Could you describe the scope of the project? For instance, did it require custom design, development, training, or support?
We worked collaboratively on all aspects of the project. We tend to be a very hands-on company, so we had some definitive ideas of what we wanted it to look like, and how we wanted to approach it. Arke assisted us with our vision. They would lend guidance to us where they thought we might want to take path X versus path Y, and certainly from the technology standpoint, they always guided us in the right direction. We also have an in-house department of developers that we knew we wanted to be able to pick up the system, and keep going with it. They worked collaboratively with us on that as well where we would have daily scrums with them. They really built it for us, but there were some agreed upon parts that we worked as well, and they worked with us during the entire process, keeping our developers in the loop of what was being done so that by the end of the process they would be able to transfer complete responsibility onto our team.
How did you select Arke as your solution partner?
It’s a very odd story. We had sent out a bunch of RFPs. We’re a fairly small company, and we had a massive project. We had a small budget. The scope of work that I just described is obviously quite large. We had people who didn’t respond to the RFP at all. We had people that came in, and the number was so big that it just was out of the question. We had decided on a couple of vendors. We were looking at vendor and technology because, at that point, we hadn’t even decided to use Sitecore. It was a vendor with technology, and I was a proponent of Sitecore. It was one vendor with Sitecore, and it was another vendor with SharePoint. I did not feel comfortable using SharePoint for an external facing site. I think that our entire group had decided that Sitecore was the technology that we should be going with. We brought the vendor in, and the vendor had said that they could do it with our budget. When we actually went through the discovery phase, the cost almost doubled as we began to get into the nuts and bolts of what we wanted to do. We couldn’t afford to do it, and we were at a standstill. We had realized at that moment that, in addition to Sitecore, we also needed to implement a CRM, which we also didn’t have. We were at this hiatus point, and then we were talking to Microsoft about CRM and Microsoft Dynamics, and we knew that Dynamics had a connector to Sitecore. It was Microsoft who had suggested Arke as an implementation partner for CRM. We became very comfortable with them, and it was a relationship that grew. Eventually, we simply decided to have them handle our technology needs.
Why were you more inclined to select Sitecore rather than SharePoint?
We liked the idea of the separation of content from presentation. We knew that we had content that we wanted to multipurpose for different medical specialties. One piece of content we might want to show to a cardiologist and to an endocrinologist, for example. Just the ability to, within Sitecore, show that piece of content and separate the content from the presentation layer, coupled with the built-in DMS capabilities, it just seemed like a well-rounded package. At the time, I was looking at Gartner, and following where everything was stacking up in the Gartner report. We were looking for a content management system that was going to be around for a while. I wanted to make sure that we had one that two years from when we made this investment was still going to be around, and that there was going to be support.
Could you give me a sense of the size of this initiative in monetary terms?
I believe it cost approximately $350,000.
When was the implementation completed?
April of 2012.