CareerOneStop: A Case of Managing Career Content with SDL Tridion

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Article ImageCompany: CareerOneStop
Launched in 1998, is a website sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor and run by the state of Minnesota. It provides career resources and work force information to job seekers, students, businesses, and work force professionals. Though the site does not offer job listings, users can browse information about salaries and benefits, education and training, and resumes and interviews, all aimed to help professionals make smart and informed career decisions.

Business challenge
When CareerOneStop added a portal comprising of content-based webpages (the portal was integrated with sites such as America's Career InfoNet and America's Service Locator), it started running into problems keeping multiple pages up-to-date. With a confusing content publishing process, which involved contacting outside technical developers to make edits, inevitable errors such as typos and punctuation problems started popping up in abundance. When CareerOneStop added even more content to its portal in mid-2007, the company decided it was time to find a web content management provider that would simplify its content publishing experience.

Vendor of Choice: SDL Tridion
Established in 1999, SDL Tridion is a web content management (WCM) provider with a focus of helping customers achieve their web presence goals. Headquartered in Amsterdam, Netherlands, SDL Tridion entered the U.S. market 3 years go with its core product, SDL Tridion R5. Note that Tridion was acquired in 2007 by SDL, a global information management provider.

The Problem in Depth
These days, the economy is tough, and finding or keeping a job is even tougher. For the past 11 years, CareerOneStop has provided national, state, and local career information to work- force professionals, offering resources on how to seamlessly switch careers, compile resumes, find jobs, and more, all aimed to help professionals make the right decisions regarding their careers.

In early 2007, CareerOneStop was having problems keeping its website updated with current information due to a difficult content management process. As Mike Ellsworth, program manager for CareerOneStop, explains, if an update needed to be made to the site, "We would have to send that [change] to a developer at our technical contractor. It just was costing too much to maintain, and there were inevitable communication problems that would creep into the updates, and they had to be handled by means of a defective management system. [The site] became so huge that it was difficult to manage in the way we were doing it."

Two issues finally prompted CareerOneStop to begin its search for a new WCM solution: Webpages were growing too long because technical personnel were adding content to existing pages rather than creating additional pages that would each need to be managed by hand. These technical personnel were also introducing a great deal of errors to the content they added. Not only did CareerOneStop want these issues solved, but the company planned a total website revamp. "The site was overdue for a redesign, graphically speaking, and we wanted to do a re-architecting and add more functionality to the site like adding a new search engine," according to Ellsworth.

With a clear view of what it wanted to accomplish, CareerOneStop decided to narrow the WCM field by sticking to vendors listed in the top quadrant of "The Forrester Wave," a report offering in-depth analysis of WCM providers published by Forrester, an independent research company. With only a few providers to choose from, CareerOneStop spent months testing solutions; it eventually settled on one in June 2007: SDL Tridion.

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