We were awarded the contract on 2010 after an initial in-depth 4 way competitive pitch, where we were tasked with solving the problem of delivering a new set of sites that encompassed the strong College branding whilst retaining the sense of tradition carried by the College.
Covering the redesign and redvelopment of sites for the College Foundation and Radleian Society as well as the main College, the relaunched sites are based around the enterprise version of our bespoke CMS bLive along with a series of custom modules. One of these was the integration of BlackBaud's NetCommunity used by the College Foundation and Radleian Society a product that we have had long experience of working with.
The second phase of enhancements which include a virtual tour and mobile applications are already being planned.
Andrew Ashton, Bursar of the College writes:
From the outset, when we initially discussed our requirements with BlueLevel, it was clear we were dealing with a company that took time to understand its clients and their needs.
We had identified bluelevel as a company to talk to from the work they had done for another school, and had followed up with that school, who in turn comfirmed they were impressed by their design and delivery and were happy to recommend Tim and his team.
When our project commenced, there was a very clear planning phase, and validation of requirements, and blue level were happy to work at our pace, not theirs. We did have a few challenges in migration from our old site to the new, and we were impressed at the team's openness in identifying these issues for discussion, and their practical approach to their resoltion.
This same professionalism manifested itself when our site went live, and resolving the inevitable teething issues that followed. I would say BlueLevel has been dedicated, professional and customer focused throughout. It is a company that delivers, and is happy to learn from each experience.
I am happy to recommend bluelevel and am sure we will be talking to them again about future development of our site.
Andrew Ashton, Bursar, Radley College
Following an in-depth 6-way competitive pitch process, Blue Level were chosen to be the digital agency tasked with the redevelopment of Eton College’s website and associated projects.
For such a prestigious and historic educational establishment to select us as a tendering agency, and then for us to win the account, was an enormous privilege and a great win for the company as we went into our 12th year of operation.
The final pitch process came down to a "head-to-head" against the incumbent agency and we had praise for our approach, passion and interest in what we want to develop for Eton - not a case of the agency "telling", more a case of the agency "asking and leading". Our previous expertise integrating and customising mainstream CRM and fundraising systems (Blackbaud's The Raisers Edge for example) stood us in good stead for the development as the future plans include providing a fully integrated inter, intra and extra-net.
The project brief required the development of a series of features above and beyond the standard redesign and population of content. With the requirements including direct, dynamic linkage with the internal School diaries, real-time match and fixture information, as well as secured internal data and news publishing for staff and pupils it was always going to be a cutting-edge development.
Dynamic data feeds were developed using RSS integrations, with both secure and public news feed systems utilised. Real-time match data and fixture information was integrated to allow last minute alterations to scheduled events to be updated online instantly via the College’s internal communications. Add to this YouTube video integration, streaming audio and "normal" content, and you have a content rich and driven site.
Eton College are a very forward-thinking school, and we were able to implement a number of exciting up-and-coming technologies to enhance the site further. Notably this included direct database and CMS level integration with some of Microsoft LiveLabs newest technologies – Virtual Earth and Photosynth.
By integrating location data at a database level with the mapping and positioning features of Virtual Earth, site users are able to see locations of matches and events as well as get directions to pitches. Location management is all controlled via bLive and even goes as far as having different pitch locations displayed dependent on the time of year - so you can find your football pitch in the winter and your cricket pitch in the summer!
All in all, this is a development project that had a very concentrated development path and an end result that was on time, on budget and most importantly delivered in excess of the client’s expectations.
A testimonial from the College Bursar, Mr Andrew Wynn:
I would like to thank you and your team for a job really well done. Eton’s new website has received a lot of immediately favourable comment. Any improvements we need to make are down to content, not design, and the design meets all our objectives to date.
The way you have worked with our IT team to merge the website with our internal news and diary databases is impressive and features like parents finding not only what pitch their sons will be playing a match on, but a map as well, are ground-breaking for a website like ours.
The editing features are powerful and easy and you have coped with our own foibles and failings with flexibility, understanding, efficiency and a smile.
We went live on time and the Eton team is grateful for what Blue Level has done. We look forward to working with you on further phases of development.
Andrew Wynn Bursar, Eton College
As well as Marlborough College being one of the top education establishments in the country they are also in the enviable position of being blue level's longest standing client and all through a simple personal recommendation 10 years ago when we were tasked to create a site that would make the College proud.
After initally being developed as a static brochure-ware HTML site in 2000 it was then expanded to an interactive, simply content managed ASP site in 2003.
In 2005 we were asked to pitch to retain the contract for a major new development that was to integrate and consolidate the various aspects of the College's life. We were delighted to retain the account after an in-depth competitive pitching process. As well as significant cosmetic changes and the creation of a central portal system to encompass the various facets of the College, the site underwent a series of substantial integrations with their back-office systems.
Not just an online School prospectus, the main College "site" now incorporates a fully featured staff, pupil and parent extranet. This offers fully dynamic student timetables, exam and test results, and parent appointment listings. This information is delivered in real-time and offers parents fully secured access to keep fully in touch with their child's academic progress.
The other side to the "College" is the Old Marlburian Club, and the site includes full integration with the Club's office-based fundraising database system, BlackBaud's The Raiser's Edge.
This offers full local office and web update functionality and is aimed at simplifying the main office database administration as well as providing the Club members with a valuable tool in being able to keep in touch with other fellow OM’s and keep their own details up to date.
With frequent enhancements already made to the various sites, including a Form Building tool and a bespoke query-based mailing system and more currently being scoped and developed, including Facebook integrations and Web2.0 features, this is a site that is truly evolving as developments in the web world do.
Corporate Intranet Development
Diageo is the worlds largest alcoholic drinks and food company, whose brands include Johnny Walker whisky, Smirnoff Vodka, Baileys, Guinness, Burger King and Pillsbury and was formed in December 1997 through the merger of Grand Metropolitan plc and Guinness plc.
We have worked for Grand Metropolitan and Diageo for eight years as content providers and consultants for their company intranet. Despite our reletively small company, we won the contract over a number of large London agencies, to redesign and implement three new intranets and these were launched to much critical acclaim. These included a Global site, one targeting the employees of the London Offices and a global Knowledge Sharing site that integrated legacy databases with a funky style.
We have also provided a full support service for Diageo's Intranet sites which includes consultancy and management of the sites.
Testimonial from Adrian Sauter, Knowledge Sharing Project Manager
BlueLevel showed a thorough understanding of the design requirements for integrating a dynamic database driven web site with Flash and static HTML.
The overall site has won praise from everyone who has seen it and we are delighted with the quality and speed of blue LEVEL's work.
Adrian Sauter, Knowledge Sharing Project Manager