What evidence can you share that demonstrates the impact of the engagement?
We’ve consistently seen record numbers of traffic and commerce increases since we’ve engaged with them, and I think part of that is the technology, the design, and the ease of use. On one of our WordPress platforms, we have more than a million visitors each month. Oftentimes, we’ll be cited by The New York Times, The Washington Post, or the DRUDGE REPORT, and Unleashed has built the platform so that it can sustain that amount of traffic.
Year-over-year, we’ve seen increased revenue. Our main Drupal website now does about $1.1 million in commerce. That’s selling books and memberships direct, which is a big deal for a publisher when you’re doing it off of your own website. When we met them, we were doing around $400,000 a year.
How did Unleashed Technologies perform from a project management standpoint?
We follow the agile methodology and at times have done scrums. We have bi-weekly meetings. Everybody is organized, and we bring people in as needed. They’re very structured in the sense that we have these meetings; however, we're super agile when we need a break-fix or have to re-prioritize stuff, so it's a good relationship.
What did you find most impressive about them?
They’re always available. They are creative thinkers in terms of architecting solutions, and they’ve helped us iterate over the years. To provide a specific example, one of our major clients is the ROTC and NJROTC. We have a longstanding agreement with the Navy and Marine Corps to provide books in print to ROTC and NJROTC students. When COVID-19 began, these students couldn’t get access to their textbooks. We went to Unleashed and explained that we wanted to provide textbooks to these students until the end of the year. We wanted to avoid doing so with a more traditional e-book because we didn’t want to ask these students to download an app and overload their data plans.
In a matter of a week, Unleashed said that we could publish the books online and provide units with coupon codes to find the books. They said they could make them protected pages so that they're not searchable by Google. They architected this solution for us and then let us know how to upload content ourselves.
Now, there are more issues with students not going back to school, such as all of the California ROTC units. We went back to Unleashed, and they figured out how to have the Navy buy a digital book for each student. In that sense, they’re a true partner, and we share success with them. We had to figure it out; it was a proof of concept, and we did it, which makes me proud to work with them.
Are there any areas they could improve?
We met them when they were a new company. There have been growing pains over the years, which is expected with any entrepreneurial or small company.
Any advice for potential customers?
You have to like the vendors that you work with. Be clear in your goals about what you expect in terms of time and materials, especially for nonprofits and associations. Form a relationship with your project manager; get the project manager you want, not just the one you’ve been assigned.