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60 Plus was seeking to improve upon its online communications strategy to provide for an internet presence that would substantially increase their visibility with their membership, the public and the media resulting in an improved platform from which to inform and mobilize their membership; earn media; build coalitions with other organizations; and work more efficiently.
GXS first developed an internal network architecture in their office that promoted more efficient communication among staff members and the general public, as well as providing a larger degree of network security and IT risk management. Subsequently, for the organization’s more broad goals, GXS deployed ActivistWeb for 60 Plus, which included a complete redevelopment and design of their website with sections for issues, news, events, and photos. In addition, prospective members can join 60 Plus online from the site and other supporters can make financial contributions. Most importantly, ActivistWeb provides the administration tools necessary for 60 Plus’ staff to easily update, manage, and maintain their site without needing any technical know-how.
The result was just as expected: more earned media; a growing and informed membership; a more productive staff; and funds raised online -- all accomplished under budget.
One of our larger clients and our strategic partner, ATA has asked us to manage and develop a great deal of technology on their behalf. Among our many activities for this client are the management of email lists and the revolutionary use of web technology to aid the President of the United States in getting his cabinet nominees confirmed by the U.S. Senate.
Over the last several years, ATA through its online division ConservativeHQ.com and with the assistance of GXS, has built a series of email lists resulting in a cumulative email list of more than 150,000 opt-in email addresses of grassroots political conservatives nation-wide that have demonstrated an ability to not just receive an email, but to take action as a result of that communication and often, to contribute funds or pay for activities.
The GXS team has been instrumental in the day-to-day management of that cumulative email list that typically mailed at least 4 times a week and sent over 2 million emails a month.
Among the many websites we’ve built for ATA/CHQ, BackBush.com perhaps was the biggest success and had the largest impact.
In the very early days of 2001, the soon-to-be President Bush had put forth many of the names of the individuals he had intended to nominate to his cabinet. A number of those individuals nominated were met with a great deal of friction, both by the media and more importantly, certain members of the U.S. Senate, the body tasked with confirming the President’s nominations.
ATA/CHQ had an idea. They wanted to figure out a way to facilitate an online grassroots effort to support President Bush and his nominees. BackBush.com was born, which was an internet tool that gave people the ability to go online and be an online activist in support of The President by either voting in a poll; signing a petition; supplying their email address for quick mobilization efforts; paying to send mailgrams (Western Union telegrams) or faxgrams (faxes) to members of the Senate and in some cases the Congress at-large expressing their options in support of the new Bush Administration; and a number of other things like getting site visitor friends involved and much more. All of this from one central website.
The result was a countless petitions signed, hundreds of thousands of votes in online polls, half-a-million faxes and over fifty-thousand Western Union telegrams all sent from the grassroots to Capitol Hill via BackBush.com. Mobilization; fundraising; ecommerce; instant communication from the grassroots to the Hill; interactivity. A true force for that time in American politics.
CBHD, already a national and international leader in producing a wide range of live, recorded, and written resources examining bioethical issues wished to provide a further valuable and timely resource by teaming with GXS in an effort sponsored by the Henriksen Charitable Trust to develop bioethics.info.
This site, an internet portal on bioethics topics, news, and commentaries, is perhaps the most authoritative and referenced information available on bioethics on the internet. The result has been its value as a resource for those looking for in-depth information on bioethics, presented in a timely fashion and has increased the visibility for the Center and its projects with the public, academia, the medical community, and the media.
Built on an ActivistWeb foundation, the site has been extensively customized to provide CBHD’s non-technical staff with standard and expanded tools to quickly and easily manage the site’s content and resources.
CMR was seeking to improve upon its online communications strategy to provide for an internet presence that would substantially increase their visibility with the public, the media, and most importantly, with those making and executing U.S. military personnel and readiness policies.
A large part of this task was modernizing the way they publish and archive their monthly publication, "CMR Notes." Their members are paper-mailed this every month, but they wanted a way to deliver it online. In addition, they wanted a way for researchers and military staff to easily access the publication. Further, in the past, when a researcher or member of the media called CMR to get info on a particular issue, the CMR staff would have to manually look through past issues to send them that information, which was a time consuming activity.
As a result of the web and database technology GXS built for CMR, they now have all past CMR notes issues available on their website. Anyone can visit their archives and search the content of past and present issues, but CMR wished to restrict access of the actual content of those issues to members, researchers, military professionals, and the press. The search capabilities are robust in returning titles, abstracts, issue numbers, authors, and much more within seconds. This was designed such that the documents could maintain the integrity of their look and presentation of "CMR Notes" in having been published as PDF documents, yet users searching would not be required to take the time to load the PDF document to determine if the article/issue contained the info they were seeking since the search results presented enough data quickly such that the user could download those documents he/she really needed. These tools not only make life more efficient for the CMR staff who no longer have to do manual document searches for requested information CMR has researched and written on in the past, but site users can also maximize the time they have to use the CMR site by quickly and easily having the ability to search the document archives and only spend time downloading and reading full articles and issues they know will be helpful.
The value in this sort of a resource is obvious, but to complement it, GXS added the ability for prospective members or anyone wishing to view "CMR Notes" who do not already have access to join or pay a fee online and within minutes, obtain access to the vast archives.
Finally, ActivistWeb provides the administration tools necessary for the self-described "very non-technical" CMR staff to easily update, manage, and maintain the other features of the CMR site (in addition to the "CMR Notes" section).
The MRC wished to completely revamp and redesign their large website, yet they were on a limited budget and already maintained an in-house technical staff tasked with managing their website. Yet, the staff discovered it was spending an excessive amount of time on parts of the site that could be standardized and template driven.
The GXS graphic and creative team was asked to develop a new online brand for the MRC by designing an entirely new layout, look and feel. Subsequently, once that phase was complete, the GXS technical team developed a series of templates, include files and style sheets and implemented the GXS created new design, with an eye towards segregating the files the staff would update daily from a central set of files that give the site its look and feel, requiring that only the content was edited and updated, while the template code that wraps around the content was located elsewhere, minimizing the room for human error in their updates.
Lastly, GXS held a series of training activities to teach the staff how to use the new layouts.
These efforts resulted in improved productivity among the MRC technical staff and a far more accessible, timely, and attractive website and online branding.
Over time, the RNC had developed a database in Microsoft Access for the purposes of tracking federal and state-wide candidates nationally. As this database grew in both functionality and demand for use of it at the RNC, the fact that it was built and used in Access presented a number of limitations, and thus, the database and current front-end had outgrown its current architecture.
The RNC then turned to GXS to redevelop their candidate tracking database application for more robust use and greatly expanded functionality. The first step was to convert the then current Access format into a web-based client/server environment utilizing ASP and SQL Server technology. This included the breaking up of much of the data that had been generally stored in a flat-file (single table) and a migration into a relational structure, as well as a host of data integrity, quality control, and quality assurance measures after having made such a conversion.
The second step consisted of designing a highly dynamic browser interface and data management console to enable multiple users to interact with and manage the data and/or extract information, similar to the way individuals could interact with local Access functions. Included in this phase was the complete duplication of all existing Access functionality, but in an internet-based SQL/ASP application.
The third step consisted of expanding upon functionality from simply creating reports and giving users the ability to interact with the data, to the addition of sophisticated user authentication; a multi-permission structure; exports on the fly to Excel; a document manager and library; expanded note functions; functions to enter and store data on campaign staff, election info, state party info, voter file development, candidate financial info, polling data, and a great deal more. Help file documentation and a dynamic FAQ were also included.
The very sensitive nature of the data and high exposure to sabotage and/or hacking efforts necessitated a final step in conducting a complete and thorough security review and assessment, and the subsequent modification of the application to correct those weaknesses identified.
The project resulted in broad use of the application/database from internal RNC staff located in the Washington, D.C. headquarters, to RNC field staff scattered nationally, other campaign committee staff, and the White House. It also resulted in greater coordination, better document management, and knowledge sharing among multiple entities nationwide that contributed to one of the most successfully executed campaign operations in recent years.
Before the 2000 election, the House Impeachment Managers needed a site to communicate their message of the rule of law and to take advantage of their media attention by having a central place to raise money collectively on a national basis.
They came to GXS to develop and maintain their online communication and fundraising strategy. Our work included a branding for HMPAC that featured each of the 13 managers. The site had a library of streaming audio and video and acted as a portal to the managers bios, campaign websites, and other information. Finally, the site was among the first in the nation to begin accepting online contributions.
The site attracted national media attention, including from the Washington Post and USA Today, and helped the HMPAC raise a total of $821,000 during the 2000 election cycle.
RCB, a rail car paint and coating brokerage needed a quick and easy way for their potential customers, existing customers, and nationally scattered sales team to access product listings, information, and technical data.
GXS designed the company’s first web presence which included information about the brokerage and its staff, as well as a comprehensive search feature to obtain info and data on products offered and their availability. The large amounts of data necessitated a sophisticated database schema and architecture in serving up the requested data from search results as well as items from a document library included in the database.
The Free Congress Foundation was tired of spending large sums of money for a band-aid approach to their internal network. They needed a long-term strategy ranging from standard networking (connectivity between clients; file sharing; group calendars and contacts; etc.) to network security, virus and hacker risk management, hardware planning, and software uniformity.
GXS developed a plan to reform the network architecture and subsequently provide for the daily maintenance and management of the FCF network. GXS performed all work under the plan, in addition to supervising all future hardware purchases and establishing software requirements for each machine on the network. GXS also established and managed help-desk and desktop support within the organization.
Lastly, GXS was required to perform disaster recovery efforts on occasion, reviving the network of office-wide infections within hours.
GXS has years of extensive experience in managing rack servers in a data center environment. This work includes power, connectivity, and server redundancy (hardware and software issues); IT security (on all levels); threat assessment; regular management, maintenance, and updates; performance testing; hot replacement; database management; application support; DNS services; logging and reporting; backup; firewall; and all aspects of live enterprise level web and data management.