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Designing a Responsive and Social Intranet Platform 

A new best-in-class intranet connects and empowers Curtiss-Wright employees across the organization.

Project Highlights

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.

 

Challenge

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.

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. 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.

 

Curtiss-Wright responsive Drupal intranet homepage on mobile, tablet and desktop screens

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. 
 

Responsive

Responsive Design

The new globally accessible intranet loads optimally on modern mobile, tablet and desktop devices. To create a seamless transition between the current curtisswright.com look and feel, we applied the same creative treatment to the intranet.

Navigation

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. 

Content Strategy

Easy Authoring and Site Administration

An intuitive WYSIWYG editor and flexible workflows enable content editors to quickly publish company news, events, and resources across the Intranet. Mediacurrent delivered user training sessions and a comprehensive reference guide, empowering site editors to take ownership of content updates. 

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Security and User Authentication

It was critical for Curtiss-Wright 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.

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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
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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.

  • 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.
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Final Thoughts

By moving to an open source platform, Curtiss-Wright has joined the ranks of a growing number of corporate intranets that are no longer confined to proprietary platforms. 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.

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