Kaliop named Ibexa Partner of the Month for February

Kaliop named Ibexa Partner of the Month for February

The relationship between Kaliop Group and Ibexa goes back almost two decades, and in that time the agency has built more than 100 multi-site platforms with Ibexa technology. The group is headquartered in Montpellier, but the bulk of its Ibexa expertise now operates from its Polish subsidiary in Słupsk near Gdańsk. Increasingly, the center of gravity of its commercial initiatives involving Ibexa will also shift to Kaliop Poland.

Kaliop is our Partner of the Month for February.

The CTO of Kaliop Poland is Piotr Karaś. He heads a large team of developers of whom 10 are active Ibexa experts. “Many recertified recently,” Karaś adds, “and others are on their way to Ibexa recertification.” 

“While Kaliop’s focus is on composable web architectures, there are always a number of projects for which turn-key solutions such as Digital Experience Platform software are a better fit. Among those, Ibexa DXP is the company’s primary choice,” says Karaś. He adds that the overriding advantage of Ibexa is that it has the strengths of a monolithic platform while overcoming many of its weaknesses.

“Many monoliths are a pain to integrate but Ibexa DXP is built on Symfony which gives you complete extensibility and integrates elegantly with other core systems or third-party functionality. Another key advantage is that Ibexa implementations typically have a very competitive time-to-market, especially when it comes to content-related projects.

“The Ibexa content model is pretty much in a class of its own,” says Karaś.  “And when I say content, I mean the Ibexa tree structure, the translations, permissioning, how relationships are organized, and so on. We know it deeply and can make it shine for our customers, giving them content architectures that are extremely well organized, safe, intuitive, maintainable, and long-lasting.”

The Ibexa workload at Kaliop Poland is a mixture of local customers, such as UNICEF and Mazars, the international audit, tax and advisory firm, and projects that originated in the group’s home base of France. The most significant of these is the French manufacturer, Essilor.

Although it is the world’s largest producer of ophthalmic lenses, Essilor is not a household name for the millions of people who wear its products. Kaliop re-oriented the sites for its European markets towards a B2C2B marketing channel on Ibexa DXP. It did this by creating a customer journey that educates the end-user on the many types of Essilor products available and gamifies his or her choice of lens which can then be shared with the opticians that are part of Essilor’s distribution network – and its actual customers.

“This was a ground-breaking project,” says Karaś, “and we are constantly extending its scope. We’ve rolled out to markets outside Europe, notably Latin America. We developed a new series of websites for Essilor’s B2B audience and deployed Ibexa as a headless CMS for an internal B2B customer portal application. Another customization we did for Essilor was a segmentation engine for content based on Salesforce segmentation data.

“This shows you what is possible if the power and flexibility of Ibexa DXP are leveraged by a technology partner with a deep knowledge of the system,” Karaś adds.

UNICEF Poland has been working with Kaliop/ Ibexa for many years. “The site for UNICEF is about more than just content management,” says Karaś. “You can also buy products and donate money with one-off or recurring payments. For now, this is done through an integration with a Polish payment gateway.” 

Kaliop Poland is on the verge of completing a huge upgrade project for Mazars, the leading firm of accountants. “We are upgrading them from legacy eZ Publish to Ibexa 4.5+,” explains Karaś, “a huge undertaking that has taken 600 man-days of effort. It’s a multi-language, multi-site, with 100+ countries, and a substantial repository of content and users. What made the migration so complex is that we had to keep all the legacy content and permissions, but also convert much of the old content to Ibexa's more modern tools such as Page Builder as well as add new modules and customizations.”

Karaś does not have a commercial background, but he knows that there is huge potential for Ibexa DXP implementations in Poland and elsewhere Europe.

“What we love about Ibexa is its rapid and effective prototyping. In a couple of hours, you can put together an informal Proof of Content of how the platform could meet the requirements of a potential customer. You can show quickly and explicitly how Ibexa DXP would help them solve their problems.”

One of the joys of the Ibexa Partner ecosystem is not only that we help each other sell more, but also that together we optimize the possibilities of the platform. Over the years, Kaliop Poland and Karaś personally have created many innovative features and/or Ibexa modifications.

“We have built a generic engine to define and utilize sophisticated validation rules for Page Builder-based pages or Form Builder forms,” says Karaś. “We also saw the need for Ibexa's core tweak to control language prioritization in admin UI based on context or on editors' demand, allowing them to see content names translated according to their temporary needs.”

Kaliop has also developed and perfected a unique approach to creating site factories, in which individual sites or groups of sites speak with their dedicated database and storages. This allows for much less code and feature complexity, readiness for site decoupling, and the reduction of various risks.

“It’s a great feeling to use Ibexa DXP to make our customers happy, but also to contribute to the system itself, and perhaps even influence its evolution. We are actively proposing certain changes around the permissions system and translations, for which we have experienced a need in the market. And what I like is that Ibexa is happy to have that dialogue. That is what partnership is all about,” Karaś concludes. 

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