Established in -1999, Intervate is – in many ways – a principal example of a organisation focused on developing redefine how its operate.
As a specialist provider of Enterprise Information Management solutions, this unique entity is primarily concerned with improving productivity and collaboration, reducing costs and increasing legal compliancy.
Catering both the public and private sectors, Intervate is often recognised for its commitment to excellence. In 2012, the organisation was presented Microsoft Partner award in Customer Experience, Content Management, Portals and Collaboration
Situated in Johannesburg and Cape Town, Intervate has a fondness for leading by example. It was this very ethos which recently led the organisation to develop and debut South Africa’s first Microsoft SharePoint 2013 website.
Intervate emphasises the use of SharePoint and its solution stack as an internal it had begun to encounter obstacles in SharePoint 2010’s architecture – particularly with reference to content management and mobile optimisation.
Furthermore, the growing popularity of responsive design for web portals had begun to entice the attention of decision makers within the organisation.
Sometimes referred to as RWD, Responsive Web Design is a development approach which prioritises user experience. This demands an online architecture which automatically resizes and orders information according to the device in use.
Finally, Intervate was often called upon to overcome a significant barrier to entry in SharePoint 2010 requiring customers seeking to host extranet, intranet and web portals within the SharePoint environment to purchase separate licenses.
When the group discovered that Microsoft had addressed these needs in SharePoint 2013, it took immediate action.
As an organisation highly focussed on early adoption, the emergence of Microsoft’s SharePoint 2013 platform presented an outstanding opportunity for Intervate to demonstrate its capabilities in this arena.
In partnership with Microsoft, Intervate integrated with SharePoint 2013 Alpha and Beta release stages to conceptualise and develop a unique approach to integrated web portals.
“We worked closely with Microsoft to develop South Africa’s first website using SharePoint 2013” says Migal Van As, Chairman at Intervate.
“When we were informed that Microsoft had incorporated responsive design, improved content management into its new offering and had eliminated the obstacles associated with hosting extranet, intranet and web portals within the SharePoint environment we took the decision to refresh our own online presence using this platform. As an organisation which actively pursues the application of innovative technology we were eager to get underway”.
The benefits yielded by Intervate’s decision to conceptualise and develop South Africa’s first web portal using SharePoint 2013 have been numerous.
According to Susan Reid, Web Content Management Specialist at Intervate, the responsive design capacity afforded within SharePoint 2013 has significantly improved the mobile user experience.
“Intervate.com is a responsive Web site that uses Bootstrap framework, a collection of tools used to create responsive Web sites and Web applications. Responsive Web design is a design approach that provides an optimal viewing experience, which adapts through resizing to match the device the site is being viewed on, such as a desktop computer, a tablet or mobile phone.
“With the proliferation and ubiquity of mobile devices for Web browsing, responsive design is one important strategy for ensuring accessibility on multiple form factors. Intervate has standardised its responsive Web design on Bootstrap and has completed a number of projects already on this framework, as part of its mobile Web strategy.”
Troy Gerber, Director at Intervate, also believes that Microsoft’s decision to rectify extranet and web portal licensing duplication will benefit both the organisation and its customers alike.
“In previous versions of SharePoint, a customer would need to purchase a separate licence to host Web sites and extranets on the SharePoint platform. This hurdle created a significant barrier to entry, which Microsoft has now removed in SharePoint 2013. When customers purchase SharePoint 2013 now, they can decide to build their intranets, extranets and Web sites without the need for additional licensing and cost, which significantly increases the value proposition”.
“One of the key benefits when customers do run all three solutions on SharePoint is cross-site publishing, which is the process of publishing the same content to your intranet, extranet and public Web site without a lengthy and individual deployment process”.
According to Van As, Microsoft SharePoint 2013 also allows for more integrated content management within the organisation, resulting in new benefits both internally and externally.
“We’ve found that the content management system within SharePoint 2013 is greatly improved. Traditionally, web portals were relatively isolated from the technology stack. Now, content managers have the option to more closely integrate the two. This not only serves to better assimilate internal and external information but also positions the organisation to benefit from the platform’s Search Engine Optimisation tools”.