The Story

Elsevier was once a simple publishing house. Part of the RELX Group, they’d become a world-leader in information and analytics with offices in 20 countries.

Professionals in the science, technology and health industries look to their 2,200 journal publications, and 33,000 book titles across 37 specialty subjects, as the authoritative texts. In these disciplines, fresh information is constantly coming to light, and by 2012 the Elsevier website was struggling to keep up.

The Challenge

When first starting to work with Squiz, Elsevier’s website ran on a web management platform that had been launched in 2004.

Making changes quickly was difficult and the level of service it provided didn’t live up to the reputation of the Elsevier brand. In fact, there wasn’t one challenge, there were three:

First, to migrate 2,000 pages and 20,000 products over to a simpler CMS.

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Second, change the mindset behind the site: from product-centricity to customer-centricity. The future of the brand makes it imperative that Elsevier's resources are as accessible as possible, meaning that customers need to be able to access them regardless of the device that they're using iva – this meant making the site fully responsive.

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The third challenge was to make the governance more agile. With multiple teams editing content, consistency of Elsevier’s brand and messaging needed to be guaranteed, whilst reducing the risk of duplicating content.

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The Solution

Elsevier engaged Squiz for a 6 month project, aiming to go live with a new site in 2015.

The solution developed met the first challenge of a simpler CMS, through utilising our Squiz Matrix CMS. We then coupled that with Funnelback’s powerful search engine, ensuring that all pages would be populated with the right informations and easily found  - taking care of the heavy lifting. Then, by utilising the Squiz Cloud, Elsevier could takes some pressure off their in-house team. Security and up-times are guaranteed and 'Total Cost of Ownership' is reduced. This process allowed us to reduce page numbers by almost 50%.

A new framework made the entire site responsive to users, across all devices. With CSS and JavaScript, a foundation was laid for a consistent brand experience. Squiz extended this foundation in Matrix CMS, then pulled in the Elsevier framework to define the look and feel of the website, whether users were on mobiles or desktops.

These changes gave us the chance to solve the third problem - of slow decision making. We brought in a workflow and governance structure to keep internal processes running smoothly, handing back overall control of content and brand consistency. On completion, Elsevier were free to methodically upload content from the ground up.

With new governance, workflows and a cleaner internal infrastructure, Squiz and Elsevier are confident that the site will be able to continue to grow whilst keeping the content accurate and relevant.

The Results

Surpassed the target of 40.000 per month

After going live with Squiz, Elsevier reported that the time taken for changes to be implemented had dropped by 60%, while customer satisfaction increasing by 10%.

The move to Squiz Matrix CMS gave Elsevier the right base to build from in order to adapt to market, technological and customer changes ahead.

Customer satisfaction with the site is up by 10%

Elsevier’s new Content Creation Model is working to bring more consistency throughout by using page templates. These templates are used throughout the website and allow for content to be easily uploaded and dynamically displayed, all while maintaining a consistent look and feel across Elsevier’s entire web presence.

The next step for Elsevier is to improve internal processes in order to provide a better experience to their customers. In January 2016, Squiz worked closely with Elsevier to upgrade their system to Matrix 5.3. Since then, Elsevier have been working on improving the content as well as their content editing process.

Going forward, personalisation is key and Elsevier want to improve their user experience (UX) by localising their offering to greater audiences globally. This includes working on websites to be translated in different languages, opening up the pool of knowledge Elsevier provide to people that would traditionally not have access to it.

Visit to see the results for yourself!

The Technology

We coupled our highly versatile Squiz Matrix CMS, with Funnelback Search Platform, to deliver not just intelligent search, but also to create the very pages that users see without the need for a man hours - all of it hosted in our ultra-secure and reliable Squiz Cloud.

The Services

Elsevier utilised many of Squiz's Services offering to work with their in-house team in order to create the solution that met their goals.

Download Elsevier case study
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