Optimize Your Digital Impact

We empower marketers to delegate complex digital tasks, reimagine websites and marketing campaigns, and drive better results by shifting customer behavior.

 
$5,000+
 
$100 - $149 / hr
 
10 - 49
 Founded
2010
Origin Eight
323 Washington Ave North
Minneapolis, MN 55408
United States

Portfolio

Key clients: 
  • The University of Minnesota
  • HelpSystems.com 
  • Cornell University

Reviews

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Web Development for B2B Software Developer

"Origin Eight takes a proactive approach to customer service; they reach out immediately to address potential issues..."

Quality: 
5.0
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
 
May 2017 - Ongoing
Project summary: 

Origin Eight revamped a Drupal website to maximize international outreach. They redesigned the frontend and rebuilt the platform to handle localized, multilingual versions of content. They now provide support.

The Reviewer
 
501-1,000 Employees
 
Eden Prairie, Minnesota
Chris Anderson
Web Support Specialist, HelpSystems
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The site met all requirements; Origin Eight now provides maintenance, advisory services, and development as needed. The team delivers high-quality products with diligence and professionalism. Their insights and leadership continuity provide value to the relationship.

BACKGROUND

Please describe your company and your position there.

I am the web support specialist for HelpSystems. We provide IT management software and services to businesses to help automate internal processes.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

For what projects/services did your company hire Origin Eight?

We first engaged Origin Eight to redesign our corporate website’s look and feel. They’ve since played a critical role in expanding, refining, and maintaining our site.

What were your goals for this project?

We wanted our website to accommodate our new international outreach. The frontend needed content in four additional languages. The backend required a robust and intuitive framework to support work completed by international content creators.

SOLUTION

How did you select this vendor?

We found them through a Google search for local Drupal developers.

Can you go into detail about the services they provided and the scope of the project?

Origin Eight first redesigned the website and gave it a new look and feel. They then implemented a backend framework to better support localized versions of our content in Spanish, German, French, and Italian. The team now maintains the site’s Drupal, database, and server host platform. They also advise our team on website security and performance and develop new content as needed.

What was the team composition?

We work primarily with a chief developer who scales his team at Origin Eight depending on the task at hand.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

Can you share any information that demonstrates the impact that this project has had on your business?

Origin Eight’s development met all requirements. We’ve had a positive experience working with their team. They demonstrate in-depth knowledge and a vested interest in our goals and success.

How was project management arranged and how effective was it?

We’ve worked with the same chief developer since the beginning; the continuity adds value in that he knows our history and can provide better service as a result. For larger site projects, Origin Eight assigns us a project manager with whom we have weekly meetings. For smaller tasks, we communicate directly with our assigned developer over Slack or Skype.

What did you find most impressive about this company?

Origin Eight takes a proactive approach to customer service; they reach out immediately to address potential issues and keep the site running smoothly.

Are there any areas where they can improve?

No, not that I can think of.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
    They are very responsive and flexible; we’ve never run into any problems.
  • 4.5 Cost
    Value / within estimates
  • 5.0 Quality
    Service & deliverables
    We’ve found them to be a trustworthy and reliable resource.
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer

Drupal Implementation For Top-Tier Performance Arts Conservatory

“It was a very intuitive and consultative relationship.”

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
4.0
Cost: 
4.5
Willing to refer: 
4.5
The Project
 
$50,000 to $199,999
Project summary: 

Origin Eight migrated a website onto the Drupal platform. The project involved custom back-end development, data migration, third-party integration, training, and as-needed support.

The Reviewer
 
501-1000 Employees
 
New York, New York
Chief Technology Officer
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Transition to the Drupal site was seamless. Newly streamlined content management tools and an adaptable platform have created a full-featured, enjoyable user experience. Origin Eight impressed with their deep technical knowledge and collaborative, customer-focused approach.

BACKGROUND

Could you briefly describe your organization?

I work for a performance arts school in New York. We’re a premier performing arts institution. We provide training to exceptional students in music, dance, and drama.

What is your position?

I’m the chief technology officer.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you initiated the relationship with Origin Eight?

We were attempting to migrate our website from a proprietary CMS to the Drupal platform. We brought in Origin Eight because we didn’t have the technical expertise in-house to deploy the new solution. We were also in need of instruction on best practices and related backend administrative duties.

SOLUTION

Could you describe the scope of the project? For instance, did it involve custom visual design, backend development, training, or support?

A significant portion of the work required custom development. They assisted us with the application and server layers on the backend. They prepared and migrated all of our data from our old site to the new one once it was operable on a basic level. They integrated our backend with a number of third-party applications that we use here, and they trained our staff on how to use the Drupal platform best.

How did you select Origin Eight as your solution partner?

We submitted a very detailed statement of work and project description to Drupal.org and waited for proposals. We received several proposals from potential vendors. I reviewed each proposal and prioritized them based on capability, price point, and demonstrated expertise. I felt the most confident with Origin Eight because of their development approach and their history of working with similar clients.

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in monetary terms?

I believe it was somewhere between $50,000 and $60,000.

When was this implementation completed?

It was completed about a year ago.

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics, metrics, or user feedback that would demonstrate the effectiveness of the work they delivered?

On the frontend, users would not have noticed any changes because we kept the design as it was originally. All of the changes that occurred were on the backend of the system. They were functional enhancements and modifications. The primary feedback we received was that the content management process was greatly simplified, and users felt more comfortable with the content distribution process. That’s been the most positive outcome of the project. Since we now have a flexible platform for new Web applications, we’ve gone on to build new features on the Drupal platform, including a complete redesign of our intranet and a couple of other applications that we’ve enabled.

When working with Origin Eight, is there anything you’d consider unique or special about their approach or methodology that distinguishes them from other vendors you’ve used in the past?

The set of requirements that we crafted ourselves ended up being relatively incomplete, which would have caused issues with scoping and deployment. Origin Eight was able to work closely with us under those circumstances in order to refine our process without sacrificing much time or quality. It was a very intuitive and consultative relationship, and that impressed us.

In retrospect, are there areas you think that Origin Eight could improve upon or are there things you’d do differently as the client before initiating a project of this nature?

Since we didn’t have very concrete requirements to begin with, we probably could have achieved better results if we had better requirements from the get-go. There were a number of unknowns and uncertainties going into the project. While we were able to overcome that particular challenge, the process would have been more fluid if we’d invested more time into the planning and strategizing. That’s really the only thing I’d do differently.

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

Custom Drupal Development & Systems Architecture For State University IT Department

“They’ve been able to deal with all of the challenges and limitations we’ve thrown their way."

Quality: 
4.5
Schedule: 
5.0
Cost: 
5.0
Willing to refer: 
5.0
The Project
 
$200,000 to $999,999
Project summary: 

Using Drupal Origin Eight built a dynamic platform for a technological life cycle management tool. Projects included project scoping, interface design, back-end development, testing, and support.

The Reviewer
 
1001-10,000 Employees
 
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Systems Analyst, Office of Information Technology
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

The Drupal system performs well, manages data efficiently and serves the organization's needs. Origin Eight impressed with their adaptability, solid skill set and willingness to tackle complex projects. Their collaboration and communication kept the internal team informed about project status. 

BACKGROUND

Could you briefly describe your organization? 

I work in the Office of Information Technology at a midwestern state university. We are the technology provider for the entire university. The line that I work in is the economic technology line. We basically do everything from supporting the hardware and software that’s used for teaching and learning on campus all the way up through providing consultations to the faculty members that use academic technology. We also do some custom development work related to grants or special projects where faculty members or programs need software developed in order to solve particular instructional needs.

What is your position? 

I am a systems analyst.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you initiated the relationship with Origin Eight? 

The most complex of the three projects is what we called The Hype Cycle Management Project. Hype Cycle is a term developed by Gartner Research. It’s a method of trying to understand the life cycle of academic technologies, but they use it for a whole range of technology products in the marketplace. What we’re trying to use the Hype Cycle for is to help us manage the process of investment and support in academic technology by both trying to get a good sense of where various technologies are in our environment, in terms of the maturity, and also where we should be investing our resources.

We were trying to come up with a dynamic environment for visualizing our particular suite of applications in the Hype Cycle. We needed both a method for managing all of the content that is related to the cycle, inclusive of the technologies and our ancillary information. This includes how the information is presented, but also how it corresponds to our various initiatives and technologies. 

We took the basic Hype Cycle on because we needed to represent information dynamically on the curve because things are going to change in time, but we also needed a tool for facilitating social engagement. We had a set of preferred vendors for Drupal and distributed our statement of work to them. We then reviewed the submitted proposals for both capability and vision. We needed a partner not only able to deliver the technical aspects of our project, but also really comprehend the value of what we were trying to accomplish.

SOLUTION

Could you describe the actual scope of this project?

We had a prototype of the Hype Cycle, which was basically a static representation of the Gartner Hype Curve, but with a specific suite of technologies represented on it. We started out with a rough idea of what we wanted it to do. But, we didn’t have any of the real components for it. As such, the first task was to go about developing a vision for the whole thing including how we’d overcome the various technical hurdles involved. We strategized our content management processes, how we wanted to host our platform, and how users would be able to use the entire system. We also had some workflow issues to deal with.

The first stage of our initiative was simply gathering all of our requirements and scoping the entire project. We spent considerable time and effort working through the various interaction scenarios from both the administrator and the end-user standpoints. Based on that conversation, they elaborated their initial proposal, gave us a revised document for approval, and then we worked through the contracting process.

After that initial agreement and the contracting process, we then started moving away from the conceptual organization of the application into the more tangible dimensions of the interface design. We moved into the framing stage where we sketched out the organizational systems into a conceptual interface. Going through the process, we ended up with a couple of fairly substantial reorganization problems that we hadn’t anticipated in the initial design. Once we straightened out those issues, we moved into the development process. 

At this point, they’re handling the backend development work in Drupal. They’re deploying various modules based on our specifications and making some custom modifications to some of the core components. In addition, they’re also integrating our various backend systems and architecting some of the information we’ll be using on a regular basis. Once that’s complete, they’ll move into the testing phase to ensure that both the front-end and backend systems operate to our satisfaction. We’ll have them on retainer for about a year in order to provide case-by-case assistance and support.

Could you provide a size of this initiative in monetary terms?

My understanding of the final budget is limited because someone handled it with a pay grade above my own. However, I believe initial contract was somewhere around $75,000 to $85,000. If you include all of the projects we've utilized their services for, that would be roughly three or four times the amount of that single one. 

When is your site scheduled to launch?

It should be finished by the first week in May [of 2014].

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you provide any statistics, metrics, or anecdotal feedback that would demonstrate the effectiveness of the work they’ve delivered?

We’ve got a second project that just moved to completion. In that case, they were providing business analysis. We’ve also had a separate development project that’s gone online. They developed a custom application that would support the assessment of originality. There was a designer at our college conducting research on how people go about formulating and sustaining originality. One of the measures for that is simply the number of ideas you can generate within a set period of time through a visual stimulus.

They came up with an application for assessing that sort of thing. Essentially, what it does is it prompts you with a picture, and then gives you a 90-second timer. Within that context, the user receives a short text field, and then they’re supposed to submit as many ideas as they possibly can. At the conclusion of the timer, it will give you a count and a list of all of the ideas you submitted. They had a 30-day window for delivering that particular application, and that included everything from the initial design all the way through deployment.

Do you remain confident that the Drupal platform will continue to meet your organizational needs, both strategic and functional, into the foreseeable future?

It should be usable in the foreseeable future. Currently, we are hosted in a multihomed environment here. We’ve got eight nodes for this particular Drupal setup for the Originality Assessment Engine. I think we’ve been lucky in that, in aggregate, there have been a lot of users. We haven’t been in a normal situation, if you want to call it that.

Our primary issues have little to do with Drupal itself. We currently have the majority of the university sites physically hosted on premises. This really limits our potential for growth, and the maintenance costs really accumulate in time. By comparison, our new Drupal site is hosted using Amazon Web Services, which has some serious elasticity in terms of provisioning. Down the road, we may need to transition to that kind of hosting environment.

When working with Origin Eight, is there anything you would consider special or unique about their methodology or approach that distinguishes them from other vendors you’ve used in the past? 

They’ve been more flexible than a lot of vendors I’ve had to work with during the past in the sense that they’ve been able to deal with all of the challenges and limitations we’ve thrown their way. Their life would have been easier if they would have been hosting. They actually have their own hosting service. If we’d been hosting with them, they would have been able to control more of it, but they’ve been completely open and willing to work within our constraints. 

This may not necessarily be unique to Origin Eight, but it’s the first time I’ve worked with a team like this, and they’re very distributed. They have a fair number of team members working on the East Coast that honestly I won’t ever meet. Their principals I’ve met face to face, but everybody else I’ve dealt with virtually. They do have a very nice suite of online collaboration tools that have been very useful. I wish we’d implement them here internally with our onsite development staff simply because it made it possible for us to work together in an environment where none of interact on a face-to-face basis. 

Between Basecamp, Hot Glue, and Envision, a lot of them we’ve also used, they’ve got four or five online environments that they’re coordinating through Basecamp. These tools and their communication skills have really given me a 360-degree view how things are going, which means I don’t have to be pestering them about how things are progressing constantly.

In retrospect, are there areas you think Origin Eight could improve upon, or are there things you’d do differently as the client before initiating a project of this scale and complexity with them? 

I can’t think of anything to criticize them on in particular. There are always things about this project that I wish I had thought more about before I contacted anybody, but nothing specific to them. Most of the challenges we faced were internal by nature, rather than a result of our vendor.

5.0
Overall Score
  • 5.0 Scheduling
    ON TIME / DEADLINES
  • 5.0 Cost
    Value / within estimates
    I don’t have a basis for comparison for the other component. I’ve never worked with another Drupal vendor before.
  • 4.5 Quality
    Service & deliverables
  • 5.0 NPS
    Willing to refer
    Oh, absolutely willing.

Drupal Upgrade and Enhancement For American Craftsmanship Nonprofit

"[T]hey have a very deep knowledge base of all things related to Drupal.”

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

Origin Eight rebuilt a website and back-end system for a nonprofit organization. Later the relationship expanded to include updates and regular maintenance on the site.

The Reviewer
 
11-50 Employees
 
Minneapolis, Minnesota
Interactive Media Specialist
 
Verified
The Review
Feedback summary: 

Since rebuild, the site operates more smoothly, shows improvements in speed, and has experienced no further blackouts or crashes. Origin Eight displays thorough knowledge of the Drupal platform. Their fluid, straightforward communication simplifies projects. 

BACKGROUND

Could you briefly describe your company?

We are a national arts nonprofit educational organization based near Minneapolis. We have a research library where we produce content for crafts shows across the country. We publish a bi-monthly craft magazine as well. We have awards program and all kinds of stuff. I personally manage the website and all of the social media for the organization.

What is your title?

Interactive media specialist.

OPPORTUNITY / CHALLENGE

Could you describe the business challenges you were attempting to address when you initiated the relationship with Origin Eight?

Because we are such a small organization, we don’t have a dedicated IT [information technology] person or IT department. So, we have redone our website in February of 2012, and we were needing a page to be made and a backup system, and all these are very crucial processes. We had reached out to another organization, and it was not as successful as we’d hoped. We then reached out to Origin Eight, and they have taken on that role for us.

SOLUTION

Could you describe the actual scope of work that they’ve delivered? For instance, did it involve custom visual design, backend development, training, or support?

It’s not necessarily scope of work per se as an ongoing relationship, I would say. We have used them to perform a variety of maintenance tasks and updates to our websites as well as we’ve just recently commissioned them for our dedicated hosting service provider.

On what platform is your website operating?

It's a Drupal-based site. 

How did you select Origin Eight as your solution partner?

I don’t know if I know the answer to that question. I work with Greg Allen, who’s the director of finance, administration and, technically, IT. I think he got a reference from somebody else that we should talk to them. It was an expensive thing. At the time we engaged them, we needed another vendor as quickly as possible. 

Could you provide a sense of the size of this initiative in monetary terms?

To date, it’s probably $1,000. However, it is an ongoing relationship. 

RESULTS & FEEDBACK

In terms of results, could you share any statistics or metrics that would demonstrate the effectiveness of the work they've delivered?

No. There isn’t anything that we’ve had them do that’s really measurable. I can tell you when we just had them switch to their hosting platform, which was about two weeks ago, that our site operates much faster than it ever did before. We haven’t had any crashes, downtimes, or anything that we were having terrible trouble with before we transitioned.

When working with Origin Eight, is there anything you would consider unique or special about them compared to other vendors with which you’ve worked?

First of all, I would say I think that, even though they’re a small shop, they have a very deep knowledge base of all things related to Drupal. In terms of how they manage their business, they run everything through Basecamp, while some people just write you emails and there’s no way to keep track of things. But, they manage everything through Basecamp. Tasks get assigned with timeframes to specific people. It’s a very efficient process. It means that we’re in the loop every step of the way, and I really appreciate that level of transparency. 

In retrospect, are there areas that you think they could improve upon, or are there things you'd do differently as the client before approaching this type of project?

No. I can't really think of anything from their end. We’ve been very happy with our relationship.

Do you remain confident that Drupal content management system will continue to satisfy your business needs into the foreseeable future?

I believe so. Yes. 

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