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PZ Cussons, Virgin, World Food Programme, Missguided, Lush Cosmetics, Graze
"They really strive to build open source solutions at an enterprise level."
Inviqa performed a wide range of assignments such as the implementation of the regional websites and technical architecture consultation. They also provided support for Drupal, Magento and WordPress platforms.
"They really strive to build open source solutions at an enterprise level."
Feb 22, 2016
Inviqa's wide expertise brought improvements in terms of content development and administration. They were able to deliver 10 to 12 brands, 60 websites and a 50 percent savings on the implementation fees. The team was consistent in their delivery and displayed an integrated approach to digital planning.
A Clutch analyst personally interviewed this client over the phone. Below is an edited transcript.
Please describe your organization.
We are a multinational fast-moving consumer goods company operating under five business categories: beauty, personal care, food and nutrition, home care, and electricals. Our business is focused on emerging markets in Southeast Asia and Africa predominantly.
What is your position?
I am the head of digital solutions.
What business challenge were you trying to address with Inviqa?
We have a common digital platform for all our brands across different markets and regions. Inviqa provide implementation, strategic, and support services. We use them as our technical authority. They're the only consultant that we use for delivering the technical architecture utilized by our brands.
Please describe the scope of their involvement.
We use three core platforms: Magento, WordPress, and Drupal. They provide us support for all of them.
They've carried out the implementation of each regional website my company operates. Inviqa take each project from the point of inception through to delivery, followed by ongoing support. We don't use any other partners within this process.
We have a strategic approach that we call productization. We build a feature once and use it many times. If someone was to look at the majority of our sites, they'd see that we use common elements like website content management, campaign functionality, or community-based functionality. Inviqa build common functional features that are deployed to multiple environments and stylized using different aesthetic elements in order to reflect specific brands.
One of the areas in which Inviqa have supported us is our overall global rollout. Many of our brands exist in multiple markets. They've helped us with the delivery of a central blueprint that has been adapted to each of those individual markets. At the moment, they've supported us with the delivery of around 50 websites for 10 to 12 brands, both global and local.
The size of our teams depends on the individual project. When we first started working with them, we had a large resource profile, featuring two front-end developers in charge of the overall style and template work, along with two back-end developers for each e-commerce site. Aside from them, we had a technical lead and a project manager.
Currently, due to our productization and globalization strategies, we typically work with only one front-end and one back-end developer for each project.
Initially, Inviqa were involved right from the early parts of a project. We've now come to bring more of the solution design work in-house. This includes consumer and user experience, documentation, wireframing, and the overall functional design. Working with Inviqa, we define what we want and get them to build our designs. We don't use them for functional design or creative services. We literally use them to deliver products based on our strategies.
How did you come to work with Inviqa?
We had an incumbent supplier in place. We made the decision to remain on an open source technical architecture. Based on that, we did some dev-space research to narrow down the partners that we thought could provide the services we needed at the most appropriate. We settled on two suppliers and chose Inviqa based on our criteria. Their strategy, technical authority, implementation, support, and maintenance services, plus the fact that they are United Kingdom-based and have solid record of delivering Magento and Drupal work, were the reasons for selecting them.
What is the status of this engagement?
We've been working with them for three years.
Could you share any statistics or metrics from this engagement?
It's difficult to quantify their work from a consumer perspective. Inviqa's overall delivery during the course of three years is the most significant metric as their involvement in issues of user experience was limited.
We've gone from having a skeletal technical architecture that supported one or two brands to delivering 10 to 12 brands and more than 60 websites during the course of these three years. It's a big feat that they've managed to deliver against.
During the course of our collaboration, we've had a savings of around 50 percent on our implementation fees. Our productization and globalization strategies imply that, if we want to launch a new product onto the market, we can do it in less than two days, at a nominal cost. We have a catalog of products that we can use, and we also have the necessary blueprints from which to build websites. This means that we can get to market quickly.
How did Inviqa perform from a project management standpoint?
We don't see our collaboration as a one-off project. We have a governance structure in place that integrates their involvement into our overall program. When we first started working with Inviqa, there was a clash of philosophies in terms of charging a fixed price vs. time and materials. Through their agile principles and methodology, they worked the basics of key deliverables until they ran out of money. We, on the other hand, needed to make sure that we received a well-rounded product that delivers the majority of our scope within its cost. We had to work with them in order to change their stance and consolidate our relationship. In terms of delivery, I can't fault them. They're very strong.
We use JIRA for project management. It represents our knowledge base, and it's used to define the scope and functionality of projects to be delivered. We also use it for support services and to keep an inventory of our backlog for each individual brand.
They've been consistent in their delivery. During the course of our relationship, we've probably used every one of their resources for our work. Because we've worked on so many projects, if we bring someone from Inviqa on to a new one, they will already have the necessary experience. They've never taken away a resource from an ongoing project and have generally made sure that we had the full resources necessary.
What distinguishes Inviqa from other providers?
They really strive to build open source solutions at an enterprise level. That is their key differentiator and the reason we continue working with them.
Is there anything Inviqa could have improved or done differently?
The only area of improvement is to do with their time and materials way of working, which I've mentioned. It has taken us a few years to build a solid relationship through a give-and-take process on both our parts. We will sometimes request that they recognize their practice as being misaligned with our business needs. Otherwise, they've very strong in terms of delivery. This is only a minor point.