What was the scope of their involvement?
new target’s mission was to redesign our website, including developing integration solutions as necessary. They were responsible for all aspects, including design, development, integration, testing, migration, hosting, and support. They worked with our netFORUM support contractor when required on changes to related components.
In 2015, our website was having strange issues, and we’d changed our architecture completely because netFORUM could support some features the older system couldn’t. new target worked with the existing system and migrated parts, depending on whether they worked or not, to netFORUM. We had to move everything in a single day, and we didn’t have anything we could do slowly.
We were replicating data in the old Drupal system because the APIs were not very good. In the new system, we could do much less of that. We now use netFORUM as our system of records, and our Drupal site accesses it to get the information it needs. The site is embedded within our new site, so users can go between them, but they look and feel the same. We had to redo the architecture of a lot of these interfaces, which is probably the hardest thing new target had to do. Much of what’s in the website is a combination of items we developed separately.
They also redesigned our user interface, and it’s completely different than it was before. We moved from focusing on development to enhancement, which is where we implemented new features into our basic system. We did as many things as we could during the first year, and we now have about 6 new features we want to implement every year.
We currently contract them for hosting, hosting support, Drupal patching, operations, and maintenance. They help us if netFORUM changes anything, and they’re also assisting with ongoing development.
What is the team dynamic?
There were 4 main people, including a project manager, lead architect, senior developer, designer, and about 3 more people who came in as needed. When we had to switch project managers, the process went very smoothly.
How did you come to work with new target?
We did a competitive bid where we gave descriptions of what companies needed to accomplish, and then had them come in and do presentations. We’re a member of a netFORUM user group, so we talked to a couple of the companies there who had Drupal environments integrated with netFORUM, and they gave us some recommendations for vendors.
We talked to 4 companies, including new target. It was about a 2-month bid process, and we tried to describe what we wanted to do in a concise manner. Timelines were critical since we had to do 2 projects simultaneously, and communication was also essential to ensure the integration would work properly. Two other companies had recommended new target, and we ultimately decided to bring them on board.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working together in January 2015, and the initial development was a 9-month project. Since then, we’ve continued contracting new target for hosting, operational support, and enhancements. We plan on keeping them around for quite a while.