Alumni sites looking to build online communities benefit from Promet’s mastery of Drupal Commons.
Chicago, Il (PRWEB) January 30, 2014
Promet Source’s valued client is a private, liberal arts university in Iowa. Their development and alumni relations team seeks to unite their alumni, encourage ongoing participation in events and promote alumni gift-giving to supplement student tuition. Promet Source is the university’s preferred web partner, serving their digital development needs for multiple years. The team challenged Promet to replace their legacy Blackbaud-based system with a new site to effectively “rebrand” their alumni department and accommodate for improved & accessible alumni interaction, gift-giving, and event organization & registration.
Promet Source has an extensive background serving higher education institutions because of their ability to create web applications with complex features. Promet Source’s preferred CMS, Drupal, is one of the most popular CMSes in the higher ed industry because of its ability to give universities the power to facilitate mission-critical functions. Alumni sites looking to build online communities benefit from Promet’s mastery of Drupal Commons. Commons is a solution for social businesses that enables organizations to build internal and external communities with groups, discussions, blogs, social updates and more.
The college’s new system required several challenging functionalities: event calendar & registration, directory search, social profiles, social group assembly & interaction, and straightforward endowment donations. At the same time, Promet Source needed to develop the site with a complex integration to their challenging database system which holds all of the constituent data for the college.
Promet Source approached this complex project using Agile Development and Minimum Viable Product methodologies to meet the aggressive timeline. The application uses Drupal (open source CMS) as a development framework. With the strategy in place, Promet Source provided a solution that improved the experience in four major areas: events, donations, social interaction and user-profiles.
The development and alumni relations team identified “events” as a key area of alumni interest that needed to be supported by the new site. The new site gives users the ability to easily create and register for alumni events strengthened by real-time event calendars and innovative social event “walls” that remain active after the event concludes. The event functionality goes beyond alumni-only events; it integrates both college and regional events, increasing alumni participation and interaction.
One of the prestigious college’s largest sources of revenue is its endowment. The alumni account for a major piece of the endowment and therefore needed a system in which they could easily donate. After evaluating user-experience, Promet executed a new gift-giving workflow to make alumni donations more streamlined for both the alumni department and the donors. The user-intuitive eCommerce portal attracts new donors and is simple enough to keep previous donors coming back. Donors can choose between different giving options including recurring gift-giving.
Promet has set the trend for alumni sites to support and encourage social interaction. Promet built the site with Drupal Commons 3.x and a customization of the “organic groups” module suite. This enables users to assemble into groups based on region, graduation year, interests, etc. The site serves as a living area for alumni groups; they can post on a shared “wall,” create events, ask questions, post photos and network.
Drupal Commons 3.x has provided a customized digital experience of the site for each user. The alumni are now able to create profiles with personal photos and information thereby improving social interaction among the community. The “directory search” functionality allows the user to search for events, other profiles, groups, opportunities, news, etc.
The Minimal Viable Product (MVP) and Agile Development approach were utilized to ensure efficiency. The MVP strategy allowed the team to deploy the web application as a formal prototype to the early adopters of the new product. Because MVP incorporates testing & research with initial deployment, Promet Source and the university could launch and simultaneously validate the site. The team continues to make responsive improvements while the site is active.
“Any organization that serves a constituency of members needs a web application that serve as a digital community. Higher ed institutions know the power of creating a member hub. When members flock to a site for interaction, events and engagement, they are more likely to give. Promet Source is proud to provide the resources to organizations who seek to grow through a web-based community.” - Andrew Kucharski, President of Promet Source.
About Promet Source: Founded in 2003, Promet Source is a leading interactive development firm that implements open source tools (specifically Drupal) to deliver high-value web and mobile application development & support. Promet offers a turn-key solution delivered by experts in the field: Sprint 0 planning (Agile concept development), design, architecture, development and deployment. After deployment, Promet provides ongoing support & maintenance. Our consultants have deep technical expertise and are recognized as leaders within the Drupal community. Promet serves clients globally across multiple industries-specializing in government, higher education, non-profits, start-ups, healthcare and professional services.