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Südtiroler Informatik AG.

Empowering content creators across 30 school websites.

SIAG, the in-house IT services provider for multiple public administration organizations in South Tyrol, transitioned dozens of schools to a reusable Kontent project.

Challenges

  • Each school site used different, outdated codebases
  • Content was secondary to design
  • Technical experts were needed to manage the sites

Solutions

  • SIAG analyzed the content needs of schools
  • A reusable Kontent project was created and copied for each school
  • Site editors switched to a content-first strategy  

Results

  • Streamlined content process puts content experts, not IT staff, in control.
  • Enabling content creators creates more value for students and teachers.
  • Content is published much faster than before.

Background

Südtiroler Informatik AG (SIAG) is an in-house company that provides IT services for the South Tyrolean Provincial Administration, the South Tyrolean Association of Municipalities, and the Trentino-South Tyrol region. They play a key role in the digitalization of public administration in the northernmost Italian province. 

As part of their duties, SIAG is responsible for administrating the web presence for 30 vocational schools in South Tyrol. These sites are a crucial source of information for current and prospective students, so it’s important for their content to be relevant, up to date, and easy to maintain.

That’s why, when it was time to modernize these sites, SIAG chose Kontent by Kentico as their headless CMS provider. The choice would help put the contents of the site in the hands of content experts, creating value for both students and teachers. And a modern tech architecture, supported by Kontent, would also significantly improve their development process.

The Challenge

SIAG was faced with the challenge of renovating 30 websites that had all been built separately. Each site had its own codebase, its own style and quirks, and its own way of adding new content. This created inconsistency across the sites’ content and meant that technical experts were required to add new content. Subject matter experts couldn’t add or edit site content on their own. “The content was not clearly defined…Some schools were using web art to publish a news article on their site, another school was using a different type of content block,” said Stefan Zuegg, Senior Web Developer at SIAG.

An additional challenge was the technology the sites were using. When the sites were originally developed more than 12 years ago, they used some of the most modern technologies available. But as time passed, the technology became outdated. The original design of the sites didn’t anticipate the rise of mobile browsing and didn’t take advantage of the features offered by modern web technologies.

The Solution

SIAG knew that improved sites could create more value for both the schools and their students. They decided to go for a fresh start, with a content-first approach. 

To kick off the project, they started by analyzing how each school was using their site. They discovered that despite discrepancies in how they chose to display their content, the schools all had similar requirements for the type of content they were publishing. 

Kontent provided a clear opportunity here: they could create a single Kontent project, which could be reused across all their schools. SIAG used their research on the type of content the schools were publishing to define clear content types that all the schools could utilize for their publishing needs. 

The new content types were focused on simplicity. They didn’t offer hundreds of options for formatting or displaying the text. This helped ensure that content creators focused on the content, instead of spending time worrying about the layout. Stefan Zuegg, SIAG’s Senior Web Developer noted: “With Kontent by Kentico, it was no longer necessary for the school technician or IT teacher to have access to the CMS and to write the content. We wanted the content experts to access the CMS: people that could write good texts, people that are creative. This was a very important shift.”

SIAG also simultaneously built a new shared codebase for all the schools’ sites. The new development architecture relied on cloud-based tools, including Kontent, and used an automated deployment pipeline to make maintenance as simple as possible. Now, if a modification is made to the codebase, it’s automatically rolled out to all the schools’ sites.

Results

After the project was rolled out, SIAG received lots of great feedback from the sites’ content creators. Users were publishing more content at a faster pace than before. And more importantly, subject matter experts were able to publish the content themselves.

A surprising reaction was how happy end-users were with the simplification of the content creation process. Users had fewer options for how to display their content, but they appreciated the simplicity since it allowed them to focus on what they were writing. 

Ultimately, the new project enabled the schools to create more value from the content they produce, in less time and with less hassle.

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Stefan Zuegg describes the impact of Kontent at SIAG

Watch the full talk from SIAG, “Creating a reusable Kontent project to power 30 different school websites,” from the 2021 Kontent Horizons conference.

  • Transitioning 30 school websites

    to a single, simplified codebase

  • Empowering content creators

    with a user-friendly Kontent project

  • Increasing content output and quality

    through a simplified process

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It's almost liberating for our content creators to be able to concentrate on the essentials. Using Kontent.ai’s modular content platform, they can concentrate on what matters most: creating good content. When they realized they could publish information much faster – and even easier – with the new system, they also ended up producing more content.

Stefan Zuegg, Senior Web Developer, SIAG

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