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Case Studies

  • How Vanguard Technology used Sitefinity, iMIS 15 and Connected Community to rapidly create a seamlessly integrated association website for the Percussive Arts Society

    • Sitefinity is the perfect solution for any association that has custom development or integration needs and requires rapid deployment. The software is technologically sound, highly-configurable and affordable. In my opinion, there is no other content management system that associations should consider.

      Author: Mike Wiley, Founder and President Company: Vanguard Technology

    • Client: Percussive Arts Society
    • Industry: Non-Profit
    • Project website: http://www.pas.org
    • Implemented by: Vanguard Technology
    • Download PDF (230 KB)
    • Industry
    • Background
      PAS has 8,500 passionate members, with 50 chapters located across the United States, and an additional 28 chapters outside the United States. The Percussive Arts Society is the world's largest percussion organization and is considered the central source for information and networking for percussionists and drummers of all ages. Established in 1961 as a non-profit, music service organization, the PAS mission is to promote percussion education, research, performance and appreciation throughout the world.
    • Challenge
      PAS had an outdated technology platform and a unique set of requirements. These requirements included a large amount of custom-built applications that needed to be rewritten in the latest .NET technology as well as a need for image, news and video galleries that were required to be distributed on various pages throughout the website. Timeline and budget were also issues that required consideration.
    • Why Sitefinity
      Vanguard chose Sitefinity because of its ease-of-use, affordability, existing news, image and video modules and open API that integrates with multiple applications simultaneously. In addition, the large amount of required custom-built applications made Sitefinity the perfect choice for PAS.
    • Technical Details
      The PAS website was built in 120 days and uses several of the latest technologies including ASP.net 3.5, SQL Server, JavaScript, Silverlight and standard SOAP web services to integrate with two other disparate systems plus Sitefinity version 3.7. Multiple custom-built applications were implemented as drag-and-drop modules to be distributed on many web pages throughout the site.
    • Results
      PAS has been in production since November 2009 and by using Vanguard to implement Sitefinity, they were able to reduce the number of staff needed to manage the site. Therefore the costs to update the site have been lowered to a fraction of what they previously were and PAS is very happy with the new technology and seamlessly integrated environment.
  • Download PDF (230 KB)
  • The Challenge

    PAS is an 8500 member association with 85 international chapters and is considered the central source for information and networking for percussionists and drummers of all ages. The old PAS website was built on a Cold Fusion platform without any content management system in place. They also had a number of custom-built applications; therefore they needed to find a CMS that could handle numerous custom-built applications distributed throughout the site.

    PAS had a Web 1.0 List Serv in place for member communication and they desperately needed to move to a web 2.0 engagement environment. Their specific requirements of an affordable easy-to-use integratable content management solution that could be rapidly deployed that also had available news, image and video libraries and could host 8 custom-built applications into a distributable environment limited their options quite a bit. PAS was not confident they would find an adequate solution within their budget that could be deployed in a 120 day timeframe.

    The Solution

    When posed with a challenge of this magnitude, the first thing Vanguard did was look to Sitefinity. Sitefinity is powerful and flexible enough to be the engine to drive the integrated solution that solves the difficult challenge posed by PAS. The first step was to install Sitefinity and begin a three-pronged simultaneous implementation of the new custom website design, the integration of the three core software products and the developing the custom-built applications. Once these three items were completed, all the content was migrated from the old site and the news, video and image modules were configured and distributed throughout the site.

    Vanguard’s solution consists of a custom configuration of Sitefinity seamlessly integrated with iMIS 15, which is the existing PAS membership management system and a newly configured installation of Higher Logic’s Connected Community. Aside from reading the URL, any user visiting the site would not be able to tell that they were being transferred from site to site, it all looks like one single website which is the brilliance of Sitefinity and the PAS solution implemented by Vanguard. The Single-Sign-On was driven from the PAS membership management system and all data is single sourced from this application.

    Vanguard’s role is this project, and many others, is that of an integrator of disparate commercial systems that have defined roadmaps and vendor hosted support. These commercial systems are all highly-configurable, built on the latest .NET technology and have open integration via web services. Vanguard seamlessly integrates these applications and supports the integration while providing custom applications as a full-service website provider not only for PAS but for many other associations with similar needs.

    The Results

    PAS has been in production since November of 2009 which is enough time to truly analyze the available data. By determining the client’s needs and configuring Sitefinity to those exact specifications, Vanguard was able to reduce the effort required to manage the PAS site and therefore reduce the number of staff necessary to keep the site up to date. Therefore the costs to update the site have been reduced to a fraction of what they previously were and PAS is very happy with the new technology and seamlessly integrated environment. Plus a new engagement environment was created which keeps bringing members back to the site for multiple regular visits. By keeping their members engaged, PAS was able to increase dues and non-dues revenue by increasing overall membership numbers and spiking activity on the site, which dives all the non-dues revenue items located on the website.

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