du offers broadband connectivity and IPTV services to people, homes and businesses throughout the United Arab Emirates (UAE). The company also provides carrier services, a data hub, Internet exchange facilities and satellite services for broadcasters. With more than 1,500 employees and revenue exceeding AED 10 billion +, du serves more than 7.5 million mobile customers (50 percent of the market share), 555,000 fixed-line subscribers, 180,000 home services subscribers and more than 70,000 businesses. In a survey conducted by ARC Chart, du was named the Best Mobile Broadband Network in the Middle East and Africa region.
du had expanded its digital presence and moved its customer portal, www.du.com onto Progress Sitefinity™ CMS more than four years ago. At the time, Sitefinity CMS was chosen for its ease of use and robust features. However, with mobile on the rise, du decided to rebuild its website from scratch.
According to eMarketer, nearly 73 percent of the population of the UAE will use a mobile phone this year, which puts the UAE in the number one spot for mobile phone user penetration among countries in the Middle East and Africa. So, the Web team at du knew the website content had to be displayed such that it can be sized on mobile phones and tablets. To accomplish this, du took advantage of the responsive design capabilities within Sitefinity, allowing them to adapt their current website to any device.
“Upgrading Sitefinity CMS helped the internal teams organize their content more effectively,” said Syed Owais, Director of Digital Communications, du. However, although the site was available and searchable on mobile devices, the design still wasn’t responsive.
Owais noted that mobile traffic to the site had grown quickly from 30 to 50 percent since launching the new site, and having a responsive design was critical for meeting customer expectations. “We decided to upgrade to a newer version of Sitefinity CMS to take advantage of responsive design capabilities and provide a much better user experience for our fast-growing customer base of mobile users,” he said. To do so du migrated content and data from the old site to the new one, while also updating outdated materials and information on the site.
The migration to the new version of Sitefinity CMS took roughly four months, and the new site went live in January, 2015. The BootStrap Framework, which is one of the most advanced frameworks available to keep the website sustainable, was used for the HTML development. Initial changes to the site included:
- The website information architecture (IA) was updated to make it as easy as possible for customers to find data
- Outdated content was removed to make the information more relevant
- A new User Experience has been integrated to improve the user journey
- User Experience and design for important modules such as "store locator" were completely revamped
- The Roaming Rates module was updated and made responsive
- Website forms are now 100-percent responsive to support mobile users
- Custom backend modules have been developed to enable clients to update content directly on the CMS across various departments
During the second phase of the migration, Owais’s team refreshed the content and worked with Sitefinity modules to improve design and language governance.
Owais said one of the biggest reasons the team likes Sitefinity CMS is that new users without technical experience can learn to use it quickly. “Business units can make certain updates and changes to the website, which not only lightens our workload but enables business users to see faster results and keep their information fresh and accurate.”
Additionally, creating a new template for a page is quick and can be done entirely in-house. “We can use the templates and modules to create a design that conforms to our established branding elements, without waiting for an agency or paying additional design fees.”
Sitefinity CMS also provides extensive language support, which enabled Owais’s team to post content in three different languages.
Sitefinity CMS Helps du Grow Site Rapidly While Improving Workflow Efficiency
With its ease of use and short learning curve, Sitefinity CMS has enabled the team to grow the 25-page website to more than 1,000 pages, because business users from different departments in du can add their own pages, based on the templates provided.
Another important benefit du realized is the time savings on internal approvals. “Sitefinity CMS has helped to automate approvals and improve the efficiency of our workflow, freeing us to work on other development projects, instead of chasing down signatures,” said Owais.
Additionally, the team has leveraged the Sitefinity platform for lead generation. “Handling form submissions through Sitefinity CMS increased our ability to generate and track leads,” said Owais. “Now, we are averaging 200+ leads per month.”
Moreover, moving to an updated Sitefinity CMS improved content discovery. “Now that the design is responsive, mobile users can browse other sections of the website, order services and find the information they need very quickly, he said.”
Owais said “following the redesign, traffic to the transactional areas on www.du.com—the payment portal and online shop for new customer acquisitions—increased by 30 percent.”
Sitefinity Templates Empower Business Units with Self-Service Capabilities
Sitefinity CMS has helped Owais’s team save time and increase the accuracy of information available to customers by enabling other teams to update content using Sitefinity generated templates. One example is information on roaming rates.
“When our customers use roaming, they often check our site for the current roaming rates,” said Owais. “We were constantly updating the rates listed on the website manually. Using Sitefinity CMS templates, we were able to delegate the task of updating roaming rates to the business units—they enter the numbers, we approve the change and upload it,” he said. “Because Sitefinity is so easy to use, there are no technical skills required—regular business users can make the changes themselves.”
Owais said several departments, including Public Relations, now update information on the site in this manner. “Sitefinity CMS empowers various business units to push content live without calling the web team frantically at odd times, such as in the middle of the night,” he said. “End users benefit, as well, because they have faster access to accurate information.”
Another key application enabled by Sitefinity CMS is the Store Locator, which helps customers find a store that offers the specific services they need. “It’s a very helpful application that provides a Google map and information about how long it will take to get to the store.”
Owais said new functionality in the app will relay customer queue information. “We’ll be able to give customers an idea of how long they may have to wait at a particular store,” he said. “Providing this very granular, real-time information using the Sitefinity CMS helps us to improve customer service and satisfaction.”
Partner Agency Prototype Instrumental for Re-Launch of du.ae
Owais’s team worked with its agency of choice, Prototype, to execute the website transformation and re-launch. Prototype Interactive has worked with du on many previous projects, including creating a tool to arm the sales team and its customers with personalized recommendations on packages via an app on their tablets and/or phones.
According to Alexander Rauser, CEO of Prototype, the overarching goal of the project was to enhance the online experience for users. “The user journey was at the forefront of our development approach for the new website,” he said.
The website was also updated with a modern look and feel and easy-to-use online tools that cater to the needs of new and existing customers, as well. “Sitefinity CMS delivers an easy and intuitive experience for clients, too,” he said. “They can now update content faster, react quicker to the market and upload promotions with ease.”