Annertech builds big websites for serious clients.

Annertech builds big websites for serious clients.

Put simply, we are Ireland’s leading (Drupal) web development agency. Our work spans local government, third level education, non-profits and charities, and commercial organisations.We are an Irish web development consultancy, architecting, designing, building, and maintaining large content management systems and custom web applications.

We provide solutions; no complex problem is too complex for us. We have built websites that transact millions of euros every year, register thousands of participants at events, and get millions of page impressions per month. We know how the web works and we can make it work for you.

We are active participants in the Irish and international Drupal communities. We have spoken at DrupalCons, organised and sponsored DrupalCamps, and written and shared lots of code on drupal.org. Annertech is dedicated to providing open source solutions for web-based projects and we are looking forward to working with you.

Services at a glance

  • Web Design
  • CMS Development
  • Custom Application Development
  • Strategy
  • Drupal Advise & Support
  • Training
 
Undisclosed
 
$50 - $99 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2008
Show all +
Dublin, Ireland
headquarters
  • McN Associates Office Suite, 51A/B Dawson Street,
    Dublin, DB ie
    Ireland

Reviews

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Custom Drupal Development Research University

"The quality of their work is top notch."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
Confidential
Project summary: 

Annertech provided initial consultation on porting code from a Drupal 6 prototype to Drupal 7. They then completed the technical development and installation profile of the software using basic HTML mockups.

The Reviewer
 
1001-5000 Employees
 
Dublin, Ireland
Eoin Kilfeather
Senior Researcher, Dublin Institute of Technology
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Annertech’s work drastically increased user adoption rates. The team used an efficient agile methodology that contributed to the project's success. Although they can increase resource capacity, Annertech effectively responds to allocation issues and manages their current internal resources well.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Could you provide a brief description of your organization?

I work for Dublin Institute of Technology, a third-level educational institute, the largest by student enrollment in Ireland.

What is your position?

I’m a team leader and senior researcher in the Digital Media Center.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges that you were attempting to address when you first approached Annertech?

The project is a European Commission supported research project, so we were trying to develop custom tutorial software. We had developed prototype software in Drupal 6, with very much an engineering focus, and were working on AI [artificial intelligence] problems, and so on. We quickly realized that, to get to where we wanted to with the application, to make a proof of concept close enough to a point where we could deploy it, that we really needed help with porting the code from Drupal 6. We just couldn’t surmount that technical hurdle, so we knew we needed to find outside expertise.

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail?

The initial contact was a project meeting in the U.K., and we discussed the current state of the development. They came in to discuss the feasibility of porting to Drupal 7 and whether or not it made sense to stick with Drupal 6. We decided to expand the scope from there to include the technical development of our software. The only thing they didn’t contribute would have been the visual designs, which came from our internal team. We created the basic HTML mockups, and Annertech took those and themed them using Drupal best practices. We ended up with an installment profile built to specifications and using the visual designs we gave them.

How did you select Annertech as your solution partner?

I found them while conducting some preliminary Web research. I had looked on Drupal.org, and seen those firms that were active in the core community. Stella, who works at Annertech, she was very active, and I realized that these guys were going to be able to help us move our project along into Drupal best practices. I had done some background research, mainly looking through code commits to public projects to open source module codes done by Irish Drupal companies, and quickly realized that Annertech was really the only company we could seriously think about approaching. I had to go through a procurement process, so I would have approached three or four firms in the initial competition, with basically a specification of what we were trying to do. We were most impressed by Annertech, their portfolio of completed work, and their approach to project management.

Could you provide a general cost estimate for this particular project?

In total, we probably spent around €90,000 [approximately $110,000].

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the quality of their performance?

Nothing specific to the Annertech work. We evaluated the system, and the objectives of the project, in a set of trials and evaluations during a period of six months, with hundreds of users. The shortcomings that were identified in the evaluation had nothing to do with Annertech’s work. There’s a public deliverable, which describes the overall evaluation of the project, but it would be difficult to decipher from that which parts Annertech helped or hindered. I can tell you from the general tone of the feedback between the first and the last versions, that the Annertech work obviously boosted user adoption rates by an order of magnitude.

When working with Annertech, is there anything you’d consider unique about their approach or development methodology that distinguish them from other vendors?

There was one thing that was very useful during the project. They introduced an agile management methodology during the deployment. As a European project, we’re sort of driven by a waterfall-style development methodology, but what we really needed was an agile method. Apart from their deep technical expertise, they really helped introduce agile methodology into the project, and that was hugely helpful. It’s unlikely that we’d have been as successful as we were had they not introduced the agile methodology.

In retrospect, are there areas in which you think Annertech could improve as a service provider?

We were sending a lot of work their way, and I think they were a little bit on the back foot in terms of resources. In the course of the sub-contract, they recruited and added to their team. Whatever resource allocation issues were occurring at the beginning of the project, they responded to them effectively and managed to increase their internal resources that they were able to provide. Having additional capacity might be the only recommendation, but that’s well beyond our control and it really has more to do with what they’re willing to invest in and what their long-term goals are for human capital. I can’t say that our project suffered at all because of capacity, though. It’s just the only area I can see them needing to improve, because the quality of their work is so top notch.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    That’s purely to do with the initial problems they had in meeting our rather unreasonable demands.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    That’s happened on more than one occasion.

Custom Development Ireland Nonprofit Agency

"They've really guided us through a number of different technical areas."

Quality: 
4.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Jan. 17 - Mar. 1 2014
Project summary: 

Annertech implemented an IT system that allows stakeholders in a building project to register. The team used Drupal as the CMS on the frontend and developed a custom system on the backend.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Dublin, Ireland
Project Manager, Open Source Team
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Annertech delivered an efficient and functioning product on a tight deadline. The system already has more than 55,000 documents and 1,200 unique users. The team offers technical expertise in Drupal, PHP, and Linux and provides transparent, straightforward project management.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Could you briefly describe your organization?

I work for a local government management agency, and we provide a range of services to the local government sector in Ireland. That would include IR [international relations], HR [human resources], as well as ICT [information and communications technology] services.

What is your position?

I’m a project manager on the open source team.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges that you were attempting to address when you first approached Annertech?

The original challenge was with our building control management system. That’s the biggest system, most complex system we’ve worked on with them. Following the building boom here in Ireland, there were a number of serious problems. There were numerous breaches of building and fire regulations. There were bad building practices, in general. To address that, a new set of regulations were introduced by the Minister for the Environment in January of this year. Under those regulations, they introduced an IT [information technology] system. This IT system was put in place to allow for the registration of professionals in the building area, [such as] architects and engineers, who might be involved in any particular building project.

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail?

The system that we put in place allows any stakeholder in a building project to register on the system. To complete undertakings and assignments, they have to upload documents and plans, such as specifications and elevations and inspection plans. There a certain set of documents that they have to provide in order to be compliant with the newly implemented regulations, and then they also have to pay a fee. That’s the user-facing part. 

Then on the internal side, we needed to have a processing and management system that would allow us to introduce workflows to ensure that the commencement notices for building projects were managed correctly, assessed, and validated, and a decision given on them back to the public. For this, we took a rather unconventional approach. Instead of having just one streamlined system to do this, we split the front-end and the back-end into two separate entities. On the front-end, we utilized Drupal as the driver for the online forums and the online submissions. We used a custom system on the back-end for the whole process management and validation of applications.

We had already selected Drupal as our CMS [content management system] on the front-end. We had in place a platform called LocalGov.ie, which is a portal for local government services, and had been developed in Drupal. In fact, we had used Annertech to develop that, too.

Annertech has provided us with a full range of professional services. In addition to implementing our Drupal websites, we’ve also had a lot of custom development, particularly on the bCMS [b media CMS] side. They’ve provided initial training on Drupal itself, and then they’re providing support and maintenance on the servers that the bCMS sit on.

How did you select Annertech as your solution partner?

A couple of years ago we did an exercise here called an RFI [request for information]. That was issued publicly, and what we were looking for there was, we were fairly new to the open source area, and we looking for information on products, service, and companies that worked with a range of technologies. Through that process, we identified and conducted interviews with a lot of different respondents, and Drupal would have been one of the technologies we were very interested in having a closer look at. That’s how we originally found Annertech.

Could you provide a general cost estimate for this particular initiative?

The cost was around 150,000 euros [approximately $185,000].

When was this project completed?

It went live on March 1 [2014]. So just to give you an idea of the timeline, the regulations were finalized on January 17 [2014], and the system had to be live on March 1. It was quite tight.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback you’ve received that would demonstrate the quality of their performance?

We don’t have any metrics recorded, but our user feedback has been quite positive. We’ve also incorporated the user feedback to drive improvements on the site. Given the short timeframe, you can imagine a certain amount of visual design was sacrificed to ensure that the system was functional by the specified deadline. We’ve been improving the site as we receive feedback from the users, which has also been generally positive. We’re very impressed with how well the platform works.

When working with Annertech, is there anything you’d consider unique about their strategic approach or development methodology that distinguish them from other vendors?

I would say we‘ve always found their technical knowledge in Drupal, PHP, and the whole Linux environment, to be of great value to us. They’ve really guided us through a number of different technical areas. We’re a fairly technical organization, but we wouldn’t have had the skills necessary to ensure the site functioned properly. The bCMS has been in place now for slightly more than six months, and there are more than 55,000 documents in the system, with more than 1,200 unique users.

In retrospect, are there areas in which you think they could improve as a service provider?

I don’t have any real recommendations for improvement. I would say they’re very approachable and very responsive. They’re always at the other end of a phone. There’s no queuing to take a call. We’ve deeply appreciated their transparency and straightforward approach to project management.

4.5
Overall Score I think there are very few companies that could have delivered the project within the specified timeframe.
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Drupal Implementation International Development Nonprofit

"Their approach ... [is] very agile and very collaborative, all with a view to never miss a deadline."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

Annertech consolidated 11 independent websites into a single Drupal platform and integrated it with a new CRM system. They also developed a shopping cart and an email functionality and completed all coding.

The Reviewer
 
51-200 Employees
 
Dublin, Ireland
Keith McManus
Digital Communications Manager, Oxfam Ireland
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The website was one of the first responsive websites in the region. It garnered an instant improvement in conversion rate, as well as an increase in time spent on site and the number of page visits for both the web and mobile platforms. Annertech was reliable, collaborative, and available.

A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.

BACKGROUND

Could you briefly describe your organization?

[We are] a global nonprofit.

What is your position?

I’m the digital manager. I’m responsible for managing our website, social media, and e-communications.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges that you were attempting to address when you first approached Annertech?

We use the Web to engage our supporters in terms of campaigning for our general mission of social change, and for fundraising. When I started with the organization almost three years ago, we were in a position in which we had 11 independent websites, no CRM [customer relationship management] to speak of, and a very fragmented online presence. We also had a dual currency issue because we accept donations from Northern Ireland, which is in [British] sterling, and we accept donations in euros from the Republic of Ireland. Having both currencies added significant complexity to our site. There was a lot of duplication. There were multiple websites, and identical websites, created to cater for each currency.

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of their involvement in greater detail?

When we started, I was charged with basically removing all of those sites and integrating everything into one consolidated site that supported transactions with both currencies. A key focus was on mobile Web and responsive design as none of the older sites were mobile friendly. It was a significant undertaking, and that’s when we decided, after a lot of research, to opt with Drupal, and to put that out to tender.

We didn’t consider that many other open source solutions. It was more proprietary solutions that were on the table. We did quite an extensive audit of what other affiliates in our organizations were using, and the challenges and advantages of those systems. We also looked at what other charity and NGO [non-governmental] organizations in Ireland were using. We reached out and got good information about that, too. We were very impressed with the flexibility of Drupal. There’s obviously a bit of a learning curve with Drupal. It’s slightly complex in some ways, but overall it was the best thing suited to our needs. The fact that it was open source, and there was a very large community behind it, swayed us to go that direction.

We ended up selecting Annertech as the development partner to implement that project. Since then, we’ve worked consistently with them to maintain the site, to improve it, and to add new functionalities. A huge project in recent times was working with Annertech to integrate the site with our new CRM system, so that all transactions and data points in the website were integrated and flow into our CRM in real time.

We also had a full shopping cart because we also sell products. They developed that shopping cart for us, which we’ve since used to expand our current product range online. We also have a facility wherein users can send emails to political figures on topics of campaigning and advocacy. That was also custom built by Annertech.

Annertech offered a design part to the project, but we actually did the design work in-house. Then, we worked closely with them, and they delivered all of the build and the technical development. We did zero coding ourselves. For the design, we’d send [Adobe] Photoshop files, or mockups of the visual in JPEG formats, and they would build the entire site using those specs. They also implemented a completely responsive design. They trained our staff members, too.

Could you provide a general cost estimate for this particular initiative?

The initial project cost us between 16,000 and 20,000 euros [approximately $20,000 to $25,000]. That included a complete rebuild of the site from scratch, with lots of different functionalities. We felt that was extremely competitive. Cost was obviously a factor, and they were by far the most cost effective.

When was the project completed?

It went live in October of 2012.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback you’ve received that would demonstrate the quality of their performance?

On the statistics side, we saw an instant improvement in our conversion rate on the site. The deadline was late October so that we could launch our Christmas campaign, and we saw a much improved conversion rate throughout that campaign compared to the previous system that we used.

The average time spent on the site increased. The number of page views increased, despite the fact that we culled the number of pages on the site by more than a thousand. It was a very slim and lean site that we launched with, but the number of pages per visit still increased. We also saw the time spent per mobile visit increase as well, and the number of pages viewed per mobile visit. It was a very nice experience form a user point of view. We could actually measure and see the results in real time. Another thing to mention was, there was quite a lot of interest at the time. Two years ago sounds very recent, but it was one of the first responsive websites in the sector in Ireland. We got a lot of blog and news interest in it for that reason.

There were a number of U.K. blogs that even picked up on us. We got quite a lot of traction online through the fact that it was fully responsive. It was a little bit of a first in terms of the Irish sector, and beyond that into the U.K., where we did have marketing blogs. Nothing to do with charity blogs or anything; instead, they were commercial marketing blogs that actually wrote about the site, and were very complimentary.

When working with Annertech, is there anything you’d consider unique about their approach or development methodology that distinguish them from other vendors?

They’re extremely reliable. What they deliver works. They deliver on time, and they have a very collaborative approach. For example, we were using a ticketing system to track all the conversations and feedback for testing and so on. As we approached the deadline, they had a suggestion to speed it up. They invited me and another person on my team who was working closely on the project, to go out and work with them and their team for the day, in the same environment and office. This was for the simple benefit of being able to bounce questions off each other in a much quicker, more agile way.

We did that three separate times during a three-week period, and it really sped things up. I was reluctant, thinking that we could do it by phone. But, when I went, it really did pay off. We got through much more work, and I really thought that was a great way of working. It was something that was driven by them, and it was their suggestion. I’m quite impressed with their approach, in general. It’s very agile and very collaborative, all with a view to never miss a deadline.

Their availability is really strong, and communication around their availability is excellent.

In retrospect, are there areas in which you think they could improve as a service provider?

I think that they consistently try to figure that out themselves. They would have what they call post-mortem calls, and they would have regular calls, where they review each milestone. We would have a call to see what worked well and what didn’t. The post-mortem call is at the end of the project. They insist on having the post-mortem call where they get our feedback and they provide theirs. They would also drop in face-to-face whenever possible, just for a courtesy call to find out what we’re thinking, what our challenges are, even though there’s no project in mind. I don’t think I have any specific suggestions or critiques.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’ve never missed a deadline.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I haven’t had huge experience in going out to market. At that time, it was by far the most value you would get in the market.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We really rely on them for the technical work, and that’s why we still work with them. Their quality is extremely strong.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I would have no hesitation, and I have done so several times in the past.