Neighborly is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization of dedicated employees and volunteers whose mission is improved health, wellness and independent living for individuals and families. Neighborly Care Network has been providing health and wellness programs to seniors and their families for 43 years.
As a not‐for‐profit, Neighborly is continually trying to maximize the level of benefits and resources they provide to their members. Part of this effort includes minimizing operational costs and achieving operational efficiencies wherever possible. An example is Neighborly’s implementation of Citrix. Citrix is a platform that allows delivery of applications as a service providing on‐demand access to users. With the implementation of this platform, Neighborly was able to dramatically cut hardware and maintenance costs across the board.
Neighborly conducts internal assessments on an ongoing basis. These assessments are designed, among other things, to evaluate their administrative and operational processes and procedures. As a result of these assessments, Neighborly began to seek opportunities to use emerging technologies to revamp their web presence and improve the functionality and utility they provided.
Neighborly was seeking to leverage their investment in their Citrix implementation. The only means of accessing applications via Citrix was using a separate portal application provided by the vendor.
The Neighborly website had been in place for several years and provided minimal content management capabilities. The functionality on the website was structured into several static pages. Each page had functionality embedded in it such as calendaring, news, and documents which could only be administered through a back‐end interface by an administrator. While the functionality had been adequate for the past several years, Neighborly was seeking to do more. They wanted to be flexible enough to adapt new functionality in the future without the expense of hiring a web development firm at every turn. They were also evaluating opportunities to make their website more interactive and add a corporate Intranet. The organization envisioned an Intranet that not only allowed them to keep in touch with their staff, but also to improve coordination among departments.
After careful review, it became apparent that an integrated solution would address all of their needs. Neighborly chose to implement DotNetNuke (DNN), an open‐source web application framework, as their platform for this project. DNN is a robust and highly scalable platform that not only provides out‐of‐the‐box modular functionality, but also provides a high level of extensibility. The modularized approach DNN provides allows administrators or content editors to develop and maintain their own site and their own page structure. While most all of the functionality Neighborly was seeking to implement was part of the out‐of‐the‐box solution, a few particular functions had to be custom built.
DNN offered the ability to have a front end consisting of pages that make up their corporate web presence while also having a private set of pages providing Intranet functions. Further research revealed that Citrix offered ways to integrate with their back‐end. This made it possible to develop a custom module that integrates with Citrix, making it directly available within the Intranet.
Reduced development costs
By implementing this custom solution, Neighborly was able to reduce and sometimes avoid the web development costs associated with providing new functionality and content management.
Enhanced departmental and inter-departmental communications
As part of the Intranet solution, Neighborly departmentalized their content and assigned editors from each department. The ability to concentrate on delivering department‐specific content enhanced the communication among the staff. Staff no longer had to navigate through large amounts of information before they could find what was pertinent. On the other hand, the built‐in search capabilities of DNN made finding information across the entire site much easier.
By including the Citrix component in the solution, Neighborly reduced the complexity stemming from users having to access multiple portals. The new integrated approach meant users needed a single logon to access all information and functionality they need.
Products and services
Microsoft .Net Framework
The .NET Framework is Microsoft's comprehensive and consistent programming model for building applications that have visually stunning user experiences, seamless and secure communication, and the ability to model a range of business processes./p>
Microsoft SQL Server
Microsoft SQL Server is a comprehensive, integrated data management and analysis software that enables organizations to reliably manage mission-critical information and confidently run today’s increasingly complex business applications. SQL Server allows companies to gain greater insight from their business information and achieve faster results for a competitive advantage.
Citrix Presentation Server
Presentation Server allows delivery of applications as a service—providing on-demand access to users, while affording the flexibility to leverage future application architectures.
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