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Porter Novelli was founded in Washington, D.C. in the belief that the creative, strategic marketing approaches used in the commercial sector could and should be applied to help non-profit organizations improve public health and address social issues.


Mitra Falli, Senior Interactive Producer at Porter Novelli was tasked with finding a solution that not only met the needs of their client, but was deliverable within the allotted budget provided.

Robust Simplicity

On top of the detailed requirements regarding customization, permissions and some of the more standard collaborative components such as shared documents and calendar functions, the system was to be administered by a non-technical division of Porter Novelli; thus, it was a major requirement for the portal to be easily administered- creating new users, structures and permissions.

The Cost Factor

Initially Mitra proposed the development of an in-house solution to accomplish the complex and detailed requirements of their client. After a cost estimate ran them far over budget in this scenario, it became apparent that this solution was not plausible. This brought them to entertain installed solutions such as MS Sharepoint as an option; though it delivered what was needed within budget, it required a hefty investment in hardware and with uncertainty of their client’s project duration. Mitra began to take a look at hosted solutions that required no investment or maintenance.


Once the structure was in place, full implementation was just a matter of adding users, assigning permissions and populating the content to get the team started. The full implementation has two general levels of users – board members and standard members. As one may imagine, the level of permissions would be very different between these levels. In addition to securing certain groups and documents from regular members, the use of profiles allowed the personal section within the portal to be disabled and certain aspects of the group section were removed. This allowed not only for a secure environment where sensitive documents could be held, but it helped ease the usability of the portal and simplify the navigation to improve the implementation’s effectiveness.

A Resounding Success

The program was a major success and implemented below budget. Moving forward, following the upcoming release of the new HyperOffice user interface Porter Novelli plans to utilize HyperOffice within other departments and in additional client applications.

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