Chris StrebelChris StrebelChris Strebel
Chris StrebelChris StrebelChris Strebel
After 15 years on the same CMS, who.int (one of the worlds most important website) was deteriorating; suffering multiple downtimes, sluggish performance, and providing an overall poor user experience to those persons and governments that accessed it. This called the need to upgrade and migrate it onto to a more modern and fit for purpose CMS. After a formal RFP process, Sitefinity was the chosen CMS. Such project of this scale and importance required help to raise and manage the $4.8 million USD budget needed for the revamp project. In addition, with WHO staff at full capacity, I had to hire and lead the team of 15 consultants to migrate the 180,000 pages onto the new CMS, IA & design. As well as that, with 100s of editors publishing content every 90 seconds, and unique visitors reaching 1.4 billion in 2020 alone, we worked with Microsoft to migrate the entire website’s infrastructure onto the Azure Cloud to ensure the latest health information was being provided to the world, with no downtime! This was an amazing project to have been part of, made even more interesting to have carried out during COVID-19!
Having worked on similar scaled projects, I estimated the cost of the project and then worked with WHO stakeholders to create a compelling business case to justify the reasoning for the multi-million dollar project. This business case was put forward to WHO’s Global IT Fund, and thankfully approved. Over the 3.5 years, this budget was tightly managed, with all anticipated costs falling into range of the initial estimate.
As there was not much capacity in- house to carry out the migration, as the project manager I had to find resources that would. This led me to personally search for and hire multiple consultants, as well as run a number of official RFPs that on-boarded leading vendors that would assist us design the new IA and UX of who.int, as well as provide the “hands to keyboard” support to migrate the content of the 180,000 webpages.
Having the right team in place, we worked relentless with relevant WHO stakeholders to migrate content from the 180,000 pages. This was prioritised in order of importance to the public based on analytics. As old content was migrated, those previous parts of the old CMS were shut down. Content was continually assessed to see if it was still up to dates and in many cases content was adjusted so it would fit the new IA and UX. Generic content was automatically scraped and tagged appropriately. All in all, over 100 websites across the WHO ecosystem (3 regions, 74 countries and multiple partnerships) were migrated!
During the pandemic, the website received traffic in excess of 1 million visits a day. That, combined with the 100s of content editors publishing content every 90 second meant the website was under immense pressure to stay up and working. Microsoft noticed that the website was sitting on a sub-par infrastructure, and offered to work with the WHO website project team to create a state of the art system that would maintain 0% content-authoring downtime,100% CI/CD automation and 100% automation towards multi-channel content-delivery. Over 5 months, I worked as the scrum master to lead the team of engineers across Microsoft. Progress and WHO to migrate and delivery the website infrastructure from AWS to the Azure cloud.
ING Bank decided to re-launch their Wholesale Banking website in-line with the new brand identity they created post the financial crisis. Existing copy on the previous website was out of date, did not effectively tell the bank’s “new story” and was not optimised for the web. To ensure they successfully launched this project, ING invited me to join their Global Marketing & Communications Team in Amsterdam. By working with multiple stakeholders across the business, such as country managers and chief bankers, I led the creation of all the web copy for all the financial products and country pages. Once this was created, I worked with the relevant individuals and teams to get the necessary approval and migrated this content onto the new CMS platform (Umbraco).
Working under a tight deadline, I first worked with key stakeholders around the business to establish what general story all web copy on the new site should tell. After this was established, I led the creation of copy for all financial products and country pages which was on brand, on tone and optimised for the web.
One of the key value propositions of the new website was to not only project ING’s new brand image, but also build relationships with clients through the sharing of valuable knowledge. To enable this I used research available within ING, as well as externally, that would add value to the content for the bank’s audiences; for example, did you know half of Mongolia’s external trade is with China and comprises mostly of copper and coal 🙂
Once all content gaps were filled, I began the migration of content from the old to new CMS (from SmartSite to Umbraco). This consisted of the upload and publication of text, images, meta tags, descriptions, hyperlinks and other online media.
As the website was moving to a new CMS (Umbraco), training across the bank had to be provided. The easiest way to achieve this was through the publication of a series of video tutorials. Being a native English speaker, I assisted with the script and narrative of this.