Vertiv, a company with about $4.4 billion in annual revenue, designs, builds and services equipment like UPS (uninterruptible power supply) systems, surge protectors, cooling systems, and monitoring and management hardware and software used in internet data centers.
In 2015, when it was still part of Emerson Electric Co. and known as Emerson Network Power, Vertiv was looking for a new e-commerce technology platform to replace a home-grown system on which it operated more than a dozen websites in the United States and abroad. But its network of websites was difficult to update with fresh, personalized content for each region, and at a time when more customers were spending more time online to research their purchases.
“In the B2B space, the amount of time buyers spend online before making a purchase is increasing,” says Gary Anderson, vice president of global marketing, digital and business intelligence.
With Vertiv’s line of complex data center management equipment, for which buyers often spend extended periods considering purchases, Anderson says it was crucial for Vertiv to deploy a new website platform that would be easier to update with content important to each region the company serves. In China, for example, buyers tend to be most concerned about detailed information on data center cooling equipment designed to limit water usage. Buyers in Europe typically want more details on cooling equipment designed to limit the use of refrigerants out of concerns about preventing refrigerants from leaking and polluting the air.
The company also needs to differentiate content in each market by type of customer. While CEOs want to view thought leadership content, such as white papers on how their industries are using data center management systems, I.T. managers want to drill down into the technical details of Vertiv’s products.
Vertiv was spun off from Emerson in late 2016, just as it was launching its new e-commerce technology from Episerver. It now operates all of its websites on a single Episerver platform, including Episerver’s content management and e-commerce software. The new system replaces a SharePoint content management system that, according to Anderson, was not geared to easily customize each customer-facing website.
With the new platform, he notes, Vertiv can now centrally manage web page templates for all of its websites, while also allowing managers in each region to customize their content to local customer needs—meeting a key requirement of its global growth strategy. “This allows us to create more useful content relevant to our customers,” Anderson says, adding: “We now have the right foundation to grow into new capabilities we had no opportunity to do before.”
For now, Vertiv is using its websites mostly for presenting product and educational content to customers, providing a complementary tool designed to direct more customer orders to its sales reps, Anderson says. And as customers place orders through reps, they can now log onto a Vertiv site to check their order status.
But Vertiv is also moving toward getting more customers to use self-service e-commerce to place orders. In addition, it’s working with its technology partners to deploy this year on the same Episerver platform separate web portals designed for use by its sales reps and its certified resellers.
Sign up for a free subscription to B2BecNews, a twice-weekly newsletter that covers technology and business trends in the growing B2B e-commerce industry. B2BecNews is published by Vertical Web Media LLC, which also publishes the monthly business magazine Internet Retailer. Follow B2BecNews editor Paul Demery on Twitter @pdemery.
Follow us on LinkedIn and be the first to know when new B2BecNews content is published.Favorite