Build Sustainable Customer Portals for Effective Stakeholder Engagement

collabpoint - sustainable and secure customer portals

Ensuring the satisfaction of external stakeholders is crucial, encompassing tasks such as managing requests, addressing inquiries, safeguarding information, and ensuring transparency. For many organizations, this can pose a daily and costly obstacle. However, by utilizing SharePoint extranets and portals, organizations can streamline their communication with customers, vendors, and partners while adding an extra layer of security.

SharePoint portals have emerged as robust solutions that facilitate seamless communication, boost productivity, and drive business growth. CollabPoint assists clients in delivering an improved stakeholder experience while significantly reducing man-hours. Let us delve into how the CollabPoint team empowered ClearEdge Partners to overcome business challenges related to external stakeholders through the use of SharePoint customer portals.

Client Customer Portal Challenges & Business Needs

ClearEdge Partners, an Accenture subsidiary, is a rapidly growing consultancy that empowers CIOs and their teams to make competitive IT investments. As an industry leader in IT finance, ClearEdge often interacts with a significant number of external stakeholders, necessitating the expertise of a Microsoft Cloud specialist to streamline their SharePoint Online operations.

The organization’s primary requirement involved the seamless onboarding of approximately 8,000 cases per month into their document management system, SharePoint, and CRM platform, Salesforce. Additionally, the management of 550 external users within Azure AD (Active Directory) posed a considerable challenge.

Given the substantial volume of data imports, ClearEdge faced several business concerns that required resolution, including:

  • Insufficient personnel time and resources to handle the onboarding process internally.
  • Worries regarding data accuracy when storing information in the SharePoint extranet.
  • Ensuring proper document management and organization within each customer case file.
  • The ease and simplicity of retrieving information from SharePoint and Salesforce.
  • Robust information analysis capabilities and features.
  • Comprehensive security measures and data loss prevention to safeguard stakeholder information.

Solving Client Concerns with a Sustainable Customer Portal

CollabPoint’s Microsoft cloud team successfully developed a customer portal in SharePoint Online for ClearEdge Partners, focusing on simplicity, effectiveness, and security. The portal aimed to enhance customer engagement and provide an improved experience through streamlined document management and sharing with external parties.

By utilizing the SharePoint Online template for Hub sites, CollabPoint enabled ClearEdge to establish better connectivity. They created a shared experience for a group of related sites, allowing users to easily discover relevant content by aggregating site activity and news. Additionally, CollabPoint organized the related sites, implemented a consistent navigation system, and ensured a unified look and feel across all user interactions.

Throughout the process, CollabPoint provided guidance on SharePoint architecture and facilitated a smooth migration to a sustainable site structure. They also established a knowledge base for ClearEdge Partners, empowering them to maximize the potential of their customer portal.

Given that ClearEdge Partners primarily collaborates with Fortune 500 companies, strict security and compliance protocols must be adhered to. CollabPoint seamlessly met these requirements by leveraging their extensive experience in governance and compliance, particularly with government agencies—a level of expertise not commonly found among Microsoft Partners.

conditional access settings for sharepoint customer portal
CollabPoint enabled ClearEdge to define distinct roles and responsibilities for customer portal users and configured appropriate permissions accordingly. They implemented Microsoft-enabled security controls and data leak prevention features to minimize the risk of security breaches and data loss. Some of the key contributions made by CollabPoint to enhance security and governance were:

  • Establishing site provisioning policies to manage the creation of new sites within the extranet environment.
  • Defining naming conventions for SharePoint customer portal site names and URLs.
  • Configuring user management to effectively control access to sensitive information using sensitivity labels and sharing controls.
  • Implementing lifecycle management capabilities to oversee the lifespan of sites in the extranet.
  • Integrating a third-party tool, Orchestry, to provide additional control over the SharePoint customer portal ecosystem.

Promote Effective Collaboration within Customer Portals with Azure

By leveraging Azure Automation, CollabPoint successfully streamlined multiple business processes, resulting in significant time and cost savings for the ClearEdge team. This powerful capability enabled ClearEdge to automate repetitive, time-consuming, and error-prone management tasks, leading to increased efficiency and reduced operational expenses. Consequently, the internal team could redirect their focus toward high-value business operations.

sharepoint customer portals - azure automation
CollabPoint implemented automation processes that significantly shortened case completion timelines and provided seamless access for ClearEdge customers, ultimately enhancing the overall customer experience.

Empower Your Business with CollabPoint’s SharePoint Expertise

The advent of SharePoint portals and extranets has transformed collaboration by bridging organizational gaps and expanding connectivity beyond conventional limits. These platforms bring numerous advantages, including streamlined communication, enhanced collaboration with external stakeholders, and significant time and resource savings.

If you’re seeking to develop an extranet site structure that improves the customer experience while leveraging existing technologies like SharePoint Online within your environment, CollabPoint is here to help. Contact us today for a consultation regarding your SharePoint requirements. Don’t hesitate to reach out now!