The Highland Council was not initially looking for an OSS solution to provide content management for the two websites supporting the Northern Potential project. When project manager, Rod Deacon, saw the tenders from EMC, however, his interest grew. Using the eZ publish enterprise CMS, EMC was able to offer the lowest tender price, at the same time as delivering comprehensive functionality and a full ﬁve year support and help desk contract.
During training, the Council’s webmasters were amazed to ﬁnd that EMC’s implementation of eZ publish included wider functionality and ﬂexibility than the proprietary package installed on the main Council website.
The Northern Potential sites provide information including regional statistics, local news and information on businesses and organisations in the three Northern Periphery territories: the Highland Council, Landsdelsutvalget Norway and Norrlandsförbundet Sweden. The underlying idea is that sharing information and encouraging online dialogue and collaboration will help to develop business and cultural synergies within and between the participating territories, as well as attracting new business to the region.
With EMC having produced a site-speciﬁc user-guide for the Council, the current websites deliver a dynamic content that can easily be maintained, updated and added to by non-technical staff. RSS imports are also used to deliver up to date news feeds, keeping the sites current.
For the future, the eZ publish platform will enable the creation of discussion forums, surveys and RSS feeds running from the site. Longer term, the Council may consider using eZ publish’s inbuilt e-business functionality to help businesses in the regions (including the overseas partner regions) to add e-commerce facilities for their business within the main websites.