Business Catalyst Partner Showcase Paul Ridoutt, The Bowery Paul Ridoutt, The Bowery

On the BC platform

What do your clients like about using BC?

There are many content management systems available in the marketplace and as designers and developers, we are spoilt with choice. The reason that Business Catalyst was a clear choice for us in 2008 is that we can confidently say to all of our potential customers, that the learning curve to self-manage the finished product is not as steep nor is it as complex as others.

Being an integrated all-in-one solution is also an appealing notion for our customers. Whether they enter the Business Catalyst at the lower end or start at the e-commerce end, the system has a clear upgrade path without having to re-engineer the system. Its other advantages are clear – clients love having one system that does content publishing, e-commerce, dynamic databases, email marketing, customer management, event management, reporting and even affiliate programs. They have one relationship with us and one payment for a very powerful, easy-to-use system.

How is developing on BC different from your previous development process?

Custom site development is always a challenge no matter whether you start from scratch or implement open source systems with plugins. What Business Catalyst does for our custom build process is shorten the development time by providing many of the capabilities and modules ready to go. The Web App system is absolutely incredible and this cuts down time and costs dramatically.

When it comes to quick turnaround sites at a lower cost than custom sites, Business Catalyst steps up. If a client wants to keep costs down, we can easily start with an existing layout and functional framework that we pre-load into the system. This means development costs are significantly lowered and the time to market is shorter.

Although not our specialty, for customers that have low budgets, there are of course a myriad of launch-ready designs across a wide range of sites that mean customers can get to market very quickly with something that looks great and works well.

What are the strengths of BC compared to other systems?

The big winner for clients is the all-in-one concept of Business Catalyst, its easy-to-use content management platform, and the wide range of e-learning and forums to support the client and sometimes even us.

From a development perspective, it has seamless Dreamweaver integration, instant shipping integration, 30 second payment gateway setup and well-managed capabilities built into the system, meaning we don’t have to keep an eye on hosting, plugins, and upgrading of software in the back end. It is also very cost effective for our clients and indeed for us. As Premium Partners, we have complete control around setting our customers up inside the portal, going live, and managing their websites in the future if needed.

Being a SAAS environment means we are not seeing broken functions or poorly performing capabilities like we have experienced with open source platforms. The Business Catalyst team keep the system up to scratch and running smoothly 99.9% of time. There is a lot of peace of mind in that.

The Bowery is very active in the UX/IA design of mobile websites and social media integration. With these two elements now being part of the Business Catalyst system, we also have lower development costs and can focus on smarter thinking.

On Being a BC Partner

What are your favorite aspects of the Partner Program, and why?

The Business Catalyst community and Adobe themselves are now very proactive in communicating outward, providing feedback opportunities and generally enabling great collaborative conversations.

It is a real bonus for us to have a robust global business like Adobe involving us in the future of the Business Catalyst product roadmap.

The Partner Network is also the most amazing group of business owners and entrepreneurs that are truly pushing the collaborative nature of the wired world forward every day. Being a Partner gives us access to other like-minded partners whose knowledge is actively shared and empowers us to improve on a daily basis.

Looking back, how do you feel about your decision to become a BC Partner?

We have never really looked back or regretted our decision to partner with Business Catalyst. There have been some hairy moments when trying to figure out solutions for our customers using BC, but like all good web folk, we have developed robust workarounds.

We realise that Business Catalyst has opened itself up to emerging design and development superstars via the Muse product, and this represents a great opportunity for us to perhaps become advisers and developers to some of these people as their skills evolve and their needs grow.

How has BC helped you grow your design business?

Being primarily a user experience and design business, when The Bowery found Business Catalyst, the development process became shorter, cheaper and more consistent. 4 years ago we partnered with the incredibly clever Inhale Digital team (now a Business Catalyst Partner) who help us bring our designs to life while we stick to planning, UX, design and the ongoing content management and marketing of our clients' sites.

Business Catalyst also makes us look good. Over a coffee or two, we can ramble off a long list of built-in capabilities to potential clients and build a lot of value into the proposal, all off the back of the Business Catalyst product. It suits our style. It suits our bottom line.

Show us some of your work on BC

Apres Velo

Après Vélo designs and produces the coolest cycling tee shirts on the planet. Designed without compromise for all bike-fixated obsessives. They needed a beautifully minimalist design that enabled their products to scream the loudest. Business Catalyst was again recommended by The Bowery and against quotations using Drupal and Umbraco, they again chose Business Catalyst.

The site has multi-currency payment gateways, multi domains and some additional capability creating using JQuery and the built in Business Catalyst API that provide the client with easy to use Buy One Get one Free, Refer a Friend, Threshold discounting and large image background slider. All in all it was a stunning result and a complex build made easy.

Donna Hay

Although the Donna Hay website has been moved in house and re-developed by their enterprise suppliers, it started life within Business Catalyst. For 2 years the Donna Hay business enjoyed a successful foray into online e-commerce, recipes, style tips, social media and a whole lot more.

The tremendous growth of their online business saw them constantly pushing the Business Catalyst system to its limit and we even integrated the Google Enterprise Search platform into the site to enable a powerful customised on site search experience.

The business was able to self-manage their website using Business Catalyst's incredible CMS tools and this included weekly marketing emails to their incredibly large databases using the built in newsletter marketing solution.

This site was created to allow visitors to experience all main information within a parallax experience. The key element was to also allow the Musson team to update content in house as easy as possible.

Using Web Apps, we have enabled them to add multimedia, product images and product information with ease. The results make the Musson brand and its incredible photography to shine whilst giving the visitor an engaging usable experience.

The client continues to add new content and leverage their creativity on a daily basis.

Thank you, Paul! You can find out more about The Bowery and what their clients had to say about their work at www.thebowery.net.au.

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