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Purchasing workflow and subscription management.

Processes
  • Agile/Scrum
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings

Success meant they needed new automation for their process.

Unable to keep up with manually processing a high volume of new and existing B2B customer requests, DEEP Information Sciences (DeepIS) asked Last Call Media to build an online self-service subscription management service on top of their Drupal 7 site.

The service needed to enable customers to create an account, provide necessary marketing metadata for DeepIS’ marketing team, and guide customers through the sales process from subscription estimation to subscription purchase, renewal, and upgrade. Customers also needed to access content related to their service, DeepSQL, online in real time. 

How we did it

Leveraging AngularJS, LCM built a seamless custom subscription purchasing workflow app to guide the user through the dynamic purchasing workflow by feeding and pulling data as necessary to and from HubSpot, their marketing automation tool; SalesForce, their CRM; and Zuora, their subscription management service.

The custom subscription calculator in the AngularJS app pulled in data in real time from Zuora, using Zuora’s APIs, so users were presented with the most up-to-date pricing. Once the purchasing workflow was complete, the user’s card was charged and they received an email with their receipt and license key moments later, all without needing to speak to a DeepIS representative.

This implementation solved the problem where a prospective customer had to email or call DeepIS to purchase a subscription and manage their account. The new online workflow slashed the conversion time by eliminating the need to call DeepIS to purchase a subscription, increased customer satisfaction, and significantly increased revenue for DeepIS. With the biggest barrier to conversion eliminated, users were now clicks away from purchasing a subscription.

Further, with event-triggered email campaigns using HubSpot, DeepIS was able to strategically nurture customers on the trial or free plan to upgrade to a paid plan. Data from SalesForce, Drupal, and Zuora was fed to HubSpot email campaigns, increasing the likelihood of a user purchasing a paid subscription. The emails had a unique URL generated by SalesForce, and the user could provide their credit card information and upgrade their subscription with a few clicks.

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Delivering a high stakes MVP.

Processes
  • Agile/Kanban
  • Agile/Scrum
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings

Following a branding initiative, Designow worked with Last Call Media to build and launch the initial release of a complex crowdfunding platform on Drupal.

When we began, initial prototyping and feature development had already been started. As is often the case, much of the prototyping had made its way into substantial portions of what was now the project’s foundational work. It had become difficult to determine exactly what was completely done, what was partially done, and what requirements had been left out along the way.

How we did it

We used our expertise in Agile methodologies to bring order to complexity and the product to launch. We began by building and prioritizing a backlog of tasks, and getting high-priority tasks into a ready state by defining appropriate definitions of done. We focused on implementing strategies for limiting the work in progress present in the project when we started. We forecasted a few sprint goals, informed by our backlog development and resulting strategies, and quickly went into heavy development.

Immediate visibility for stakeholders into development progress became of major importance for their own ability to make quick business decisions concerning their investment. In order to maximize the value of the work, we adapted our initial Scrum iteration approach into shorter, one-week sprints of continuous delivery to get small groups of completed tasks out faster. This soon evolved into more of an ideal Kanban flow, allowing a continuous awareness and continuous delivery of the right value.

Since the initial release, LCM and Designow have continuously measured and inspected valuable feedback. Our work is ongoing, as the product is currently receiving regular releases of new features and refinements.

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Massive nightly sync.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss
  • Senior Development
    Rob Bayliss

Yale University Press has a massive collection of over 15,000 unique publications they’ve published over the past 100 years. The Press desired the ability to allow their users to browse, check inventory and purchase items directly from their Yale University Press Drupal site, which required relaunching their site on Drupal 7, integrating their collection management system and an e-commerce and fulfillment solution. After working with another vendor for over three years to get the critical nightly sync from their Microsoft SQL Server Management Studio database to Drupal sync running, Yale University Press was seeking a second opinion. 

How we did it

Working with Yale ITS and the Press, we successfully implemented a nightly sync that queries their SQL Server for changes made in the last 24-hrs and updates the records in Drupal in under 15 minutes every night at midnight.

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Upgrading the CAIA Association.

Processes
  • Agile/Scrum
Team Leadership
  • Senior Architect
    Jeff Landfried
  • Senior Development
    Jeff Landfried

Time-sensitive reporting was challenged by a lack of exporting and reporting capabilities of the previous web platform, so CAIA was looking at upgrading their existing infrastructure from an outdated, highly customized and modified eCommerce website, to a more robust solution upgraded to the newest version of Drupal.

How we did it

Profile picture for user Jeff

We joined the project to get it across the finish line. We refined the existing agile approach for a better-organized project backlog and a more deliberate iteration strategy.

Our solution included working with in-house developers to migrate and upgrade numerous features and systems to work with the most current major Drupal version. Tailored reporting capabilities were developed, giving real-time statistical and sales figures for their support team and company executives.

 

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Disrupting the storage industry.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Architect
    Kelly Albrecht

All College Storage had an idea for a brand new online business. They wanted students from a university to be able to schedule the pickup, storage, and delivery of their dorm items over the summer. Items would be picked up at the students old dorm, then delivered to the new dorm at a requested date and time.

How we did it

In addition to a full branding treatment, we developed a solution for students to reserve and configure when and where their items would be picked up and delivered.

An iPad point of sale interface was also developed for employees to process payment for each customer during pickup time as well as to manage all business workflow. All College Storage soon became the premier moving and storage solution for students in Western Mass.

The business was a success from day one, soon expanding from five colleges to eleven colleges and four prep schools, and it continues to succeed and expand.

Following this model, LCM assisted All College Inc. in replicating the successes with All College Storage to another startup for laundry service, called All College Laundry.

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Product discovery through faceted search.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Colin Panetta
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss

Alan Goldberg provides a lot of resources to a lot of athletes across nearly every sport. There are many different personas who frequent the site, including Coaches and Parents, in addition to the athletes themselves.

After getting the right personas to the right area of the site, faceted searching was one of the solutions Last Call Media implemented to help. Visitors can drill down into the specifics, matching the right user to the right product or resource.

How we did it

We developed a faceted search tool for their catalog to solve the challenge of filtering through the options to get to a specific product. By structuring and categorizing the products and content of this store appropriately in the database, we were able to implement faceted searching functionality, not only for the store, but for other content as well.

Site visitors are able to use this implementation to find the specific content or products that are most relevant to them. This work has, in turn, substantially increased eCommerce conversions.

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Redesign and upgrade for Dr.G.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss

An upgrade to increased conversions, better sales, and more flexibility.

Competitive Advantage was experiencing a decline in their online sales. Their existing website was outdated and originally built as hundreds of static HTML pages, some inconsistent with the others. Additionally, the main site was originally laid over top of an aging proprietary eCommerce solution that wasn’t serving their needs or their customers well.

How we did it

Profile picture for user Colin

We worked with Competitive Advantage to update the design of their website, port it to the most current version of Drupal, and migrate away from their former eCommerce system to Commerce. Improvements to the checkout workflow were implemented, product images were updated, and full content control was given to Competitive Advantage to maintain product copy.

Three iphones show the Competitive Advantage homepage on mobile.

Since the transition, Competitive Advantage has seen their eCommerce sales far exceed their expectations and more than double in volume from their previous site.

We truly appreciate everything you have done for us.

Dr. Alan Goldberg, Sports Performance Consultant
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An updated subscription system for multimedia learning resources.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss
  • Senior Development
    Kelly McCabe

Yale University Press (YUP) sought to leverage Organic Groups in Drupal 7 to create a new site that would be easy to use and easy to maintain.

YUP, with the help of the University ITS Department, was able to manage the migration of the content and most of the functionality. They were looking for expert help with aspects of registration for two different types of users (students and instructors), authentication, and a permissions structure that would allow limited-time subscriptions to constrained sets of content. In addition, custom reports and administrative tools were needed to allow the site administrator to understand and have basic controls over user activities on the site.

How we did it

We worked with a very detailed set of specifications on this project. The team at YUP were very clear about the data structures and attributes that were needed. Drupal’s Organic Groups were the perfect solution for the needs of this project. Some parts of the site needed to be accessible to accounts with codes from a specific book. Other parts of the site needed to be available to students with access to any book.

We built two separate registration forms with different fields on each form. On the site, users self-select the form that they need to fill out. Successful registration requires a valid access code for student accounts, which are then automatically activated. Instructors are able to register without entering an access code, but those accounts need to be reviewed and activated by the site administrator. Automated emails are sent during and after registration, and notifications are sent to users when their account is about to expire.

After registration, all of the information entered during registration is visible and editable by both the user and the administrator on the user’s account page. Some custom work was needed to make this page display the correct fields in a user-friendly format. We used the Yale authentication system as the basis of the site authentication functionality; it was important, though, that the login screen not look like a Yale login screen, since most of the site users would have no direct connection with the Yale community. 

Access codes needed to be generated within the system by the site administrator for the two existing volumes of the text. All codes needed to be associated with a specific volume of the text (Book 1 or Book 2), and not be able to be transferred to a different account or otherwise be re-used. Since Books 3 and 4 were in production at the time of this project, the system needed to allow the administrators to generate the codes for content that did not yet exist so that those codes could be printed in the books. A user account needed to be able to have multiple access codes to different content with different expiration dates.

Current users would need to be migrated to the new site and matched with codes that would provide access to the correct volume and for the correct amount of time. Yale was able to perform the user migration on their own, using documentation and training provided by LCM.

The team at YUP was able to generate the needed access codes for the new books in time to meet the publisher’s deadline for including them in the printing, thus avoiding a much larger account migration if codes from the old system had been used. The new system frees up the site administrator from significant involvement in user account management, and will be fully supported by the University ITS Department for years to come.

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The new Coupon Craze on Drupal.

Processes
  • Continuous Delivery
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Kelly Albrecht
  • Senior Architect
    Rob Bayliss
  • Senior Development
    Rob Bayliss

CouponCraze.com’s website was outdated and falling behind when it came to SEO and rankings. In order to gain market share, the owner needed a way to automate the posting and filtering of certain coupons.

You did an amazing job on Coupon Craze.

Matthew Schwartz, Founder, Chief Creative Officer, MSDS

How we did it

A new sitemap was devised, consisting of both categorization pages as well as merchant pages. Each page of the site has the ability to “feature” certain coupons, which are chosen automatically or overridden by an administrator. We leveraged Drupal to aggregate new coupons, categorizing and qualifying them automatically, as well as weeding out any duplicates as they come in. Due to the high volume of content on every page, we implemented a performance plan that met stringent testing requirements.

“There are always bumps along the way in a project this complex, but we took them in stride and did what we had to to get it done. You should all give yourselves a serious pat on the back. For a small team we kicked some serious ass on this. Thanks.”

Matthew Schwartz, Founder, Chief Creative Officer, MSDS

Coupon Craze is now positioned well for the future. SEO value, site speed, and depth of content have all improved. The automated workflows now allow the operators more time for social media ventures and blogging.

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Building a Course Book and User Management Platform in 6 weeks.

Processes
  • Agile/Kanban
Team Leadership
  • Senior Producer
    Sean Eddings
  • Senior Development
    Rob Bayliss

Introducing a post-purchase experience.

In order to provide access to additional course book material, LCM worked together with the Press, to introduce a consolidated course book and user management platform. This new platform allows instructors, teaching assistants and students to seamlessly create user accounts with different privilege levels and quickly gain access to gated resource materials to supplement their course book purchase. It also provides the Press with meaningful data about their users to support more customized user experiences and targeted marketing efforts.

With ambitious goals, a finite budget and tight timeline, we worked collaboratively with the Press to get alignment on a prioritized backlog of business requirements for this new business tool. This approach allowed the development team to deliver the features of highest impact and value first.

Before this upgrade, the Press managed over 50 disparate sites with no central reporting system.

As multidisciplinary business partners, we worked with the Press to first understand their business requirements through a review of their internal pain points, future goals and the needs of their users. This information, combined with our existing knowledge of the project, informed our approach to building the new platform.

The primary goal of this project was to provide students, instructors, and teaching assistants with access to the ancillary materials for a course book. At the outset, the resources were spread out among dozens of different sites, which made updating the resources and tracking their usage impossible. The types of resources the Press had available for each book varied from book to book, but included PDFs, videos, quizzes and other interactive content. Further, some resources for a book are only appropriate for instructors or teaching assistants, and it would be detrimental to the Press if these items were made available to students or anonymous users.  

We approached this problem by first determining what each group needed to be able to access. We fleshed out the concept of a resource, and built an admin interface to create resources attached to a specific book, group them, and manage the access level.  

Next, we determined how they would access it (the signup workflow for each type of user).  For example, students could be granted immediate access to a book’s resources as soon as they requested it as long as they were able to answer a verification question, while instructors needed additional manual verification and administrator approval, and teaching assistants would be granted access immediately by an existing instructor. We built out three distinct registration and access request workflows, and tested them rigorously to make sure they made sense to nontechnical users.  

Before this upgrade, the Press managed over 50 disparate sites with no central reporting system. This fragmented infrastructure prevented them from gathering any meaningful information about their users, was leading to missed opportunities at the Press.

Browser window displaying Yale University Press Course Resources webpage

Advanced reporting and analytics were introduced to support the goal of better defining and understanding the Press’ audience. Common questions they faced included: Who is utilizing our material? What do they find useful? What items don’t get used as frequently? To answer these questions, we worked with the Press to codify the most important data they were interested in knowing about their customers, and built a system to capture that data at key moments during the user registration workflow. On the admin side, we created a unified reporting experience that allows Press employees to manage users and obtain report data about their users through a single, powerful interface. For content usage reporting, we leveraged Google Analytics to capture segmented traffic data. The level of reporting that is now possible on the platform has helped inform critical business decisions at the Press.

Lastly, we digitalized an existing labor intensive and inefficient paper process at the Press to allow instructors to be able to request desk and exam copies of course books through their existing account. The platform replaces lengthy paper forms that had to be faxed to the Press with a digital version that prefills information based on the book and user and can be submitted easily.

The Press’ course book web presence was a scattershot of materials on several domains and on varying platforms. In order for the Press to expand, these items needed to be centralized with better organization and improved accessibility. Customers of the Press now have easier and faster access to more resource material than before, and the Press has the data it needs to support marketing efforts and future business decisions. Significant cost reductions were realized by taking advantage of consolidation and automation.