Last month we discussed Herman Miller's MySIGN Supplier Portal, the winner of the e-Business Portal category of DCI's Annual Portal Excellence Awards. This month we review the winner of the Internal Corporate Portals category: Ford Motor Company's Internal Corporate Portal, using Plumtree. The following is drawn directly from their winning submission entered in December 2000 for DCI's 2001 Annual Portal Excellence Awards.

Plumtree is creating a new Web desktop for the biggest companies in the world. Global industry leaders such as Ford Motor Company, Procter & Gamble and BP are deploying the Plumtree Corporate Portal enterprise-wide to deliver information and services from different business systems in a single, simple Web destination that employees and partners everywhere can use to build, sell and support products faster.

Plumtree offers Ford an expansive framework for its ambitious business- to-employee e-business strategy. The world's second largest automaker chose Plumtree to create a single, simple Web destination for 200,000 employees enterprise-wide to find and share the content and services they need to support customers and speed products to market. The Plumtree Corporate Portal is similar in appearance to a consumer Web portal but with a directory of links to corporate documents and Plumtree Portal Gadgets – embedded collaboration tools, e-business applications and Internet services – where one would typically see a sports scoreboard or a stock portfolio. From kiosks on the assembly line to laptops on the road, the Plumtree Corporate Portal will put business computing within easy reach of Ford employees everywhere.

Plumtree's Internet- based portal platform is helping Ford control a sprawling intranet, streamline content creation and publication processes, and drive collaboration and e- learning initiatives for hundreds of thousands of employees worldwide.

Ford is deploying the Plumtree Corporate Portal as part of an initiative to modernize the world's largest intranet,, which spans 800 Ford facilities and 150 manufacturing plants worldwide. Plumtree enables Ford to integrate the hundreds of thousands of Web pages that comprise in one enterprise-wide Web destination. The new, Plumtree-powered brings together more than one million documents on Ford networks and the Internet in a single, searchable directory of links to files, Web pages and reports. Now, Ford employees anywhere can draw on a common base of best practices, market news, product specifications, performance metrics and policy and procedures for the information they need to make confident business decisions and act quickly on revenue opportunities.

Plumtree's distributed architecture helps ensure that can deliver dynamic content and services for employees at peak loads estimated by Ford at 10,000 hits per minute." (Author's note: As of May 2001, this load was regularly exceeding 2 million hits per day.)

The Plumtree Corporate Portal synchronizes with Ford's existing lightweight directory access protocol (LDAP) directory of over 150,000 users, ensuring that employees see only the content and services that correspond to their specific roles and security profiles when they log in to

Ford has been investing aggressively in intranet technologies, enterprise applications and Web services since the early 1980s, but many employees are still struggling to unlock the full potential of these resources for driving growth. As Ford took steps to meet the information needs of its global organization, employees increasingly lagged behind, lost in a maze of complex applications and hundreds of thousands of Web pages. To find the data they need to do their jobs, Ford employees faced the challenge of navigating the company's many Web-based systems, network file servers and intranet sites, as well as all the resources scattered throughout the Internet.

Plumtree is helping Ford open back-end systems to broader audiences, bridging geographic and functional boundaries with a simple Web experience that reaches from the factory floor to the boardroom to the field. Now assembly-line workers and executives alike have a single desktop destination for the tools they need to work effectively and collaborate closely to drive sales. With a Web-based document directory for bringing order to corporate intranets and an open architecture for integrating application and Internet services to popularize their use, the Plumtree platform empowers Ford to realize the full value of existing resources rather than deploying new ones.

We will continue our discussion of the Ford Internal Corporate Portal success story next month.

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