Digital Experience

IBM Digital Experience Conference – The Kroger Intranet

The 2015 IBM Digital Experience Conference had a very informative intranet case study by The Kroger Co. delivered by Kroger’s lead developer, Arturo Araya.  The Kroger Co. spans many states with store formats that include grocery and multi-department stores, convenience stores, and jewelry stores. Theydigital_exp2014 are 24th on the Fortune 100 with 2,625 stores in 34 states with over $100 billion in sales in 2014.  Some of the key highlights from the session were:

GreatPeople.me

GreatPeople.me is Kroger’s store intranet portal built using IBM’s Digital Experience Portfolio.  It provides many capabilities and delivers business value including:

  • Two-way communication between associates and the company
  • Mechanism for sharing important news and stories
  • Accessibility anywhere

Access Anywhere

A key design premise is that Kroger’s site is accessible from any device, anywhere. Kroger leverages responsive designs for smartphone and tablets. It is built on common technologies including jQuery, Twitter Bootstrap, JSON, and HTML5 using a custom WebSphere Portal theme.

Demos

Arturo demonstrated the intranet which had some polished capabilities including:

  • Polished UI interactions such as carousels and rich news articles
  • Personalized experience
  • Secured content and sites for divisions one belongs to
  • Role driven capabilities

 Corporate Content

He also spent time talking about how content is critical to GreatPeople.me and discussed how:

  • Business owners are empowered to manage content without IT intervention
  • WCM projects are leveraged with authoring templates and workflows to empower business
  • Content is managed across over 20 divisions
  • It is delivered to a single portal but still has multiple experiences
  • Includes embedded video that is device agnostic

Integration Points

In addition to content, there are important integration points including:

  • Social integration using Yammer
  • Site search is implemented with the Google Search Appliance to crawl WCM content
  • Information center which has a people finder and
  • Business owners are empowered to managed content without IT intervention

Lessons Learned

Arturo closed the session with some key lessons learned:

  • Keep it simple – Leverage your knowledge of portal and the technology
  • Don’t reinvent the wheel – For example, Flowplayer was used for HTML5 video
  • Simplify the authoring experience as much as possible for content authors – completely abstract HTML and JavaScript from authoring processes
  • Optimized individual pages to maximize performance using theme and WCM capabilities

The session was a great mix of Kroger’s accomplishments and how they leverage the IBM Digital Experience Portfolio to technically deliver the solution with outstanding business outcomes.

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Technical Director, Portal

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