Smile Named Ibexa Partner of the Month for July
The winner of the 2023 Ibexa Partner Award for “Best Marketing Campaign of the Year” was digital agency Smile. The event orchestrated with Amazon Web Services (AWS) and Ibexa was held on a catamaran in the port of Marseilles and combined insightful presentations, B2B networking, and sheer fun, bringing a smile to everyone’s face.
“The event was great, and the award was the icing on the cake,” says Maxence Blanquart, Pre-Sale Consultant and Head of Ibexa Partnership at Smile.
“We have worked with Ibexa for a very long time,” he continues, “but this event celebrated a new phase of our collaboration. Ibexa DXP has made a successful transition from content champion to smart player in the Digital Experience space. And that matters to us and our customers.”
“B2B businesses are looking to migrate to a more powerful and mature platform, especially in sectors such as agriculture and manufacturing with which Smile has long had close ties. Our relationship with Ibexa DXP enables us to present existing and new clients with a modern solution that solves the problems these businesses are experiencing.”
Smile is Our Partner of the Month for July.
The agency is a European leader in Open-Source technology with more than 30 years’ experience in digital innovation. Smile employs some 2,000 people in France and across Europe and had a turnover of €160m in 2022.
Its flagship client with Ibexa DXP is the French pharmaceutical and dermo-cosmetics giant Pierre Fabre.
“For Pierre Fabre, we use the Ibexa functionality Site Factory because the company has many brands and needs to deploy new sites at scale. So far, we have rolled out around 120 Pierre Fabre sites across nine brands.
“We started on eZ [the CMS forerunner of Ibexa DXP], and over the years Smile has had lots of input in how Site Factory evolved. We are now migrating the Pierre Fabre footprint to the 4.4 version of Ibexa DXP.”
Smile developers have deep expertise in PHP and Symfony, the framework on which Ibexa DXP is built and which SensioLabs, the publisher of this framework, is part of the Smile group. Cementing Smile’s commitment to its partnership with Ibexa is the very high number of Ibexa-certified developers and sales colleagues, some 50 in total.
“We believe in Ibexa, and we believe in Ibexa DXP,” explains Maxence, “because it meets the expectations of so many client use cases.”
Smile has three approaches to building Digital Experience Platforms. “The first is all-in-one, where you get all the DXP functionalities: a CDP, customization, CMS, transactional functions, and more.
“Then there’s the more modular, best-of-breed approach, where we base the implementation on headless, cloud-native solutions, with each solution ‘hand-picked’ as being the best.
“And then there’s a third way, which is the best of both worlds. In this approach, there is a dominant solution to which you add components that are specific to certain requirements.
“What’s interesting about Ibexa DXP is that it can now respond to all these approaches. It can do all-in-one, and because of its modular architecture, it can also accommodate the best-of-breed and hybrid approaches.”
Maxence wants to stress another important aspect of Ibexa DXP, its powerful backend.
“There is a lot of talk about composable platforms with a unified frontend experience – and of course that’s great. But what we often forget is the back-end experience.
"Some of our customers are organized in silos, with an ecommerce, a marketing, product and PIM teams, and also content editors. Composable platforms can be an answer.
But many companies are not organized in this way by choice or due to their digital maturity such as businesses within the agricultural sector for example."
“What Ibexa DXP offers is a unified and intuitive backend. All these different inputs come together in one place that’s easy to manage, not least because Ibexa DXP can segment the backend so content editors, product owners, the ecommerce team et cetera only see what they need to see, making the backend experience much less intimidating.
“That’s an important selling point for companies where digital capabilities have typically not been a priority. But like everyone else, they want to transform how they work, and with Ibexa DXP that is suddenly within reach.”
Smile’s commitment to Ibexa DXP is bearing fruit. Maxence is in advanced talks with two major prospects: a manufacturer and a B2B agricultural producer.
“What these prospects are looking for is different, reflecting that diversity in approach we discussed earlier,” says Maxence. “The manufacturer wants content management and ecommerce; the agricultural producer is going down the composable route, starting with CMS functionalities, followed by the Customer Data Platform (CDP) and then ecommerce.
“These businesses are in very different places, with very different needs. But they are both looking to Ibexa DXP to help them achieve their digital and strategic objectives.”
Smile’s belief in Ibexa DXP, and Ibexa’s involvement in the pre-sales process, are appealing to these potential customers, and Maxence is optimistic about the outcome.
“One way or another, our partnership with Ibexa will go from strength to strength because our clients need digital transformation and for most of them, Ibexa DXP is the right solution.
“And we can’t wait to get back on that catamaran, or whatever great event we organize next!” Maxence concludes.