Written by Matt Caprioli, Content Marketer

For their considerable technical and financial contribution to the eZ ecosystem, the web agency Novactive won Partner of the Year at the 2015 eZ Conference.


Their financial success this past year includes bringing new clients to eZ such as The Economist, Protegez-Vous, the French version of Consumer Reports, and Gayot.com, the Los Angeles-based lifestyle agency with (for now) more than 10,000 hotel listings.

Along with Novactive Accelerator for eZ, Novactive created eZ Smart Tags with iosquare, an extension of eZ Publish that gives editors suggestions of which tags will perform well. They’re also working to create extensions with eZ that help set up mailings and meetings.

"Novactive North America is a true partner,” Bård Farstad, co-founder of eZ, said, “in the sense that they always deliver on the technical side, but perhaps more importantly are proactively developing business opportunities together with eZ."

Novactive’s culture helps drive their digital innovations. "Novactive" comes from the combination "innovation” and “active". General Manager of Novactive Canada, Gauthier Garnier, explained that their focus is primarily on the success of their clients, but always with an eye to innovation.

“The attitude we have,” Gauthier continued, “is not so much that we work for Novactive. In fact it’s more that we are Novactive. It’s a very different approach that I think explains how we approach every project.”

Founded in France in 1996, Novactive has expanded to Tunisia (2009), Canada (2011) and the US (2014). The offices work closely together. For example, during the gayot.com project, Novactive Montreal designed the UX and the Head of U.S. Operations and Technology, Sébastien Morel, along with his team in their San Francisco and Paris offices, completed the technical side.

Sébastien, who helped win Innovation of the Year for Novactive in 2012 for his work on La Nouvelle Republic, said Novactive continues to champion eZ because, simply put, the product is solid, flexible and intelligently designed.

“In the PHP world, eZ is the best CMS. And we can say that because we know the others. We know about Drupal, WordPress, Joomla, etc. They are good CMSs, but more for smaller projects. If you want to do an enterprise project you should use eZ Publish. Not just because we’re partners--we’re also partners with Drupal--but because of the technical vision behind eZ.”

Gauthier added: “We tell our clients that as far as the technical solutions, we are agnostic. So we can choose the right one. And honestly, we have a lot of WordPress, Drupal, eZ and Magento websites.”  

“But,” Sébastien added, “it’s true that 80 percent of the time eZ works perfectly well.”

What does it mean to win Partner of the Year?

“It means a lot to us,” Gauthier said. “It’s not just an award. Because we have won a lot of awards in the past, but this one is really special for us. It’s a big ‘thank you’ from all the eZ team for the work we’ve done in North America.”

Sébastien continued: “This win is also unique for us because it’s the Partner of the Year. The previous ones were Innovation and Bestseller of the Year. The “Partner” means a lot for us especially the North America mention; for Gauthier and I, it gives us the feeling that we made the right choice in this adventure overseas.”

The eZ Award trophy resides in Novactive’s main meeting room in Montreal, so, as Gauthier said, “all our clients can see that we know what we’re doing.”

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