The Challenge

The Australian Science Media Center conducts media briefings, provides raw content to media outlets and expert reaction to breaking news. A key aspect of their business is data - and being able to access information readily.

Over the years, ASMC have used and structured another program successfully to suit the business model. However, early in the process of developing a new website, they realised that trying to integrate the existing database with it, was going to be problematic.

ASMC started looking into web-based databases that could be customised to suit their purpose and would integrate more easily. After evaluating a number of systems, the team settled on Sugar CRM, partly as it had a better search functionality than its competitors.

Their search for additional expertise to implement the new system led ASMC to Squiz and we began working together to integrate Sugar with the new website.

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The Solution

During the consultation phase, ASMC were able to show the team at Squiz the structure of their existing database. This gave a good visual understanding of what was needed, and reduced the amount of time required during the build process. Squiz and ASMC worked together to work out main requirements:

  • Customisation for the three main user groups – journalists, scientists, and media officers
  • Be able to see each group separately, and in addition, the organisations with which they are associated
  • Build a Contacts Module that allowed assigning individuals to multiple organisations and also to see the relationships, and have the ability to report on them
  • Implement a customised Enquiries Module to be able to put detail against names, building on existing historical data and be able to draw information from the system that shows the nature of enquiries, the frequency, and any patterns that may emerge

Before Go Live, ASMC spent quite a bit of time tinkering, testing and providing customised training to staff to make sure the transition to the new system would go smoothly.

The Result

ASMC have been able to use Squiz's knowledge to design and structure reports in the most effective way, meaning they are able to get the data they need in the shortest time frame possible. Now, seven months after going live, Squiz is helping to continue making improvements, tweaking the system as new requirements come up.

They feel that it made an enormous difference to have an expert organisation on board who knew the system and understood how to get it to do what they needed it to.

"Squiz have been able to guide us through every step of the way. They have talked us through issues, and have been very helpful finding workarounds where necessary. I have been really impressed with the team at Squiz. They have been excellent – accessible and professional throughout the process." - Project Manager - Nigel Kerby

Now that the build is completed and Sugar is up and running, the next challenge is to integrate it with another new website called Scimex. ASMC is again working closely with Squiz and hope to have the project completed in the near future.

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