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Scottish Widows Investment Partnership - SWIP - is one of the largest asset management companies in Europe, managing over £141.71bn. A member of the Lloyds Banking Group, one of the largest financial services groups in the United Kingdom and Europe, SWIP's name dates back to 1812, when a group of eminent Scotsmen gathered in the Royal Exchange Coffee Rooms in Edinburgh to consider setting up "a general fund for securing provisions to widows, sisters and other females." The Scottish Widows Fund Life Assurance Society - Scotland's first mutual life office - opened for business in 1815.
"When we kicked off the project to migrate to the Ektron platform we had a clear set of goals in mind: to improve the online experience for our customers and to deliver a flexible, adaptable web platform," says Gareth Edwards, Head of Digital, Media and Production for SWIP. "The new site is a key piece of our strategy to use digital channels as a way to differentiate SWIP."
Ektron Elite implementation partner and 2013 "People's Voice" Webby winner Realise Digital were appointed by SWIP to rebuild http://www.swip.com on the Ektron CMS. A long-term partner, Realise has developed Ektron websites for such customers as NACCO Materials Handling Group and another member of the Lloyds Banking Group, Lloyds Bank Wholesale.
"There are two sides of the user experience," says Gareth Edwards. "The experience for site visitors and the experience for those who manage and maintain the website. To me the second is equally as important as the first; to have a well-managed and easily maintainable website should be easy to do. The reality is that it often is very hard to do. From a user experience viewpoint, we decided to take the Ektron path thanks to it already being known as a strategic tool within the Lloyds Group, as well as my past experience with the CMS."
The project commenced with an extensive customer research and planning phase, leading to a completely redesigned information architecture for the website. Realise adapted the recently refreshed SWIP brand guidelines to deliver a modern design that provides SWIP with a high degree of flexibility for future development.
A multi-disciplinary team of researchers, designers, developers and project managers worked closely with SWIP at every step to ensure a smooth delivery of the site from conception to "go-live."
The site, built using Ektron 8.6, features third-party data integration and the ability to detect browser screen size and capabilities to deliver a tailored experience for popular screen sizes and layouts. Increased marketing agility was delivered to the SWIP team marketing team through Ektron's drag-and-drop PageBuilder interface. The PageBuilder interface allows content authors to add text, images, video, and any other site features quickly and easily on templates built by site developers.