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Case Studies

  • Iciniti and Sitefinity Combine to Create a Website That Has, as a Core Component, a Web Store That is Fully Integrated to the ERP

    • This thing has got a tremendous amount of power. A lot more power than even I recognized in the early stages of it. So it doesn’t matter where you are, you can get on line and check orders.

      Author: Adrian Segeren Company: Ultratec Special Effects

    • Client: Ultratec Special Effects Inc.
    • Industry: Entertainment
    • Project website: http://www.pyropak.com/home.aspx
    • Implemented by: ICINITI
    • Industry
    • Background
      Ultratec Special Effects is the leading, provider of pre-packaged pyrotechnics for the entertainment industry. Ultratec Special Effects provides a full range of control systems and a wide range of holders and cabling. Ultratec has been the industry leading manufacturer of fog, haze, snow, dry ice, simulated flames and indoor pyrotechnic effects for over 25 years.
    • Challenge
      Ultratec wanted to create a website that fully integrated their web store, accounting and customer relationship management system while giving their marketing department complete control over content. The core value would be driven by linking the web site directly to their accounting system so that customer specific pricing, order and invoice history and stock availability could be shown instantly. Because of the nature of their business content such as videos and technical specifications were key.
    • Why Sitefinity
      Sitefinity was chosen as the main platform for the new Ultratec web site partially because of the out of the box functionality. However, the main reason for selecting Sitefinity was because of the deep integration between Sitefinity and Iciniti Store. Sitefinity gave Ultratec all of the content management functionality that their old site lacked, and Iciniti controls gave them a full-featured shopping cart with deep integration to the accounting data that they so desperately needed.
    • Technical Details
      The Ultratec website was built in approximately 4 months with a single developer. This included not only the CMS portions, but all of the new Iciniti Controls. The site is built with ASP.net 3.5, SQL Server, Sage Accpac ERP 5.6, Iciniti Store and Sitefinity.
    • Results
      The result is a modern website with full CMS functionality that has an imbedded eCommerce solution which is fully integrated to Ultratec’s accounting system and CRM. Ultratec’s President, Adrian Segeren, says that clients love the new site. They like the fact that it is laid out so well, is easy to use and their product pricing, order and invoice history are always up to date.
  • The Challenge
    Ultratec is a 25 year old company that supplies special effects and pyrotechnics to the entertainment industry. Their goal in creating a new web site was to ensure that content, including accounting content, was managed in only one location, and then displayed throughout their systems. The driving factors to create a new website were; consistency between part numbers, part descriptions, pricing and inventory in all systems and the ability for orders to flow into the accounting system unassisted.

    The challenge then became; how do we develop a system that integrates to the accounting system and CRM, gives the Ultratec tools that will make it easy to create pages, add content and manage categories and which can be extended as they grow.

    The Solution

    Iciniti Corporation is a software development firm that specializes in integrated shopping carts and credit card payments for the Sage Accpac ERP accounting system.  As we looked at developing our newest product, Iciniti eCommSuite 5.0, it occurred to us that web store content was simply another form of corporate content and as such should be managed as part of a Content Management System.  Iciniti’s products are .NET, C#, ASPX applications so we went looking for a content management system using similar technology. This led us to Sitefinity. With very little change, we were able to modify our web store controls so that they sat seamlessly within a Sitefinity project.

    Ultratec purchased the Iciniti Store and SDK late in 2009. They hired Jeff Dease from Software Solution Development to implement the new website/store. The goal was to create a solution where all content was managed only once and then all other systems that touched that content were updated automatically.  As an example; going into the ERP and changing a product short description should automatically update the description on the website, warehouse management system, CRM and barcode printer. By using the Iciniti eCommerce controls everything about customers and products in the ERP are automatically inherited by the website – price, discount levels, sale items, contract pricing, open invoices, order history, accounts receivable history, inventory counts are all displayed at the website as corporate content. This integration between Iciniti Store, Sitefinity, Sage Accpac ERP and Sage CRM became the foundation for Ultratec’s new website.
    Ultratec has two divisions: special effects and pyrotechnics. The first site to be developed was the pyrotechnics site and although the need for extended content management was not as important to this site, it was recognized early on that it would evolve over time. One area of content management that was critical to Ultratec was the ability to link YouTube videos to product categories. Iciniti has developed controls and administration tools for linking products in the ERP to categories in Sitefinity. Using Sitefinity tools, these categories can now be connected to YouTube videos, so as an end-user flips through categories the relevant product video is displayed on the page. Ultratec also uses the News module capabilities in Sitefinity to manage their news feeds.

    The Results

    Ultratec now has a website that is fully integrated to their accounting system and CRM. Customers can come on line and check pricing, place orders, pay open invoices, reprint invoices, review order status and even place new orders based on old orders with a single click of a mouse. Office staff can easily manage their content, adding new products, new videos, changing descriptions and adding news items.
    Ultratec’s customer rely 100% on the website for their pricing information. Because of Iciniti’s integration to the accounting system, the pricing information presented to the customer is dynamic and customer specific, so Customer A may see one price and Customer B may see a different price and even a different currency while viewing the same page. Ultratec has a very limited number of clients so the purpose of the web site was never to drive more business, but rather to service customers better. The new site has achieved this. Their clients love its ease of use, the dynamic presentation of up-to-date pricing, product descriptions and stock availability along with relevant videos and news.
    An unanticipated advantage of the new system is its accessibility by mobile devises. Ultratec’s old site was fairly static and Flash based, which meant that the only way to access it from mobile devices was to develop custom applications. The new web site can be hit from the browser on most new mobile devices and customers can drill right down to their account in the ERP. “This thing has got a tremendous amount of power.” said Adrian Segeren. “A lot more power than even I recognized in the early stages of it. So it doesn’t matter where you are, you can get on line and check orders.”

    Iciniti, Sitefinity, Sage Accpac ERP and Sage CRM combine to create a winning solution.

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