What are the problems with the current platforms, people, and processes?
When it comes to globalisation the ability to author and publish content that is relevant to the market audience in the right language or local context is critical. It’s usually the speed of either the authoring the content or deploying new or updated features.
Content production is often highly inefficient. Some of the challenges with implementing preview functionality often means that content is published and then reviewed in production which presents a clear risk to reputation if the incorrect content is seen.
With no Content workflows in place, there is a risk of draft content being published inadvertently by other users, again for brands that are trying to grow globally, this is a risk that could not only affect visitor faith but can also ruin a campaign.
Basic access controls meant that nearly all users were at an Administrator level within the platform, this presents risks to the entire solution as changes to the content as well as the model could happen by inexperienced team members.
The combined lack of access and workflow controls meant that an international rollout would be extremely complex and risky and that multiple teams or markets would be unlikely to be able to operate with clear lines of responsibility within the platform.
The future state was to lead from a centralised content team in the UK who would be responsible for developing core brand content and having local market teams author market specific and translate content locally which wouldn’t have been possible with their previous CMS.
What were the specific capabilities needed by your enterprise client, and why Contentful powered MACH Architecture?
First and foremost, the increased platform governance capabilities. A clearly defined operating model can be really underestimated and can prove invaluable for internationalisation and a MACH architecture. Knowing who needs access to what content and who will be approving / publishing etc.
Multilingual content features such as ISO language identifiers, custom locales, language-level fallback and the ability to control language options at the field level are really powerful features and give organisations lots of flexibility.
Something that I really promoted was the multispace capabilities. There was clear separation of concerns from engineering about their content needs for things like the interface etc, so the ability to give them their own managed space separate to marketing content and product teams is ideal.
Improved integrations with third-party applications that are built into the current Contentful ecosystem including the commerce engine and DAM integrations as well as the App framework to develop custom interface plugins helps make the authoring experience much simpler and more streamlined.
What KPIs and business impact are you driving for your clients and their customers with Contentful powered MACH architecture?
Speed to market is one of the biggest wins we are seeing. There’s definitely some setup and planning needed in terms of a MACH architecture such as the guiding principles, but once that’s in place the speed of innovation is amazing.
For example in terms of localisation, if you want a centralised operating model, you can quickly launch new markets using locales and language fallback capabilities and then translate as you go.
If you want more of a devolved model, you can utilise a multispace architecture along with the Content Management APIs, you can effectively script the rollout of a English master-language version of the application, and then allow the local market to build upon the model and translate from there.
Another key thing that we’ve been able to deliver is an improved authoring experience. By having closer integrations with third party platforms jobs like associated media from a DAM is done in a matter of seconds rather than 5-10 minutes where you need to work out the URLs and copy and paste them between platforms.
Ultimately, Contentful delivers a better experience to authors and engineers by allowing them to focus on their specialist areas which in turn is delivering a better experience for the customers by getting quality updates quicker and more often.