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Securing the connection to New Zealand’s story across the globe

Tourism New Zealand

Project background

As the national consumer tourism website for New Zealand, newzealand.com is a place for visitors to learn all about what New Zealand has to offer and to make their trip a fantastic experience. The website connects visitors with New Zealand’s story, iconic experiences as well as tourism operators and industry.

While cutting edge when it launched, the website was sitting on a 14-year-old system of legacy technology and significant technical debt. To reduce the risk associated with the legacy technology and to provide a platform for future development, TNZ undertook a project to re-platform the website.

Tourism New Zealand on devices

Project scope

Discovery

Silverstripe worked closely with the TNZ team from the beginning of the project to architect a custom solution fit to support their organisation’s goals. The project began with a three-month-long discovery phase which gave us the information they needed to understand the complexity of TNZs needs. During this time, our teams worked to ascertain what features and content blocks would give the TNZ team the content experience that they were looking for. We established an extensive list of MVP features to be included within their CMS to make sure that their team could effectively produce and deliver content to a wide range of audiences with ease.

The goals of the project were:

  • Manage and reduce the risks and inefficiencies associated with legacy software
  • Decouple content authoring activities and tourism operator database (the businesses across NZ who submit their listings and deals)
  • Build a like-for-like front-end experience so that the back-end technology transition didn't affect their business KPIs at all

Development

Taking an Agile approach, our teams were able to place an emphasis on people, communication, and responding to change. It meant that we could empower the teams to be more productive while delivering the best results for TNZ. Our teams incrementally delivered working software in short iterations so that feature prioritisation, coding, and testing happened in parallel. It allowed our teams to pick up any challenges that came up during the TNZ project and work with their teams to create an appropriate solution.

It was important to manage and mitigate any risks faced from their previous CMS. Using our team of Silverstripe CMS experts, we enabled the TNZ team to leverage the enhancements from across the open-source community, taking care of the technical debt that existed from their legacy systems. As a result of developing with Silverstripe CMS, we were able to integrate with existing first-party systems such as Operator Database and Travel Agent Database. We also implemented Fluent to allow content teams to translate their content for over 20 different markets, using seven different languages.

However, multiple integrations on the site meant there were multiple complex interactions and dependencies that needed to be addressed. Our development team made sure to use automated testing throughout project development to ensure that any regressions or anomalies were caught before any code was released to the live site.

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Secure cloud hosting

To get the best performance from their new website, TNZ chose a managed platform that was engineered and optimised specifically for Silverstripe CMS. Powered by Amazon Web Services (AWS), Silverstripe Cloud provides TNZ with a secure and reliable hosting solution that scales the server costs up and down when they need it. They were able to eliminate the overheads they were faced with when trying to maintain their old website by choosing a platform that lets them pay only for what they use.

Silverstripe Cloud offers TNZ 24/7 support that is based in New Zealand, with a dedicated team that is alerted to any website maintenance issues by automatic monitoring. Our Silverstripe CMS specialists quickly assess and debug any issues that come up while the development teams continue to build new features and work to deploy new code.

Tourism New Zealand cloud

The results

Silverstripe successfully provided TNZ with a system that is futureproofed for whatever their content teams need next. Together, Silverstripe and TNZ created a solution that provides a simpler, more integrated experience for their users.

Through the redevelopment and re-platforming of TNZ’s website, we were able to:

  • deliver the newzealand.com site on stable and supported technologies.
  • use Silverstripe CMS to separate the TNZ content authoring audience from the business operators across NZ, reducing confusion and complexity amongst their users
  • provide an easier to update CMS that allows them to change their feature set as their needs change
  • stabilise their release pipeline and increase the frequency of their releases from a few times a month to every 3-4 days so features make it to production even more quickly
  • improve the site speed for international visitors
Tourism New Zealand CMS

Services provided

  • Workshops
  • Discovery
  • Front-end web development
  • Back-end web development
  • API development
  • Content Delivery Network integration
  • Project Management
  • Solution Architect consultation
  • Programme Management
  • Account Management

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