Zambon

The new web ecosystem of Zambon’s websites is Cloud-Native and benefits from a modular structure of contents: a single Design System to build and manage multiple websites.

The Challenge

Zambon is a chemical-pharmaceutical multinational corporation founded in Vicenza in 1906, founded on the history of an Italian family owned enterprise. Strong in values, it is today an enterprise that looks to the future and has made innovation the base of its growth project. Zambon decided to embark in a digital transformation journey, fundamental in the present context, that involved all of its web products.

With 24 websites, national domains structured differently in each Nation and a digital identity watered down by design approaches inconsistent with each other, the first need was to define an univocal image shared by the whole Group.

The designing work had the objective of creating a single Design System that would allow:

  • a better centralized management of the design components, of the contents and of the operative and approval processes.
  • the acquisition by the corporate of the know-how needed to internalize some processes of governance and platform updating.
  • a content strategy specifically designed to reach two targets particularly important for the enterprise: potential business partners and new talents.
  • a single global design template to guide the redesign of all the local websites of the Group.

The basis of the projects were made contextually to the creation of a multidisciplinary team, made of Zambon’s internal team (Communication and Digital Strategy) and vertical teams on specific knowledge and expertise: Insana (project governance, web & graphic design, content management), Sketchin (UX and information architecture) and SparkFabrik (tech development and cloud infrastructure). Those realities accompanied the Group’s team as strategic partners in the steps of project (Discovery, Design, Development, Delivery).

As SparkFabrik, we had the duty to develop 16 websites, with a common editorial platform, and bring them in Cloud.

Project
Website redesign, Cloud infrastructure
Services
Drupal, Google Cloud Platform, Alibaba Cloud
Release
June 2018
The Challenge

The application solution

The redesign of the Corporate website was then one of the main goals in the wider digital transformation plan, to which would have followed the development of the Pharma websites dedicated to the single Nations. The Group wanted to involve all the departments, and together with the dedicated team they took part to a co-creation and strategic design workshop.

From those workshops was created a Design System for the production of an Architecture of the modular information, to coherently convey information semantically and mutually similar.

As SparkFabrik, we wanted to take advantage of this Design System, making it the starting point to develop a flexible architecture, able to respond to always redefined specifics. We detached ourselves from the more common use of a CMS, avoiding rigid and complicated data structures. Instead, we used Drupal as an evolved framework and created a catalogue of modular components that would allow the editors to easily build the pages choosing each time the most suitable modules.
This approach allowed us to easily respond to every new need coming from the customer during their content creation phase, too.

To develop a new component or edit an already existing one didn’t mean reorganizing the whole datas structure. Similarly, once defined as a start the UI to deliver to the editors, the future addition or modification of the components wouldn’t have meant sostatial modifications of the UX.

At the end of a first development cycle, most of the informative pages was structurable with the available components, making it possible to align the content posting phase and the development of components dedicated to more specific pages, making it faster to populate the website.
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Cloud and ecosystem

In this phase we also drew the basis for the future management of the whole websites ecosystem. To optimize the deployments, we decided to keep using a single codebase shared by the Corporate websites and the future local ones, to be able to update them simultaneously at every single code update.

To guarantee an evolutive development in Continuous Integration e Continuous Delivery, also keeping in mind the not simultaneous releases of the country websites, a scalable, flexible and globally accessible infrastructure was necessary.
Then, we implemented a Multi-Cloud strategy that allowed us to manage through the same platform the websites for the West with Google Cloud Platform and the websites for the East with Alibaba Cloud.

After evaluating the release of an independent website accessible from China only, the chance to use Alibaba Cloud’s infrastructures allowed us to maintain a uniform architecture, with delivery procedures similar to the other country websites, guaranteeing a digital experience in China completely equivalent to the one in any other part of the world in terms of efficiency, safety, content control and usability.
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Results

With its new Corporate website, Zambon could unify the content of 24 different websites in a single container, consistent and coherent, able to communicate their corporate identity at fullest. The internal team could take charge of the management and creation of new contents in complete autonomy, with the liberty of asking for edits or additions at any time. Any new component is released in Continuous Integration and the user experience does not undergo any substantial change.

In addition to this, thanks to the deploy system, every update is released automatically on every website and every new feature is immediately at disposal of all the other websites.

The Design System brought in so many benefits in terms of development and content management that it’s been considered the future solution for the websites focused on single Zambon products. To respond to specific communication needs, the catalogue will be widened with new modules that will allow the single editorial teams to create websites that will be unique, but still coherent with the image of the Group.

Conclusions

Zambon represented a challenge in technological terms, both for development and for the Cloud infrastructure management. This led us to find alternative and more efficient methods, to avoid building a structure too complicated to be governed and maintained.

Thanks to the far-sightedness of Zambon in their digitalization process and to the collaboration with knowledgeable partners, we could bet on the challenges of innovation. It is now possible to capitalize on what learned in this project, not just for us in SparkFabrik but for the customer too who could benefit of a return on investment that will allow it to face new projects with solid bases and already operative solutions.

Laura Zordan

Digital Transformation & Service Design Strategist,
Zambon Company

We are very satisfied with the work done with the whole SparkFabrik team to realize our central platform of corporate websites.

The expertise found in SparkFabrik has been fundamental not just in the project set up phase and in the following maintenance of the Drupal 8 solution, but even more in the strategic consultancy that we receive every day for its evolution.

Cristiano Poian

Head of Digital Strategy,
Zambon Company

The design system created with SparkFabrik is today an asset valuable for the whole corporation. We keep working together to make it grow day by day, making it available to always more Countries and functions.

SparkFabrik represents for us a strategic partner. In every conversation we with them we find new technological, design and business knowledge, and this is for us an essential virtue that allows us to share our path with skilled advisors who support us in the promote the the challenges of Zambon’s digital transformation on a global scale