Challenge

A leading public agency responsible for the end-to-end procurement and contracting process for the State of Texas sought to modernize their core business process leveraging industry-leading digital technologies.

Sense Corp was brought in to architect and implement a solution to modernize a manual 120+ step business process in order improve operational efficiency through automation. This agency had Salesforce as a CMS to store procurement related information and SharePoint internally for document management.

Given the desire to leverage existing agency technology capabilities, Sense Corp conducted a requirements gathering and design process to understand the existing business process and outline opportunities for improvement leveraging both SharePoint and Salesforce. The result was a blueprint of a digital transformation that would overhaul the business process by maximizing opportunities for automation and minimizing data duplication.

Solution

The delivered solution leveraged a custom SharePoint application (Add-In for SharePoint) to enable internal users to generate documents based on defined document templates and Salesforce data.

On the customer side, the solution extended the existing Salesforce.com implementation using Salesforce Communities to create a customer facing portal that enabled external users to browse and respond to solicitations offered by the agency.

After responses were submitted, internal resources leveraged the SharePoint solution to create a customized scorecard and groups to automate the evaluation process and generate contracts for selected vendors. DocuSign was also integrated with the SharePoint environment to ensure that generated documents were approved by the appropriate parties and signed and executed in one location.

Approach

Sense Corp used an agile methodology to develop the solution leveraging four total developers and one solution architect across the SharePoint and Salesforce solutions over the course of seven two-week development sprints.

Through iterative development and end-of-sprint roadshows, the team ensured requirements were met, and user-feedback was incorporated during development.

Results

Sense Corp was able to transform the business process, train end-users, and deploy a solution in one-eighth the amount of time it would have taken a similarly sized organization to go-live leveraging only internal resources.

The developed solution drastically improved operational efficiency across the agency, reducing time spent by internal resources on administrative tasks and enabling users to focus on what mattered most. Some of the highlights include:

  • Eliminated the need to meticulously update legal documents to match current data defined in
  • Salesforce during the document generation process.
  • Eliminated the need to scan and parse submitted vendor documentation to provide digital copies of proposed solutions.
  • Reduced the time spent cleansing and standardizing pricing data by providing a customizable web form for data-entry.
  • Reduced the time spent conducting evaluations by providing a customizable web interface for creating and soliciting evaluator responses.
  • Reduced the total lifecycle time from idea-conception to vendor acquisition.

Technology

  • Salesforce.com Government Cloud CMS for core data management
  • SharePoint 2013 On-Premise for core document management
  • Custom C# MVC .Net application for core SharePoint app functionality
  • Provider-Hosted SharePoint app model for SharePoint integration
  • Responsive Twitter Bootstrap based UI for views
  • Razor/CSHTML + CSS/JS/JQuery for views
  • REST based API requests for Salesforce data integration
  • Salesforce SOQL Queries for Salesforce data requests
  • On-demand ETL process for Salesforce pricing data integration and aggregation
  • Entity Framework Code-First for ORM
  • SQL Server 2012 for application data management
  • Salesforce.com Communities for vendor portal
  • Custom APEX to extend Salesforce functionality as necessary
  • Custom Salesforce layouts for vendor portal

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