After recognizing their need for local support, a tech manufacturer hired Therefore Interactive to replace their outsourced resource and provide web development services.
Therefore Interactive provided outstanding contributions to the new website. They built a front-end that is functionally accessible, a back-end that is easily manageable, and an architecture that is beneficial to its users. The agency impressed with their understanding and collaborative nature.
"Therefore Interactive has attacked our wish list one item at a time. I'm very pleased overall."
Introduce your business and what you do there.
FUJIFILM VisualSonics is a designer and manufacturer of ultrasound technology. We service a niche market, operating in the point-of-care ultrasound space, with FUJIFILM as our parent company. Our focus was in the pre-clinical space until last year, when we released an ultra-high-frequency product for the clinical space.
I am one of two marketing managers for North America. We also have a couple of product managers on the team, working closely with the marketing department in order for us to closely understand each other in terms of how the product can be marketed to the right audience. My focus is mostly on the brand, website communication, advertising, and managing graphic design. I play the role of a creative director to an extent.
What challenge were you trying to address with Therefore Interactive?
When I came onboard a couple of years back, we were outsourcing our website management to an Indian company. The admin interface presented a challenge for us, even though we had a Drupal 7 site. Changes took a bit of know-how, which hindered the flexibility of the team and made the site look dated. The platform was strict even in terms of image and video sizes we could use. Unless the user knew their way around Drupal and had programming skills, the interface proved very challenging. Working with a team which was from a completely different time zone to ours was another difficulty. When we were just getting ready to work, they'd be signing off for the day.
What was the scope of their involvement?
We have an ongoing web development project with Therefore Interactive and are hoping to migrate our entire work to their team, locally.
Therefore Interactive proposed a site architecture and look-and-feel. We liked it and continued to work with their contracted designer outside of the project, for rebranding company materials, including a new logo. This enabled us to have a consistent company image across different media.
How did you come to work with Therefore Interactive?
I found Therefore Interactive through their website. We looked at a number of companies, even quoting our previous one. Our parent company was also working with a web agency which we contacted ourselves. I was looking for a Toronto developer which had experience with the Drupal. Therefore Interactive had done enough of a good job in terms of SEO [search engine optimization] as to push its site forward for these terms. I looked at the work posted online and reached out to Therefore Interactive. Their principals came to our office and we had a nice discussion. We liked their approach and felt strongly that Therefore Interactive had the strongest proposal out of all 3 candidates.
How much have you invested with Therefore Interactive?
The total cost of phase-one of our project with Therefore Interactive was $100,000. They came in at the higher end of the scale, but we took into consideration the fact that the other companies were working with US dollars. The fact that Therefore Interactive was a Canadian company was a bonus. Ultimately, after a 1-to-1 conversion, they'd be on par with the other candidates.
What is the status of this engagement?
We started working with Therefore Interactive at the fall of 2015. Our project is underway. We're hoping to finish stage one in the near future.
Could you share any evidence that would demonstrate the productivity, quality of work, or the impact of the engagement?
The navigation and ease-of-use of our website have been put in place. There have been a few challenges in terms of development, which is something I'm used to, given that I come from a web design background. There will always be bugs and it takes time to fix everything.
As a pre-clinical company, our challenge was catering to that space through our website. Our target audience is composed of pharmaceutical and clinical professionals who are used to a certain look-and-feel. If we wanted to play in that space, our present solution would prove lack-luster. In terms of strategy and ideas posed, we wanted to make sure that we presented a clear definition. Coming to our site, a user would only see clinical material. The proposed architecture and construction of our site by Therefore Interactive was very impressive to me.
We're able to manage content easily in the backend. As long as we respect the proper tagging for a certain type of material, it will be integrated and brought in beautifully. As long as we do our homework, the architecture will have effective results.
We're still in the development phase and haven't shared the site with customers. I plan on sharing the site with our sales team on Wednesday but, on the administrative side, it's been a very easy and intuitive experience. Knowing how to use it requires a bit of training, but Therefore Interactive has attacked our wish list one item at a time. I'm very pleased overall.
How did Therefore Interactive perform from a project management standpoint?
There was one point at which I would have wanted more weekly meetings with Therefore Interactive. We were getting updates, but I wanted to speed things up a little bit. Therefore Interactive added me to the internal project management interface. They share the progress for each task being worked-on and we also started talking every week, addressing all the items which need to be accomplished.
What did you find most impressive about Therefore Interactive?
Therefore Interactive's team tries to understand what our needs are. Compared to the other companies we approached, they did their homework at the proposal stage, trying to understand who we were as a client and what our needs were. The advantage to working with Therefore Interactive is that they're based in Toronto, half an hour away from our office. Even though most of our interactions are over the phone or online, we have had training sessions on-site. Having face-to-face interactions was very important to us, which is something unique in this day and age.
Therefore Interactive understood our pain points and addressed them in the architecture that was developed.
Are there any areas Therefore Interactive could improve?
There were some bugs on the technology end of things which weren't always fixed immediately. There's not a lot of content involved in our site, but the architecture is complex in a sense. Therefore Interactive could also be more proactive in terms of setting up a schedule, instead of having me initiate meetings.