Swapping for Kentico to future-proof their website
APS IT-diensten represents the interests of schools in the Netherlands, helping them to gain access to the IT solutions they need by negotiating with software and online service providers on their behalf. APS saves schools a lot of money by securing significant discounts and further contributes to the digitization of education by providing support services (including training, study trips, tailor-made advice, and a content platform), to support educators in getting the most out of their solutions.
Having launched in 1994 with just three suppliers, APS IT-diensten now has more than 50 suppliers and almost 100% of schools in primary and special education in the Netherlands use their services.
As their long-term partner, Aviva Solutions helped APS IT-diensten maintain their existing Sitecore platform, but the organization quickly reached the limit of the solution, and it was no longer the best fit for their needs. They needed to future-proof their website with better performance, improved search capabilities, and more usability. The existing checkout also needed a complete overhaul as it required users to take multiple steps.
Aviva took the time to research the best possible solution on the market for APS IT-diensten and found that Kentico Xperience 13 was the perfect fit because it offered:
- Lower operational costs
- Impressive improvement in performance
- Advanced search functionality
- Low learning curve and ease of use for marketers
- Ability to actually leverage all the marketing features
APS IT-diensten chose Kentico Xperience 13 because it “is faster, more intuitive, easier to use, and lower in cost than Sitecore”. Aviva’s hands-on agile approach enabled them to make many additional improvements to the user experience. These internal and external optimizations have allowed APS IT-diensten to make a real fresh start without the baggage of its previous platform.
The Kentico out-of-the-box digital marketing features that APS leverages:
- Contact management
- Activity tracking
- E-mail marketing
- Marketing automation
Though it was the team’s first time using React components based on Typescript, Aviva was able to add a flexible front-end layer to the Search index of Kentico, allowing for more content types to be added instead of just the available licenses.
APS IT-diensten also got a custom login widget that supports complex authentication and authorization processes. A visitor can now simultaneously log in and select the organization for which they want to place an order. Most of the order handling is done within Dynamics CRM, supported with a full cart implementation within Kentico. Parsing the organization, price, and product data to the Kentico cart allows for usage of abandoned cart functionality or extending the checkout flow. The new checkout has a real-time check for signing authority and signals if any additional licenses are required. A smart toolbar guides visitors through every step for a smooth visitor experience.
As the APS IT-diensten website is just one part of their landscape, Aviva developed an integration layer between the website, Dynamics CRM, and Microsoft Power Automate using Azure API Apps in combination with .Net Core 7.0. The daily import of all products from Dynamics CRM is a part of this integration.
APS IT-diensten is really happy with the digital marketing features in Kentico, such as personalization and marketing automation. These features now enable them to deliver the best possible user experience and to take control of their digital growth without requiring development for each change in the customer journey. The new templates and widgets also make the daily routine of content editors significantly easier and faster, putting an end to their day-to-day frustrations.
Streamlining marketing processes has saved APS IT-diesnten a significant part of their budget. Leveraging digital marketing provides the team with better lead nurturing and actionable data for their campaigns. “Kentico allows the marketing team to do more in less time and more autonomously,” says Roel Kuik, the Online B2B Marketer from Aviva Solutions.
With the new solution, APS IT-diensten saved around 38,000 euros in the first year. “The possibility to make more money through the enhanced user experience and actually leveraging the digital marketing tools that allow for automated processes and better lead nurturing should be considered at least as valuable,” adds Roel Kuik.
Although the site only launched in December 2022, the APS IT-diensten team is already actively using a number of features—something they were not able to do with Sitecore. They leverage a marketing automation flow to collect new subscribers (via Kentico form submission) and add them to the existing list, eliminating endless down- and uploads of contact lists. Also, having been completely dependent on third-party tool Spotler, they switched to Kentico Email Marketing within their first month and can now scrap their Spotler license.
- High performance enables implementing changes that were previously blocked
- Performance problems that required frequent restarts of Azure services resolved
- Faster price calculations and shopping cart experience
- A marketing automation software decommissioned and replaced with Kentico out-of-the-box features
Watch the project summary
The excellent new website for APS-IT-diensten won the Education & Careers category in Kentico Site of the Year 2022
“The transition to Kentico has enabled our online growth. Through improved SEO and performance, we expect to provide a better service with relevant information and products. The performance and ease of use has made our employees enthusiastic about Kentico. The extensive marketing features and first-party data enables us to create better and richer user experiences.”
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