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Site of the Year 2012 - UK Category Winners

Best Education, Media and Advertising Site: City and Guilds

Sitecore Solution Partner: Codehouse

Background

City and Guilds is a world-leading vocational education organisation. Founded in 1878, it now offers over 500 qualifications across 28 industries through 10,000 approved centres around the world. Every year, approximately 2 million learners in the UK and Ireland are working towards a City and Guilds qualification. 

City and Guilds required a website to increase sales leads, enable customer self-service and improve customer satisfaction through their digital experience. The website rebuild aimed to achieve these objectives by making it easier for users to find information and complete key tasks; to showcase major sales campaigns; improve the lead generation capability and engage customers through relevant content. It was also essential that the website was fast and intuitive to use as well as integrated with City and Guilds proprietary systems to enable publishing direct from product development and CRM systems. The website also required much more flexible and light-touch for administrators to maintain and enable easy addition of future capability.

Challenges

Integration with multiple business systems was a key challenge for City and Guilds with partner Codehouse.  The new site needed to consolidate the organisation’s main product development workflow tool (QMD) into a single repository integrated with Sitecore so qualification details are accessible via City and Guilds' Sitecore website.

Making information more accessible through new methods, such as through the use of geographic searches was vital to help users find the information they need.  With Sitecore, integration with SAP Centre Management Service integration supported geospatial searches to provided details of colleges offering specific course topics near to a site visitor’s location. City and Guilds content editors can now have full control of page layouts, search results fields, sort ordering, and link tracking along-side the full features of the Sitecore Page Editor.  Visitors to the City and Guilds site can now self-identify their profile using the Sitecore Digital Marketing System through search and use this to personalise content.

Key reasons for selecting Sitecore

Sitecore has provided the right balance between an enterprise-scale, robust platform together with flexibility and ease of use. It has included a significant amount of out-of-the-box functionality and is simple to adapt to meet City and Guilds’ specific needs. City and Guilds was also impressed by Sitecore’s continuous development roadmap was a strong factor, as previously the organisation had used an unsupported system. Sitecore’s potential for expansion was a big draw, to expand beyond the core CMS with Sitecore Web Forms for Marketers, integrated DMS for analytics and personalisation was a big draw, plus the potential of developments such as Advanced Print Studio.

Highlights

City and Guilds benefits from greater flexibility within a better organised CMS structure. With Sitecore’s Page Editor now fully supported, the organisation’s Digital team can now quickly and easily add, edit or manage pages and content. Integration with QMD has delivered operational efficiencies by allowing the Product team to publish directly to the website from its product development systems. SAP Centre Management Service integration with Sitecore has enabled new learning centres added to City & Guilds' SAP Centre Management Service to be automatically published to the website. Sitecore configurations and custom developments have also helped to increase the website's load balancing. 

Results

The site was launched in August 2012, traditionally the quietest month on the website, but City and Guilds reported that sales lead volume and value had nearly doubled in the first month after launch. There has also been a huge uplift in product information views – with over 200,000 product documents downloaded in September 2012 alone. The volume of basic content management queries handled by the Digital team has fallen over 80%, to free their time for value-added activities. Information quality has also improved as the product development team benefit from efficient publishing of content from their workflow system.

www.cityandguilds.com

City & Guilds

Best Manufacturing, Automotive and Technology Site: Dyson

Sitecore Solution Partner:  True Clarity

Background

Dyson is an engineering company, priding itself in technology that solves problems others have long ignored. It started 20 years ago with James Dyson’s frustration of bagged vacuum cleaners. Today, Dyson’s turnover is over £1bn and its vacuum cleaners, hand driers, heaters and fans are available in over 50 countries.

As Dyson has rapidly expanded across the globe and developed its product range, the business discovered that it had a significant problem of its own to solve – it did not have a digital platform that was sufficiently scalable, robust and functionality rich, to meet the business’ needs.

The mission of the new platform was to enable over 30 million web site visitors per year to have a world class user experience as they learn more about Dyson technology; select the right product for their needs; purchase a product (either directly or indirectly) and receive 24x7 customer support. An equally important objective of the new platform was to enable the Dyson in-house digital team to work as efficiently as possible, whilst simultaneously giving Dyson’s local markets freedom to manage their web sites for the first time. At the heart of this new operating model is the concept of reuse and repurposing of code, content and workflow, rather than building bespoke each time.

Challenges

Dyson’s original website was built in 2000 and was not developed with a global business in mind. At this time Dyson took the decision to build its own CMS and commerce platform for its single UK site and to template this for other markets from the UK site meaning we had a growing number of individual standalone websites. However, as the business continued to rapidly expand across the globe, it found that having in total 95+ separate web sites built on in-house technology was not a sustainable or efficient model.

Key reasons for selecting Sitecore

Given the challenges and constraints Dyson faced as a result of its existing in-house solution, it was very keen to find an off the shelf solution to meet its needs.  Following a formal RFP process, Sitecore was selected on the basis it represented the best fit for Dyson’s requirements. The most important reason for the selection was that Sitecore offered Dyson the flexibility to extend and develop within the CMS framework – something that was essential given the business’s desire to maintain a premium brand presentation and user experience.

Highlights

The new Dyson website represents a transformational project that has enabled the business to migrate from an inefficient platform based on old technology, to a modern platform that is global, scalable and robust – and in keeping with Dyson’s reputation as an innovative technology company. This has been coupled with the implementation of a local hub model, thereby removing a central function bottleneck, and allowing markets to make quick and easy changes. This project has required a complete technology, digital organisational and cultural transformation, but as a result Dyson has been able to increase production efficiencies, decrease costs, improve quality of output, and better reflect the premium Dyson brand.

Dyson and its partner True Clarity are pleased with the balance they have achieved using the ‘cloning’ technology to allow global content creation while giving the larger regions autonomy and allowing the smaller regions to be low maintenance.

A major highlight is the step-change in thinking in Dyson’s digital team – and are now able to move from ‘per requirement’ bespoke development mixing code and content, to the technical team being developers of tools for markets and interested parties to control their output.

Dyson are particularly proud of their approach to mobile site development. Analysis showed that mobile users were on different journeys with different priorities to ‘site’ users. Sitecore’s device views have enabled them, working with True Clarity, to use existing content and hone how it’s presented for the mobile audience.

Results

The focus of the Dyson solution has been on time savings in rolling out new sites, new functionality and new product lines. This represented a significant project, for a Dyson digital team operating under significant business as usual demand.  This was achieved in parallel through an excellent implementation partner in True Clarity, a great deal of determination and  effort from Dyson’s own Digital Team and the third pillar in the successful implementation of the new Digital Platform, Sitecore CMS itself which proved to be as flexible and extensible as sold.

With sites now live (US, UK, France and Japan, China and Hong Kong) and a further thirty sites to be delivered through to mid-2013, Dyson are also using the new platform for a rapid rollout to mobile.

www.dyson.com

Dyson

Best Travel and Hospitality Site: easyJet

Sitecore Solution Partner: True Clarity

Background

easyJet is Europe's leading airline, operating on over 600 routes across 30 countries with a fleet of over 200 aircraft. The business employs over 8,000 people including 2,000 pilots and 4,500 cabin crew. Last year it flew over 58 million passengers, with 400 million visiting the easyJet website annually.

easyJet is an ambitious team and passionate about spreading the easyJet message and making travel easy and affordable across Europe.  Everybody knows easyJet provide fantastic value - and the goal is to position easyJet as Europe’s preferred airline. Their website is the crucial hub for the business, and their pan-European programme of work involves improving conversion, increasing agility and extending its digital reach through engaging and inspiring feature additions.

Challenges

To realise its digital vision, easyJet needed to engage more effectively with its customers on-line, and one way to achieve this was to use the information provided by the web site visitor to personalise their website experience.  This could not be realised with its existing systems, easyJet had operated an in-house built CMS which did not offer the flexibility and agility that the business needed to achieve its ambitions.  Also, the business has huge scale – the website is responsible for £8m of sales per day, with a peak load of 100 page views per second.

Practicalities such as offering real-time pricing were challenging, to comply with strict Legal ASA guidelines, over 200,000 individual flight prices would need updating every 10 minutes.  easyJet also knows that 40% of the traffic to the website currently doesn’t know when or where they are flying.

Key reasons for selecting Sitecore

easyJet together with partner True Clarity, fully understood the roadmap of the Sitecore CMS based on its focus on customer engagement, and this was totally in alignment with the programme of work to completely overhaul easyJet’s CRM.

easyJet was reassured that with Sitecore it was working together with one of the market leaders, and this helped because the business knew this was going to be a long term commitment and wanted a product that gave easyJet room to grow and really exploit the digital channels – across web and mobile channels.

Highlights

easyJet’s use of Sitecore has proved transformational as it now offers a personalised home page for each of its 400 million visits per year.  This allows for personalisation based on user’s GeoIP location to show prices from their nearest airport, also based on sales history, campaign and search activity, and ‘persona’ segment group, such as behaviours displayed by a typical business or family site user.  The homepage now shows lowest flight prices for personalised destinations updated every 10 minutes. The rebranded homepage has now rolled out across all regions. 

Also recently launched, the ‘Inspire Me’ (http://www.easyjet.com/en/inspireme) tool offers users an interactive map to choose destinations based on price, departure airport, departure periods and type of break desired. -  showing how Sitecore content can be surfaced within a compelling user experience.

Results

easyJet reports improvements in conversion – filling two planes per minute during its 2012 January Sale, and enhanced brand image, digital reach and revenue savings.

www.easyjet.com

easyJet

Best Retail, Wholesale and Consumer Goods Site: Furniture Village

Sitecore Solution Partner: True Digital

Background

Furniture Village is one of the largest and fastest growing furniture retailers in UK, with a turnover circa £250m and 39 stores.  Similar to many retail businesses, the ability to effectively manage customers researching and purchasing goods online is vital, and customer expectations have accelerated over the last few years.  Furniture Village looks to use digital channels to help maximise in-store and online sales.

Challenges

Furniture Village’s initial ecommerce website launched in 2005 was a bespoke .NET solution which was supported by a product database uploaded via a spreadsheet; suitable for the initial ambitions for the channel with the ability to make online purchases of the top 50 products. Consumer behaviour has changed and the website became more critical, by 2009 over 8,000 products were available to be purchased online providing more product options, for example leather or fabric, alternative colours, recliners, also monthly visits increased from around 20k per month in 2005 to over 500k per month in 2010. In addition, Furniture Village were looking to embrace other channels, notably mobile, tablet and kiosk.

Furniture Village also sought a new platform to support substantial increases in website traffic, with a planned significant expansion of products. To improve marketing engagement, stronger CMS capabilities and online marketing tools were required to deliver the right content and promotional information.         

Key reasons for selecting Sitecore

Furniture Village and its partner True Digital wanted a .NET solution which would offer ease of integration with its back-office systems, ranging from key product information such as pricing, availability and delivery.  The new website would also have to be very easy to use, with Furniture Village having an in-house online team managing onsite merchandising and order processing. Ease of use for this team was business critical to ensure speed of adoption and minimum downtime.  Value for money is also very important and Sitecore proved very competitive.

Highlights

True Digital believes Sitecore underpins the integrity of their solution for Furniture Village. Their goal was to improve user experience, and to give Furniture Village a stronger edge in a very competitive marketplace. True Digital re-designed all key user journeys based on insight from user-testing, best-practice and their own experience.

Using Sitecore has enabled True Digital to integrate seamlessly with Furniture Village’s back-office systems, with sixteen integrations in total, and to incorporate additional bespoke solutions easily, including a room planner and a wardrobe configurator. Furniture Village state that Sitecore has proved to be a secure and robust solution with no downtime and the ability to handle huge surges in visitor demand, without any deterioration in user experience.

Results

Furniture Village report that web traffic has risen 25% year on year, and the Sitecore platform has supported a 40% increase in online revenues between January and September 2012. Conversion rates have also improved in a period where market conditions have deteriorated.

The business has also learned that 80% of in-store purchasers have been online as part of their customer journey and this typically is for research. For this reason and the revenues it generates directly from on-line activity, the website plays a pivotal role in the company’s success.

www.furniturevillage.co.uk

Furniture Village

Best Professional, Business and Personal Services Site: Lewis Silkin

Sitecore Solution Partner: Reading Room

Background

Lewis Silkin is ranked as a top 100 UK law firm and has for the past 4 years been named as a Sunday Times ‘Best Companies to Work For’ company. Established in 1952, Lewis Silkin has 60 partners and over 300 staff, with offices at Clifford’s Inn, London, Oxford and Cardiff. Its work spans across a number of industry sectors, with its main specialisms in employment, the creative industries and real estate and regeneration.

Lewis Silkin’s business is built on strong, long-lasting client relationships and this strength was the vision for its website. The new site needed to communicate to a diverse customer base, showcase the breadth and depth of its expertise and start new, engaging conversations with visitors and potential prospects.

Challenges

The site was previously managed through Microsoft Sharepoint CMS. Sitecore has completely replaced this for website delivery, though Sharepoint is still in use for the Lewis Silkin intranet and extranets.

Lewis Silkin with its partner Reading Room wanted a website that matched its approach to business – allowing Lewis Silkin to build strong relationships with clients online, demonstrate the depth and breadth of its expertise and personalise content for each of its diverse audiences.  The business wanted to deliver tailored content to meet the needs of its clients in areas such as employment, the creative industries and real estate and regeneration.  Lewis Silkin also wanted to use its website as a marketing platform to support the drive for new business. It was felt that the previous website looked dated, was proving difficult to administer and did not reflect Lewis Silkin’s progressive ‘rather more human’ strapline. The business also wanted to accommodate a growing audience that were accessing their website via mobile or tablet devices.                      

Key reasons for selecting Sitecore

The key requirement for Lewis Silkin was a best of breed CMS that was easy to use and enabled the business to make updates without reference to developers. Reading Room undertook an independent and objective technology selection process comparing a number of potential solutions. A needs requirement document ensured that the focus was on the current and future needs of the website and users.

Sitecore was chosen as its feature set and price point offered good value for money.   Lewis Silkin and Reading Room were particularly impressed by the capabilities of Sitecore DMS to help devise ‘personas’ – typical user profiles -  to match relevant content and therefore personalise the website for different target audiences. One of the other key criteria was to select a CMS that would support the management of content on a range of different device types.

In addition, Lewis Silkin found the range of Sitecore editing interfaces easy to use, allowing different interfaces and permissions for different business users, making it practicable to give access to business users across the organisation, which encouraged lawyers and solicitors to produce and contribute content directly.

Highlights

For Lewis Silkin, the adaptive site design, the use of personalisation capability, the extensive cross-promotion of content across the site and the high quality content published in the new Lewis Silkin blog set the new website ahead of its competition.

Results

Lewis Silkin is already seeing very positive results from the implementation. Although not transactional in nature, in terms of business development processes and practices, their website is key and is often the first place that prospective clients experience the Lewis Silkin brand – providing a ‘window on the world’. Initial analytics show very positive trends – including a near doubling of the number of visits to the site from mobile devices, significant increase in visit duration, greatly reduced bounce rates and an increase in the number of repeat visitors.

The majority of this success has been attributed to the use of the Sitecore DMS which has helped Lewis Silkin to target its users more effectively; with a broad range of services it is vital to get people to the information that is relevant to them quickly. Lewis Silkin is starting to use Engagement Analytics to look at the Engagement value of its visitors based on the content they are consuming and the actions they are taking. Lewis Silkin also finds that that anecdotally, the business is finding itself on tender lists for the provision of legal services where people have reviewed a number of firms’ sites and found that the Lewis Silkin web site makes it really ’stand out’.

www.lewissilkin.com

Lewis Silkin

Best Not-for-Profit Site: Oxfam

Sitecore Solution Partner: Code Computerlove

Background

Oxfam GB is part of an international confederation of 17 organisations working in 94 countries worldwide to find lasting solutions to poverty and injustice around the world.

Oxfam’s mission is to empower people and bring about global change to reduce poverty. Oxfam GB is an unusual organisation – as well as leading humanitarian and development work in the field it also seeks to raise awareness in the UK through its campaigning and fundraising activities. Oxfam also pioneered the charity shop concept in the UK and was one of the first organisations to take this into the digital space via its Online Shop.

A single core idea runs through the design of the new Oxfam site, developed by its partner Code Computerlove – to motivate and inspire more people to do more to support its work.  Site visitors now enjoy a richer and better-integrated user experience, more relevant to the way they live their lives, whether they’ve come to the site to donate, shop, campaign, fundraise, volunteer or simply to browse and learn more.

The site also delivers a range of benefits and cost-efficiencies to the internal processes and operations that Oxfam uses to communicate and do business online.

Challenges

The key challenge facing Oxfam prior to the new Sitecore solution was a website built on a disparate range of existing digital technologies, services and applications, and with some 20,000 hand-built HTML pages – all of which was limiting the Oxfam digital team’s ability to deliver great user experience and innovation. 

Oxfam’s existing web architecture was difficult to manage and inefficient: only developers and technical users were able to build and publish pages; central integration, sharing and re-use of content wasn’t possible; knowledge, ownership and management of digital processes was uncoordinated across the organisation. As a result, there was a lack of consistency across Oxfam’s digital communications and functionality.

Key reasons for selecting Sitecore

Oxfam wanted a Microsoft .NET solution, and was seeking a scaleable CMS platform that could support its needs now and into the future. Sitecore’s scaleability, and sophisticated publishing and workflow system were particularly attractive to Oxfam, allowing content production and management to be extended beyond the central digital team for the first time.

In addition, Sitecore’s fully integrated Digital Marketing System offers opportunities for greater personalisation, with industry-leading engagement analytics. This is a key tool in creating a more personal, localised and relevant experience for Oxfam’s supporters online.

Highlights

This Oxfam project – to deliver Oxfam’s business objectives through a new user-centred web experience – has been the biggest site build in Code Computerlove’s history.

Key to the success of this build has been a component-based approach to content delivery has provided Oxfam with the ability to integrate content with ease, speed and efficiency, to deliver a consistent look and feel, and to deploy content with greater control.  The new site also helps support events and fundraising recruitment and engagement through the use of new community spaces.

Throughout this huge transformation, Code Computerlove has catered for Oxfam’s unique needs as a charity, from e-commerce and supporter engagement to knowledge sharing and documentation. All this has been achieved without any business-critical downtime.

Results

Since the site launched in April, the inherent efficiencies offered by the Sitecore Content Management Solution have helped deliver time and cost savings.

By way of example, Code Computerlove has subesequently reskinned the new website in line with new global branding, this was delivered ahead of schedule and below budget.

Feedback from end users has also been exceptional, both from within the business and from site users. Dwell time and conversion rates across all key donation journeys have increased.

As a result of the ‘Agile’ project methodology used by Code Computerlove to deliver the project, Oxfam itself has become an increasingly flexible and responsive organisation. Key principles behind the ways that Code worked throughout the implementation are being adopted by Oxfam’s own teams: ‘sprint’ phases on a fortnightly rolling basis have inculcated a continual process of release, learn, change, and release for future technical projects.

www.oxfam.org.uk

Oxfam

People's Choice Award: Royal Navy

Background

The Royal Navy is the senior service of the United Kingdom’s armed forces employing 30,000 sailors, aircrew and marines. It operates globally in any environment to protect the UK’s national and economic interests, providing humanitarian assistance and supporting our international partners to provide maritime security.

The Royal Navy’s single corporate website comprises of approx. 4500 active pages, and plays a key role in communicating the above key themes to its target audience. The purpose of its website is to educate, inform and influence its digital audience in the Royal Navy’s key messages.  The site has multiple roles, including informing Royal Navy employees, families and retirees, as well as acting as a public face for the Royal Navy – to increase understanding and raise the positive image of the organisation.  The website also supports the Royal Navy’s recruitment drive which needs to attract 3,000 new recruits each year.

Challenges

The Royal Navy previously used many CMS solutions in the past, and they had an immediate need for a new CMS for the website as they wanted to move into the digital age.   There was a need for further functionality to bring the Royal Navy’s activities to life including on-going online support around marketing activities and the creation of new templates. The organisation also needed to be able to effectively and efficiently publish engaging content; to keep pace with Social Media channels and providing a safe online environment for family support communication.   

Key reasons for selecting Sitecore

Sitecore provided a total Web Management solution that has allowed the Royal Navy, as a large and diverse organisation with various target audiences, to create and manage dynamic and engaging content, with the flexibility to develop bespoke online solutions and Sitecore approved forum/chat solutions.

Highlights

The Royal Navy site is rich and engaging, using the latest techniques to display a wealth of information.  The dynamic homepage shows how the integration of the interactive news map works around the rotation of content on the home page. Royal Navy is also considering home page personalisation for users, and overall the organisation is very proud of the media richness of the site.

Results

The Royal Navy report that the key benefits of using Sitecore include improving the publishing logic to make the site more automated, and the use of bespoke content modules that can be re-used to create new pages - saving a lot of editing time. Site traffic has increased and it is also taking less clicks to get to where they want to be.

Content generation has been widened through changing Sitecore’s workflow in order to allow easy access for low level users to add content and update news on a regular basis – this has also freed up the Royal Navy technical team to work on other elements. Security has been a key issue, with lots of penetration testing to ensure the site complies with stringent security guidelines.

www.royalnavy.mod.uk

Royal Navy

Best Government and Public Sector Site: Scottish Water

Sitecore Solution Partner: Eduserv

Background

Scottish Water is a publicly owned company answerable to the Scottish Parliament and the people of Scotland, and is the sole provider of water services to 5 million customers in 2.4 million Scottish households – providing 1.3 billion litres of water and taking away 840 million litres of waste every day.

Scottish Water needs to communicate and engage effectively with customers, and the website is an essential tool for delivering service information and up to date reports on incidents. By effectively delivering the right information to the right people through the website Scottish Water can manage the impacts of incidents and reduce calls to their Customer Helpline.

Following recent heavy winters it became essential for Scottish Water to modernise its website to make it easier and faster for the public to access important information about their water supply and explain to customers how to safeguard their pipes during very cold temperatures. Another important element was to make the site more accessible for disabled people with features such as magnification for the visually impaired. 

Challenges

With the existing Scottish Water website, content needed to be updated centrally by the Communications team, with the new site, content can now be updated much more quickly and easily. This is important for incidents when regular updates can be managed by Customer Helpline staff. Scottish Water can now engage with users to deliver relevant information quickly and clearly on the website using personalisation, with different content for business and home users, and is able to deliver more relevant and accurate information by email; this can help direct traffic away from the Customer Helpline.

Key reasons for selecting Sitecore

Scottish Water was using an existing in-house developed CMS which did not deliver the same efficiencies as an ‘off-the-shelf’ solution and Eduserv recommended that Sitecore was a more cost effective solution than an alternative Oracle solution being considered. Sitecore was a financially viable option that delivered flexibility to integrate with different systems, such as the billing system and databases, to present a lot of data in a simple format. Sitecore can easily be updated by staff across the organisation and the user interface is very intuitive. The site makes use of Sitecore’s Digital Marketing System and Email Campaign Manager modules and this was a big appeal of Sitecore for Scottish Water, allowing it to use a single system to improve marketing and communications, delivering personalised content via the web, email newsletters and campaigns.

Internal management has also improved, with flexibility to set content expiry notifications and workflows allowing different permissions for different user roles. Notifications of change or publishing requests can automatically be sent to multiple email addresses to ensure quick but resilient workflow.

Highlights

Scottish Water’s use of the DMS and ECM modules has been ground-breaking in helping Scottish Water utilise digital communication channels and engage with customers. Marketing for the organisation can now be smarter and more targeted to help improve its impact and value.

The SagePay online payment system integrated with Sitecore is also new for Scottish Water, moving them in-line with commercial providers and meeting the demands of digital audiences; whilst at the same time transforming internal administration of payments.

The ‘Am I affected?’ function now allows people to see the impact of incidents and work in their area based on their postcode. This easy-to-find specific information has proved a great resource for businesses and homes and is reducing the number of calls to the call centre.

Results

Scottish Water and Eduserv report that traffic to the website has increased following the re-launch of the website and is complemented by a reduction in calls to the Customer Helpline and quicker management of calls. The site is also easier for staff to manage and provide timely updates.

http://www.scottishwater.co.uk

Scottish Water

Best Sport Site (Joint Winner): The Football Association

Background

The Football Association is the English governing body for football and was established in 1863. It has a wide-ranging remit which includes promoting the development of the game across all ages, backgrounds and abilities; the regulation of football and the sanctioning of all matches in England; overseeing discipline and refereeing; and organising national competitions and the 24 England teams.

The FA’s websites support its remit providing easy-to-access information and services for the football community.  The FA wanted to improve and develop its online presence, with specific goals to include informing customers of all of The FA’s football activities; the progress of all the England Teams; what’s happening at Wembley Stadium; the joy and tears of the FA Cup; how grassroots football is supported.  

The recently added Rules & Governance site also now provides dynamic tools to help everyone better understand the rules of football and to monitor the professional game.  Increasing The FA’s digital capabilities will support our communication and revenue goals, and enable further investments into the game.  In terms of website management, The FA wanted to have a single CMS for its 60 plus domains simplifying content management and increasing the opportunities to share and reuse content.

Challenges

The FA had many different websites using different CMS software; the county associations used MCMS and various sections of TheFA.com were using different versions of Sitecore.  By August 2012 all sites and all sections had been amalgamated into one Sitecore instance.

A cultural shift was also required from across The FA to change the perception and content of the website from being focused on department silos and interests, to one where the customer is always put first.

With more than six main sections of The FA.com and 50 county–based separate microsites, The FA had to manage more than 50 sets of requirements – and it needed a flexible solution that would cater for a large numbers of stakeholder groups, content editors and visitors, and allow administrators to share content and functionality.

Key reasons for selecting Sitecore

As a CMS, FA users found Sitecore extremely easy to use and Sitecore provided FA technology staff with an extensible framework that continues to create opportunities to innovate. The use of Microsoft technologies and standards, along with a flexible API was very important. Sitecore also proved cost effective for multiple content editors, and has great potential for future content personalisation.

Highlights

TheFA.com is a leading football site which can rival any leading football or not-for-profit site in the country. It contains all the information the user needs to be involved in football – either as a fan, coach, referee or volunteer. Content is populated by more than six members of central FA staff and a further 50 staff located within individual county associations – which in itself is a huge content management challenge – one that The FA believe Sitecore has helped to overcome.  Sitecore is and will be central to The FA’s digital success.

Results

Among the many benefits, the FA has enjoyed increased site traffic, increased efficiency through a cost effective solution – pages and functionality take less time to create and can be reused more efficiently.  Across the stakeholder and user base, The FA has received consistent positive user feedback.

www.thefa.com

The FA

Best Sport Site (Joint Winner): The Open

Sitecore Solution Partner: Endava

Background

The R&A organises The Open Championship, golf’s oldest Major, along with a number of other amateur and junior events, some of which are sanctioned by other golfing bodies. In addition, The R&A assumes responsibility for the administration of the Rules of Golf with the consent of 143 organisations from the amateur and professional game, and on behalf of over 30 million golfers in 128 countries throughout Europe, Africa, Asia-Pacific and the Americas.

The Open Championship is golf’s oldest Major. Played since 1860 on British links golf courses, it is the game’s most international Major Championship with qualifying events on every continent. For one week each year, the pursuit of the famous Claret Jug trophy is the focus of the sporting world, followed globally by millions of fans.

TheOpen.com and supporting digital properties provide the official (and the fastest) live scoring for the Championship as well as supporting information including player profiles, course guide, live video & audio streaming and social integration. The website aims to be the single required point of reference for all official information and data relating to The Open.

Challenges

Previously the Open Championship website was based on a bespoke CMS, together with their digital partner, Endava, The R&A now have no reliance on any bespoke software to power their website

A key challenge for The R&A is the difficulty in producing The Open Championship website where two million visitors visit the site on the first day.  The architecture is designed from the ground up for stability and security and with Sitecore at the hub of the technology providing resilience and scalability, plus industry leading capability in third party integration and facilitation of a multi-language solution.

Key reasons for selecting Sitecore

Sitecore was selected because of its industry leading capability to handle scale and specifically multi language / multi domain requirements. Central to the decision was the fact that Sitecore has excellent integration capability that has helped enable Endava to deliver all the integrations required to support a live, global, elite event.

Highlights

For 2012, the new leaderboard section proved a great success plus the solution experienced zero down time during The Open Championship, which hit the service level agreement set by Endava. The solution provides a complete offering across multiple channels to enable users to interact with The Open wherever they are and on their terms, whether this be via a syndicated leaderboard, a mobile device, an iPad or via the full immersive web experience. Using Sitecore, content can be created once and presentation is enabled through a number of options to make delivery as efficient as it can possibly be.

Results

The R&A have seen a 30% increase in traffic in terms of Unique Users versus 2011, to make it the most successful Championship in history in terms of engagement with the audience via digital channels. Sitecore provides Endava with a highly robust platform as an integration hub, allowing seamless integration with other 3rd parties that are crucial to the delivery of the service as a whole.

www.theopen.com

The Open

Best Retail, Wholesale and Consumer Goods Site: The Royal Mint

Sitecore Solution Partner: Sequence

Background

The Royal Mint is responsible for producing all UK coinage and medals, and has a worldwide reputation for its high quality craftsmanship, heritage and artistry. It can trace its origins from around 1000 years ago, and now harnesses state-of-the-art technology at its mint in Llantrisant in South Wales to create the highest standard of minting.

Challenge

The Royal Mint web site previously used an in-house, bespoke CMS, but a new site was needed to create a frictionless purchasing process to ensure that its customers can buy from its extensive range of products as easily as possible, to increase conversion and reduce basket abandonment.   The Royal Mint also wanted to engage more with its customers and begin to personalise content and products offered dependent on users purchasing behaviour and viewing habits.  The new website also needed to integrate effectively with the Royal Mint’s order and processing system provided by Maginus.

Key reasons for selecting Sitecore

Royal Mint and its partner Sequence found Sitecore was the perfect choice for the new Royal Mint website.  Sitecore has a proven track record for CMS and with Sitecore’s Digital Marketing Suite as part of the Sitecore Customer Engagement Platform, Royal Mint could benefit from the powerful personalisation and reporting facilities. Sitecore also has a track record in delivering ecommerce sites for large brands with Sitecore’s integration partnership with Insite ensured Sequence could develop a site that could provide Royal Mint with all the ecommerce features that they required.

Highlights

Royal Mint’s new site showcases the products of the Mint to their full potential. Sequence built interactive elements to help customers discover and get as close to the products as possible, including three-dimensional views and the ability to magnify the products. Sitecore’s dynamic personalisation provides recommendations and similar items for customers. The UX and development work Sequence completed on the ecommerce process has made it simple for customers to move quickly through the buying and payment process as well as providing Royal Mint with the ability to manage offers, shipping etc.  Integration with the existing order fulfilment system, together with online and offline customer records has helped to further streamline businesses processes for the Royal Mint.

Results

The new site has allowed Royal Mint to capitalise on a busy year with the Olympics and the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee. Sequence’s use of Sitecore, user experience design, creative design and payment system integration experience has made the site as easy as possible to use and ultimately help to deliver on its business goals.

www.royalmint.com

Royal Mint

Best Entertainment and Leisure Site: wagamama

Sitecore Solution Partner: Wickedweb

Background

The wagamama story began in 1992 when its first restaurant opened in London’s Bloomsbury; now the brand spans across 17 different countries. Inspired by traditional Japanese ramen bars and Asian flavours, wagamama offers a different kind of dining experience.

The mission for the new wagamama website was to deliver the global brand proposition in a more engaging solution. The goal of the website was to capture the wagamama dining experience online, to drive brand awareness; build more meaningful relationships with wagamama members and ultimately, generate increased sales. In addition, wagamama wanted the new website to support its planned digital marketing and campaign work to deliver greater return on investment from these marketing activities as well as deliver brand consistency globally.

Challenges

Sitecore partner Wickedweb had inherited the code for the wagamama website which had been live for five years. Developed by one agency over this period, no commercial platforms or vendor software were used; with the solution built as a bespoke PHP platform and maintained by a sole developer. Completing a thorough and established transition process, Wickedweb transferred the bespoke code base into its management to support wagamama with short-term fixes and SEO enhancements to the site whilst full scoping and planning phases were underway for the 6-12 month Sitecore implementation project for the new website.

The wagamama brand was facing a number of challenges at the time the brief was released, including low brand awareness outside London, low member engagement and international brand inconsistencies.

Key reasons for selecting Sitecore

For wagamama, Sitecore offers a sophisticated digital marketing platform, which harnesses actual digital behaviours to provide a truly intuitive, personalised and engaging solution. In an ever-growing and competitive digital retail environment (particularly where customers have less personal time), it understands that it is crucial to achieving good customer service online, digital engagement and customer retention.

Sitecore’s ability to manage multiple territories and languages fitted perfectly with wagamama’s global consistency objectives. A dynamic and flexible CMS that adapts to visitor needs, Sitecore was selected to help convert prospects into customers and strengthen the wagamama brand. The personalisation engine and customer engagement platform were huge factors in selecting Sitecore; by looking at conversion paths of pre-defined user groups, wagamama is able to provide meaningful and intuitive content for existing and prospective consumers.  As a result, wagamama is able to manage email marketing and website monitoring, social media integration and real-time personalisation.

Highlights

Wickedweb and wagamama are incredibly proud of the minimalist, contemporary and engaging restaurant experience that has been captured and translated online both in standard web browsers but also mobile devices. Launched at a vital time in wagamama’s journey, as 25% of the audience now access the website on the go, the solution is perfectly timed to raise the bar of digital in the fast-paced restaurant industry.

Through responsive design, the customer’s brand experience is consistent and impressive, irrespective of device. Wickedweb have harnessed the power of the Sitecore platform to deliver a technically advanced website, combined with pioneering digital advances such as parallax scrolling, to engage the users and set the online precedent for the restaurant sector, befitting of a CoolBrand® 2012 – 2013. It elevates the brand online not only in the UK, but in an approach that is readily translated in every territory around the world as Wickedweb embark on the international phase of the project roll out.

Results

The site was launched in September 2012, and early results show fantastic SEO statistics; one day after the website went live, rankings for localised “japanese restaurant” terms improved by 183 per-cent on average and rankings for the food dishes offered by wagamama improved by 142 per-cent on average. wagamama have tracked a 66% increase in page visits, 63% increase in visit duration and an impressive drop in bounce rate and it is expected to see increases in take-out ordering, shop transactions and group bookings moving forward.

www.wagamama.com

wagamama