Dear Portal fans and SCN community,
In January 2012 we successfully implemented a new concern-wide employee portal with significant aspects regarding user-experience, international IT-harmonization and scalability.
Key Facts – Deutsche Telekom AG.
- Among the top 100 companies worldwide (#75 in 2011, Fortune 500 list)
- Pioneer for social issues (promotion of women, data privacy, climate protection)
- Represented in 50 countries
- Germany, Europe, USA: each with own infrastructure
- T-Systems: global presence & alliances via partners
- 233,000 employees worldwide
- 9,000 trainees and students in Germany
- 130,000,000 mobile customers
- 33,000,000 fixed line c. / 17 m broadband customers
- 4,600,000 (IP) TV customers
- 2,000,000 workstation systems marketed
Our Vision – Integration & Harmonization.
Before Telekom MyPortal was released every employee of Deutsche Telekom AG had to work with dozens of department portals and applications, all of them dealing with their own User Interfaces, Logins, IT-Infrastructures, service desks and help systems.
So the main vision of MyPortal was to build up a central and concern-wide ceiling platform as a single point of entry for all interactive services in daily business. The aim was NOT to substitute the department portals. Instead we wanted to set up a company-wide guideline focussing portal architecture and -landscape. All department portals should reside within their functional responsibility and infrastructure. By offering central services regarding authentication, service desk, help system or communication there should be no need for departments to implement these services on their own. Therefore our goal was to reduce the concern’s IT-costs and realize standardized and harmonized portal architectures.
MyPortal is set up on top of all via a custom FPN (Federated Portal Network) and combines all services and applications of different department portals into one intuitive user interface. Our solution offers one central login using SSO to all department portals, one central service desk and one central help system for all employee services. Finally MyPortal made it possible to achieve both: Satisfying our employees and reducing our IT costs.
Our Vision – User Experience.
During the whole project-timeline our key-factor was the user-centric approach. As a vendor of high technology IT-products it was our demand to satisfy our employee’s expectations in state-of-the-art user interfaces. Of course they all know modern web-applications like Facebook, Google or Amazon from the internet and therefore we wanted them to have the same experience in their daily business when working for a big player in high technology markets.
So we built up the new Telekom MyPortal with an innovative and intuitive user interface which is based on successful Smartphone navigation concepts, combining easy usability with an attractive portal layout.
The well-known L-Shape framework pages of the department portals have been substituted by MyPortal. Single applications or even complete hierarchies of applications of the department portals can be registered as a MyPortal Service via a special admin tool called Management UI and are hereby made available to the user as a “service tile”. Through classification of these Services into several Categories we followed the “AppStore” concept where the user can pick up his desired applications via drag&drop to his favorites area.
Do we pique your curiosity? Then continue reading 😉
Telekom MyPortal – Have a closer look.
The startpage comes up with a clean innovative design. The navigation is realized using “service tiles” as described above within the “Overview” tab. Aside there is a “Tasks” tab and a “News” tab. The user is able to switch between these tabs just by one click. By doing so the content switches without any page refreshes and remains within the same browser window.
All Services can be found in thematic categories located on the right side. These categories can be considered as an AppStore: The user can add and remove his favourite service tiles to his personal desktop via drag&drop. The order of the service tiles can be arranged according the user’s wishes.
Services in new Tabs
Beneath the already mentioned tabs “Overview”, “Tasks” and “News” all Services are opened in additional tabs too. So the user can work with different services at the same time in the same browser window.
Services can be found using the simple and intuitive search function. The user can start services from the result list directly or he can add them to his personal desktop via drag&drop.
The user can customize his MyPortal (e.g. language, desired tab-focus after login, tab-opening behaviour, services that will be opened automatically after login, size of service tiles etc.).
MyPortal collects all Tasks & Notifications from all department portal UWLs and shows them in one consolidated task list. Simple UWL-Actions like approvals can be executed just by pressing a button in the task details area. We also implemented a feature to let users perform batch approvals. When there are incoming tasks the “tasks tab” starts to glow to inform the user about it.
We integrated the functionality to publish news-articles in MyPortal. News can be published for single services, categories or department portals. The user can rate news-articles and submit a feedback to the author. By this implementation all news process within the department portal are substituted and consolidated into one central news system.
Help for each Service
Every service has an attached help-document that deals with detailed guidance and instruction videos. By this a contextual help system had been set up and the user is feed with the right information at the right time.
Portal Theme for Standard SAP Services
The standard portal theme has been adapted and contributes the user expectations concerning Look & Feel. At runtime all standard SAP Services of the department portals are rendered with one fitting Corporate Identity within MyPortal.
To optimize the enduser’s experience we re-implemented some of the most frequently used services in the “MyPortal style”. In this way we were able to achieve a nice design and a better usability. As you can see in the screenshot the enduser cannot see a difference between the MyPortal framework and the integrated services from departmental portal systems.
Automatic error recognition and –handling
To enhance the support quality and to reduce the ticket occurrences at the service desk at once, we implemented an automatic error-recognition.
Telekom MyPortal – Technical Details.
We have chosen SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.30 as base platform for MyPortal, as it combines both perfect integration into existing SAP landscapes and the required openness for custom developments using well-known standard technologies.
In comparison to SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.0 we experienced several advantages:
- Closer orientation to JEE specification and therefore more standard based
- Better integration between Portal- and JEE-applications
- Helpful new features like SAP Java Scheduler or the User Content Directory (UCD)
- Enhanced development infrastructure, tooling and monitoring support
MyPortal Framework is based on the SAP NetWeaver Portal standard technologies and we took great advantages of choosing the given technologies and APIs:
- SAP Portal API
- SAP Portal Content Directory (PCD) and User Content Directory (UCD)
- SAP Universal Worklist (UWL)
- SAP Java Scheduler
- SAP JEE5 implementation (EJBs, WebServices, JPA, JAX-B, JSF)
The frontend is based and build up using jQuery in combination with JSPs and standard PortalServices.
To cope the problem of integrating several department portals standing within their own domains, we invented the so called XDM-Messaging. By this feature we became qualified for cross document messaging copeing the same origin policy on client side. (And YES, it is working for IE6/IE8 and Firefox as well ;-)) Using this key feature we were able to implement a cross-system session management.
Telekom MyPortal – Outlook.
Currently there are more than 300 services available in MyPortal. We will continue to “ramp-up” more and more department portals with their services to establish the central role as a state-of-the-art business application in our company.
Additionally we will enhance MyPortal by implementing new functionality like support for mobile devices, a sitemap showing up all services or a notification ticker for business events. We received a lot of user feedback so it’s quite clear what our employees are missing in the current version.
Why MyPortal as a NW Portal Star?
- Good example for an innovative portal implementation showing up possibilities and openness of the SAP NetWeaver Portal 7.30 platform
- State-of-the art user interface with high aspects regarding usability and design
- Designed, sized and implemented for 230,000 endusers and 40,000 concurrent users
- Completely barrier-free designed user interface, incl. certification
So finally we hope you enjoyed the idea of MyPortal.
If you are attending SAP TechEd in Madrid this year we want to invite you to visit our session about MyPortal (PMC120 – MyPortal@Deutsche Telekom – Successful Optimization with new Service Platform).
Last but not least we want to thank our internal partner T-Systems and our core development & architecture team:
Michael Gollub & Thorsten Kniewel
Deutsche Telekom AG