Open House for New Envision IT Location

Mississauga, ON

​​Join us for an Open House at our new location in Mississauga! We recently moved upstairs in the same building, undergoing significant renovations which better embrace the spirit of our Envision IT culture.

There will be some exciting customer showcases involving Extranet User Manager, Office 365, and Azure. The project leads from Wilfrid Laurier University (Office 365 Staff Portal), OntarioMD (Azure public website authored in Office 365), and Associated Engineering (Extranet in Office 365) will be present to provide their perspectives and answer questions.

In addition, we will be showcasing updates to Extranet User Manager, demonstrating continued support to the cloud.

Food and beverages will be served, so don't miss out on this great networking opportunity! We hope to see you there!

Customer Showcases

Laurier Connects with Staff and Faculty Through Office 365

Laurier Logo

With campuses in Waterloo and Brantford and locations in Kitchener and Toronto, Wilfrid Laurier University has 6,000 staff and faculty serving 19,000 undergraduate and graduate students. Looking to improve their communications and knowledge sharing across campuses, Laurier engaged Envision IT in the fall of 2016 to plan and implement a new staff portal in Office 365. Working with a broad steering committee and working group, a design was developed. While planned for rollout to all departments, External Relations, Information, Communications & Technology, and Human Resources were chosen as the initial pilot departments. Site templates were created, training of content authors delivered, and content was created, with a new home page and department sites for these three departments launched on May 1, 2017. Envision IT and the web team are continuing the rollout, populating initial sites for departments, training content authors, and assigning ownership to all 200+ departments over the next 12-24 months.

In addition to providing a rich content and communications platform, a number of customizations and extensions were built for the project.

  • Live integration of public news articles posted through the Cascade public website content management system
  • Events management integrated through Active Data Calendar
  • Self-service public publication of documents for reference from research papers, articles, and books authored by Laurier faculty
  • Staff directory integrated with Active Directory and Office 365 Delve
  • Campus alerts, end user customization and personalization, content authoring enhancements, and more

The result is great looking staff portal accessible on desktop and mobile devices, both on campus and off. Content ownerships is being distributed throughout the organization, and early feedback from the launch has been very positive.

OntarioMD uses SharePoint Online and Azure Websites to Launch Their Public Website

OntarioMD Logo

OntarioMD is a government funded not for profit responsible for driving adoption of Electronic Medical Record systems by physicians in the province of Ontario, Canada. Already an Office 365 customer, the vision was to leverage SharePoint Online as a content authoring platform for their new public website. A fully branded, responsive version of their new site was built in SharePoint, complete with publishing approval workflows. In order to allow anonymous users to access the site, a read only copy of the site was built in Azure App Service as an ASP.NET Web App. The publishing approval process was extended to publish content updates in real time to the ASP.NET website. Azure search was used to provide a rich search experience on the Azure website, and Extranet User Manager was used to allow physicians and their staff to securely register and authenticate to the Azure website, as well as provide single sign-on to additional OntarioMD apps through Open ID Connect.

The result is a highly scalable and available website hosted in Azure at a fraction of the cost of what it would be to host a public facing SharePoint farm in Azure. Support and maintenance of the site is also greatly simplified, as Microsoft manages the Azure website infrastructure. Content authors who are already familiar with SharePoint and Office 365 continue to use a familiar experience to maintain their content. The 20,000+ registered physicians and staff get access to their content and apps through a responsive, visually appealing website.

Building the solution began in October of 2016, with the site just launched on May 28, 2017. Branding of both the SharePoint Online and Azure Web App, customizing the approval workflow process, building the Azure publishing process to map web content and files to the Azure Web App, populating and accessing the Azure Search service, managing the registered users, and providing the Open ID Connect authentication to the website and related apps were some of the work done from a technical perspective. Content migration of all the existing content as well as training of the communications and business teams that will be authoring the site was also provided.

Associated Engineering Manages Their Projects with Office 365

Associated Engineering Logo

Associated Engineering is a Canadian consulting company with around 900 staff in 21 offices across Canada. They provide a broad range in services including planning, engineering, environmental science, landscape architecture, project management, and asset management.

​Like many organizations, AE started their SharePoint experience with a pilot project that quickly became production. This became the home to many project sites, including the company's largest ever multi-year construction project, with hundreds of external users. Already an Exchange Online customer, they decided to move to SharePoint Online in Office 365 to provide the high availability and disaster recovery capabilities they needed, rather than investing in on premises infrastructure.

In order to support the rapid creation of project sites, AE has created a site request and provisioning process. Staff fill out a form specifying the requirements for the project site, including the site template to be used and who requires what access to it. This includes not only AE staff but external users as well. Envision IT built automation to create the sites, and leveraged Office Dev PnP tools ​to apply the appropriate site templates. Extranet User Manager is used to create Azure AD groups, delegate ownership to the site owners, who are then able to invite external users in through Azure AD B2B to Office 365. Regardless of the number of external users, no additional subscriptions are needed, and external users have access to the full set of features in SharePoint Online.

The result is self-service for AE staff to request, approve, and provision project sites. Site owners can invite both internal and external users to collaborate in the sites, while proper governance is maintained through control of site structure and permissions.

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