Webber Wentzel Bowens has launched a new website designed and developed by Cambrient. Aimed at public and private sector companies, international law firms, the media and potential employees, the website makes over 9 000 pages of information - including all archived articles and news items - easily searchable and accessible to all visitors.
The corporate law firm's previous website was several years old and was lacking in the functionality required to service its diverse target market. Because it was HTML-based, changes to the site had to be outsourced. The new website was rolled out in several phases in tandem with a corporate re-branding exercise.
"We scrapped our existing site in its entirety and replaced it with a site that offers easy navigation, an appealing design, and has a single, comprehensive content management system behind it," says Pam Abrey, corporate affairs manager at Webber Wentzel Bowens. "We are now able to make changes to the website and update it ourselves, which means that our departments have control over the information they want to publish to the Web."
Jacqui Maroun, business analyst at Cambrient, says the company's content management focus is on organisational information assets. "Content for Web-based applications needs to be well structured and easily managed by non-technical content owners as the Web becomes the single most important way to contribute and access information anywhere. In this case, Webber Wentzel Bowens has gained the ability to manage massive amounts of content and make it available to anyone who needs it."
The site is a complex one that incorporates all of the firm's different legal areas, such as aviation, corporate, media, technology, and aviation law. WWB wanted to ensure that when a user clicks on a topic, all information related to that specific subject area would be made available, including accolades for the firm, recent work and news related to the topic. This was an intricate exercise because of the level of categorisation required in setting up what are essentially "micro sites".
"We had a few teething problems in the beginning as a result, but we have to compliment Cambrient on the fact that the company grasped our requirements and was able to deliver a site that is proving to be very popular in our business sector."
Abrey notes that one of the reasons behind the success of the project was an initial strategy workshop run by the Cambrient team, which was dedicated to reaching a common understanding of the company's requirements.
"This helped us all to understand what we wanted to have where," she adds. "Because we were migrating from such a basic website, it was vital for us to go through that exercise as it raised many important questions."
The new website is strong on design elements and has attracted the attention of several overseas attorneys who refer work to WWB. "We have received positive feedback and praise from international clients and law firms," says Abrey. "Our attorneys have reported to us that the investment was well worth it; they are receiving instructions from overseas law firms as result of the new website."
Further development of the website includes a recruitment site that will make it possible for people to submit their CVs and applications for employment online, and will also provide career information as well as insight into the world of law.
"Webber Wentzel Bowens has a strong recruitment focus," says Abrey. "A vast number of university students visit the site, so it's important to the firm from a strategic point of view that we have an attractive, accessible and friendly environment that draws the type of young people we would like to employ."
More than just a presence, a corporate website is a business tool for those companies who know how to make the most of it. Maroun says a professionally designed and developed website has several distinguishing characteristics: "It represents your brand, has an appealing design and is easy to use. Critically, the content management functionality must allow the website to be easily updated so that content is always relevant. A website that meets these requirements delivers a measurable return on investment."
Cambrient is a leading content management company in South Africa. Offering both services and software products, Cambrient is the most experienced local team in the industry, with almost 10 years' experience in the field. The company has an extensive and excellent track record in servicing many small and large companies in the country - as well as some significant international customers. Cambrient owns and manages its own software intellectual property, and has put in place a suite of products over the past five years which are regarded as world-class. Its product suite includes a powerful content management system for large and medium organisations, as well as a business process management system, on which most of its large projects are based. Services include a full spectrum of consulting services, project management, and website and Intranet development. Cambrient believes in making a difference to the lives of end users, and its systems are designed with this in mind. Whether it's the software the company develops, or the advice it offers, Cambrient understands user needs when it comes to content management. The business is 100% privately held, and is based in Johannesburg, South Africa.