Department for Business, Innovation and Skills

We provided a website and managed hosting service to the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills and its partners that's expected to save £4-5 million over four years.

The Challenge

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) was formed in June 2009 when the Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills (DIUS) and the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR) were merged. The new organisation had a much wider brief, including working with a large number of partner agencies. As a result of the merger it faced a number of business issues relating to how BIS and its partners communicated with customers online and how it managed its IT systems.

BIS needed:

  • To combine existing content from three separate websites.
  • A shared hosting platform that would create significant savings for its partner organisations.
  • To create a more intuitive and consistent web structure across BIS and its partner websites.
  • A more flexible and usable solution than their existing CMS.

The Solution

We developed the new website using Sitecore, a CMS which was perfectly placed to deliver on the complex project requirements.

We also migrated BIS and its partners to the Eduserv Cloud Service, to host the new websites under a central contract and SLA as well as developing a template hosting package for BIS partners, enabling an easy and rapid transition to the cloud.

Website Development

We migrated the content from BERR, DIUS and the temporary BIS site into one and also migrated more than ten partner sites into the new Sitecore templates. Some features of the new website templates include:

  • Homepage carousel to showcase the latest news and events.
  • Integration with Twitter, Flickr and RSS feeds.
  • Ability to embed rich media, such as YouTube videos and Scribd documents in main body content or in side bar panels.

Managed Hosting

The Eduserv Cloud Service is designed specifically for the public sector, education and charities, supporting both self-managed and Eduserv-managed IaaS. We worked with BIS to develop a standard managed hosting package for their partners, so it was quick and cost-effective for partners to move to the cloud. The simplification and rationalisation of hosting has prepared BIS and its partners for possible migration to the cloud in the future.

Results

  • The improved site will cost BIS £2.5 million less over the next four years.
  • The shared hosting platform improves integration with BIS partners and is expected to save up to £2.8 million over the next four years.
  • Partners can develop websites that sit within the BIS framework quickly and effectively – website functionality can be available to them less than three weeks from initial agreement.
  • The enhanced online presence of BIS and its partners further engages, informs and assists the public.
  • Through the rationalisation and migration of BIS and its partners hosting infrastructure to a single virtualised platform they are in a more agile position to consider future cloud technologies.