To prepare for significant business growth, Cochlear Limited needed to consolidate its online presence across its global offices.
Cochlear worked with GLiNTECH to deploy a platform based on IBM® Web Content Manager—enabling it to deploy a consistent online presence in multiple languages to meet country-level legal requirements.
Consolidates75 country websites to just 20, driving significant costs savings
Improvesability to lock-down country specific content, reducing risks of non-compliance
15% increasein web traffic achieved by serving multiple stakeholders more efficiently
Business challenge story
DIY results in online inconsistency
To enjoy the success it does, Cochlear has become synonymous with innovation—both for its product lines, that have won numerous local and international accolades, as well as in the way it serves its customers.
Vishy Narayanan, Head of Online, Cochlear, explains, “Like many businesses that grow rapidly in a short time, Cochlear had a few localized branches with a strong online presence, but we had no consolidated mechanism for engaging and delivering information to our customers (recipients and candidates) and professionals: our channel partners.”
Without a standardized global online presence, Cochlear’s regional offices built their own web platforms using a wide range of technology.
“We had close to 75 websites across multiple platforms. Some sites were managed by internal teams and others were outsourced; it was a challenge optimizing our technology infrastructure, which meant it was costly and inefficient.”
Content distribution and management processes had issues with consistency, making information sharing across the organization difficult and time-consuming.
“We wanted to improve user experience with a consistent look and feel, better branding and using more intuitive interfaces. We needed to build an online business platform that other parts of the business such as marketing, could leverage to drive customer engagement—rather than each area creating and managing its own solution to satisfy the needs of each new project,” Vishy Narayanan says.
Trusted partner enables seamless transition
Cochlear was in the midst of rolling out IBM WebSphere® Portal, so IBM was a natural choice for this project and to support the commitment to implementing a standardized web and content management platform.
Vishy Narayanan explains, “We needed a flexible solution to cater for our high availability, enterprise level demands and cope with rapid change and since IBM was already used in other parts of the business we decided to stick with the same platform.”
Following initial discussions, IBM recommended its Business Partner, GLiNTECH, to deliver an enterprise portal and related content management solution leveraging a shared infrastructure and providing a role-based single point of access for both content and web services.
Vishy Narayanan says, “We knew that the scale of this project was unprecedented, so we needed a partner with ready skills that were quick to deploy, and who could help us manage a roll-out across more than 24 countries in close to 20 different languages.” GLiNTECH helped us to configure and integrate the IBM solution into various back-end systems and develop content structures, sites, portlets and Service Oriented Architecture (SOA).
“The caliber of our GLiNTECH resources was excellent. GLiNTECH provided the perfect blend of expertise and strong relationships with technical professionals in the IBM Labs—who became an invaluable resource for us as we forged new ground”, adds Vishy Narayanan.
Deployment started with Cochlear’s international site acting as a pilot. Vishy Narayanan says that this approach allowed his team to leverage what it learned to tweak the deployment process for the other country sites. It was then able to migrate close to 20 country sites in the second phase, in under a year, which the organization felt was a great result.
Training is key to managing such a large deployment so, in addition to initial familiarization training on using the new platform, Narayanan and his team run weekly forums to share tips and ensure global stakeholders know how to optimize any new functionality to their best advantage.
Consolidated strategy delivers business benefits
The organization has achieved what is believed to be a first for the medical devices industry—a single platform for a comprehensive, company-wide online strategy.
Vishy Narayanan says, “Cochlear has gone from a collection of 75 websites to just 20—and we are continuously monitoring the number of our websites to ensure it meets business requirements. When we started out there was a lot of concern from our international teams that the final outcome would be inferior to the web platforms they had already created themselves—but the feedback so far has been positive and we continue to look for ways to optimize and improve the platform to deliver a better customer experience.”
A key measurement for Cochlear is increased traffic to its websites. Vishy Narayanan says, “Preliminary results from user testing we ran in Australia and the UK shows a very positive 15 percent increase in web traffic. While the platform is just one part of the puzzle, I believe having consistent content and a uniform look and feel certainly impacted this very positive outcome.”
An example involving a major new product launch, where Cochlear needed to have information about the product live across all country websites in a relatively short period, demonstrated that the challenge—which was significant under Cochlear’s previous content management process proved easy enough on the new platform.
According to Vishy Narayanan, “The medical devices industry is heavily regulated, which means many Cochlear products are not available in all countries at the same time. In addition, the indications and specifications for any product must meet the different legislative requirements of individual countries. This was a critical success factor for us because, no matter how good the platform or the engagement is, it has to deliver what the business needs. With IBM and GLiNTECH’s resources, we achieved what was needed—and on time.”
Headquartered in Sydney, Cochlear Limited is the global leader in implantable hearing solutions. Over 30 years, Cochlear has helped more than a quarter of a million people overcome hearing loss. With more than 2,700 staff in over 100 countries, the company has grown rapidly and is highly respected in the medical industry.
Take the next step
To learn more about IBM Web Content Manager, please contact your IBM representative or IBM Business Partner, or visit the following website: ibm.com/marketplace/web-content-development
Based in Sydney, GLiNTECH is an award-winning Australian IBM Silver Business Partner. Its trained consultants are certified across IBM’s suite of solutions, making them the IT services provider of choice for several large enterprise clients in Australia and across the region. GLiNTECH has operated since 2000. To learn more about GLiNTECH, please visit: www.glintech.com