- Implemented a centralized Web content management system for its 200 customer microsites
- Automated delivery of content to Web sites
- New microsites can be created in less four hours
- Eliminated the need to hire new staff to support the growing microsites
- Workflows simplify Web site approval times
- Custom property files and Alfresco forms improve site performance
- Supports multiple languages
BT Conferencing, a leading global provider of audio, video, web, and streaming collaboration services, provides individualized marketing programs for its largest customer engagements. This includes developing and maintaining over 200 custom websites to help educate, drive adoption and ensure that customers have the best user experience possible.
While the BT marketing team is responsible for managing these sites, a majority of the microsite development and maintenance was done by the Web creative team. The process was extremely manual and included decentralized active server pages (ASP). New Websites or pages were created using ASP and server-side include directives. With no central content management system in place, BT implemented basic file automation, but it was insufficient.
As a result, the marketing team could not easily update or push new content out to all or a subset of sites. When new clients came on board it, it would take up to two or three weeks to create and approve a new Website.
It was clear that BT needed a web content management system to help them create and manage content across all its 200 customer sites. The system would need to be flexible with centralized content management but a decentralized showing of the content. Other key criteria for the system included support for Java, approval workflows and multiple languages.
The BT Web creative team began researching possible WCM solutions and narrowed it down to Fatwire (now part of Oracle WebCenter) and Alfresco. BT selected Alfresco because it offered a flexible architecture, was Java-based and offered a broader solution that could grow and expand with the company.
BT worked with the consulting firm Optaros to implement and customize Alfresco to meet their specific requirements. Because BT offers a number of products and services, there was a lot of site content to manage. BT developed multiple custom property files for each of its product offerings to help manage content and ensure that Alfresco forms did not take long to load on a microsite improving its performance. The company also developed some customization to correctly format HTML entities and character encoding. This ensures that all characters are correctly represented on the sites.
Now, when a new customer microsite is created, the Web creative team can quickly create a new Web project from a series of site templates to create a skeleton for the microsite. The team then selects the appropriate property files (products) that are assigned to the client. The site is then configured with the customer’s branding, language support and assigned the appropriate product features.
An approval workflow is set up for the account and marketing managers to review and approve the sites on a staging server. Once approved, the site changes are loaded to the preproduction server and released to the production server as part of a weekly release schedule.
With the Alfresco implementation, BT is able to have new customer sites created and approved in as little as four hours. The typical development time ranges from 24 to 48 hours due to approval cycles. The new microsites are so successful that BT Conferencing positions them as a key part of their service to large Fortune 500 customers.
- BT Conferencing now has a centralized Web content management system that allows them to leverage site templates and easily manage and maintain content across all 200 sites.
- The company has more control over its Web content and can easily push out new content to all or select customers in a simple automated way.
- Managing site content is now back in the hands of the marketing department freeing up the Web creative team to work on other projects.
- Increased employee productivity and reduced the need for BT to hire new headcount every year to support the management of its customer sites.