- SOLUTION: Microsoft SharePoint

- SECTOR: Automotive

"Working with Innova, Otokar's new portal was commissioned in just three months time."

Can Sevinç 
Otokar CIO

Otokar's New Intranet Portal: Portokar

With Portokar portal, Otokar not only provided users with easier and faster access to information but also made considerable gains through improvements in work processes, enhanced employee productivity, and lower costs.

A member of the Koç Group, Otokar is one of the leading firms in the Turkish automotives industry. Known for its own successful research and development activities, Otokar has been developing and delivering solutions that are specially tailored to meet its customers' needs and make use of its own technology, designs, and applications since 1963.


Otokar employs nearly 1,200 people in a 169,000 m² plant located in Sakarya. The buses and armored vehicles that it makes are sold to customers around the world. For 2007 Otokar projected a gross turnover worth USD 300 million of which 30% was to have been generated by export sales. Otokar's CIO Can Sevinç says that all of Otokar's business processes from R&D design systems to consumer finance and warranty processing are incorporated into the company's automation system.

Otokar's New Intranet Portal: Portokar

Sevinç goes on to say: "An increasing number of automation systems at Otokar over the last twelve years brought with it a huge increase in the volume of information being generated while there was also a parallel rise in the number of personnel at the company. The fact that all this information was kept at different locations and had to be approached in different ways created certain difficulties and this led us to look for a solution that would give us better access to the information.


Why MOSS 2007?

With this in mind, we began looking into the possibility of constructing a new portal of our own." Otokar's research led the company to decide on Microsoft solution partner Innova: "We got some very good feedback about Innova from the sector. After getting to know Innova better through Microsoft, seeing the presentations that the firm made, and discussing the matter in detail, we opted for Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007." Why MOSS 2007? According to Sevinç, the biggest reason for choosing MOSS 2007 at Otokar rather than building its own platform using tools like ASP and .NET was cost: "In addition to the cost of a home-grown solution, there would have been a loss of momentum as well. For that reason we chose MOSS 2007, which already had all the features that we wanted in a platform." Otokar needed to have the portal project up and running in a fairly short time but the company's IT department was already heavily involved in the new ERP project that it was rolling out in 2007. Working with Innova, Otokar's MOSS 2007 portal was commissioned in just three months' time.


350 users' wishes queried

There are about 350 users who need to have access to the IT system at Otokar. At the outset of the project, users were asked for their ideas about what features the system should have. The two most frequently repeated requests were for "quick access to information" and "a dynamic design". In the first phase, Otokar's technical library, quality documentation, digital archives, and pre-existing files were all transferred to the portal. Although users still keep some of their Microsoft Office files that were originally held in common areas of the company network, they can now access them through Portokar as well. Because of the substantial costs that would have been incurred, the company decided not to transfer some data sets that were then being held in different systems to the portal; instead these were indexed so that the data can still be searched even though the files themselves are outside the portal.


The Otokar Portokar project was carried out by a team of eleven people from Innova and Otokar. Can Sevinç says that he was impressed by Innova's experience, professionalism, and discipline, thanks to which the joint undertaking was not just successful and productive but enjoyable as well. The Portokar portal operating on Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 that resulted from the collaboration of Otokar and Innova not only gave Otokar employees faster and easier access to a rapidly growing volume of information but also led to improvements in business process management and user productivity.


Advanced search features

Portokar incorporates a number of advanced navigation and search features to give users easier and faster access to the information that they need. In an environment in which a constantly changing group of 350 people were working with a team of consultants and a large number of other projects were being carried out simultaneously, users could access a project page and after being authorized not only share information with other project participants but also make the information generally available throughout Otokar. Thanks to MOSS 2007's version and category-tagging features, Portokar ensures that users are given access to the most up-to-date information that is available. Thanks to MOSS 2007's ability to index information kept both inside and outside the portal, it is possible to conduct searches of all information through the portal no matter where it may actually be kept at the company.


Improving processes and cutting costs

Otokar's human resources department provides all the information that users may need via Portokar, which also contains an easily accessible FAQ (list of frequently-asked questions). This arrangement not only reduces the workloads of the human resources and data processing departments but also significantly cuts the company's support costs on such issues. Before Portokar went into operation, company announcements had to be sent out by e-mail to personnel; now they are immediately and permanently available to all through the portal. Before this procedure was adopted, all the copies of a 1 MB (megabyte) announcement might take up as much as 350 MB of all users' resources whereas it takes up only a single megabyte on the portal.