How Mobility Solution Improved Employee Collaboration, Increased Productivity

Jagran Prakashan increased employee productivity by 40%, and improved business agility by deploying mobility solutions

Jagran Prakashan Ltd. (JPL), the media and communications group with interests spanning print, advertising, event management, and mobile services for weather, cricket scores, and educational activities, launched the enterprise portal to 500 users in the first phase of the project; it plans to extend this to 2,000 users when the portal is fully launched. Oracle partner PricewaterhouseCoopers used Oracle Application Development Framework for the initial set-up, user training and developing and designing sample workflows. JPL’s internal IT staff then took charge of the implementation, bringing it to completion on budget.

Deploying the enterprise mobility solutions, the company gained the ability to centrally manage information, ensured business continuity, and improved staff productivity by 40 per cent.

What was the business challenge for Jagran?
According to Sarbani Bhatia, vice president-IT, Jagran Prakashan Ltd., the key business challenge was to enable seamless integration with multiple enterprise applications so as to improve workflow efficiency, including approval of print advertisement discounts, and enhance business agility.

Other challenges were to provide a dynamic, secure, and intuitive self-service enterprise portal to improve staff productivity and ensure business continuity. “Improving engagement with employees, enabling collaboration to enhance management decision-making and accelerating time-to-market for new services, such as new advertising programs, were also the challenges I faced,” says Bhatia.

 

sarbani-bhatia-jagranSarbani Bhatia, vice president-IT, Jagran Prakashan

The key business challenge was to enable seamless integration with multiple enterprise applications so as to improve workflow efficiency, including approval of print advertisement discounts, and enhance business agility.

Need for Enterprise Mobility
JPL was using multiple systems to manage its business processes. Users were resistant to using multiple passwords for various applications, preferring to continue their less efficient, legacy work practices. 

In addition, there was no single repository for sharing documents across the organisation, such as company announcements or project documents. The company relied on e-mail to disseminate up-to-date company information, often missing employees. It was also time-consuming and difficult for managers to track the status of ongoing assignments or projects because collaboration and document sharing was inefficient and ineffective.

With diverse businesses and many geographic locations, JPL needed to implement a centralised and user-friendly enterprise portal to improve document sharing and collaboration and increase business agility.

The company implemented Oracle WebCenterPortal to create a dynamic, secure, and intuitive self-service enterprise portal in order to improve user experience and increase operating efficiency. It improved staff productivity by 40 per cent, accelerated new IT projects by up to 4x, boosted staff morale, and increased business agility.

Why Oracle?
JPL evaluated other products including Lotus Notes and SharePoint.  But it wanted a single gateway application which was compatible with the existing architecture and integrated well with the framework.  JPL chose Oracle WebCenter Portal to ensure no compatibility issues for integration with its existing Oracle products, and to take advantage of the experience and support of a reputable vendor to ensure business continuity. 

“We chose Oracle because we knew we could rely on its support and experience. In addition, Oracle WebCenter Portal’s speed, agility, and mobile access features were a perfect fit for our business requirements,” Bhatia said.

Implementation Process
JPL launched the enterprise portal to 500 users in the first phase of the project, and plans to extend this to 2,000 users when the portal is fully launched. Oracle partner PricewaterhouseCoopers used Oracle Application Development Framework for the initial set-up, user training and to develop and design sample workflows. JPL’s internal IT staff then took charge of the implementation, bringing it to completion on budget.

Business Benefits

Enables Mobility Access and Increases Business Agility: Newspaper advertisements generate a majority of JPL’s revenue. With most sales staff on the move, the company needed to ensure timely approval of print advertisement discounts for specific clients and meet tight publication deadlines.  

By integrating Oracle WebCenter Portal seamlessly with its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and other applications--such as the organisational mass mailing system--business intelligence, and management information system, JPL embedded its approval workflow processes into the enterprise portal and provided users with an integrated and intuitive interface. About 30 per cent of JPL’s sales staff members now have tablets and receive advertising discount approval from managers while on the field and no longer need to return to the office--this has significantly improved efficiency and increased business agility.

“Application mobility was critical for sales representatives on the field to meet stringent auditing requirements for online accountability, particularly for our newspaper advertising business. Staff member satisfaction has improved significantly now that the sales team can use tablets to access the portal--a capability we will extend to smart phones in the second stage of the implementation,” said Sarbani Bhatia.

Increases Staff Productivity by 40%, Launches New Products up to 2x Faster: Before implementing Oracle WebCenter Portal, JPL stored project-critical information such as page planning of daily newspaper editions and the launch of new editions or supplements on individual laptops or in the e-mail system. Collaboration between colleagues was limited to physical meetings, telephone discussions, and e-mail. It was difficult to trace and recover important project documents when a staff member resigned--which represented a significant risk to business continuity. Employees were also averse to multiple passwords and resisted using the systems, affecting staff productivity.

With Oracle WebCenter Portal, JPL created a dynamic, secure, and intuitive self-service enterprise portal with business activity streams. The portal allowed users to navigate, discover, and access information, such as advertising rates, requisition approvals, ad-hoc queries, and employee surveys from a single entry point with a single password. Managers can also upload important documents such as new pricing for advertisers or newspaper distributors, and share them through the information and instruction section in the portal. In addition, managers can now easily track and review timelines for projects online rather than gathering information from meetings and e-mails. The company gained the ability to centrally manage information, ensured business continuity, and improved staff productivity by 40%.

“In the media industry, news has a very short shelf life, so speed is crucial. Information delayed is like information lost,” said Bhatia. “The solutions enabled contextual collaboration tools; we can provide and share feedback for new project launches, such as career or education supplements, up to 2x faster through discussion forums or knowledge groups. Tasks that previously required four months, are now completed in one month.”

In addition, the company can broadcast announcements, flash employee birthdays, and promote important events through the message section on the webpage, instead of using the e-mail system. The company can also conduct opinion polls to gauge employee response to organisational issues and improve management decision-making.

“With over 10,000 employees across 300 locations, it is critical for the management to hear the voice of employees and develop a cohesive organisational culture. Oracle WebCenter Portal enables employees to engage with business processes and systems in a collaborative environment, providing users with an exceptional experience,” Bhatia said.

Accelerates Application Development by up to 4x and Cuts Costs by up to 60%: Using Oracle WebCenter Portal’s out-of-the-box reusable components--such as portal pages and templates--provided JPL’s developers with a comprehensive and flexible user experience platform and increased the speed of application development. In less than five months, JPL developed more than 55 workflows. The IT team accelerated deployment of new applications by up to 4x, as they do not need to install them on individual machines now that they have a web-based environment.   

“Previously, we would have spent a whole day deploying a new application for each department or location. With a browser-based environment, we have cut costs by up to 60 per cent by reducing deployment time to zero, because our IT team can roll out a new application from a single point, thanks to Oracle WebCenter Portal,” Bhatia said.


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