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Case Study

Olympus America Builds a Path for Scalability with Drupal 8

See how Olympus America and Mediacurrent harnessed the power of Drupal 8 to build a platform scalable for the future of the Olympus brand.

Project Highlights

Olympus is a multi-billion dollar organization and globally recognized precision technology leader that was founded in 1919. Their 35,000+ employees are passionate about, “ ...crafting innovative optical and digital solutions that help make people’s lives healthier, safer, and more ful­filling every day (olympusamerica.com)”.

Mediacurrent’s team partnered with Olympus America to provide Drupal training for their staff, build a powerful and flexible Drupal 8 Distribution, and launch the new Olympus Learn & Support Center that integrates with their ecommerce site, Magento.

person holding an SLR camera

The Challenge

The Digital Development Department at Olympus America was at a crossroads with their organizational web platforms and online presence due to a lack of consistent and flexible technology. 

Olympus’ e-commerce engine Magento, managed by their Consumer Products Department, lacked the capability to create engaging content experiences that complemented their product listings, resulting in lower website engagement and a poor content editor and user experience.

Multiple legacy sites utilizing different content management systems (CMS) were also discovered to be a challenge for the organization. Maintaining multiple platforms and site technologies places a burden on infrastructure, labor expenses, and management.

These digital challenges were impacting Olympus’ development team, customers, and brand. 

Mediacurrent’s Solution

For a richer content experience, Olympus engaged Mediacurrent to create a website on the Drupal 8 platform to house its consumer-oriented community learn center and product support pages. After identifying Olympus’ challenges and discussion goals, Mediacurrent provided training to the Olympus development staff, built a powerful and flexible Drupal 8 Distribution, and developed the new Olympus Learn & Support Center, creating a better user experience featuring a modern design and a pathway to consistent technologies.

Olympus’ new Learn & Support Center was built on Drupal 8. Drupal 8, a best in class content management system, gave Olympus the tools needed to create a picture-perfect learn and support hub. The new website empowers their customers to become better users of their cameras, increases engagement and builds trust in the Olympus brand. Mediacurrent ensured the new Learn & Support Center integrated with their e-commerce platform Magento. It was vital to the success of the project to maintain consistency between Magento and Drupal 8 for a seamless user experience. 

The Olympus and Mediacurrent partnership also resulted in a new Drupal 8 Distribution. The new Distribution, named Orchard, will be utilized to migrate Olympus’ legacy sites onto a single platform. Orchard will free up time and allow for scalable change by giving the Olympus development team the ability to quickly add functionality, apply a universal design language, and expose the same code base to multiple sites. In short, the Drupal 8 Distribution will create a scalable and stable environment while reducing unexpected issues. 

Mediacurrent also implemented Olympus’ design mock-ups into a functioning Drupal 8 theme. Additional development for the Learn & Support Center features was completed using contributed modules and custom code. 

The new Drupal 8 homepage for Olympus shown on a desktop computer

Why Drupal 8?

  • Open Source - Open source means more features, support of an entire community of passionate developers, and no licensing fees. 
  • Modules - Developers can build in their own custom features or utilize existing modules that are tested and improved upon by the community itself. 
  • Existing Experience - Olympus had some experience with Drupal 8 already. Understanding it’s built to be continually enhanced and adapted for market conditions made it an easy choice. 
  • Scalability - Flexible and easy-to-use content creation for editors and marketers. Drupal 8 gives Olympus the ability to spin up new sites quickly that will match their universal design standards and branding. 
  • Mobile - Drupal 8 uses a mobile first development approach, which is a must have in today’s b2b and b2c environment.
  • The Long-Term  -  Drupal 8 is a long-term solution with scalability built in. As other site technology changes or new versions of Drupal are released, Drupal 8 can adapt. 
     

Flexible Design

The Drupal 8 platform improves Olympus’ digital presence by matching modern design standards today and moving forward. A new design and site architecture will help improve customer experience and increase online sales.
 

Scalability for the Future

Key modules for the project included UI Patterns, chosen for the component based design implementation. A component-based approach lends itself to a more modularized front end, more efficient development cycles, a consistent UI, and a smoother developer experience on both the front end and integration processes. In short, it reduces costs and saves time. 

The YAML Content Module was leveraged to define content for each of the different functional components throughout the entire build process and to prepare demo content seamlessly. With this solution the content is written in YAML, it's easy to visualize the content hierarchy through the indentation, and the content can always be updated by adding more to it later and re-importing. This process makes it easy for demo content to evolve over the course of a site build as new site architecture is defined and needs to be demonstrated for review and testing.

Enterprise Ready

Full System Overhaul

Mediacurrent created a system that gives Olympus the ability to spin up new sites quickly that align with their universal design standards.

Build

Extensible Platform

Mediacurrent created a reusable, customizable platform that Olympus can use and expand for years to come.

Code

Custom Module Development

During the project, Mediacurrent and Olympus developers collaborated to create custom modules (like UI Patterns Block) that were not available before. 

Mediacurrent team conducting onsite training

Onsite and Integrated Training

The Mediacurrent Team hosted multiple in-person training sessions with Olympus' primary developer to educate him on Drupal 8 best practices and discuss strategy, workflows, and execution of the project. The developer was embedded as a member of the development team to improve communication and ensure we were meeting the needs of Olympus. As a group, we were actively completing tickets on new features. This approach provided hands-on training with Drupal 8, and their new development architecture which will support long-term success for the Olympus development team.

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Final Thoughts

Olympus America realized their vision could be achieved and challenges overcome with Drupal 8 and a close partnership with Mediacurrent. Standardizing on a single platform with a broad community like Drupal will provide value for Olympus by reducing maintenance time, improving existing sites, and quickly launching new sites. Mediacurrent and the Drupal ecosystem will continue to grow and support Olympus’ new Drupal 8 platform as they need it. 

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