Case study: City and Guilds
Codehouse use Sitecore expertise to develop a flexible Sitecore CMS solution for City & Guilds.Download as PDF
City & Guilds, a world-leading vocational training organisation, appointed Codehouse to re-develop its website on Sitecore 6.5. The City & Guilds Group employs approximately 1000 people and works with over 10,000 training centres worldwide. With over 500 qualifications across 28 industries, City & Guilds awards around 2 million certificates every year in the UK and Ireland alone. The website is heavily used by training centres, learners and employers.
Our brief was to use our Sitecore expertise to develop a flexible Sitecore CMS solution in alignment with City & Guilds' strategic aims for the website: making it easier for users to find information and complete key tasks; showcasing major campaigns; and engaging customers through relevant content. It was also essential that the website was technically high-performing and intuitive to use to attract lapsed, existing and new customers. In addition to delivering a user friendly website with improved functionality for administrators and website visitors, the implementation involved integration with SAP data sources and City & Guilds' proprietary systems.
Codehouse were also asked to help City & Guilds leverage content personalisation through Sitecore’s Digital Marketing System (DMS) to generate and effectively handle customer leads.
After a series of comprehensive Sitecore Discovery workshops where the key development requirements were discussed, a dedicated Sitecore development team delivered the project in phases using Agile Software Development Methodology. These development phases occurred as a series of ‘Agile sprints’, designed to deliver features that could be tested and signed off at the end of each sprint.
Using our back-end Sitecore development expertise, we integrated the organisation’s central product database (QMD) with the new Sitecore system so that qualification details would be accessible to the public via City & Guilds' Sitecore website. Additional integration included a SAP-based repository of approved training centres that offer City & Guilds’ vocational qualifications around the world.
Codehouse refined the centre search functionality by using Lucene Search, Google Maps API and Google Geo-look-ups. We also developed a custom-built taxonomy allowing more categories to be added via Sitecore held Taxonomy nodes within the content tree. In addition, we guided City & Guilds through Sitecore's Digital Marketing System (DMS) and how it can be most effectively leveraged to gain maximum results.
Front end development involved creating smooth editable jQuery elements that complemented the website’s design. These included sliders for carousels as well as Google Maps displays.
The City & Guilds new Sitecore 6.5 website gives greater flexibility within a better organised CMS structure. By ensuring Sitecore Page Editor is fully supported, the Digital team can quickly and easily add, edit and manage pages and content. The integration with QMD delivers operational efficiencies by allowing the Product team to publish directly to the website from its product development systems. These improvements enable the Digital team to focus on continual improvement rather than day-to-day publishing.
Centre Management Service integration with Sitecore enables new learning centres added to City & Guilds' Centre Management Service to be automatically published to the Sitecore website. Other Sitecore configurations and custom developments have increased the website's load balancing capacity to accommodate higher traffic volumes and online enquiries, as well as significantly improving page load speeds and site stability.
An enhanced search capability also allows users to search for specific learning centres via the website. In addition, City & Guilds also has separate content delivery and content management Sitecore instances, which provide distributed content management and better security and scalability.
With its new Sitecore website live, City & Guilds can now look ahead. Subsequent phases of development will see Codehouse again working closely with City & Guilds to utilise digital channels and work towards the organisation's core purpose - to enable people and organisations to develop their skills for personal and economic growth.
“The rebuild by Codehouse has given us a much better website now, but more importantly it gives a robust and flexible platform on which we can develop to further increase its usefulness to customers,” says David Morgan, Head of Digital and Marketing Communications at City & Guilds. “With Codehouse’s expertise, we’ve been able to get the most value from the Sitecore platform. With their knowledge we’ve been able to identify the best technical solutions to deliver a better customer experience, cost-effectively.”
About City & Guilds
City & Guilds is the UK’s leading vocational education organisation. Founded in 1878 by the City of London and 16 Livery Companies, today it 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 work towards a City & Guilds qualification.
Codehouse is a Microsoft Gold Partner focusing on web development on the .NET platform and in Sitecore and Umbraco content management systems. We are proud to be one of the most experienced Umbraco and Sitecore Solution Partners worldwide
We want to make sure you get the best out of Sitecore CMS. That is why we offer expert Sitecore specific services that range from consultancy and training to maintenance and support. Codehouse Sitecore Discovery is an open-dialogue consultancy service designed to get your Sitecore project off to the best start. Codehouse Sitecore Business-as-Usual takes over the on-going support and enhancement of your existing Sitecore CMS solution.
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