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To Succeed Online You Must Now Manage Multiple Web Sites

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Nearly every week I meet senior decision makers who worry about managing the multiple web sites that their organisation has. A growing number of these companies are delivering a portfolio of sites and microsites to reflect an assortment of brands and products.

The pressure is on. Last year, research from Accenture revealed that poor customer service in digital channels resulted in 53% of UK consumers switching brands in at least one industry.

The biggest headache organisations have is managing the proliferation of sites. How can they effectively manage multiple sites across numerous regions and brands, keeping the generic content and branding consistent when needed? A recent survey by the Forrester Research found that, on average, enterprises now manage 268 customer-facing websites, mobile sites, and mobile applications. In many cases, the sites are run on an array of technologies and platforms, managed by different teams. The cost and time required to run these portfolios and the reputational risk that comes with that complexity, aside from the mixed messages and disconnected websites that the company may be delivering, is understandably a cause for concern.

Acquia has worked with numerous organisations across the world, in a number of sectors, to solve this. Acquia Cloud Site Factory helps these organisations to create and manage Drupal multisite deployments. As a result, they are able to quickly build mobile-ready brand, campaign, and franchise websites using powerful multisite tools.

Warner Music is a great example of this. This major global record company had over 300 sites across a number of different labels, products, events and locations. Many of these sites had been built on different technologies and platforms. These artist sites also appeal to disparate audiences - think Neil Young fans versus those of Nailbomb, for example. Warner was able to migrate all these sites over to Drupal and Acquia, and preserve each artist's individuality. Now Warner can scale, secure, host and manage all their sites centrally.

A recent Total Economic Impact study, by Forrester Research, showed the effect of adopting Acquia Cloud Site Factory on four companies. Forrester determined that a composite of these companies will achieve nearly a 950% return on their investment.

Organisations want to be able to manage everything centrally, but have the agility to deliver a set of web experiences that target specific channels, audiences and markets. Each site needs to be highly customisable and to be able to handle spikes of traffic. From an enterprise perspective, a “master” website produces multiple experiences on different related sites.

The Holy Grail for brands is to be able to rapidly launch new experiences, but with no duplication of effort and cost.

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