November 15, 2013

Announcing New Agency Partners

Over the last few months we've had a few new agency partners hop aboard the Fuse train so, I figured I should tell you about ‘em. But first, a little bit about how we work with agencies:

Our Agency partnerships have always been important to us. We like to think we've filled a Drupal-shaped void that many traditional agencies have. While most agencies offer digital solutions, the rise of Drupal as an enterprise level platform for Content Management and Software development has led many of their clients to ask for Drupal by name. The challenge to most traditional agencies is that building and maintaining Drupal sites requires a team that knows what they are doing. While some agencies have resident Drupal talent, they seldom have a solid team in place that can implement and maintain sophisticated solutions for their clients.

We have fit into this role of Drupal development partner/team rather well over the last few years. We treat our agency projects as if we landed them ourselves and assume they will require long-term, mutually beneficial relationships. To that end, beyond the development of the Drupal project, we assume other responsibilities that we see as requirements to successful projects.

Help with Process

One of these responsibilities is to help facilitate an effective process. Every agency is different when it comes to process especially around digital projects. Depending on how immersed in digital the agency is, we often have to take on a coaching role for the project and provide a framework for execution. We don't necessarily throw an established process out the door, rather we adapt existing workflows to suit digital & Drupal. This often means our project management team takes on a more prominent role in the project with the goal of affording agency creatives the ability to do what they do best within a productive framework.

Help with Ongoing Support

After launch, Drupal needs maintenance. Like any other open source or proprietary CMS, security updates are released regularly for Drupal and need to be applied promptly to ensure the security of the essential marketing tool we've built. Without internal resources to monitor and apply security updates to Drupal sites agencies do their clients a disservice.

We'€™ve seen agencies struggle not only with Drupal security, but with other ongoing maintenance tasks. Structural, design, functional changes & bug fixes are often tricky for them. Allocating appropriate resources within their already stretched digital team make for long turnaround times, inconsistent resources working on the site and ultimately unhappy clients.

Let'€™s face it. Agencies are in the game to build brands through great strategy and creative. Getting bogged down with something that isn'€™t a core competency can frustrate the business and client base.

Help with Training

Training is another integral piece of a Drupal project that agencies often have troubles with. Knowing Drupal inside and out is essential when training a client. Having provided training for 100+ Drupal projects, we consider ourselves pretty good at it. We provide web-based or in person training in addition to providing a custom user manual for each project. We know how to explain things to non-technical website administrators which reduces post-launch support time substantially.

Bespoke Drupal services

We're here to provide agencies with expert Drupal services so that they can focus on what they do best. Some of the services we often provide include:

  • Drupal best practices consulting
  • Website planning
  • Technical assessments
  • User interface design
  • Drupal development
  • Integration with 3rd party applications and internal systems
  • Drupal theming
  • Drupal training & documentation
  • System administration
  • Security monitoring, updates & support
  • Drupal website audits
  • Hosting

New Agency Partners

So, now after this little backgrounder on how we work with agencies, we'€™d like to welcome a few of our new partners aboard:

TAXI recently came to us to help out with the maintenance and enhancement of a large Drupal-based Digital Asset Management system for one of Canada's largest Telecoms. We'€™re excited to be working on this enterprise class system and look forward to developing some exciting new features for the project.

We'€™ve partnered with Grey to be their go-to Drupal resource for a number of existing projects and new projects in their pipeline. They have a great design team and we'€™re looking forward to building upon this great fledgling partnership.

The Sound Research is more of a market research company than an agency, and we've actually been working with The Sound Research for over a year now. We've been maintaining & enhancing their Drupal-based market research tool, but we've recently partnered with them to work on web projects for both LinkedIn and Netflix which we're pretty stoked about.