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NZ Trade And Enterprise website T13 Mike Gilbert



New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is the New Zealand Government's national economic development agency. In March 2009 we replaced several older, fragmented websites with a single customer focused ...

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise is the New Zealand Government's national economic development agency. In March 2009 we replaced several older, fragmented websites with a single customer focused website based on MOSS. The project was made more exciting by spreading the work across two vendors and three different internal teams in four locations in two cities. How did we do it and what did we learn? This talk will cover both NZTE's perspective of the project and Intergen's perspective of the build itself.



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  • I’m Mike, and I work at New Zealand Trade and Enterprise. I’ve been in the IT game for 15 years or so, I spent a lot of time consulting and developing in UK and Australia. I’ve been at NZTE for about a year now.
  • We’re the government’s economic development agency.And that means that it’s our job to help new zealand companies earn money overseas. Our services cover the different stages of a business lifecycle – from starting and growing a business, through to exporting and operating as an international business. We help companies in a whole heap of ways, for instanceTrainingAdviceExpert knowledge of overseas markets. We have over 30 offices overseas and we have contacts and knowledge to help you hit overseas marketsFunding assistanceA lot of this is information. Our website is a very important tool to get this information to new zealand companies. Either the information itself – or answers to questions like, “I’m considering exporting my products to this country, what does their market their look like?”, or “I’m travelling to this country to promote my business, how do I find contacts there?”
  • When we looked at our web presence we realised we had many point-solution sites. All done over the years, in very different styles and with different content. Even our main site was set up based around different parts of NZTE providing information about their services – which wasn’t necessarily how our customers would think about how to access our services.All of this added to a confusing picture for anyone trying to find out about services or information that we offered. If you were looking for information, you’d go through a confusing mix of URLs and styles. You wouldn’t be sure if you were on an NZTE site or another govt or private site. Finding answers to simple questions like ‘What funding assistance could I be eligible for?” or “I want to export to China, what information and advice do you have?” was hard.
  • We want to replace all of those sites with just two sites, to serve our two key audiences.NZTE.govt.nz for new zealand businesses who export and set up operations offshore - or want to.Business.newzealand.com for offshore organisations who want to invest in new zealand businesses or want to buy new zealand goods.It’s the first site – NZTE.govt.nz – that we’ve just built. Informed by research into business and customer needsWe restructured the information in it around what a new zealand company wants to know about us – not what we want to tell them.Getting ready to exportDeveloping knowledge and expertiseAccessing international networksExploring specific export markets – different countries, different industry sectorsFinding funding assistanceAnd a features and commentary section with news, success stories, events, so on.
  • Site stats:Over 36,000 visits per month on averageVisitors spend, on average, over 7 minutes per visitTour:http://www.nzte.govt.nz/http://www.nzte.govt.nz/explore-export-markets/Middle-East-and-Africa/doing-business-in-egypt/Pages/Doing-business-in-Egypt.aspxhttp://www.nzte.govt.nz/features-commentary/Success-stories/Pages/Growing-with-NZTE-part-one.aspx
  • So those were the business drivers. What about technical drivers?Existing content management system was a bespoke, dotnet 1.1 app written many years ago. It hadn’t kept pace and we didn’t want to be in that sort of business anyway.So we wanted a modern cms.We also wanted a platform we could use for anything the business wanted to do. This site is largely a content site – but in the future we want to have a more functionally rich site that lets our customers interact with us. MOSS is the platform for that.
  • Implemented in just over 4 months – 25 Nov 2008 – 31 March 2009We had an overall NZTE project manager, who was responsible for the NZTE teamsBAs in the web team, infrastructure engineers in IT, content editors in Comms, testers from Fujitsu sitting within IT. He also was the central contact for our two vendors, Terabyte building the design, and Intergen taking that design and implementing it in MOSS.This was coupled with a VERY aggressive timeline – 4 months – and having to deal with brand-new technology and brand-new infrastructure.With a 4 month timeframe even a 4 day slippage was significant.
  • We’re using content deployment rather than publishing rules to expose the website contentAuthoring farm lives in corporate domain; live site lives in a DMZ.All these servers, except the prod sql server, are virtualised. This saved our lives many times.We built the environment, and shook it down, before we had the iron to run it on.We could throw more (or less) resource at different servers when we needed to.Snapshots mean that we’ve got extra comfort when we deploy. (BUT DON’T SNAPSHOT YOUR SQL SERVER!)We can VERY quickly stand up clone environments if we have to.
  • Web content management, MOSS Publishing capability
  • Chrome made of 4 consistent navigation elements and some promotional pod elements.Top NavExpanding Top NavLeft NavFooter NavAround 20 templates providing for general page authoring thjrough to specific page delivery such as the homepage and search results page
  • Mix of out of the box fields for editing, and custom controls and fields such as the pods on the right.
  • Some custom pods within the template.
  • But where ever possible sticking with standard features such as incorporating the standard asset picker into our custom controls.
  • Lets look at the IA.We have sections of the site that users can navigate through, these contain the web pages as shown in red.
  • When we lay the SharePoint elements over this we see the use of sites to define sections, and sections that contain pages.
  • More than a few late nights though!We did our best to create an environment where everyone was working towards one goal together.Tight Project Management and tight QA – but the people involved were great.
  • Virtualisation – with this many servers it’s essential.Moss is huge. We did try to do it too quickly and we only made it with a LOT of over hard work. And in some cases we were lucky.Testing – Fujitsu did a great job. They had a good understanding of both the process and the platform – they could triage bugs and give the right info to the right team to get them turned around quickly.Transition – involve your people in the project. We embedded an NZTE developer from our dev team, within the Intergen dev team. This was absolutely essential. Also, we had extensive help from Intergen to build the infrastructure, but kept NZTE ownership to ensure we could maintain the environment at the end of the project. (AND we embedded an Intergen BA during analysis, so they could keep us real about what could be built.)Roles – MOSS blurs the roles in your organisation, and creates new ones. With a trad web app, you’d have a content/design team, a dev team and a support team. Now these roles blur into each other and particularly with maintenance, you need to know more than a little about each others’ jobs.
  • FUTURE NEEDS:Decommission the legacy CMS. This means porting the Intranet, and other websites.Increased focus internally on performance measurement (sharepoint 2010 <= performancepoint potential)Collaboration very key (offshore offices).Transactional functions – what how can we use the website to work better with our clients? Don’t know what that looks like yet but definitely an area we’ll expand on in future.
  • Last year we started the project to revamp our site.We had new tech and a complex, distributed team. But we made it.Embed your staff.Strong project management and strong QA are essential.Use all the collaboration tools you can, but get key people onto planes once in a while as well.

NZ Trade And Enterprise website T13 Mike Gilbert NZ Trade And Enterprise website T13 Mike Gilbert Presentation Transcript

  • nzte.govt.nz
    Mike Gilbert
    Applications Architect, New Zealand Trade and Enterprise
    Mark Orange
    Practice Principal, Intergen
  • Agenda
    What does NZTE do?
    Why did we need a new website?
    Why did we pick MOSS?
    How did our implementation team work?
    How did we do the MOSS build?
    How did we go?
    What do we do next?
  • What does NZTE do?
  • Why a new site?
  • Why a new site?
  • Quick tour
  • … we chose MOSS as our platform
    Existing CMS – old, bespoke, quite manual solution
    Modern CMS
    Platform for the future
  • Implementation team
    • Aggressive implementation timeline – 4 months
    • Brand-new technology, brand-new infrastructure
  • How did we build it?
  • Content Contributors
    Site Visitors
    Site Content
    Site Content
    Custom User Interface
    Publishing Page Templates
    Custom User Interface
    Publishing Page Templates
    Publishing Feature
    Publishing Feature
    Microsoft SharePoint Server
    Microsoft SharePoint Server
  • Custom User Interface
    Publishing Page Templates
  • SharePoint Site Collection
  • How did we go?
    On time and on budget
    The teams worked together really well
  • What did we learn?
    The build:
    Virtualisation is great!
    Don’t underestimate the increased complexity
    The project:
    The testers are the gatekeepers and they need to be good at it
    Plan your end-of-project transition
    How will your organisation work with MOSS?
    Distributed teams:
    Try to find some team/project collaboration tool or other …!
    But, you still can’t replace at least some face time.
  • Next moves
    Getting to Business as usual state
    In-house technical and dev skills
    The next site – business.newzealand.com
    Future business needs running on the MOSS platform
  • Summary
    We needed a website for our customers, not for us.
    We wanted MOSS for the complete package
    We made it on time in spite of some large challenges
    The next year or two will be pretty exciting!
  • References