A Drupal to WordPress Migration, and a New Culture of Creation for an international technology consultancy
Migrating from Drupal to WordPress
In 2017, Capgemini – a multi-billion euro technology consultancy present in over 40 countries – underwent a huge replatforming project, moving their network of 38 sites from their legacy Drupal CMS to WordPress. There were several reasons for this: the previous platform was no longer improving workflows and supporting editorial needs; the lack of backwards compatibility with previous versions made the website increasingly unstable and difficult to use; the system no longer supported their digital roadmap, and teams across the organisation were becoming frustrated with the lack of usability and extensibility – thereby seeking their own solutions outside the group platform.
As technology partners, Human Made were engaged to create a flexible and performant CMS tool on the WordPress platform to support Capgemini’s various client and public facing web properties. Using WordPress as a foundation, Capgemini leaped into a new digital culture of creation with a robust, usable, and intuitive CMS, which could support them in delivering their key business objectives and empower their global network of teams to do their jobs more effectively.
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A platform for business users
In 2012, Capgemini launched a series of websites using the Drupal 7 CMS platform. As the organisation evolved, and the demands on the platform increased significantly, their Marketing & Communications team were experiencing blockers at almost every stage of the publishing process. Capgemini realised that they had outgrown their publishing platform and due to this, it had become increasingly complex for the web opps (Web Operations) team to manage, and difficult for the Marketing & Communications team to use.
“We needed to make the right technology choice for our business needs. We needed a CMS to empower local teams to be able to publish content, but stay within the corporate bounds of the Capgemini brand.”– Parker Ward, Director, Content Marketing and Communications
As well as the Marketing & Communications team, the recruitment team were also experiencing difficulties using the website to surface new job roles. At 200,000 people strong, Capgemini turnover tens of thousands of applicants a year, and keeping up with these demands requires access to and facilitated use of their CMS. With less than five qualified Drupal webmasters in the entire organisation, the recruitment team were struggling to manage this.
A new digital culture of creation
The first thing we did was enable editorial to actually edit, modify, and update content on the website directly. WordPress did this natively — its inherent publishing capacity and the baked in capabilities it has to facilitate editorial workflows were instantly impactful, significantly improving the way in-house teams were working. The cost-effectiveness of migrating to WordPress was also a bonus, and meant many of the publishing challenges Capgemini needed to alleviate were instantly improved, without any additional need for a bespoke build.
Their initial concerns centred around investing in a CMS that could grow and evolve with the business through any future transitions and periods of growth. And a CMS that had a low entry level which would prevent a long and laborious onboarding period for publishers and their web opps team. WordPress ticked the box on almost every front; possessing a native capacity to publish content in a simple, easy-to-use admin and promoting a user-friendly experience for new users. They needed support in transitioning across to a new platform in order to successfully deliver on their digital roadmap; and they needed their platform to help them develop new and more efficient workflows and processes to support their objectives.
“Digital became a choke point for us. The system we built wasn’t really working.”– Parker Ward, Director, Content Marketing and Communications
Building a network: content syndication
One of the largest aspects of the Capgemini replatforming was in the content syndication, which involved a complex multisite, multilingual network, enabling the localised and translated content to move across and between any of their 38 sites. Capgemini’s desire to have different content structures across different sites, but retain the capacity to copy and translate content across from site to site, meant they needed a bespoke solution. Our solution was able to encapsulate both the translation, and localisation required on the shared content, as well as enable editorial flexibility so editors could make better use of the content they had available to them. Currently, the content syndication is also being used to undergo several different functions:
- to decide whether editors reject or accept content from another site;
- to decide whether the content should be synchronised or entirely detached (from regional site) and manipulated;
- to decide whether or not automatic updates are received for that piece of content;
- to allow Capgemini’s editorial teams to share content between sites.
“Today we (Capgemini.com) exists in multiple languages, we have an international editorial calendar we didn’t have, and we are able to feature jobs on the website easily.”– Parker Ward, Director, Content Marketing and Communications
The Capgemini replatforming project greatly eased the difficulties they were experiencing; starting with the migration to WordPress, which decreased the technical skill-level required to work with their CMS and thus opened it up to more people in the organisation; to our work supporting content experimentation, which enabled the MACS team to be responsive and reactive with campaigns. We amplified this by creating a pre-built library of components to enable the MACS team to put pages together quickly and easily.
Our goal was twofold: to reduce the cost and time required to bring new features to the platform, and support richer content publishing with a new CMS and new page templates. The former was enabled through experimentation with content formats and web functionality to ensure the teams tasked with publishing content were able to do so with minimal effort, and the latter solved by a custom templating system (made of blocks of content) to facilitate the consistent display and presentation of posts.
The resulting platform was intuitive, flexible, consistent, with a better and simpler UX, and a dynamic interface enabling them to cross-populate content from different websites, sections, and domains. It also gave them a CMS that liberated both the web opps and MACS teams, a simple blogging editor, and simplified workflows and processes they could commit to.
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