Curtiss-Wright “Inside CW” Intranet

Curtiss-Wright “Inside CW” Intranet

Curtiss-Wright Corporation (NYSE: CW) is a diversified, multinational provider of highly engineered, technologically advanced products and services. Rooted in American history, they are the corporate descendants of the Wright brothers, the fathers of flight, and Mr. Glenn Curtiss, the father of naval aviation.

Seeking a unified platform to connect their 9,000-strong global workforce, Curtiss-Wright partnered with Mediacurrent to design and architect a new employee Intranet with open source Drupal. Previously, all Curtiss-Wright locations had separate Sharepoint sites but lacked a central hub to share key information as a unified company. Further, Curtiss-Wright needed an employee Intranet that aligned with its strategic “One Curtiss-Wright” vision. This internal initiative transformed three technology-focused segments within the organization into six market-facing divisions, while integrating the company customer service, back office operations, and branding more closely than ever before.

The new Intranet leverages Drupal 7 for the flexibility, scale, and security to set the foundation required for growth and productivity increases across the company.

Why Mediacurrent?

"Mediacurrent took the time to understand our vision and goals from the beginning of the project and kept those in focus during the entire design and development process. They were up for any challenge and the result is a solution that’s highly secure and tailored to serve the entire organization."

-John Watts, Vice President - Strategy & Communications, Curtiss-Wright

Project Goals
  • Build a best-in-class social Intranet platform that connects and empowers Curtiss-Wright employees across the organization
  • Encourage users to login multiple times
Project Highlights
  • Security and User Authentication: It was critical that Curtiss-Wright be able to ensure that sensitive employee information is stored safely. Drupal is a highly secure CMS, relying on a dedicated security team to protect against security threats such as viruses and unauthorized access. Together with Drupal’s vast development and administrator community, the team scrupulously monitors and patches issues. Mediacurrent developers provided an additional layer of security with a combination of modules and settings to meet enterprise security requirements. A Drupal custom module was designed to secure the process for the first-time login by validating employee IDs with the organization’s Human Resources data source.

  • Responsive Design: The Curtiss-Wright Intranet is accessible globally to all employees and loads optimally across modern mobile, tablet and desktop devices. To create a seamless transition between the current curtisswright.com look and feel, Mediacurrent applied the same creative treatment to the Intranet.

  • Social Platform Built On User-Driven Customization: Features like forums and a wiki page invite collaboration among the Curtiss-Wright team. Users view a personalized homepage populated with content bookmarks they have selected and any subscribed discussion forums. These discussion forums are grouped by subject and topics. 

  • Clearly Organized, Interactive UX: An interactive office locations map and reimagined employee directory present a clear, informative view of the organizational structure. The new employee directory provides a faster way to access employee profiles with a broad range of search terms from first and last name to role-related keywords. Employee profiles include information that is auto-populated from the Human Resources database combined with certain fields that the employee can update on an individual basis. These editable fields include the employee headshot, manager, background, experience, and language fluency. The Curtiss-Wright office locations map leveraged the GMap module to connect with Google’s mapping tools. The map functionality pulls location data from each organizational unit, using pin grouping when zoomed out to reduce clutter, and displaying individual units when users are zoomed in. When an individual pin is clicked the office address, phone number, and contact information is displayed, allowing the option to click through to the full profile for that organizational unit. 
     
  • Easy Authoring and Site Administration: Intuitive WYSIWYG and flexible workflows in Drupal enable content editors to quickly publish company news, events, and resources across the Intranet. Mediacurrent facilitated user training sessions that empowered site editors to take ownership of content updates. A comprehensive reference guide was developed to walk site admins through content updates throughout the Intranet, such as main menu items and homepage content blocks like latest news, blog posts, employee and business directories.

Drupal Development

Thanks to the Drupal community, there are thousands of available modules to extend Intranet functionality. Mediacurrent developers built the Intranet from existing contrib modules, with a custom module developed to meet a highly specific need. The custom “CW Authorized Users“ module was created to handle the process of authenticating users against the Curtiss-Wright Human Resources dataset, including purging old accounts and initial login flow.

Administrative Modules

  • Auto Logout: Allows admins to set a period of time in which a user should be logged out after a period of inactivity.

  • Flood Unblock: This module will allow admins to reset user accounts that may get locked out after multiple failed password attempts.

  • CKEditor: The CKEditor module gives MS-Word like enhancements to the content creation process so that creators of content don’t have to write HTML.

  • Redirect 403 pages to login pages: If a logged-out user tries to access a page, they will get an access denied screen. This module redirects those users to the login page.

Analytics

  • Google Analytics: The industry-standard for tracking user behavior on a website. 

Security

  • Password Policy: The password policy module will allow the CW intranet to enforce a security standard for how passwords are created, and how often they are forced to reset.

  • Require Login: This module is a turnkey configuration solution for enforcing users be logged in to view any pages on the site.

  • Security Kit: SecKit facilitates certain mitigations for Cross-site Scripting, Cross-site Request Forgery, and Clickjacking, among other issues.

  • Username Enumeration Prevention: This module adds another layer of security by preventing unauthorized users from trying to guess valid user names and email addresses in an attempt to login. 

QA Testing and Performance 

One of the most critical testing initiatives was a series of Apache JMeter load tests. By leveraging these tests in correlation with other tools such as New Relic, Mediacurrent's QA team was able to provide real time analytics to track both site and server performance. This was key to help identify several bottlenecks that severely impacted performance and even stability of the site. In addition, Mediacurrent targeted several Drupal modules that needed further custom work in order to optimize site performance.

Final Thoughts

Now, with 78% of companies running on open source software, Inside C-W is part of a growing number of corporate Intranets that are no longer confined to proprietary platforms.

Further, the Drupal community is strongly committed to accessibility, supporting digital experiences that are available to all users. The community ensures that all features of Drupal core conform with the World Wide Web Consortium’s guidelines.