We held a breakfast event at Greenlight HQ in London, where we invited Aynsley Peet, eCommerce Manager at interiors company Cox & Cox to join us for a no holds barred Q&A session on replatforming highs and lows.
The event follows the launch of our magazine ‘Replatforming in 2019: The Good, The Bad & The Even Uglier’, and we had an interactive and engaging discussion on managing platform migrations as Aynsley has a wealth of experience, having successfully managed three such projects.
Thank you to everyone who attended for their contribution to the conversation and in particular to Aynsley for taking the time to share his insights. I thought I would share three of the key themes that emerged from the session.
This was a prominent and important theme discussed. Choosing a systems integrator partner you can trust, who is prepared to become part of the team, is crucial to the effectiveness of a replatforming project. Without trust, there’s no business agility. For example, if a project is working to a fixed price, the systems integrator takes all the risk. If an action or workflow isn’t in the contract it won’t get done which might affect the overall effectiveness of the entire project.
We discussed Greenlight’s experiences from the SI side and how we help build trust with clients and prospects. It’s important to have a standard and be transparent. Aynsley’s top advice was to get reference calls in. Do research, understand the culture of your business, and pick the consultancy that you feel is best suited to complement your business.
A crucial part of a project’s success is getting total stakeholder buy-in. Key to this is understanding the overall mentality of the business. This is everything from their risk appetite to overall culture.
Frequently, the business is not aligned with what the main goal is or what success looks like for these projects. How they see the project evolving and what happens when there are bumps in the road all need to be discussed.
When meeting potential client’s, I pose the question: “does the platform change around the business or does the business change around the platform?”.
When discussing what Aynsley would do differently, momentum struck a chord with the audience at the event. Aynsley talked about learning from experience and the value in that. Then he moved on to say that starting projects with momentum was really important. I agree with this as time can be lost at the start of a project trying to design a website with all the bells and whistles. We encourage our clients to get a minimum viable product live quickly, which can then be properly tested, refined and improved on in future phases.
Finally, we discussed that websites have to appeal to both humans and robots. Both ‘look’ at websites, the latter for SEO – and we need both to make websites work.
Those who have embarked on a replatforming project, will know the journey is rarely a straightforward one. With every upgrade comes both opportunities and pitfalls. If you’re planning an eCommerce replatform in the near future, and haven’t already downloaded a copy of ‘Replatforming in 2019: The Good, The Bad & The Even Uglier’ you can do so here. We’d also love to see you at our next Q&A session. Watch this space for updates!