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Xerox is a household name that became synonymous with photocopying in the 20th century. The Fortune 500 company remains just as relevant in the digital age as it was in the past. The global documentation management industry’s market value is poised to surpass $6.5 billion by 2023, and Xerox is a key player in the industry today. Among Xerox’s many high-profile clients is Shell Oil Company which was in need of technical innovation.

Xerox managed documentation for Shell’s North Sea Operations, and one challenge Shell faced was enabling their employees to access vital information about company assets spread across the region. Known for their innovative solutions surrounding archiving, analyzing, and distributing digital documentation, Xerox set out to create a high-tech solution that would give employees access to this important data.

Xerox Typical Company Intranet

Going Beyond the Typical Company Intranet

A common solution for this sort of challenge is to create a company intranet, where employees dump information on a server. Unfortunately, employees often do this in a disorganized fashion, making documents difficult to find and access. Shell needed a more intuitive way to store this information about facilities, equipment, and other data so interested parties could easily find and access it.

Xerox envisioned a tablet-optimized, interactive portal with a graphical layout. Featuring a map of the North Sea acting as the anchor, employees would be able to find relevant information graphically—similar to how Google Maps works today. Eventually, they wanted the platform to enable employees to drill down to find specific files, which they could read on a mobile device.

A Web-based Solution

Rather than building two separate mobile apps, one for iOS and another for Android devices, Xerox and Shell decided to create a web-based solution that would work with both platforms. This would save them money on the long-term maintenance costs required to keep both apps updated since Google and Apple released new operating systems and platforms every year.

Once Xerox and Shell had identified the path forward, it was time to find a reliable partner that could bring the website to life. Impressed by Net Solutions’ experience and expertise, along with the team’s insightful responses to their questions, Xerox awarded them the contract.

Building the Platform

By the time Net Solutions entered the picture, Xerox had already done the groundwork, creating a Proof of Concept (PoC) for internal use that showed how they wanted the website to work. Using the PoC as a launchpad, the UI team at Net Solutions quickly transformed this rudimentary system into an attractive interface optimized for tablets.

The main anchor was the interactive map of the North Sea, which allowed users to zoom in and out as needed. They could also select one of three sectors to begin their journey, and the map view had several overlays that became active based on the user’s zoom level.

The website also allowed users to:

  • Follow the pipelines and connectivity across different facilities.
  • Enable “filters” to show or hide specific types of information, such as only viewing oil-related assets and facilities, or viewing all except natural gas-related assets.
  • Zoom in to see specific locations of facilities within a cluster.

At higher zoom levels, users could:

  • Tap on individual facilities to bring up documents specifically related to a given facility, such as sketches or photos. This gallery view allowed users to quickly skim through various visual assets associated with the facility
  • Access various documents such as manuals, safety instructions, and policy documents, which were loaded and shown on the device from within the web app itself

Finally, the website gave users contextual access to relevant employee information to help them reach out to the right people quickly without first searching through the entire company directory.

mobile

We are very keen on the responsiveness and positive experience we’ve had with the Net Solutions team in India. They have been superb.

Raldwin Macapagal

Raldwin Macapagal

Digital Lead & Project Manager

Quick Delivery and Deployment

Net Solutions completed and delivered the app within one month! The team at Xerox appreciated the lightning-fast delivery, which allowed them to deploy the finished product to Shell in record time.

Quick Delivery and Deployment

Results

Xerox contacted Net Solutions to build a mobile-optimized, web-based platform to help Shell Oil’s North Sea operations better manage their documentation related to facilities within the region.

In break-neck speed, Net Solutions teamed up with Xerox to build the full website within one month. The platform allowed users to:

  • Follow the pipelines and connectivity across different facilities
  • View or hide different types of information within the app
  • Zoom in to see specific locations of facilities within a cluster
  • Access photos and sketches tied to any given facility
  • Find and read manuals, policy records, and other important documents directly from a mobile tablet

Net Solutions impressed both Xerox and their client by building a highly usable website, which Shell deployed in short order.

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