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Customer Spotlight

The Association of American Railroads (AAR) website speaks for itself.  With modern responsive design, enterprise ecommerce, premium member only content, carbon calculators, interactive multimedia libraries and real-time dashboards - it's a poster child for superior website design and powerful capabilities working together in harmony. 



…like an exquisite European sports car, even more beauty awaits under the hood…

If you’re a Microsoft SharePoint nerd, keep reading.  Otherwise, just check out this Customer Spotlight website at:

Here’s how AAR did it…

Aesthetically the website is simply gorgeous on all screens (desktop, tablet, phone, TV).  This was accomplished by implementing a responsive design, also referred to as “adaptive design".  By leveraging SharePoint 2013’s HTML 5 and CSS 3 capabilities, the design is both modern and mobile friendly.  

Having your IT Team update your website is soooo 2004.  AAR leverages distributed content authoring provided by SharePoint workflows and publishing infrastructures.  Now the good folks in AAR's Communications Department enjoy full cradle-to-grave publishing process control, from content creation to content disposition. 

The Smart Forms Module for SharePoint is used for web forms.  This app has significantly reduced the time and effort required for adding or updating web forms. 


Backend data is surfaced on the website automatically to avoid wasted effort related to re-keying content they already have. 

Member profiles are stored and managed using Membership Manager for SharePoint.  Logging in grants members access to premium member-only content based on each member’s membership level plus any content they may have purchased.  Members also keep their personal profiles up to date and some members have permissions to keep their member company profiles current. 

Work groups such as councils and committees are also managed using the Membership Manager for SharePoint.  This includes specific roles within the work group such as “Committee Chair” or “Council Member”.  A person's role within a work group has a start and end date which controls permissions.

Website authentication such as login, logout, forgot password, change password, create account and profile management are accomplished using the Smart Login Module for SharePoint.  This turn-key claims based authentication provider supports AD accounts, SharePoint List based FBA accounts and comes with an ecommerce engine compatible role provider.

Ecommerce functionality such as inventory, product catalog, product pages, cart, checkout and secure order processing and fulfillment are all accomplished using the eCommerce Module for SharePoint.  This app also automatically grants permissions to people that purchase specific publications, reports, subscriptions and other premium content.

Email and social marketing activities such as sending emails based on the site visitors activity and behavioral targeting is accomplished using MailChimp Sync for SharePoint.  Automatically keeping their backend system in sync with MailChimp allows AAR to automate content recommendation messaging based on previous site visits or purchases and personalize emails based on the person’s interests.

AAR staff personnel may have full member contact information synchronized locally on their mobile devices thanks to Mobile Sync for SharePoint.  This is native integration people – and does not require some wonky one-off phone app to be installed.  Native integration means things like “Siri, call Jane Doe at work” just works.  Some staff prefer to only have a segment of the membership directory synchronized with their phones (you know, to free up space for Flappy Bird). 

Findability?  What can we say… it’s SharePoint 2013 Search – it’s considered one the most powerful and fastest search engines available, anywhere.  This search engine has also introduced certain advertising opportunities for AAR (think Google Sponsored Links, but it’s their own search engine).

The real-time dashboard reporting and interactive charts are powered by Tableau. 


A data mashup of railroad tracks on a Google Maps overlay pulls from actual data received and maintained by AAR.  This is a custom integration kind of thing. 


AAR energized their audience with anticipation leading up to the new website’s launch.  This included press releases, email campaigns, intro videos, social sharing and even office décor!

Bottom Line:  Hats off to AAR, they nailed it!

Indiana Hospital Association

Our customers rock! There’s just no better way of saying it. We are so blessed to be working with such great people. Our customers span the globe but the common denominator is they bring meaning to what we do.


The Indiana Hospital Association is a great example of the new approach nirvana that can be obtained. By consolidating their information into our SharePoint based Association Management Ecosystem™ they leverage the best parts of a unified platform approach, as well as the best parts of a best-of-breed approach. No other solution provides both.

“Our main goal was to have everything integrated and I am happy to report that we have achieved this goal.” –Jennifer Hurtubise, Director of Communications

The Indiana Hospital Association was established in 1921 to provide Indiana hospitals with leadership, representation and support as they work to improve the health of Indiana citizens. Members include nearly every Indiana hospital, and our leaders are former and current hospital executives and industry experts. They are here to represent the collective interests of their members before policymakers, legislators and regulators. They connect hospitals with the business community and health care organizations that include the American Hospital Association. They also collect, analyze and distribute data to help their members and policymakers to understand what needs to be done to improve the health of the communities they serve. In addition, they provide opportunities for hospitals to share ideas and information on the challenges every hospital faces, from patient safety to reimbursement.

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