Cincinnati Bell's Intranet

SharePoint Enterprise 2013

About the Company

Cincinnati Bell, Inc., is a leading provider of Home Phone, High Speed Internet, Wireless and Digital TV services to consumers and businesses in the Greater Cincinnati Area and its neighboring suburbs in Ohio, Kentucky and Indiana.

The Challenge

Cincinnati Bell's Intranet, Connections, was a Frankenstein of obsolete technologies sprawled across numerous servers. Designed in FrontPage 12 years prior, it contained classic ASP, printable forms that couldn't be submitted electronically, SharePoint 2003 content, and hundreds of static pages containing expired articles and events. Business editors were unable to make simple changes without the help of IT. The site's server sprawl, as well as the company's multiple-domain AD environment, guaranteed repeated sign-ons for users.

The Intranet team wanted a fresh look, daily changing content, consolidation of disparate technologies and easier maintenance. They also wanted to create a sense of community by inviting employees to rate articles, comment on posts and suggest story ideas.

The Solution

I employed SharePoint 2013 Enterprise edition with custom branding for the new Connections Intranet, utilizing the new Community Portal template for its user-engaging social features. In addition to migrating older SharePoint content and recreating simple apps, I recreated several forms and automated their processing.

Proper information architecture and permissions planning moved content editing out of IT and into the hands of business editors where it belongs. And SharePoint's database-driven lists made it a breeze for those editors to create, publish, sort, and retire news stories and other content.

I chose the Enterprise Blog template with comments enabled for a weekly letter from the CEO, and the Enterprise Wiki template to aggregate a host of company policies into one coherent collection. The front page received its much- needed facelift with improved navigation, featured articles, feeds, and the occassional video.

“Shae was a valued partner to our Corporate Communications team as we worked to redesign and relaunch our company intranet. Her deep technical expertise guided us through many important 'what if' scenarios and helped our team deliver a vastly improved user experience.” - Angela Ginty

Technologies Used

Branding Mockups
for Townsquare Media Group

SharePoint Enterprise 2010

About the Company

Townsquare Media Group is a diversified media, entertainment and digital marketing services company that owns and operates market leading radio, digital and live event properties across the US. The company specializes in creating and distributing motivating media experiences that connect communities with the content they love, people they trust, products they want and things that matter.

The Challenge

Like any other company seeking to use SharePoint for its internal and external web presence, Townsquare Media Group needed custom branding to distinguish its site from an out-of-the-box SharePoint portal. They approached PCMS Datafit seeking a series of branding mockups that would help them brainstorm and choose a new look-and-feel for an upcoming SharePoint 2010 Enterprise project. Their only specifications at this stage were to incorporate their logo and to use their red, black and white color scheme as a basis for the designs.

The Solution

Combining my graphic art experience with my understanding of the SharePoint infrastructure, I designed a number of colorful mockups that could be easily implemented with SharePoint master pages, CSS, javascript and custom graphics. I fully implemented a few of these to help stakeholders visualize and interact with the navigation and other page elements. Three of those designs are shown here.

Technologies Used

About Me

I'm an IT professional, graphic designer and freelance writer.

As a SharePoint guru for over 9 years, I've architected multi-tier farms, performed complex upgrades, and done custom development. Once I managed 17 farms from WSS 2 to SPO (but I don't recommend it).

I live in Indianapolis where I enjoy reading, riding my bike, attending grad school, dining at farm-to-table restaurants and taking care of a couple of cats.