Content Manager Case Study

Learn how the team at Living Sky School Division enjoys the cost-saving and complexity-reducing benefits of their new, Content Manager powered web presence.

Free like puppies.

If you’re using the right tools or team for the job, solving problems with technology shouldn’t be expensive or complicated. Earlier this year, we had the privilege of working with the Living Sky School Division to relaunch all 29 of their websites with Content Manager. We recently caught up with Living Sky IT Manager, Jason Caswell, to discuss the project and to learn more about what prompted the change. Utilizing a provincial deal, Living Sky implemented a free version of SharePoint to manage their old websites. However, the complex layers of service and support needed from 3rd party vendors to keep them online and up-to-date quickly added considerable costs and restrictions to the equation. Free, in this case, was attractive, but with a platform that was never really meant to manage a web presence, Jason and his team were unprepared for what would be required to pull (and keep) everything together. Let’s look at how the Living Sky team enjoys the cost-saving and complexity-reducing benefits of their new, Content Manager powered web presence.

Plays nice with others.

When our team joined the pack at Living Sky, Jason reported that their web presence had become a stale and confusing mixture of sites and pages. “The whole situation was less than ideal,” said Jason, “the main thing we heard from our previous provider was, ‘no’. Integrations and customization were out of the question. Adding modules, links to student services and even basic content changes were either not possible or extremely expensive.” This resulted in out-of-date websites and cumbersome workarounds. Working with our design team, Living Sky cut the clutter to offer a clean, consistent and user-friendly experience. Starting from a blank canvas, we built a web presence that captured their vision while providing pleasingly straightforward navigation for staff, students and parents. Intuitive menus, concisely worded content and clear site structures were cleverly designed, pointing visitors to what they need most. Favourites for their team include the grid-style menu for important links, integrated social media, and the fact that their websites look great on any device! “Website feedback these days is a nice change! For the first time, we’re hearing that everyone can quickly and easily find what they are looking for,” noted Jason. See the sites for yourself over at www.livingskysd.ca

Taking the lead.

Behind the scenes, Content Manager has allowed all members of the Living Sky team (with the proper site permissions) to take complete control of page content. Powered by a unique DCT (Data Capture Table) engine, Content Manager breaks even the most complex designs into easy-to-use forms. By equipping frontline staff at both the division and school level with the ability to maintain their websites, information is always relevant and up-to-date. With this level of access and ease-of-use, Jason can now take the lead and focus most of his technology department’s time and resources on other essential areas, like remote learning and technical infrastructure. In our chat, Jason noted how he's often surprised to look back and realize how much he and his team had to be involved. When considering time spent, labour and creeping support costs, Jason reports they will be saving thousands of dollars on this and future year’s website bill. “That extra money and reclaimed time are already being put to great use,” said Jason.

Freedom can be free.

Whoever said freedom isn’t free, hasn’t met our team. Imagine Everything was built on the belief that unrestricted teamwork and collaboration is the best way to create solutions. To deliver on this, we feature unlimited support and keep the door wide open to future development -- completely free of charge. “You know it was bad when something as simple as having up-to-date information on our websites is a new concept” laughed Jason when asked about what’s changed since launch, “for the first time, we’re backed by a supportive team. We feel well equipped, and we are finally able to get things done.” Post-launch, we’ve had a great time working with Jason and his team to continually evolve their websites and use of Content Manager. With features like a bus route management system, the SchoolFinder App, and much more on the way, our development community has provided Living Sky with an unprecedented level of freedom and exploration. Even as a smaller division, the team at Living Sky is able to have a significant impact throughout the Content Manager community. Users, from any size of school division, are in constant collaboration with our team to introduce and refine features that benefit everyone.

Barking up the wrong tree?

Stop trying to teach the old dogs new tricks. They’ve had their day. Join Living Sky and partner with a faithful, ever-trainable website companion. Reach out to hello@imagineeverything.com anytime to learn more about this project or to get started on your own!

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