SWIFT: An AEM Quickstart (Q&A with Jess Moore)
Emma Bednarski, October 1, 2015
Emma: Hi Jess. Thanks for taking the time to chat a bit about this new offering. I’d like to start by asking what exactly is SWIFT?
Jess: Hi. Like the name implies, SWIFT is a quick start packaged service that allows our clients to implement their unique site on AEM much faster and at a lower cost than a traditional deployment. Not every company is looking to spend six months to a year and hundreds if not millions to launch their first site on AEM. Many prefer to cut their teeth on something smaller….prove the out the value of AEM and build on that success.
Emma: So SWIFT speeds up the deployment of a site on AEM? How does it do that?
Jess: SWIFT is the result of deploying AEM hundreds of times. We’ve defined the core commonalities in AEM implementation that span every vertical. It doesn’t matter if you are in the travel industry or financial services. There are many AEM use cases that are going be identical and even more that are align to 80% or more. We’ve automated what can be automated and build on existing functionality to pull in use cases that are close. Coupling that with prescriptively focusing on the key functionality required by the client results in a much smaller amount of pure custom work and much more rapid launch. So it’s a blend of propriety technologies and good old fashion AEM know how.
Emma: When I hear proprietary technology and custom work I think upgrade nightmare. Is this the case?
Jess: Absolutely not. We’ve standardized the common use cases on best practices in order to minimize upgrade pain and maximize the supportability of AEM. Here is what happens when companies bring on a team that has limited experience in AEM. They bring on JAVA guys. Beavers build dams and JAVA guys create code. In fact it’s easier and faster for them to code in functionality to meet a use case rather than learn how AEM might meet that need out of the box or with some minor enhancements. The result is an AEM implementation that carries 50-70% more custom code than it needs. Custom code is what makes AEM hard to support and even harder to upgrade. SWIFT ensure the deployment conforms to AEM best practices to maximize supportability and limits custom code to minimize the pain associated with upgrading.
Emma: How long does the average implementation take and how much time is saved with SWIFT?
Jess: An average implementation is 16-24 weeks. When we’re talking Waterfall that’s something like 6 weeks of requirements and design, 14 weeks of development, 4 weeks of testing and weeks of launch support. If we are talking Agile…then you can count in it taking even longer. SWIFT averages 10-12 weeks and a team of 3 to 5 skilled AEM resources.
Check out how we Transformed the Ingersoll Rand Dealer Experience in just 60 Days in the video below.
Emma: Ok…so at the high end we’re talking 24 weeks at $1.3M vs. 10 weeks at something under $200k. Is that right? Are the sites comparable?
Jess: You are correct. The average SWIFT deployment is well under $200k. I doubt the sites are comparable. SWIFT is designed for companies who want a quick win with AEM out of the gate. SWIFT showcases core functionality while pulling in some outsiders that make a difference to the business. A 24-week implementation is more aligned with larger re-platform and usually entails a redesign as well.
Emma: So for a company that wants to “cut their teeth” on AEM, what does a common SWIFT deployment look like?
Jess: A common SWIFT footprint is 1 Author and 2 Publish instances of AEM running across Dev, QA, and Prod with a full build environment. The deployment might include 3-4 templates, 8-12 components, 3-7 workflows, and setup of taxonomy, metadata, search, forms and users.
Emma: And will the site look like what client’s have designed or are they relegated to the look and feel that comes out of the box?
Jess: No, there is tremendous flexibility in look and feel based on the css and html that is developed with the client and/or their agency. Also with AEM 6.0+ and bootstrap technology, responsive design can be enabled much faster, and this is another area where we work hand in hand with our clients and their agencies. SWIFT enables a rapid deployment of a site that requires responsive elements to be implemented.
Emma: What if SWIFT is not enough? What if a client’s needs go beyond SWIFT?
Jess: SWIFT gets the vast majority of “phase 1” AEM Site implementations to within 80% of the client requirements. If a client has a few use cases that fall outside the scope of SWIFT, we are able to scale it up to meet the need while still compressing time and cost. On flip side, there are some clients who needs less than what a traditional SWIFT implementation might consist of. In that case the implementation time and price come down also.
Emma: Will SWIFT be able to address globalization needs, integrations and other more complex aspects of AEM?
Jess: Great question. Some projects require a closer look at the process and technology to to ensure that there is some level of governance. This applies to areas like globalization and integration. The idea behind SWIFT is rapid deployment, quick wins and agility. Some integrations and processes should and do take a longer to implement because the touch points between AEM and other systems or people is a lot larger.
Emma: How do potential clients learn more about SWIFT to see if it’s a match for them?
Jess: It’s simple. They can drop us a note and we’ll be happy dig into to their specific need and determine if and how SWIFT might help them.
Learn more about our SWIFT offerings below and schedule your own SWIFT Workout!
Emma is our Marketing Operations Coordinator at 3|SHARE