Ports of Auckland’s existing website was difficult to manage and no longer reflected the port’s identity and values. The port identified SharePoint 2013 – part of a broader move to this platform across the organisation - as a possible technology to deliver a new public website that would:
- Be more accessible to customers and the wider community, and cater to different audiences across a variety of devices.
- Provide a familiar and easy to use interface for managing content.
- Better reflect the organisation’s brand.
Theta was selected to deliver the website – from initial analysis, visual and solution design right through to testing and post-implementation support.
“Theta has been involved in this project every step of the way. It’s been great to work with a single partner with all the skills we need – from deep SharePoint expertise to business analysis, graphic design, testing and support. It’s the full package.” Pat Mansell, Project Manager, Ports of Auckland
Easier collaboration and content management
“We work together” is one of the port’s core values. The new website, with contributions from different business areas within the port, including human resources, communications and commercial, embodies this value. Powered by SharePoint, authoring and publishing to the site is managed via a simple, permissions-based approval process – allowing multiple parties to collaborate and contribute but maintaining control of the process.
“It’s great to have a site that allows more staff to contribute content. Because the content management doesn’t require specialist technical skills, the whole team can be involved in updating information, sharing the workload and reducing the risk of not being able to publish new content if someone is away. This is particularly helpful in the case of time critical material like media releases and customer advisories.” Alexandra Ropati, Senior Communications Advisor, Ports of Auckland
Rich media enhances the port’s digital identity
One of the most successful aspects of the new website, according to Ropati, is the way it allows her team to “tell the whole story of the port without a text heavy site.” The site incorporates video, images and other rich media to showcase the many aspects of the port’s operations. Video has also proved useful in the new careers section of the website, introducing the different roles that keep the port running and that jobseekers might be interested in.
This is all supported by sound technical practices, to make sure that the website not only looks good, but works well too. Says Theta senior consultant Vishwanatha Nayak:
“Using recommended SharePoint practices like image renditions and blob cache, we made sure that image handling is optimal and the website is as fast as it can be.”
The new website is fully responsive for the best user experience, regardless of device used.
“We serve a large and diverse freight community, and it’s our job to make sure that cargo flows. Good information, in a format that’s easy to consume, is key to that. We’ve had feedback that our site does that better than other ports. And now truck drivers, who are always on the move, can access the site on their cell phones. That’s a big benefit, saving them time and speeding up the movement of cargo.” Yvonne Theuerkauf, Manager Customer Services, Ports of Auckland
Secure custom forms to save time and combat spam
We designed and built several responsive custom forms for the website, to automate processes that used to be manual and time consuming – including job enquiries and filming permit applications.
“Now that we have a dedicated careers section of the site, and a mechanism for people to express interest in working for the port, we don’t have to field and respond to so many emails and phone calls. People can go through the process online, and this saves us time.” Shannon Horn, Human Resources Advisor, Ports of Auckland
“We had previously had spam issues with our filming permit form. The new form is secure, with a built in CAPTCHA, and those spam issues have disappeared.” Alexandra Ropati, Senior Communications Advisor, Ports of Auckland
A search driven site for improved findability
The website is large and complex, serving multiple audiences with different needs – from port users to job seekers, media and the public. It was not always easy for these different groups to find the information they needed on the port’s previous website. Now with SharePoint’s powerful search features the site seamlessly delivers relevant content to users. Content is grouped by business area and friendly URLs make navigation more meaningful and user-friendly – you can easily see exactly where you are on the website.
Search also delivers a more flexible website for the port. Content can be used and re-used in different ways, and brought together by topic, date or business area – without adding complexity to the publishing process.
User feedback – final words
“We’ve had feedback from our freight community that they really love how they can work with the information available, and that they think it’s one of the best port websites.” Yvonne Theuerkauf, Manager Customer Services, Ports of Auckland
SharePoint 2013 on premises