Ibexa Welcomes Two UK Agencies to its Partner Network
We are delighted and excited to have added two UK digital agencies to our global of ecosystem of Ibexa partners – CIVIC and Equimedia.
Based in different parts of the UK (Edinburgh and Swindon), with a very different client base, CIVIC and Equimedia both highlight the importance of a cultural fit as one of the principal reasons for partnering with Ibexa.
The agencies were pleasantly surprised at the speed and simplicity of the process of commercial and technical certification. For everyone involved, the attitude was: there are synergies here, we share a business vision – we should collaborate formally.
We talked to CIVIC and Equimedia about starting their journey with Ibexa. And both, by the way will be speaking in our roundtable at Ibexa Engage on June 29.
CIVIC: ‘We see Ibexa as a good fit for our larger clients’
Founded in 2001, CIVIC is a full-stack digital agency for a wide range of services. “We start from UX, UX design,” says Greg Rouchotas, “and then development, both in PHP and Java, as well as hosting and support. We use creative thinking, digital innovation and collaborative problem-solving (and 20 years of know-how) to help our clients communicate better with their audiences and achieve their goals. We’re more than a digital agency, we combine skills and experience to improve the way people experience all their everyday interactions with our clients. From UX and design to development and hosting – all under one roof. ”
Security and data compliance are important aspects of CIVIC’s offering because many of its clients are large governmental bodies, such as the National Audit Office and the Independent Police Conduct Authority.
“In fact, we are UK market leaders in cookie consent management,” says Rouchotas. “Our tool called Cookie Control helps organizations to manage and user consentcookies. The tool has become de facto solution for the UK public sector.”
Rouchotas was approached by Ibexa at the end of February; a matter of months later, after “a well-structured partnership process”, CIVIC became a certified partner.
Hopefully we’ll soon be Platinum Partners, that’s the aim. We’ll start from the bottom and work our way up!
“Unlike most agencies, we evaluate in detail and when we’re interested, we go for it. There is no point dragging things out. We want to start getting the word out about Ibexa as quickly as possible.”
What interested Rouchotas about Ibexa DXP was its depth of functionality. “During the demos we soon realised Ibexa had the kind of functionalities that would add to what we can offer clients, especially our larger clients.
“For example, there is a lot of functionality that Ibexa has that is not in Drupal, and our clients having been asking for some of that. Rather than re-developing something that is already there, we can now recommend Ibexa.”
CIVIC is seeking technical certification for three developers “just to get us started” with plans to add two more in due course. “We’re a little bit of a strange organization in the sense that when we get involved with a product we really want to get under its skin, not just use it. We want to genuinely understand how everything works so we invest a lot of time in it.
“When we do something, we like to be committed.”
With the instincts and confidence of its strong technical base, CIVIC developers looked under the hood of the Ibexa technology, “and took it apart to understand it well”.
CIVIC developers are of course familiar with the Symfony framework on which the Ibexa DXP is built. “We work with Symfony every day so that was a positive too,” says Rouchotas.
CIVIC is excited to be teaming up with Ibexa, and we are pleased to count such an experienced and cutting-edge digital crew among our partners.
“Hopefully we’ll soon be Platinum Partners,” concludes Rouchotas. “That’s the aim. We’ll start from the bottom and work our way up!”
Equimedia: ‘There was a sense of, yes, we need to work together’
Equimedia is a full-service digital marketing agency, founded in 1999 .. Equimedia is a performance agency focused on helping clients achieve online business growth and marketing cost efficiency. They do this by offering clients customer-focused, UX-driven website design and build, management and site optimization services, as well as the full suite of digital media planning and buying services.
The agency has experienced rapid growth over the past few years. Ross Britton, Equimedia’s Website Experience Director, explains the background to this. “Maybe five years ago, there were lots of specialist agencies popping up: UX specialists, SEO specialists, pay-per-click specialists, media agencies to name a few. What we now find is that the clients that work with those specialist agencies are realizing they are getting a fragmented digital approach. The story is: ‘We have paid search and SEO, but not managed together. We have analytics separated out. We are spending a lot of time managing relationships – and worst of all, our digital marketing is not as well-connected as it should be’.
“This is where clients come to us for a solution,” Britton continues, “and their problem statement is: ‘We need a joined up, holistic digital view.’ They quickly see the benefit of this approach and find that there is no point investing more capital on acquisition activity every month if you are directing this traffic to a website that is not yet fit for purpose.”
This holistic, in-the-round thinking is what also characterizes the Ibexa approach to digital transformation.
The other synergy is B2B – and B2B companies having to pivot to D2C during the pandemic. Britton explains. “We’ve been winning a lot of B2B business; there’s clearly a huge deal of investment happening in B2B companies at the moment in terms of digital transformation and innovation.”
We have a similar strategy, goals, and culture, which I think was great and it translated into these very fast decision cycles
Equimedia understood early in the COVID-19 crisis that certain types of B2B & B2C business would be badly affected. “We launched a new value proposition called equi connect – a D2C solution that helps businesses whose distribution networks have been cut off to connect directly to their end-consumers. A lifeline for many of these businesses.”
One of the strengths of Ibexa DXP is its extensibility in allowing businesses to diversify their sales channels – and the innovative and agile response of Equimedia to the pandemic caught our eye.
“That was the initial talking point,” says Britton, “DXP and generally the fragmentation of sales channels that B2B businesses grapple with.”
Equimedia saw the advantage of a DXP that natively embeds e-commerce and personalization. “Having the option to add e-commerce to a site quickly allows you to pivot to D2C a lot faster than it does for other platforms. Going direct to the customer can be quite an undertaking for a lot of businesses but having the e-commerce element on top of the offering is something that makes it more agile.”
Equimedia and Ibexa soon discovered more synergies around the collaborative aspect of digital transformation and what Britton calls “a growth mindset” – really a virtuous cycle of technology, training, partnership, and cultural renewal.
“You guys also cut to the chase,” Britton adds, “something that we like to do also.”
After a first meeting in March, sales training in the same week, followed by technical certification of the first two developers in May, the partnership was official.
“I felt that there was a really a sense of, yes, we need to work together. We have a similar strategy, goals, and culture, which I think was great and it translated into these very fast decision cycles,” Britton says.
“Our clients appreciate this too,” he concludes. “They want to see change happen fast and measurable ROI. Equimedia and Ibexa are ready to make sure that happens!”
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