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Please give us an overview of Engine Room. What were the factors that laid the foundation of the company?
While building web applications for large firms, Ian and I noticed that most digital agencies focused on visual design rather than business strategies and orientation. We realized that we could utilize this opportunity to provide more business and technology-focused offerings for building web applications. Established in 2014 in Philadelphia, we are a team of seasoned professionals with decades of experience enabling digital transformation even before it was a buzzword. In a nutshell, we design, build, and secure effective digital marketing solutions. We utilize the best platforms, including Sitecore, to perform our tasks. Most of our work is done in the U.S. with US-based developers.
What are the trends and challenges that you observe in the marketplace?
Most businesses focus on personalization, accessibility, and security as they move into the digital offering. Companies have massive consumer data, including their habits, demographics, and psychographics, and want their web applications to utilize that data without building anything new. Organizations want to reach every customer, including consumers with disabilities such as hearing issues and color blindness, by making websites accessible to all. This enables companies to open up to their audience, thereby increasing their customer base. This promotes an inclusive brand image, portraying a company that cares about the consumers, wanting their customers to interact with them.
We are focusing on personalization, accessibility, and security as it is the bedrock of any digital transformation
What is the process that you follow while delivering the Sitecore platform solution?
We initiate our process by understanding the client’s business and their requirements, such as redesigning of platform or moving to the cloud. After an in-depth analysis of their business’s needs, we implement the right solution. With an extensive discovery process on every project, we ensure that Sitecore is the right customer solution based on their business and user requirements. The outcome of this process feeds directly and seamlessly into our secure Software Development Life Cycle (SDLC), where Sitecore is implemented using Helix best practices with a focus on meeting (The Open Web Application Security Project) OWASP application security standards. Moreover, we architect the Sitecore experience platform (XP) to ensure that CMS administrators are presented with an intuitive admin UI that allows for flexible component reuse across any digital properties being managed. We handle all the Sitecore solutions in-house and also provide CMS training on content production and personalized configuration.
Further, we interface Sitecore XP with the Sitecore Content Hub platform for a streamlined content lifecycle. Additionally, we create a governance plan at the beginning of every project to ensure that the right processes and methods exist to generate and approve content and place it in the required position as part of the communication strategy.
What are the key differentiating factors that set you apart from other players in the market?
Our agile approach allows us to deliver high-quality Sitecore solutions to meet the client’s unique demand and timelines. Our proprietary CMS Success Service, helps clients choose the digital platforms that fit their business needs best. People do not trust the internet these days due to the spread of misinformation and uncertainty. Therefore, we focus on creating a more inclusive, accessible, and secure digital space with our unique digital accessibility, information security, and CMS Success Services. Depending on the client’s software, we offer personalized and more extensive marketing campaigns and email management within Sitecore. The addition of Content Hub to the Sitecore suite of tools allows seamless content curation management and production and display in one UI within Sitecore.
Could you give us a customer success story?
A large moving and storage client approached us to deliver PCI compliant updates to their checkout procedure. We went in and quickly made adjustments and implemented an e-commerce Sitecore solution. We helped them establish secure coding standards, architecture standards, and a Secure-SDLC and met the deadlines.
In another example, our retail banking client needed us to act fast to support their commercial customers during the pandemic. Due to COVID-19, there was a race for PPP funds on the baking side. However, banks didn’t have a convenient way to collect information from their customers looking for those. There was a short timeline to get landing pages and forms developed.
We turned around landing pages about branch closings, PPP application forms, and related content with pressing Covid-19 and Pandemic-related information.
What does the future look like for Engine Room?
We focus on personalization, accessibility, and security, as it is the bedrock of any digital transformation. We will be further expanding our offering to include a specialization in Sitecore’s Content Hub. We are currently implementing it for one of our clients in the government space. Furthermore, we promote digital accessibility and thereby created an accessibility Index to make the internet a better, more inclusive, accessible, and safer place. This will be released in the next couple of months and available to the companies to monitor the industry trends from a digital accessibility perspective. This index is to indicate the performance of organizations from an accessibility standpoint on their digital properties. We are continually innovating and building quality and meaningful solutions for our clients.