Background

Since 1899, The Insurance Institute of Canada has been educating the members of Canada's insurance industry. Currently representing more than 39,000 individuals, the Institute's programs are recognized throughout Canada, the U.S. and the U.K. The Institute is comprised of 20 associations from regions across Canada.

The Institute chose Sitecore to host its new public-facing website, with the goal of using it as one of many coordinated vehicles to engage new stakeholders and drive existing stakeholders deeper into the site. One of the key purposes of the new site was to allow members to browse and purchase services and products from within Sitecore.

Solution

The Institute chose nonlinear to design and develop the new website and ensure a seamless integration with Aptify, the Association Management System in place. Beginning from a road mapping exercise that identified the priorities of the Institute, a large team of stakeholders was assembled to review and validate the features that the new site would provide and where it would integrate with Aptify. Personas, information architecture, visual designs and wireframes were artifacts that were produced as the team followed a user-centered design process.

Using nonlinear's agile Service Delivery Framework, the development team iteratively implemented and demoed features to the working group every three weeks. This development team was comprised not only of nonlinear resources but also two developers, a business analyst and a quality assurance resource from IIC. This blended team worked together seamlessly, resulting in a truly collaborative effort.

Following the development of the solution, several training sessions were conducted for the roles that were identified as part of the governance decisions made at the beginning of the project, which included administrators, site owners, content owners and content authors.

Outcome

The nonlinear and Institute teams worked together to ensure that features critical to the vision were implemented according to the expectations of the target audiences. The resulting site supports role and regional-based navigation and uses an improved, more modern visual design. The content was reviewed, culled and organized into a simple, intuitive information architecture.

Far more than a simple CMS deployment, this project required deep and complex integration with existing backend systems, including Aptify, an Association Management System, to expose courses, events and other product information within Sitecore using an SoA approach. It also required the rewriting of all e-commerce logic.

Other benefits included:

  • A visual design that aligns with modern expectations and the Institute’s brand guidelines
  • A single-sign on system, which also supports “Forgot Password” functionality
  • The ability for local institutes and chapters across Canada to manage the content on their section of the site
  • Social sharing integration
  • Content pages that are constructed using DMS-ready components
  • The creation of a set of comprehensive unit tests along with web services that exposed product information and eCommerce functionality
  • The adoption of a continuous integration approach that allows new features to be continuously deployed