Share to Buy
How Totally partnered with Share To Buy to re-engineer their entire property management system while delivering to an immovable and strict deadline.
Share to Buy approached Totally to redesign and develop their entire property management system and associated website. The software was first developed in 2004 and subsequently grown with the business. In recent years however, the technology was becoming out of date, spread over a number of suppliers and in some cases completely unsupported.
This posed a huge risk to Share to Buy who had positioned themselves as the first point of contact for many first time house buyers and held an exclusive contract with Mayor of London. The brand was synonymous within the “Shared Ownership” market and the website had earned prolific search engine visibility across thousands of key terms.
An additional challenge to the project presented itself whereby having successfully fulfilled a contract with Mayor of London a short deadline was set that require a mandatory reworking on the front-end website. Share to Buy wanted to use this time to implement a brand new website whilst retaining the visibility they had earned to date.
Other agencies had insisted all the technology needed to be refactored in advance of any potential website improvements. Not only would this have critical impact on the day to day business the project would have taken in excess of 6 months. This was time Share to Buy just did not have.
Totally were able to propose an innovative approach combining our expertise and experience in technology, project management and development to minimise the overall risk to the project and deliver to Share to Buy’s requirements within the timescales.
Once we had taken control and from the incumbent providers the first action was to decouple the content management functionality from within the legacy system. The existing bespoke CMS functionality was not only limiting the content management capabilities but would also require complex, time-consuming changes to an already fragile system.
This decoupling approach would mean that we could focus on developing a cutting-edge enterprise website solution without the lengthy process required to upgrade a bespoke CMS.
As such we immediately developed an “API Layer” to pass the requisite data to and from the legacy technology without having to build new interfaces or database structures.
With WordPress and the API in place we were able to allocate a streamlined team to the project. Each member focussing solely on their area of the project. Front end, back end, quality assurance, design and project management.
Despite tight deadlines it can often be a false economy to throw too many resources at a project. Not only do too many cooks spoil the broth but resources are often dependent on others. This could result in time wasted and ultimately additional unnecessary cost to the client.
Most importantly we were able to deliver both the front end and back end requirements on time and on budget. There was no disruption to the business even as the new website was launched and search engine visibility was retained.
By approaching the project in the way we did we were able to save Share to Buy significant financial outlay. As the project progressed business decisions were made that altered the priority of various aspects of the system meaning it was unnecessary to rebuild some functionality. Saving Share to Buy time and money as a result.
Development of the system continues but Share to Buy is now underpinned by a best of breed CMS and can rest assured knowing their bespoke technology is now fully supported and maintained.
We began working with Totally during a period of significant change for our business. The Totally team are very professional and VERY responsive. They have steered us through a major website and back-end platform redevelopment; we are delighted with the outcomes.
Principles working on this project
Good software should fix problems, create efficiencies and add value. Thankfully we have a track record in building bespoke technology solutions that do just that.
We excel at building bespoke software from scratch, integrating off-the-shelf with bespoke software to create custom solutions, or working with legacy systems that are complex and difficult to amalgamate or upgrade. We will help you define and translate your business requirements into a coherent bespoke software programme, even if you don’t know where to start.
Chief Executive Officer
Chief Technical Officer