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Tracker South Africa has transformed their website with Microsoft Gold Content and Collaboration partners, Decision Inc. Using the Microsoft SharePoint platform, the usability and manageability of the site has been significantly enhanced.

Tracker South Africa was founded in 1996 and is a leading technology company providing Stolen Vehicle Recovery (SVR) and Fleet Management/Telematics solutions to both consumers and businesses across Africa. The organisation processes more than 30 million messages a day, which it turns into knowledge to provide pro-active information to its partners and customers.

With over 75 000 vehicles recovered and more than 14 000 arrests Tracker has cemented its position as market leader on the African continent. Tracker Southern Africa has a market share of over 40%, employs over 1400 people, operates in 18 regional offices and is a BBBEE level 2 company. Tracker is also present in 10 other African countries through a commercial distribution model and with their technology installed in over 950 000 vehicles, it makes Tracker the largest vehicle tracking company on the continent.

Tracker South Africa is a technology company, and the web has become a more important channel through which to reach new and existing customers. Recognising this, Tracker looked at their website and acknowledged that it had a poor layout, suffered from speed and reliability issues, and lacked the cutting edge functionality and design demanded by users of modern websites. Its capabilities needed expanding, fine-tuning and rethinking so as to improve customer engagement and boost corporate and brand awareness.

“Our biggest challenge was to update and manage our content so we had to make sure that the new site was easily updatable and cost effective,” says Melissa-Jo Wides, Senior Business Analyst-Digital Marketing for Tracker. “We followed a process to find out what our customers wanted and what we wanted to give to our customers. The site had to be fast, display images quickly and deliver exceptional customer usability so they get to the content they want with as few clicks as possible.”

Two of the primary design issues of the old site were that site users couldn’t easily see important information as this was being obscured by large banners and content was often located well below the fold. This made site navigation and finding content slow and cumbersome. These factors impacted on site visitor numbers and engagement, which in turn affected the organisation’s ability to connect with clients and showcase its offerings.

In addition to speed and visibility, the website’s design and architecture meant that Tracker had very little or no control over what information was displayed and changing content was a complex task that often required involving the site developers to make basic content changes. The company required a solution that would allow them to easily add and change content, which would encourage users to explore the site and deliver improved functionality over what was available on the current site.

Henri Fourie, General Manager for Content and Collaboration at Decision Inc. says: “We worked with Tracker to identify the main issues experienced, ensuring that the developed solution addressed all these shortcomings, whilst retaining any elements that were working well.  Having been engaged with Tracker for many years, and having recently successfully implemented the Tracker intranet, we had the necessary track record within the organisation to give Tracker the confidence that we could deliver what they need.”

Decision Inc. and Tracker South Africa opted to utilise Microsoft SharePoint Server as the content management platform on which to develop the new website.  This was the ideal choice to improve the manageability and scalability of the site. Decision Inc. implemented the site as a responsive website, ensuring accessibility across a number of different devices, be it desktop, tablet or mobile phone, with the site navigation, content and structure adjusting to fit the size of the device display.

Prior to starting with any development, Decision Inc. spent a significant amount of time working with the client to ensure that they fully understood their requirements. Once the parameters had been clearly established, development commenced in August 2015 with the site going live towards the end of October 2015.

“We opted to work with Decision Inc. for three reasons and the first of these is that they are a Microsoft Gold partner,” says Wides. “They were also able to give us a solution in a time-frame that made sense to us – actual development took six weeks and testing took six weeks and this was a very quick deployment. The third reason is that we have partnered with them before so we understand who we are dealing with and they understand our requirements.”

A key requirement for the new website was the ability to be able to provide the website in different languages, cultures and countries. This functionality was essential so Tracker could communicate with clients and users in all the African countries where it had a presence. The solution had to allow for the company to use multi-language and multi-country features and functionality to roll-out new languages and sites as and when these become available.

The end solution crafted by Decision Inc. had to be flexible and adaptable and provide the client with complete control. The design team used a concept entitled ‘domain driven design’ – a solution-driven methodology that allows for the growth and the expansion of the code base without affecting the different layers of the solution. If functions are needed, then it is easy to put another layer into the code without affecting other features or capabilities that rely on the layers below. In addition to this, the team used best practice approach to software development incorporating SOLID principles to ensure complete reliability and maintainability of the code, even if the original developers of the site move on to other projects.

The Tracker website now provides for seamless multi-country, multi-language capabilities and has met all of the initial functional requirements we identified. The improvements in user access, speed and functionality are instantly visible and the site analytics already show a marked improvement in site visitors and user engagement.

One of the new features built into the site is a customer query function that allows people to contact Tracker and request further information, or a call-back. In the first two weeks of the site going live, there had already been many requests as customers take advantage of this feature.

For Tracker, it is exactly what they needed to boost user engagement.  The solution is adaptable, flexible and tailored to Tracker’s requirements. Whether it is a business or customer, visitors to can easily find the information they require.

Decision Inc. are currently engaged with Tracker to further enhance the website during a second phase of development.