British Council Gains Control Over Web Content - InformationWeek
Software // Enterprise Applications
09:39 AM

British Council Gains Control Over Web Content

Centralizing Web content is expected to save the U.K. agency more than $2 million.

The British Council, a government-backed agency dedicated to connecting people around the world with educational opportunities in the United Kingdom, provides a textbook example of how centralizing content management can reduce Web site operating costs.

The council has offices in 110 countries, under the auspices of each country's consulate. When it first began advertising offers for study in the U.K. over the Web, each country took responsibility for maintaining its own Web site. The result was a hodgepodge of 240 sites scattered across the globe, with 200 HTML authors, 80 Internet service providers, and 50 media companies involved in production. Brand identity was virtually nonexistent. "Consular staff were treating the sites as their own fiefdoms," says Ian Barnes, global Web manager at the British Council.

To clean up the mess, the council implemented Open Text Corp.'s Livelink Web content-management software. Contracts for Web-site hosting, design, and hardware in individual countries were cancelled; henceforth, the sites would be hosted centrally out of a data center in Manchester, England. To date, the council has consolidated 180 of the original 240 Web sites onto the Livelink platform; the 180 sites serve up content in 40 languages, Barnes says. The consolidation effort will save an estimated $2.3 million by the end of this year.

The Livelink system employs an object-oriented approach featuring a single object (a Web-site template) and multiple instances (individual sites for each country). "The essence of content management is separating the presentation layer from the content," Barnes says. Livelink provides a template library that the consulates use to build their sites. Users simply select an icon and drag it onto the site map; they then either fill the site with standard content or develop their own, including multimedia content.

"It's a Web-by-numbers system; no HTML experience is required," Barnes says. Each country gets its own unique site, while the council maintains centralized control. Says Barnes, "While they appear to be separate Web sites, they're all firing off the same URL."

Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
[Interop ITX 2017] State Of DevOps Report
The DevOps movement brings application development and infrastructure operations together to increase efficiency and deploy applications more quickly. But embracing DevOps means making significant cultural, organizational, and technological changes. This research report will examine how and why IT organizations are adopting DevOps methodologies, the effects on their staff and processes, and the tools they are utilizing for the best results.
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
White Papers
Current Issue
Digital Transformation Myths & Truths
Transformation is on every IT organization's to-do list, but effectively transforming IT means a major shift in technology as well as business models and culture. In this IT Trend Report, we examine some of the misconceptions of digital transformation and look at steps you can take to succeed technically and culturally.
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Flash Poll