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Buyer's Guide to Web Projects

Independent advice in planning and buying web projects.

CASE: Lumo Kotinyt.fi service was tailor made

8.12.2015

When VVO corporation started to plan a unique self-service platform for renting directly privately financed apartments, it was clear from the beginning that out-of-the-box software solutions could not be used. Continue reading “CASE: Lumo Kotinyt.fi service was tailor made”

State of Finnish e-commerce: local, under-resourced and tech-driven

Dec 2, 2015

Amongst Finnish online shops, only one in five has planned a strategy for international markets, and less than half feel they have the resources needed for developing e-commerce in general. These are some of the discouraging results of a survey, which was conducted by North Patrol and eCommerce Finland. On the brighter side, the survey shows that it is possible to run profitable e-commerce even without significant investments. Continue reading “State of Finnish e-commerce: local, under-resourced and tech-driven”

Philosophical differences: Sitecore vs. EPiServer

Oct 6, 2015

Sitecore and EPiServer are two of the major players in the CMS market. Especially those customers that prefer Microsoft technologies tend to evaluate both of these platforms. Sitecore has already proven itself as a very global player, while EPiServer is catching up especially after acquiring Ektron this year. Continue reading “Philosophical differences: Sitecore vs. EPiServer”

E-Commerce systems in Finland 2015

Sep 29, 2015

The e-commerce systems used in Finland can be divided into three categories: 1) the systems employed by small e-stores; 2) content management systems with built-in e-commerce features; and 3) the systems used in large, highly integrated e-stores. Continue reading “E-Commerce systems in Finland 2015”

My favorite startups in web content management

Sept 21, 2015

There aren’t many startups around that are focusing on web content management—at least not with unique approaches. Most of the startups are just “yet another CMS”, like Craft CMS. They can be useful, they can even be good business. But most of them are not really unique, and therefore are not interesting in a wider perspective. From my point of view, for a startup to be interesting requires that they are working on something that hasn’t been done before. Continue reading “My favorite startups in web content management”

Digital Customer Experience Marketing Cloud Platform

Sep 16, 2015

– “Excuse me? What does your blog title mean?”

– “I have no idea.”

But by combining two or three words from the title you get many of the latest product or service brand names of big IT vendors. These brand names are astonishingly identical.
Continue reading “Digital Customer Experience Marketing Cloud Platform”

Our partner selection process opened up

Jun 28, 2015

Partner selection is one of North Patrol’s core services. We help our customers in making partner and technology selections when they are creating or renewing their digital services. We can proudly say that we have extensive knowledge of different partners and technologies in the Nordic and North European area. We don’t sell any products, technologies or implementation projects, nor do we make any partnership deals with the implementers, so our customers can truly rely on our independence and that we always try to find the best possible solutions for them. Continue reading “Our partner selection process opened up”

Multilanguage management: US style vs. European style

Jun 6, 2015

Managing content in multiple languages is usually very difficult, and the more languages you have, the more difficult it usually gets. That said, there are two clearly different ‘schools of thought’ in managing multiple languages. From my experience, there are the ‘US style’ and the ‘European style’. The difference is not always very clear, and many big corporations actually apply both styles – sometimes at the same time.

Typically, most clients tend to fall in either of these categories. As consultants this is something we at times have to be hard to the client. Clients have to choose which style is closer to their requirements – at least on a regional level.

So what are we talking about?
Continue reading “Multilanguage management: US style vs. European style”

Low-cost website builders have become surprisingly good

Jun 2, 2015

A client wanted me to evaluate Weebly, a self-service website builder. She planned on using Weebly for a separate branch of their organization.

I confess, I was very skeptical. After all, this was a big company that usually spends hundreds of thousands of euros on their web renewal projects.
Continue reading “Low-cost website builders have become surprisingly good”

To personalize or not to personalize?

May 18, 2015

The whole world is talking about how the power in digital channels has switched over from organizations to consumers. It’s The Age of the Customer as they call it. Humble and patient “Hopefully they’ll provide me what I need if I only search long enough” attitude has been turned upside-down. Now consumers are demanding “Give me everything I want! Right now!” and “only for me and exactly to my specific need”. People want better digital experiences and more relevancy. Suddenly everybody’s time is money.
Continue reading “To personalize or not to personalize?”

Digital marketing: The gap between hype and real life

Apr 7, 2015

Customer experience. Personalization. Marketing automation. Omnichannel.

These are the current buzzwords in the digital world. Everybody talks about them and there seems to be a huge common interest, especially when the words digital and marketing are in the same sentence. The benefits should be obvious, but reality shows that almost nobody makes full use of these possibilities. At least not yet. Continue reading “Digital marketing: The gap between hype and real life”

Good usability in CMS? A myth?

Feb 3, 2015

No, not a myth. Although for many people CMS usability doesn’t exist. The reason, though, is not that CMS vendors aren’t trying. They are working hard.

But the whole concept of CMS user experience is in its early stages.

First of all, the CMS world is divided into two camps. One side is making rich WYSIWYG interfaces while the other is working on structured content management. Yes, many are saying that they do both, but in reality most of them do structured content management. They have just invested a lot to a “decoration layer” on top of a structured content model.

The big paradox is that both camps are right.
Continue reading “Good usability in CMS? A myth?”

Story of Sitecore by Lars Nielsen

Dec 16, 2014

Today, Sitecore is one of the major players in the global web CMS market, but in the beginning of 2000 it was just another CMS out there. In this interview, one of the founders, Lars F. Nielsen, tells the story of Sitecore and how the company view the global CMS marketplace. Lars visited Helsinki in the beginning of October when CMS Expert Group Europe had its latest meeting, hosted by North Patrol.
Continue reading “Story of Sitecore by Lars Nielsen”

Two models for buying a web project

Nov 24, 2014

What is the focus in your web (renewal) project? Are you looking for something completely different and brand new? Or are you hoping to find a stable and modern CMS on which you could build the features of your web site in a cost-efficient manner?
Continue reading “Two models for buying a web project”

Story of a 300,000-euro web renewal – case helen.fi

Oct 28, 2014

This is a story of how the helen.fi website was renewed. Jukka Helin, Development Manager, Helsingin Energia (energy utility), details the project from the RFP to implementation through to final publishing. The project started in the summer of 2012, and the new site went online in late 2013.
Continue reading “Story of a 300,000-euro web renewal – case helen.fi”

Peculiarity of Finland: Liferay a popular web content management system

Oct 15, 2014

Liferay is slowly becoming more popular in Finland at the moment. Public administration in particular is attracted to this Java portal with a long history. There is even an attempt to make Liferay a widely used common web content management system for governmental organizations. Ministries, in particular, clearly consider Liferay the default CMS choice for new online services at present. The Lutheran church, for example, also has selected Liferay as the common web content management system for its parishes.

In addition to public administration, businesses in the finance industry are using Liferay in Finland to replace their costly Oracle and IBM portals. Continue reading “Peculiarity of Finland: Liferay a popular web content management system”

Modern CMSs are built for power users – interview of Tony Byrne

Sep 2, 2014

In the following interview, Tony Byrne, the founder of CMS research and analyst company Real Story Group, talks about the history, present and future of CMSs. Tony also analyzes the current challenges of the CMS market from the customer point of view. Continue reading “Modern CMSs are built for power users – interview of Tony Byrne”

eCommerce is the new name for web content management – interview with Boris Kraft

Aug 25, 2014

The interview series with CMS experts continues. The founder of Magnolia CMS, Boris Kraft, tells about the early years of the CMS industry and why Magnolia chose the open source way. Boris also explains why he believes eCommerce is currently one of the biggest trends in the CMS industry and why CMS products should be the primary tools to manage customer experiences in all channels. Continue reading “eCommerce is the new name for web content management – interview with Boris Kraft”

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