Syngenta is one of the world’s leading agricultural and biotechnology businesses, and enables millions of farmers across the globe to make better use of available resources through world-class science and innovative crop solutions. Based in Switzerland, Syngenta supports a workforce of 28,000 people in 90 countries, and is committed to rescuing land from degradation, enhancing biodiversity and revitalizing rural communities.
Farmers who use Syngenta products receive timely updates on the distribution of pests, which helps with applying pesticides and other crop protection when needed. Traditionally, farmers received this information through a subscription service, first via fax or via text message, then through a web portal and eventually email.
However, many problems existed with the communications. From the user’s (farmer’s) perspective, sites in some regions loaded extremely slowly. The experience on smartphones and tablets was also poor, considering the growing number of farmers accessing information on a mobile device while working in the field. Therefore, farmers found it difficult to get vital information in a timely manner.
Syngenta previously relied on an outdated Microsoft SharePoint CMS, which was complex, time consuming, and expensive to manage. The platform lacked responsive web design and could not integrate seamlessly with other systems, which hiked up the cost for Syngenta. And because of the sheer inflexibility of the existing technology, Syngenta struggled to grow the company without the ability to frequently bring new services to market.
After assessing numerous vendors across capabilities, such as flexibility and cost efficiency, Syngenta selected Acquia to supports its online community with Acquia Cloud Site Factory. Built in partnership with digital agency FFW, this approach enables Syngenta to control website provision centrally and manage multiple sites from one location — all optimized for mobile. The solution also included content delivery network (CDN) caching to improve the website loading speed for all regions.
The Acquia platform gives the marketing teams in each region the freedom to implement their own requirements and publish content, while maintaining a high level of compliance and governance according to internal requirements. And because Acquia Cloud Site Factory is managed by Acquia, Syngenta automatically benefits from the latest security updates and Drupal modules without hassle.
The new platform also removes the technical barrier to delivering new services, thanks to its functionality and flexibility. This means Syngenta can continue to grow the company on its own terms, while reducing the operating costs of individual websites in each region without limiting design freedom.
With Acquia Cloud Site Factory, Syngenta’s digital marketing team, working within a defined corporate governance framework, can now implement their own specific requirements and content as part of the digital experience. The central management tool enables Syngenta to deploy new websites much more quickly and easily than before. Syngenta can now provide and manage a virtually unlimited number of websites based on uniform coding. Today, the solution has been deployed in over 70 countries.
The experience for Syngenta’s network and community of farmers has also improved. Farmers can now access a comprehensive spectrum of information and services — from seeding to harvest — through a network that is reliable and mobile-friendly. Registered users now receive detailed information about pest outbreaks and weather forecasts in their region, enabling them to plan effectively for crop protection, right down to the hour. Information is available at the push of a button on smartphones and tablets in an easy-to-digest format — so farmers have access to the latest information, no matter where they are.
“Right from the start, we were impressed with Acquia. The team built the prototype quickly and successfully before rolling it out to our 70-plus sites, which was no mean feat. I was pleased that Acquia hit every deadline and delivered what we needed without any serious issues during the process. Since the rollout, we’ve added new features to our services and have started to integrate our other systems — all aimed at improving our overall digital fitness and the digital experience for our customers.” — Catherine Vaysse, internet lead, Syngenta.