CMS Law

Company Background

With more than 70 offices in over 40 countries, CMS is one of the most global law firms. More than 4,800 legal professionals offer specialist, business-focused advice in law and tax matters. CMS Legal Services, the firm’s central service unit based in Frankfurt, manages the website, marketing, communications and business technology for all the CMS firms.

Challenges

  • Multilingual: Truly global, CMS needs to have its website accessed in multiple languages
  • Multisite: CMS is an organization of independent law firms and needs to show content that is relevant to the respective country or region
  • Many editors: With a team of more than 40 who regularly edit the site, access rights and approvals are necessary
  • Support: Wanted to follow the LTS (Long Term Support) version of eZ Platform.

Project Summary

CMS needed a Digital Experience Platform that would be future proof, trustworthy and fit its requirements for publishing a lot of content. Having chosen eZ technology, the firm wanted to upgrade to the latest version that would ensure long term support, improved performance and provide a better user experience for editors contributing to the site.

Business Benefits and ROI

  • User centric – Landing Page Builder and Form Builder makes it much easier and more intuitive for users to update and add information to the site
  • eZ Platform becomes the definitive repository for various assets and output.
  • Faster download time for mobile
  • Flexibility in sharing content across the website
  • Workflows and permission setting ensure editors only work on the part of the site relevant to them. 

We fell for the strong multilingual and multisite capabilities

Lillibeth van Egmond, Senior Web Manager

Why eZ

CMS needed to upgrade its collection of websites to accurately reflect the structure of the firm. I wanted to ensure that each country website only delivers content matching the expectations of local website visitors and requirement of local laws. When the website publishes a new publication, such as an Expert Guide on 5G, visitors to the site from different jurisdictions can access and download content specific to the laws in the country they are in.

Working with the digitalization architects from the German digitalization services provider, ETECTURE, CMS looked first to change from having multiple websites which made it difficult to customize the site and ensure legal compliance for different European markets.

Other considerations were flexibility, suitable customization options without extensive coding, easy-to-handle permission settings for more than 40 editors and contributors depending on their responsibility and location.

As Lillibeth van Egmond, Senior Web Manager at CMS Legal Services explains: “You can imagine, with so many editors, permissions are key. We were also looking for a flexible workflow that we could implement.”

Flexible, state-of-the art site

Amsal Alihodzic, Senior Online Marketing Manager at CMS explains the main reason why the firm selected eZ, “It is because eZ Platform is really focused on publishing content, and because it’s customizable - we have many different local rules and wishes which is why we needed a system that is really easy to customize.”

A while back, the CMS Legal Services team whittled down its 10 existing sites and merged them into one on eZ Publish with the help of the digital architects at ETECTURE.

Now CMS again teamed up with them to migrate to the latest version of eZ’s Digital Experience Platform – eZ Platform to present a state-of-the-art website with a modern look and feel, streamlined and easy to handle content publishing processes, as well as to be sure to be on the long-term supported version of the software.

The main reason we selected eZ is because it is really focused on publishing content as well as being customizable.

Amsal Alihodzic, Senior Online Marketing Manager

“The latest release of eZ Platform focuses very much on improving usability for editors and publishers. Also, we were eager to have the Landing Page Builder as well as the ability to create shorter, ‘friendly’ URLs.” says Jochen Lindmayer, Head of Marketing and Brand at CMS.

The eZ Page Builder, an intuitive landing page builder was a key feature considering the number of guides and other content that CMS produces catering to different campaigns and information needs across many countries.

CMS manages website content in ten languages so the ability to have parent and child pages (to keep track of which pages are translated) as well as create pages uniquely in a particular language or for a particular region or jurisdiction is essential.

Improved Usability for Editors

It offers an intuitive process for editors. They can build a page using state-of-the-art drag and drop functionality. They can place element blocks such as headers, banners and images onto the page with ease.

They can, for example, embed a dynamic content list, adding what content type might appear. Elements can be set to appear for a limited time period, or indefinitely. Forms can be built and embedded directly onto pages using eZ Form Builder.

“The way that eZ Platform can handle multiple languages and ‘child’ sites with a single installation was also key. With eZ Platform it is easy to add in another jurisdiction or language whenever required and keep overheads to a minimum,” adds Urs Reppel, project lead at ETECTURE.

With the move to the latest version, training editors has been kept to a minimum as the functionality of the back office has not changed significantly.

Lillibeth says: “Of course there are some tricks and shortcuts to learn but we just got on with it. Our team produces user manuals and guidelines to keep the editors aligned when developing new content types and improvements.”

Performant and trusted system

There are many templates that local web managers can choose from too, such as publication, guide and event templates. “With the Landing Page builder we will reduce the number of templates and they will be able to easily create a page with all the elements they want themselves,” says Amsal.

With an eye on the future, the law firm is also keen to have only one marketing automation tool across the entire organization and connect it to eZ Platform. “Then we can optimize our forms using eZ,” comments Jochen.

Another big wish is to improve performance, and the expectation is that the upgrade will help, especially for mobile. CMS has some mobile apps which are populated with content from eZ Platform.

“These days it’s mobile-first of course, and although we do not use eZ to create apps, the great benefit of eZ is that it is the only database with all our most important data. We have it in just one repository that we all trust. “Indeed, it’s been crucial for all people working across the firm to know that we can trust the system and we’ve been able to build a repository of data and content that we can do even more with.” comments Lillibeth.

“Trust has been key for us,” she adds, “and eZ Platform caters to this in a very reliable way. It means that our audiences too can trust us for the content we provide to them.”

“We consider the website to be future proof. We like the way eZ is part proprietary product and part open source, and that it has a lively, dedicated community.”

Lillibeth concludes: “We’re really happy with eZ in the way it’s customizable, as it really fulfills our needs with the great added benefit of being easy to use. With the help of ETECTURE, we are using the full potential of eZ for our business and audiences.”