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Buddying Up for your Magnolia project

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July 9, 2014 by Brian Warrick

In a previous post, I covered some of the considerations for implementing Magnolia CMS with your in-house team.  Now it’s time to look at the other side of that coin – when should you consider using a partner.  We will also look at some of the factors to consider when choosing your Magnolia Partner.

“So Happy Together…”

The Turtles had pretty good success with those words, and so can your Magnolia project if you enlist a Partner to assist.  Here’s a few reasons why you might consider bringing in some outside help.

  • Have some java experience, but could use some expertise – Sometimes it’s hard to admit when we don’t have all of the skills required, but in this case, the main thing is that you know your business and what you are trying to achieve.  You can round out your java skills and deliver your project on time with the help of a Magnolia Partner.

  • Upgrading from an ‘older’ CMS – The CMS landscape has evolved considerably over the past few years.  If you have been using your current system for a while, a Magnolia Partner can help you get the most from all of the new or updated features.

  • Too many competing priorities – It happens.  Sometimes there are more IT projects than there is time or resources to comfortably complete, but they all need to get done.  Working with a Magnolia partner can minimize the risk that your Magnolia implementation (or other IT work) would be compromised.

  • Time is of the essence – If your deadline is really tight, a partner can help you get to market faster.  This will also minimize the number of short cuts that could limit the ability to upgrade or could hinder taking advantage of new features in the future.

  • Desire to mitigate risk – All enterprise software projects come with some level of risk.  Working with an experienced partner is a sure way to minimize implementation and operational risks.

  • The solution is not clear –  You know what you are trying to achieve, yet perhaps the solutions is a little fuzzy.  A partner can help identify and clarify your options so you can make an informed choice for the long-term.

Decided that a partner is the way to go?  Great.  That decision will help speed your time to market and ensure a quality implementation.  But how do you choose a partner?   Many of the things to consider are closely related to the points in my earlier post about implementing Magnolia with in-house resources.  Here are a couple of additional things to consider when choosing a partner for your project:

  • Are they a Magnolia Partner? - Experience counts, and at Magnolia we only recommend partners that have completed our training program and who have proven history of successful projects.

  • Active engagement – The best Magnolia Partners are involved in numerous implementations every year; keeping their Magnolia skills current.  They routinely work closely with the Magnolia development team on new product features and contribute modules to the Magnolia toolset.

  • Experience in your industry – Many Magnolia Partners have successfully delivered across many industry verticals.  However, sometimes you need someone that really understands the business you are in.  Our partners have deep expertise in Financial Services, Media, eCommerce and many more.  We can help you identify a Partner with the requisite skills to fit your unique needs.

Keeping these items in mind will help you to select the partner that’s right for you.

But what if you have an existing relationship with a firm that is not a Magnolia Partner?  If they have solid java application development skills, by all means you should leverage their understanding of your business.  It’s advised that they attend Magnolia Training, and you might consider having a Magnolia Partner assist with your project kickoff and provide some initial guidance to help get things off on the right foot.  For a list of our partners here in the Americas, click here.

Cheers!

Brian




DIY Implementation of Magnolia

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June 18, 2014 by Brian Warrick

As Fleetwood Mac sang, “You can go your own way”… It’s not just a catchy tune, this sentiment also applies to implementing Magnolia CMS. In this post I’ll cover some of the reasons why you may choose to implement Magnolia using in-house resources. Conversely, you could choose a Magnolia Partner for all or part of the project. A future post will cover some of the reasons why choosing a partner may be the way to go.

You likely chose Magnolia CMS because of the many features, ease of integration and customization possibilities. All this together makes for a compelling product. It also means a moderately complex product that comes with a learning curve. How steep that slope is depends on a number of factors in your organization. Let’s explore them a bit more.

java is in your IT DNA – Customers who have rock solid java talent do very well with Magnolia CMS. At a minimum this would be a Development Lead with 8-10 years experience across multiple systems, with application architecture responsibilities included.

Strong technology orientation – You don’t have to be a ‘tech’ company to succeed with implementing Magnolia in-house, however, having solid competencies in application development and operations is key.

Your developers are some of your best assets – After all, great solutions are born from great people. Any new platform will require some enhanced skills, and so you invest the time in training first rather than troubleshooting later.

You have experience with CMS concepts – This goes for your content editors as well as IT. Using a CMS is a different way of thinking about your website and it’s content. The concepts aren’t difficult, but being familiar with how a page is comprised of various content blocks and content reuse will give you an advantage in your Magnolia implementation.

In addition to the above characteristics, having a solid understanding of your goals when starting your Magnolia projects is beneficial. Having a strong sense of where you are headed will help you outline the best way to get there.

Of course, there are other factors that can also impact the success of any implementation. Stakeholder support, project timelines and budget considerations are a few that spring to mind. However, if most of the above sound like your company, then you should feel fairly confident with an in-house implementation.

I should note that even if you have all of the above, you may still want to consider working with a Magnolia partner. In a future post, I’ll review some of the reasons why, and provide a few tips on how to select the right partner for your implementation.

Cheers!

Brian




Meet the Fockers

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August 7, 2013 by Bill

Not a great film, but it did make me laugh. “No, no, no, I’m going to be Pamela Martha Focker. I know how that sounds but that’s the name I’m taking.” And I guess laughter is one of the first things that comes to mind about the Magnolia Americas gang. So here is the group that keeps me smiling….

 

The Magnolia Americas Team. Front, L to R; Rich Gange, Monica Ullrich, Jeff Goldsmith. Back, L to R; Ondrej Chytil, Bill Beardslee, Jesús Ruiz

The Magnolia Americas Team. Front, L to R; Rich Gange, Monica Ullrich, Jeff Goldsmith. Back, L to R; Ondrej Chytil, Bill Beardslee, Jesús Ruiz

 

Our office in Miami is pretty cool. Great natural energy from the sun, colors and open layout.

 

DSCN0998

“Quick. Look busy. He’s about to take a picture.”

 

Might you see yourself with this group? If so, check out our open jobs. Grumpy people need not apply :)