SharePoint Portal Development for an International Chain of 14 Shopping Malls

Customer

The Customer is an international chain of shopping malls with a total of 270+ mln visitors per year and 200+ stores per center.

Challenge

In order to ensure the proper functionality of each shopping mall, the Customer provided its tenants with a large range of services such as equipment repair and delivery, payments collection, promo events organization, parking, security, etc. To order a service, a tenant had to send an official request to the shopping mall administration. With the average of 200+ stores per mall, the total number of requests was overwhelming. Some requests were postponed or even lost, which had a negative impact on the centers’ performance and decreased tenants’ satisfaction.

The Customer needed to provide its tenants and contractors with a solution to create and process different types of requests, which could ensure timely and high-quality services. The system had to cover the Customer’s entire chain of 14 large shopping malls and a business park, and to be adjusted according to specific workflows of each of these entities.

Solution

As the Customer had no precise requirements specification, the ScienceSoft team (acting as a subcontractor) of 1 business analyst, 2 developers and 2 QA engineers started the project from scratch. Microsoft SharePoint 2013 platform was chosen to create a custom-made SharePoint-based portal.

To provide every shopping mall with a personalized order workflow, ScienceSoft developed a detailed route for each particular request. After that, all separate request workflows were synchronized to ensure an interrupted business process throughout the company.

To ensure that requests could be created quicker, the tenants were allowed to make new requests based on previous forms and send them directly to the shopping mall administration.

The system supports e-mail and SMS notification channels, the latter done through SMS gateway integration, to keep users informed on the latest requests.

Personalized libraries were created for each mall to provide users with a safe and easy-to-use document storage. The general library was built to enclose the documents from all the Customer’s branches.

User group were created to support the Customer’s and tenants’ organizational structures. Every group member was provided with access rights according to his/her position in order to create, edit or delete requests.

The portal as well as the request forms were designed according to the Customer’s brand book.

Results

Within a year, the system was fully implemented throughout 14 shopping malls and the business park, and adjusted in accordance with the Customer’s requirements.

The system covers the needs of around 3,000 users and supports 1,000 concurrent users. Owing to the flexible notification system, the shopping center administration, tenants and contractors are constantly aware of the request status and are able to control its progress.

The improved request workflows resulted in better service quality as well as the tenants’ and contractors’ higher loyalty.

Technologies and Tools

MS SharePoint 2013, SharePoint REST/CSOM, ASP.NET, JavaScript, Knockout.js, AJAX, HTML, CSS, WSP Builder, VSTO.