between various applications, which results in increased efficiency and productivity.
Enhances Efficiency, Increases Productivity by 30 Percent
Employees have access to countless resources, which helps them quickly find critical information. This helps them to optimize their efficiency and serve management in a better way. The solution also drives users to increase productivity. It assists managers to take timely decisions by providing real time updated data and thus enhances certainty.
Rajgopal Nogja, President, Lavasa, says, “Seamless flow of information helps employees in accessing and effectively utilizing data. Access to information, faster workflows, increased opportunities for staff collaboration and enhanced community building with employees will have a positive impact on our business and will give better visibility and control. This only results in enhanced productivity.”
Saves Paper Cost with Automated Processes
Lavasa has automated and streamlined its business processes by eliminating manual workflows, making the data collection process relatively transparent. “By automating several processes we not only saved time but also considerably reduced paper consumption thus, contributing in the green environment initiative,” says Vinod Vyas.
Provides a Single Enterprise Environment
The solution enables the company to build a single repository of all employee data thus, providing a consistent and standardized way of handling information. The online access to information facilitates working from any geographical location. MIS and custom reports can be generated on demand whenever required.
As data is migrated to a central repository from disparate applications, the scope of errors or inaccuracies is also eliminated. As a result data integrity is assured.Provides Easy Access with Single Sign-On
The intranet is now a primary source for information for Lavasa. The company relies on it for centralized storage of documents and data, and also uses it as a communications vehicle. It allows single-sign-on authentication mechanism for the applications via Active Directory. Hence, users do not need to remember their login ids and passwords. They are automatically logged on the intranet using their windows authentication. This makes the overall process very smooth for the end user.