When you’re in the business of selling mobile services, your website had better work seamlessly across all browser viewports. Otherwise, you might be talking the talk, but when it comes to walking it... you’re doing a face plant.
Acro Media, a mid-size commerce and web development company operating out of Kelowna, B.C. has forged a lasting relationship with Canada's top telecommunications company - TELUS. From humble beginnings creating temporary solutions to now developing the largest ever Drupal commerce build as a permanent infrastructure, Acro Media’s work with TELUS won the company the 2014 Canada Post E-Commerce Innovation Award for Best Mobile Experience, and the team at Acro Media couldn’t be more proud.
" In 2014 TELUS won the Canada Post E-Commerce Innovation Award for Best Mobile Experience"
TELUS began with a completely static website they maintained on their own. 5-7 people worked tirelessly on the manually coded pages full time! Although the system was crude, it appealed to TELUS because of the complete flexibility it offered their marketing group.
At the time, another vendor was in the process of building a large proprietary system as a new permanent solution. But that solution was at least a year away from completion. TELUS came to Acro Media seeking a temporary solution to reduce the man hours required to keep the site up to date, while also reducing the element of human error. The company required a flexible platform that could easily accommodate new direction from the marketing department. Acro Media was able to quickly mobilize to create a basic commerce solution with the user flow requirements necessary to retain old customers while capturing new market share.
When TELUS eventually made the jump to their new proprietary platform, it quickly became evident that the platform would not suit their needs. They were being held hostage by the provider’s upgrade path, which was rarely in line with the TELUS marketing department’s needs. Any customization of functionality and layout took months to even get queued for development. The flexibility they had been promised was nearly non-existent.
When the new iPhone 4 was being released, TELUS had no choice but to abandon the new proprietary system in order to accomplish the goals set out for the launch. Acro Media was able to build new functionality on the old platform to achieve these objectives in a matter of weeks! TELUS was first to market with the iPhone 4 release, leading the company to choose Acro Media as their new commerce providers. Acro Media took over the pre-orders and began introducing more and more new functionality.
Eventually, TELUS approached Acro Media to build a new, completely custom Drupal solution as a permanent platform. This build was significant because it enabled Acro Media to create brand new, “blue sky” solutions for TELUS that would improve the old flow and convert the system to a more effective, responsive, flexible platform. This made for increased usability and a better customer experience overall.
In designing the new permanent solution, Acro Media sought to examine and utilize any opportunity to add value for customers. Deferrals are a key piece of functionality that Acro Media built into the new TELUS Drupal platform. By amortising TELUS' stock, Acro Media was able to alert TELUS if a selected phone will take longer to reach the customer, and automatically offer the customer an incentive (freebie!) if the customer has to wait to receive the phone at a later date. “Perks” such as this encourage new market share while also taking care of the existing customer base.
Another incentive Acro Media developed for TELUS customers is the Add-a-Line feature. Under this feature, TELUS customers can quickly and easily begin sharing their phone plan with a friend or relative, allowing the new “added” customer to share the existing plan’s data and voice time. In order to make this addition possible, TELUS and Acro Media had to work together to develop unique data sharing systems.
With Acro Media’s new Drupal build, TELUS is able to process thousands of orders each month and handle over 100 server transactions per second. The iPhone 6S pre-order launch saw TELUS beating out all their major competitors. In fact, TELUS was the only site that did not crash during the pre-order (even Apple crashed at one point)! This unparalleled reliability provided TELUS with 15% more pre-sales than Rogers and 21% more than Fido.
TELUS has maintained and grown its working relationship with Acro Media for a number of years based on our team’s flexibility and quick mobilization. Challenges are met with new, custom solutions that are turned around in short timeframes, securing results and moving the company ever forward in reaching its commerce goals.
The original TELUS management style was very much project based. We would focus on large initiatives (400-500 + hours) and would waste an immense amount of time quoting these initiatives out. Large quotes were always a surprise, which would lead to numerous revisions and requests for MVP versions. After weeks of back and forth we would finally decide on a much slimmer version. We would then start development with the intentions of including anything that was cut out of the original assessment into the next launch, but would never actually accomplishing this as future asks would become priority.
Not only was there wasted communication time, but the management team would often struggle to keep the development team busy during these times, something that should never happen with Agile development. Idle time is an absolute killer on accounts like TELUS .
TELUS quickly discovered that Agile was the way to kick their development into overdrive and save money.
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