meltmedia was tasked to standardize ~60 custom websites, develop global & custom components, and reduce cost/time per project all on AEM (Adobe Experience Manager). So we shifted gears from a per site approach to a long-term program rollout. Through strong partnership and transparency with our partners at Genentech, we are diligently working to meet client objectives. In a short amount of time, efficiencies are being realized and new processes are rolling into place. To achieve what you set out to do is a great thing, to exceed expectations together is even better!
Starting with a Holistic Vision
Our client was dealing with a scenario where they had over 100 websites, built by a variety of vendors. Each site was reinventing the wheel on overall approach, feature creation, and usability. Since each site was a snowflake, there were different technology challenges, tons of variability and difficulty transitioning sites to new teams or stakeholders. They were spending more time managing work than they were servicing their customers. Overall, the current approach was unsustainable, costly and time consuming. This drove the decision to move to a standardized web platform.
Rolling out an Enterprise Content Management System for multiple sites is a huge undertaking and it has far reaching impact across your digital marketing ecosystem. This type of implementation usually involves many stakeholders and seeks to create an impact to business goals both internally and externally. To justify the cost and the effort to move to a single, standardized web platform, we had to work closely with Genentech to create a vision of what success would look like. Then we had to ensure those results would be measurable.
Taking a Program vs Project Approach
In order to realize the impact that most organizations are expecting from this type of system, the implementation has to be looked at in a much greater context; this is not just a “project” to get a platform up and running, but a “program” that has ecosystem-wide impact and has to be thought about from a much wider perspective. Our program approach involved new team structures, new workflows and a significant change management plan.
Creating a Foundation for Success
Our client chose Adobe Experience Manager (AEM) as the CMS platform that best met their requirements across all their sites. We helped them create a rollout plan that started with the standing up of the platform for one site, proving out the initial approach and assumptions. From there we started to scale the program and iterate from our learnings.
In order to iterate quickly, and be respectful of budget, we created a Minimum Viable Baseline for the platform. We identified a set of 40 key features that would roll out with the first few sites and a series of templates for those sites. This created the foundation for the other sites and allowed us to get everything in motion for all stakeholders.
Continuing to Deliver Measurable Results
After the initial launch, we continued to build out a release plan around the additional sites and evolve the feature set as new sites came on board. All along the way we fleshed out a change and process management program to help the organization and all the stakeholders understand how to best leverage the new platform and how to plan accordingly for their sites and marketing tactics.
In order to realize the efficiencies and business objectives we put in place metrics for reducing costs, streamlining time to market and improving key processes. In order to make these a reality, we outlined with our client the key areas in which it would make sense to standardize processes and implement guidelines for stakeholders to follow.
This process with our client continues to evolve over a multi-year rollout plan, but so far we have seen costs reduced by at least 30%, time to market dropped from 5-6 months to 2-3 months (100% improvement) and a best practices approach is taking hold allowing the client to shift more time to impactful marketing efforts and less time on managing web projects. We are excited to continue measuring our progress as we identify new opportunities for improvement.
meltmedia was, and continues to be, an invaluable partner. They work with us every step of the way to understand our business needs and objectives to deliver a sustainable, scalable program.