About the Client
The Client is one of the nation’s leading distributors of employee benefits, with a portfolio of 5,000+ companies across the United States. Each company has the choice to create their own employee benefit site, which is built by the Client and powered by Sitecore.
The Client’s service team is responsible for supporting their clients. Their day-to-day work is in Excel, PowerPoint, and the front-end of Salesforce, configuring benefits information, creating documents and reports, and communicating with clients. They are also responsible for creating each company’s employee benefits site.
The Client currently operates ~600 of these sites for their clients in Sitecore. The service team needs to be able to go in and update them occasionally, uploading new documents and creating new pages for renewals and open enrollment. As part of the client onboarding process, they also need to get these sites up and running as quickly as possible.
“Our service teams are our benefits experts. They understand benefits inside and out, but technology is out of their comfort zone,” shared the Client’s Senior Solutions Architect. “Given their role, it doesn’t make sense for them to learn all the ins and outs of Sitecore. We needed a way to make Sitecore more user-friendly and intuitive, so our team could create and configure these sites quickly and with ease. The easier it is for them to use Sitecore, the quicker we can get these sites up and serving our clients.”
Having previously partnered with Engagency on a successful mobile app redesign and Sitecore upgrade, Engagency was the obvious choice for this new project. The Client expanded their Sitecore Managed Services agreement and Engagency got to work.
“Engagency has always felt like a part of our company. It’s definitely not a typical vendor-client relationship. They bring a certain level of comfort to the table immediately. There was an instant synergy with them, instead of the typical scenario where you have to work together for a number of weeks just to get to a level of understanding. In addition to their technical expertise, Engagency brings the relationship elements that are so important for success.” — Senior Solutions Architect for the Client
Engagency built a custom site creation wizard on top of Sitecore, transforming the technical interface and replacing it with a user-friendly workflow for the team. Instead of navigating the administrative back-end of Sitecore, the wizard presents options for the service team to click through like a front-end form. They can input data into simple text fields, select color schemes to match their clients, and upload benefit guides and other documents.
“Before, our team would have had to spend all sorts of time learning the quirks of Sitecore, understanding (and remembering) where to input data and upload assets, and what to click to publish changes,” shared the Client’s Senior Solutions Architect. “The Sitecore interface is wonderful for its flexibility, but it can be a little intimidating for a non-technical user, especially if they only need to use it for a specific task. Now, our team can create a site in a matter of seconds — as opposed to before, when it would take them an hour, maybe even longer.”
“What we did was map the functionality of Sitecore to the thought process of the service team,” shared Matthew Fitzgerald-Chamberlain, Director of Technology for Engagency. “While the default Sitecore interface has its merits for certain use cases, for our Client, it’s paramount that their service team have a business-driven, user-centric interface. So, we basically redesigned it so it made sense in the hands of a business person as opposed to a technical person. Now, they click a couple buttons, and they’ve spun up a site.”
Engagency made more customizations to the admin tool to allow for further business efficiencies. For example, when uploading benefits documents, the service team can select both effective dates and expiration dates. These dates dictate when the document will go live to the client site, and when it will automatically expire. Engagency also added preview functionality, so the team can fast forward into the future and see what a site will look like on a certain date, such as during Open Enrollment or after the new year.
“Things like that seem simple, but there’s no way we would have achieved the sheer scale of 600+ sites today without that level of consideration. Each piece makes the creation process that much easier, which adds up to real time savings,” shared the Client’s Senior Solutions Architect. “Previously, the team would have had to set reminders on their calendar and manually pull documents when they were no longer relevant. Now, thanks to Engagency’s forward thinking, that’s done on their behalf automatically.”
“Our platform in general wouldn't exist without Engagency’s expertise, not only in Sitecore, but in UI/UX and design,” shared the Client’s Senior Solutions Architect.
The microsite creation wizard Engagency created slashed the time it took to build a site, from over an hour to a matter of seconds. It significantly streamlined the site creation process for the Client’s service team, allowing for huge gains in scalability.
Those extra pieces of functionality contributed to time savings in other areas as well. “Engagency did a lot of discovery about how our business works to understand our niche needs,” shared the Client’s Senior Solutions Architect. “With the preview functionality, the team can trust that the site will auto-update on the selected date, rather than having to set a reminder to check back and verify the changes. At our company, everyone wears a lot of hats and gets pulled in lots of directions, so being able to anticipate and schedule tasks is huge as opposed to having to work around external forces.”
“What I appreciate most about Engagency is that they keep the work moving and driving forward. They always listen to what we have to say, and then adopt and adjust based on that.”