Open source Web Development for Social Change

OpenConcept is based in Ottawa, Canada and has been in business since 1999. For more than a decade, OpenConcept has focused exclusively on developing and supporting Drupal websites. We build custom web solutions, such as those that require website accessibility enhancements or multilingual content.

We work with government, non-profits and businesses in Canada and the USA. We support open source and provide leadership in many communities. We are now also a Certified B Corporation (B Corp) and are working to see that our business works for a more sustainable and just world.

During the last few years OpenConcept has been a champion for open source adoption within government and has been actively involved on educating decision makers about the advantages to open source approaches. OpenConcept has also been a staunch advocate for accessibility improvements to content management systems in general and has been an international leader with respect to enhancing the accessibility of Drupal 7 & 8. We have also contributed to the Drupal security knowledge base by publishing a security guide for Drupal 7 & 8.

At OpenConcept, we believe strongly in developing a positive, long term relationship with our clients, and we work closely with our clients to meet the needs of their organizations and staff.

 
$25,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
1999
Show all +
Ottawa, Canada
headquarters
  • 571 Somerset Street West
    Ottawa, ON K1R 5K1
    Canada

Reviews

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Website Upgrade for Media Non-Profit

"I was impressed with their effort to meet our needs and manage our expectations."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
4.5
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
Project summary: 

OpenConcept took over the upgrade of a Drupal CMS, which is being used for teaching digital literacy to children. Developers are currently migrating a related WordPress site to the same server.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Ontario, Canada
Diane Trépanier-Van Rens
Web Master, Mediasmarts
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Strengths include proven Drupal expertise, a responsive project team, experienced developers, and the capacity to streamline backend coding. However, OpenConcept can improve its business model, which charges clients an additional fee for each consultation.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

Mediasmarts is a small non-profit that provides resources for parents and teachers, allowing them to teach kids digital and media literacy skills. I am the web manager of the company.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with OpenConcept?

We had a very old website, dating back from 10 or 12 years ago. We also needed a more affordable content management system. We were leaning towards Drupal, since we had a content-heavy site, rather than using WordPress.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

OpenConcept performed a Drupal 7 upgrade for our site. Another firm took care of the initial redesign, but OpenConcept identified a lot of custom work and unnecessary programming. They tidied it up and upgraded it from Drupal 6. OpenConcept wasn’t in charge of visual designs. We are also moving a small WordPress site onto the same server as our Drupal one, and OpenConcept is helping us with that.

How did you come to work with OpenConcept?

We had been using a different company, but their main business was site migration. They were quite unresponsive when it came to signing a maintenance contract. We asked a number of people about the companies they were using, and OpenConcept’s name came up a few times. They are one of the leading Drupal firms in the Ottawa region.

How much have you invested with OpenConcept?

They are working with us on an hourly basis. I can’t remember what the total cost has been, but I would estimate the rate was between $120 and $130 per hour.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with OpenConcept around four years ago and have a continuing relationship.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

The quality of the work is good. OpenConcept has different levels of programmers, but we also have at least one senior resource on our team. For smaller jobs, we’ve often found that less experienced programmers are put on the job. But, if they run into any trouble, they will always confer with more experienced people.

How did OpenConcept perform from a project management standpoint?

The collaboration was a little rough in the beginning. We weren’t used to working with that kind of project management style, where the manager was charging us for every conversation, as opposed to it being a percentage of the total project cost. As with any project, we were trying to figure out how best to work with each other, so costs were adding up more than we’d have wanted. We now have a good system since we’ve been working with OpenConcept for quite a while. They’re responsive and always good. Their principal helps us with finding the best solutions for what we need to do.

What did you find most impressive about OpenConcept?

I was impressed with their effort to meet our needs and manage our expectations. It allowed us to stay within a well-made Drupal site instead of going off into customizations that could turn into nightmares the next time we more away from the CMS or have a redesign.

Are there any areas OpenConcept could improve?

OpenConcept’s business model makes it difficult to simply ask a question without incurring costs. If we want to do some work on the site, we’re never sure if we even want OpenConcept to investigate the issue.

4.5
Overall Score
  • 4.5 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re typically good at this, but it so happens that this is the one week when OpenConcept told me they’re too busy. We only needed them to look at a small issue, so it was nothing pressing.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    We knew that OpenConcept would be a bit pricier than some other firms, but they’re also one of the best-known developers in our city.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We’ve been happy with OpenConcept’s work.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Website Development for Accessibility Non-Profit Organization

"I found OpenConcept Consulting's level of expertise and willingness to go the extra mile were exceptional."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$10,000 to $49,999
Project summary: 

OpenConcept handled a full-stack website development project, including backend systems. The website was designed to be the most accessible website for users with disabilities.

The Reviewer
 
1–10 Employees
 
Ontario, Canada
Richard Cavanagh
CEO, Broadcasting Accessibility Fund Inc.
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

OpenConcept has been communicative and responsive throughout the engagement. Their expertise in accessibility has been invaluable, and the completed website is above-and-beyond expectations.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

I’m the CEO of The Broadcasting Accessibility Fund. It’s a non-profit, independent organization that provides funding to advance accessibility to broadcasting content for people with disabilities.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with OpenConcept Consulting?

When I joined the organization in the spring of 2014, we needed to demonstrate an exceptional degree of accessibility to our services and information. The website we had at that time was almost completely inaccessible to people with a variety of disabilities, especially those with vision disabilities. The challenge was to construct the most accessible website possible at a reasonable cost.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

They handled the full-stack development, including the design of the site as well as backend development. They did everything end to end.

How did you come to work with OpenConcept Consulting?

In the world of accessibility, there are certain language formats used in the construction of websites, one of which is Drupal. OpenConcept was among the original architects of the Drupal language, and they had a well-established expertise in accessible websites.

We did run a small competition for the work. One of the tipping points for me was that OpenConcept was a local company close to my office. I knew I’d need to learn a lot about running the site, so being able to meet with them in person was a big advantage.

How much have you invested with OpenConcept Consulting?

We budgeted about $30,000, and they came in on time and under budget, so in the range of $25,000–$30,000.

What is the status of this engagement?

The project began in July of 2014, and it was completed in December of that year. We have an annual support agreement with them. Our website has a highly-specialized architecture, and only OpenConcept can do the work.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

We have a number of groups representing people with disabilities who are registered stakeholders with us. We called on a wide range of those stakeholders to review the website, and the reviews were stellar. I can’t think of a single critical comment. They scored very high in terms of background, color scheme, font, ease of accessibility, button control, and so on.

How did OpenConcept Consulting perform from a project management standpoint?

They’re great. We had weekly project meetings. They were always on time and very communicative when they ran into a slight glitch or had a question. We had almost daily communication throughout the project. We were fortunate to have good stability in project management.

What did you find most impressive about OpenConcept Consulting?

They can design an accessible website like it’s nobody’s business. They’re probably the best there is out there. As companies and organizations become more aware of the importance of accessibility, a company like OpenConcept is going to be invaluable. They can design something with which customers with disabilities will be very satisfied.

I found OpenConcept Consulting's level of expertise and willingness to go the extra mile were exceptional. I also found their level of professionalism to be a very attractive quality.

Are there any areas OpenConcept Consulting could improve?

Not really. It was a terrific experience from end to end.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They’re very professional and are always communicative. We had a set of milestones and deadlines. They finished on time, with lots of time left over for testing and making sure the launch went smoothly.
  • 4.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    It was great value for the money we spent.
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    It’s absolutely exceptional.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    I’ve recommended them many times.

Website Development for University Center

"OpenConcept Consulting is a great team to work with."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
4.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
Summer 2015 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

OpenConcept Consulting migrating an existing website to match the University's Drupal templates. They additionally adding data mining functionality to the site.

The Reviewer
 
1,001-5,000 Employees
 
Ontario, Canada
Philippe Boudreau
Business Analyst, University of Ottawa
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

OpenConcept Consulting has a diverse and talented team, capable of taking on various tasks. While communication could be slightly improved, the team was responsive and easy to work with.

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

BACKGROUND

Introduce your business and what you do there.

The University of Ottawa Centre for Continuing Education offers short-term professional development courses of 1–3 days, mainly for people working with the Federal Government.

I am a business analyst for the organization. I'm in charge of the IT systems maintenance, making sure that we have good data mining coming out of them, which can be useful for our directors. I am also in charge of training our staff to use our technology, answer any questions, and troubleshooting issues.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

What challenge were you trying to address with OpenConcept Consulting?

We were the only university site not using Drupal or following the organization-wide templates. Our site did not look anything like that of the University of Ottawa, so one of our main focuses was getting a more appropriate look and feel. Secondly, our old system wasn't capable of data mining at all, so we had a hard time getting insightful information from it. We wanted something which would be able to provide a user-friendly interface for users who had no idea how to use IT systems for getting the data they want. Overall, we wanted a better performing system which would help us be more efficient within the organization.

SOLUTION

What was the scope of their involvement?

With OpenConcept Consulting's help, we have developed a few functionalities which have helped the internal mining process. They also provided frontend design for our site, based on the university's repository of design elements. OpenConcept Consulting is still providing continuous improvements to our system.

How did you come to work with OpenConcept Consulting?

We collaborated with the university's procurement department and received five bids. OpenConcept Consulting gave us the best offer.

How much have you invested with OpenConcept Consulting?

Our initial project has a set price of $130,000. Along with all the post-launch improvements we've made, we're looking at around $200,000 in total.

What is the status of this engagement?

We started working with OpenConcept Consulting almost two years ago. I continue to communicate with them on a daily basis.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?

There were a few hiccups in our deliverables, as with any IT project, due to a lack of definition from our end, and some shortcomings on theirs. We worked through them together with OpenConcept Consulting during the project. We're on good, steady ground, as the product stands now.

How did OpenConcept Consulting perform from a project management standpoint?

OpenConcept Consulting is a great team to work with. They have a diverse team of programmers, project managers, and marketing specialists. I've never had a hard time getting in touch with anyone, they were always attentive, and our issues were usually answered within a day unless there were special circumstances. OpenConcept Consulting does have other project priorities, but I never saw this reflected in our communications.

The project management was handled through a mix between OpenConcept Consulting on the technical side, and myself for the staff training process on our end. We used Trello, which is a very transparent tool allowing us to see what is being worked on, as well as to interact with OpenConcept Consulting's team.

What did you find most impressive about OpenConcept Consulting?

I don't have much experience with outsourced IT projects, but I found that OpenConcept Consulting has a willingness to do good. They always looked for ways of giving the client some added value.

Are there any areas OpenConcept Consulting could improve?

Communication could be improved somewhat. The few hiccups we had could have been resolved through more straightforward and timely communication. OpenConcept Consulting told us about certain problems a little late in the project, so we didn't have time to appreciate their importance.

4.0
Overall Score
  • 4.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 4.0 NPS
    Willing to refer