Smorgon consolidates disparate Web data

Smorgon Steel has completed the consolidation of Web site data from 13 different business units into one centralised content management system (CMS).

Before the consolidation project, Smorgon had a mixture of Web technologies including Java, ASP, Perl and static HTML.

Smorgon's IT projects manager Ed Steinberg said the most important aspect of the integration was to enable the company's business units to change their own content.

"We had different systems all over and needed to ask service providers to change the content," Steinberg said. "With business units belonging to different divisions and addressing different market segments, such as recycling and steel reinforcing, each unit can use the same CMS to ensure their own site is kept accurate."

Now Smorgon's Web sites are running off a Microsoft SQL 2000 database which was developed with Macromedia's ColdFusion MX by Red Square, a Web design and data application company.

In addition to having separate Web sites, Smorgon was also dealing with eight hosting centres, which have now been centralised with Macquarie Corporate.

Although reluctant to disclose the cost of project, Steinberg said it was somewhere in the "low hundred thousands".

"This integration project is just something we had to do for the business as we needed to portray ourselves as a unified group," he said. "The ROI is difficult to measure but I came up positive with an immediate return for the centralised hosting. Also, we now we have access to much more information, including hardware performance, users, and hit rate."

After going to tender, Smorgon chose Red Square because of its previous work, Steinberg said.

Red Square senior analyst Steve Baty said Smorgon now owns the intellectual property on the content and visuals and the company will not be subject to further licence fees.

For the management of the Web site data, Red Square implemented its custom-developed CMS, because, Baty said, there wasn't an "out-of-the-box solution that gives us enough flexibility". "We've also looked at open source CMS tools, but when you develop a Web site much more is involved than just the content management."

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