Ferrari wanted to make its Web site as state-of-the-art and captivating as the cars it manufactures. The company migrated from a Java-based infrastructure to Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007 to streamline development, simplify content management, and improve the user experience. With the new site, Ferrari has created a stronger audience connection. Site traffic has increased by 237 percent, with a 150 percent increase in unique visitors.
Since 1947, Ferrari S.p.A., an Italian company based in Maranello, Italy, has manufactured race cars and street-legal vehicles that redefine performance and luxury. The company has also long participated in Formula One racing, with consistent success.
Ferrari markets its sports cars to an exclusive customer base, but the company’s Formula One presence has created a broad audience of fans. “Ferrari only sells approximately 7,000 vehicles a year. However, we have millions of fans following our racing activities,” says Dany Bahar, Global Sales and Brand Director at Ferrari. Race fans, though unlikely Ferrari buyers, are a passionate audience whose participation is essential to the company’s efforts to promote its brand.
Ferrari tried to reach its customers, fans, and the media through its corporate Web site. But to update site content, business users had to rely on IT staff because the Java-based environment lacked easy-to-use Web content management tools. And, content owners had no way to preview site changes before they went live. “It was challenging to successfully communicate with our audiences because refreshing the site was time consuming, both for IT and for the business users,” explains Dario Castello, Chief Information Officer at Ferrari. “We were maintaining a number of different sites for different audiences, and the old content management system was difficult to use, all of which led to a fragmented viewing experience that didn’t reflect a unified Ferrari look and feel,” adds Castello.
Heavy IT involvement also resulted in higher site management and maintenance costs, and it hindered IT staff from focusing on higher-value activities, such as tuning the site for top performance and enhancing multilingual support. “We wanted our Web presence to help us effectively reach our broad audience and to reflect the strong, polished image of Ferrari,” says Castello.
After evaluating several Web content management solutions from other vendors, Ferrari decided to transition its Java-based Web site to Microsoft® Office SharePoint® Server 2007. “We felt that Office SharePoint Server 2007 would be the easiest and most efficient solution for content owners to work with,” says Castello.
||With Office SharePoint Server 2007, we are able to fully communicate the characteristics of Ferrari: uniqueness, elegance, performance, passion. Users feel this when they approach the site.
Chief Information Officer, Ferrari
With Office SharePoint Server 2007 in place, business users own and manage their content from end to end. “People interact with the environment more easily because they are familiar with the Microsoft Office interface,” says Castello. “They need much less support from IT.” Also, integration of Office SharePoint Server 2007 with the company’s Active Directory® Domain Services simplifies authentication of users into the system. “Office SharePoint Server 2007 integrates well with our existing technology,” he adds.
Content authors edit existing pages or create new pages from a SharePoint document library or list, where page content is managed. This initiates a workflow that formalizes a review process to ensure that the appropriate individuals within Ferrari sign off on the updates. Standardized page templates help enforce the company’s brand guidelines. Also, in the new environment, users edit directly within the context of a page using a rich, Web-based content editing tool, making changes without help from IT.
Office SharePoint Server 2007 gives Ferrari the flexibility to publish a variety of content, from text-based pages to highly interactive experiences. From the new site, users can go on a virtual tour of a Ferrari plant or gain exposure to specific racing experiences. “A fan can compare the lap times in a circuit 20 years ago with the times of the drivers of today, how a specific corner was raced over time, braking time, G-forces, and more,” says Castello. Ferrari is also encouraging fan interaction through discussion forums on its site, which are built using the blog capabilities of Office SharePoint Server 2007.
Using Office SharePoint Server 2007, Ferrari has enabled business users to manage site content independently. The company is reaching a broader audience with a more compelling Web experience. Statistics show a significant increase in site traffic since deploying the new site.
Simplified Content Management
With automated content management tools that require no coding experience, business users can rapidly publish updates to the Ferrari Web site. “Life for my team is much easier now,” says Castello. “Office SharePoint Server 2007 lets users implement changes much faster than before, without help from IT. With the new environment, we were able to reengineer our multimedia asset management, which significantly improved the content publishing process and allowed us to gain efficiency.”
Enhanced User Experience
The new site offers a variety of unique experiences, from custom car configuration, to virtual factory tours, to in-depth Formula One exploration, to community-based discussion forums. “We would never have been able to build this rich experience in a cost-effective, flexible manner with our previous solution,” claims Castello. “With Office SharePoint Server 2007, we are able to fully communicate the characteristics of Ferrari: uniqueness, elegance, performance, passion. Users feel this when they approach the site, and in the end, this connection is what drives revenue.”
Higher Site Traffic
“Office SharePoint Server 2007 has given us the tools we need to successfully interact with our customers and our fans,” says Bahar. With the new site, Ferrari has experienced a 237 percent increase in page hits over last year’s numbers. In addition, the site has helped garner a 150 percent increase in unique visitors, and the time a user spends on the site has increased by 26 percent. “The new site helps us form a closer connection to our audience. It makes it easier for people to be a part of something they believe in,” says Bahar.