What was the scope of their involvement?
Pixel Army built a custom-made website for us based on our specifications, and it went live in January 2016. The entire development was broken up into three parts.
They initially built the public-facing website, and then started creating an integrated portal that is only accessible by password access. Our member associations, club teams, and volunteers can access this secure, private portion of our website for communication, exchange of documents, and also to acquire permits and sanctions.
Two-hundred associations needed to be able to access this portal, and they all needed to be divided into the nine recognizable zones used to administer amateur hockey in Alberta. Each of these zone groups needed to be connected to a zone volunteer coordinator responsible for approving or rejecting the permit requests. Pixel Army created the request forms that could be sent directly to the appropriate zone volunteer. We needed the volunteer to be able to go into the backend, review the request, and then either approve, edit, or deny it. All of this needed to have appropriate, generated emails that went along with the process.
Pixel Army also developed an events registration and payment platform. They created the ability for us to set up registration for each calendar event, then receive payment via the Moneris payment platform. The platform also generates full, financial, and profile reports in the backend that we’re able to export and send to event organizers.
All of our email generation is done through SendGrid, and everything else is done through either custom-created elements or from packages they’ve built to work within their platform. I’m not aware of any other out-of-the-box software being used.
We’re currently trying to develop a form builder so we can convert all of our fillable PDFs to our website. We’re also in the process of doing additional work on the portal to transform the main database for our minor hockey association contacts.
We’re currently linking teams that have been given approved requests to an e-game sheet platform where they will be able to fill in the goals and penalties from a game. This data will be automatically sent to the same minor discipline coordinator in case there are supplemental disciplines due to penalties.
We’ve subsequently created a separate provincial championships platform, a website for our new female hockey league, and two other websites for the Alberta Cup and the Alberta Challenge events. These projects are a little different because they aren’t public facing websites. Pixel Army suggested multiple features we could use to improve our game sheet reporting platform, including live or strolling tickers that connect the provincial championship website to the homepage of our main website.
What is the team dynamic?
We've worked directly with one developer since the beginning who has been responsible for building the shells. We’ve also worked directly with their president, Kevin, on the overall design and layout. We have an account manager, Amber, who is our main point of contact for day-to-day business and also coordinates with their office. She determines if there is an issue for Kevin to solve, and also communicates with their designer and developer, Christina.
There were at least a dozen other people working on everything when we were getting ready to go live.
How did you come to work with Pixel Army?
We undertook an RFP [request for proposal] process, for which we received about 15 responses. We narrowed it down to three, then went through an interview process with each of our shortlisted candidates. We were looking for an Alberta-based partner, and Pixel Army fit well because they are located in Edmonton. We found both their approach and RFP quite attractive, and they were also a smaller shop, so we felt confident knowing we’d be in direct contact with their team.
We had some specific challenges, but they assured us they would be able to address them head-on and were willing to alter things to fit our needs. So far, there hasn’t been a single thing they couldn’t handle, and they’ve never told us they couldn’t implement a change. They’ve been very willing to help us achieve our goals and to deliver a custom-made solution.
How much have you invested with them?
We spent somewhere between $70,000-$80,000.
What is the status of this engagement?
We’ve been live since the end of January 2016, and the original phases have been completed. We have a collaborative, ongoing relationship as we tweak, make additions to, and improve the platform.