salesforce.com – community – ERP, CRM, Business Intelligence, and Intranet and Portal Development
You are the Business and Technical Architect of ABC Solutions that provides its customers with software development and deployment solutions as well as outsourcing services. The core offerings of ABC Solutions are in ERP, CRM, Business Intelligence, and Intranet and Portal Development for various industry segments including Financial Services, Telecommunications, Healthcare and Manufacturing.
XYZ Industries, a manufacturing concern based in Naperville, IL and makes office equipment (desks, chairs, cabinets etc) has asked ABC Solutions for their assistance on a one stop shop portal solution to connect their employees, suppliers and customers and one that is connected to their external facing web site as well as the various back end systems (SAP for supply chain, Peoplesoft for HR, IBM solution for middleware and integrations). The portal should be web, social and mobile enabled and should be built on the Salesforce.com Portal (Communities) cloud platform.
You company’s management has made you in charge of the initiative and you have 2 weeks to study the feasibility and come up with a high level blueprint of a complete portal solution (internal and external facing). The idea is that this solution should allow
• Employees to use this as a one stop shop for all their HR, policy, content needs where they could collaborate, view announcements from management on various initiatives on the direction the company is headed and provide feedback to management around process and system improvement.
• Customers to be able to log in to their account, place and view their orders and shipment information, log cases for issues they are having, update their profile, communicate in groups about the products from ABC Solutions and also provide feedback on the products and services.
• Suppliers to be able to communicate and collaborate with the XYZ engineers and leaders at XYZ Industries around their orders, monitor the status of the orders, view their pipeline for future orders and be able to provide feedback on the process as well as the system.
Your blueprint should include:
• Breakdown of the key requirements of each of the areas – Customers, Suppliers and Employees. Feel free to add more requirements based on what you have learned to make this more interesting and indepth.
• Breakdown of all the key components of the Solution (Backend Technology/Content Management/Front End Solution, Security, Cloud infrastructure etc) and how they fit into the overall solution. I suggest starting with the overall solution components and digging deeper like you would in a taxonomy structure.
• System Diagram (High Level) showing the key components of the Architecture. Feel free to create this in Visio or another tool. Show how each of these components are connected to each other. Allocate space on the diagram accurately so it does not look like a cluttered architecture. Also show how these are connected to the other systems like Accounting, Purchasing etc in addition to the ones mentioned above that are both internal and external facing including social media. Feel free to have a high level architecture on one slide and breakdowns on subsequent slides.
• Security Protocols (for both internal and external security). What kind of security protocols would you implement to keep the content and usage secure? Feel free to give examples and illustrations.
• Taxonomy (of the internal and external portion of the portal). Feel free to research internal and external portals and how their taxonomies are setup.
• Mock screen designs of the front end solution (internal and external screens). Please create mock screens of the communities’ solution using the force.com free license you created at developer.force.com (Refer to portal communities lecture and the communities). I am looking for screen shots here so this is where you can get creative and show me some great designs. Make sure that the taxonomy, the content structure and menu items show clearly and conform to the latest web standards. There is no limit to screen shots but I would expect at least a few screenshots or more on each of the target areas like customers, suppliers and employees.
• List of API’s for external connections. Research what API’s are traditionally used to get hooks into an outside world. Explain which ones would you program, what language you would use and how would you deploy them. If a system for integration already exists, explain why that can work or suggest a new one that should be used instead.
• High Level Development Timeline and Project Plan for the implementation of this portal system including work hours and people involved using a typical System Development Lifecycle Method (This should be an estimate. I am looking for your approach. You will find many examples online. Feel free to make assumptions and document them). Please note that the implementation methodology should use the traditional waterfall approach (not agile). I want to gauge your level of understanding of the waterfall approach and how it would be used within confounds of this project.
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