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Oct 06 2020
Oct 06

Justin EmondContinuing again with our series of articles highlighting ways that the Drupal software and its community are building solutions to help combat the effect of COVID-19, today we hear from Justin Emond of Third and Grove. Here, they describe their project for Brown Advisory.

The COVID-19 pandemic may be the most sweeping, transformative global event since World War II. Coronavirus has changed the very nature of work for millions of people almost overnight. Organizations have had to virtualize any mass gathering events that were planned for 2020. As a leader in the industry, Brown Advisory was able to be one of the first financial services companies to virtualize a headline event, to pave the way forward for others.

Brown Advisory is a leading, independent investment and strategic advisory firm serving individuals, families, and institutions in all 50 U.S. states and in 39 countries and territories around the world. Across eleven worldwide offices, all 700+ Brown Advisory colleagues are equity owners who are focused on making a positive and material difference for their clients and communities. 

Brown Advisory launched the Navigating Our World (NOW) Conference in 2008 to mark its 10th anniversary as an independent firm. The conference, normally held live in Washington, D.C. every other year, convenes experts across disciplines who help the firm to learn alongside clients, and ultimately become better investors and contributors to the community. In 2020, the rapid onset of the global pandemic required the firm to shift the format for the NOW conference to an entirely virtual experience. The Brown Advisory team decided that pivoting to a podcast would give their clients access to the in-depth, interactive conversations that they would have experienced during the live event.

With a hard deadline and only weeks, not months, to design, create and launch the NOW podcast and website, the Brown Advisory team leveraged their existing investment in Acquia and Drupal to build a microsite in record time. Working with their agency Third and Grove, the company took the site from ideation to launch in just three weeks, bringing the NOW experience to the home offices of thousands of attendees across the globe.

Results

  • The podcast download goal was exceeded by 60%, and is on track to exceed by more than 100%
  • 30% of downloads took place on the website instead of podcast streaming sites
  • Podcast listeners exceeded the high water mark of attendees of any previous live NOW event
  • The website experience allowed for a smoother transition from a live conference to digital for non-podcast listeners
  • The NOW website has been a catalyst and provided direction for enhancements to the corporate Brown Advisory website
     

Screenshot of website

Oct 06 2020
Oct 06

Justin EmondContinuing again with our series of articles highlighting ways that the Drupal software and its community are building solutions to help combat the effect of COVID-19, today we hear from Justin Emond of Third and Grove. Here, they describe their project for Brown Advisory.

The COVID-19 pandemic may be the most sweeping, transformative global event since World War II. Coronavirus has changed the very nature of work for millions of people almost overnight. Organizations have had to virtualize any mass gathering events that were planned for 2020. As a leader in the industry, Brown Advisory was able to be one of the first financial services companies to virtualize a headline event, to pave the way forward for others.

Brown Advisory is a leading, independent investment and strategic advisory firm serving individuals, families, and institutions in all 50 U.S. states and in 39 countries and territories around the world. Across eleven worldwide offices, all 700+ Brown Advisory colleagues are equity owners who are focused on making a positive and material difference for their clients and communities. 

Brown Advisory launched the Navigating Our World (NOW) Conference in 2008 to mark its 10th anniversary as an independent firm. The conference, normally held live in Washington, D.C. every other year, convenes experts across disciplines who help the firm to learn alongside clients, and ultimately become better investors and contributors to the community. In 2020, the rapid onset of the global pandemic required the firm to shift the format for the NOW conference to an entirely virtual experience. The Brown Advisory team decided that pivoting to a podcast would give their clients access to the in-depth, interactive conversations that they would have experienced during the live event.

With a hard deadline and only weeks, not months, to design, create and launch the NOW podcast and website, the Brown Advisory team leveraged their existing investment in Acquia and Drupal to build a microsite in record time. Working with their agency Third and Grove, the company took the site from ideation to launch in just three weeks, bringing the NOW experience to the home offices of thousands of attendees across the globe.

Results

  • The podcast download goal was exceeded by 60%, and is on track to exceed by more than 100%
  • 30% of downloads took place on the website instead of podcast streaming sites
  • Podcast listeners exceeded the high water mark of attendees of any previous live NOW event
  • The website experience allowed for a smoother transition from a live conference to digital for non-podcast listeners
  • The NOW website has been a catalyst and provided direction for enhancements to the corporate Brown Advisory website
     

Screenshot of website

Sep 23 2020
Sep 23

Google Summer of Code (GSoC) is a global program focused on bringing more student developers into open source software development. Students work with an open source organization on a 3 month programming project during their break from school or college. In the 16th year of the program, 1106 students from 65 countries have successfully completed Google Summer of Code in 2020, including Drupal!

The Drupal Association’s Community Liaison, Rachel Lawson, caught up with those taking part in GSoC on Drupal related projects this year, to find out how things went, what they learned along the way, and what their future may hold.

You are invited to watch our “Community Chat”, with Vishal Chaudhary, Shawn McCabe, and Ryan Szrama.

Jun 08 2020
Jun 08

PatrickContinuing our short series of articles highlighting ways that the Drupal software and its community are building solutions to help combat the effect of COVID-19, today we hear from Patrick Corbett of Redfin Solutions. Here, he describes their project at the  Rural Aspirations Project.

The Rural Aspirations Project was created to expand educational opportunities in rural Maine that develop and honor the community while stimulating the innate curiosity of the students and teachers. When the Maine state government shut down the schools to limit the spread of COVID-19, parents and teachers found their roles turned upside down. Rural Aspirations saw the need for a service to connect Maine families and teachers with the wide array of activities and resources offered by Maine organizations.

In light of this growing need, Redfin Solutions collaborated with Rural Aspirations to launch an improved Community Learning for ME website. The new website had to be capable of addressing immediate needs in the community: collegial support for teachers, a way for organizations to explore and pilot innovative virtual connections, and a quick and easy resource for families that are struggling to manage what some have called “crisis schooling.”

With communitylearningforme.org, local educational organizations such as the University of Maine Cooperative Extension, the Portland Public Library, and the Maine Audubon can post their resources, learning activities, and links to live events. With Drupal, we were able to use taxonomy and views with exposed filters to empower the teachers and parents to find the perfect resource while enabling them to discover more. Users can filter and search by subject, age group, and duration for a resource that fits a specific need. They can also browse through the website to learn more about what Community Learning for ME has to offer. Teachers can create schedules for their students to follow along with at home. Parents can find resources to support them in engaging their child, and fun activities for their child to work on. 

screenshot of website

Community Learning for ME is a volunteer-driven, grassroots effort. The website is best served by Drupal because it allows administrators to grant trusted organizations access to manage their own pages on the site through a custom publication workflow. Before using Drupal, the administrators spent hours each day on a Wix-based site creating and updating resources manually. Now, with the time they save, they can focus on providing targeted support to those in the rural Maine community who need it the most.
 

May 27 2020
May 27

Greg HarveyContinuing our short series of articles highlighting ways that the Drupal software and its community are building solutions to help combat the effect of COVID-19, today we hear from Greg Harvey of Code Enigma. Here, he describes their project at the the National STEM Centre in York, England

STEM stands for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics. STEM Learning is the company that built and operates the National STEM Centre in York, England. They provide specialist training in STEM subjects to teachers from across the UK. As well as classroom training opportunities in state of the art facilities, they provide free, high-quality online education resources via their website. They have been using Drupal to deliver this important content since 2015.

Supported by their principle Drupal services supplier, Code Enigma, STEM Learning increased their server capacity when it became clear the COVID-19 pandemic was going to hit and many children in the UK would soon be homeschooling. 

STEM anticipated increased demand (having seen how online education resources in France were beginning to feel the strain of school closures (one of Code Enigma’s directors is a parent in France) and decided to react before it became an issue. 

Code Enigma is also an AWS Select Tier partner. The website is hosted at AWS, so it was possible to quickly scale the solution using AWS’s public cloud products and services. The fact that Drupal is ready to Enterprise-scale right out of the box, with the right support, was also extremely helpful.

Consequently, when the UK Department for Education contacted STEM Learning to inform them they wanted to sign-post teachers and parents to the website from the main UK government website, everything was already in place. Code Enigma’s developers and designers worked quickly with STEM Learning to adapt the front page to help people find homeschooling resources efficiently. They also designed and created some new landing pages, such as this one for parents, to help people get straight to the relevant content.

In short, thanks to Drupal, STEM Learning is actively supporting homeschooling in the UK during this global pandemic, by providing high-quality teaching resources online and for free.
 

Screenshot of STEM website

May 20 2020
May 20

Peter OroszvariContinuing our short series of articles highlighting ways that the Drupal software and its community are building solutions to help combat the effect of COVID-19, today we hear from Peter Oroszvari of Cheppers. Here, he describes their project at the Mayor’s Office of the 15th District of Budapest, Hungary.

The coronavirus pandemic triggered a critical situation in Hungary that forced local government authorities to move fast in the digitalization of services. Cheppers, a Drupal-focused development company has already been working with local governments on e-government solutions, supporting authorities in their digital transformation. 

As the Hungarian government ordered restrictions on free movement in March 2020, organizing care for the elderly and persons in need became the responsibility of local authorities. The Mayor’s Office of Budapest’s 15th District called upon Cheppers to build a mobile application and website that serves as a platform for locals in difficult situations to ask for help from the Mayor’s Office, while supporting the Office in tracking requests filed through various platforms. A Drupal-based solution seemed fitting for three reasons:

  • A Drupal-based backend simultaneously provides content for various end points while operating as a suitable platform to store incoming requests. 
  • Compliance with personal data security measures is a key requirement in the public sector. As Drupal conforms to the OWASP standards, its application guarantees the prevention of hazards to citizens’ personal data. 
  • Fast response to the challenges triggered by the pandemic was essential. Thus speed was one of the main reasons we built the Covid Helper tool in Drupal: the website and the first version of the mobile app was ready in less than 3 weeks using Drupal Contribution and core functionalities. 

Covid Helper registered more than 100 requests and 1000 visitors per day right after its release. As the pandemic evolved, the District Mayor’s Office came back with a demand for extended functionalities: version 2 allows for the registration of volunteer helpers, reducing pressure on the District Mayor’s Office. 

screenshot

Due to the severe economic crisis triggered by the pandemic, many of the requests registered on the platform were applications for financial aid. This induced the digitalization of the financial aid application process in the District, which will be also available through the Covid Helper website. 

The District Mayor’s Office issued a marketing campaign informing citizens about the Covid Helper tool on city billboards and through an animated video.

Besides all the challenges, covid-19 does seem to have kicked off the digitalization process at government authorities and public services. Tools developed to solve the current situation may be the source of best practices to create an effective e-government system in the near future. 
 

About Drupal Sun

Drupal Sun is an Evolving Web project. It allows you to:

  • Do full-text search on all the articles in Drupal Planet (thanks to Apache Solr)
  • Facet based on tags, author, or feed
  • Flip through articles quickly (with j/k or arrow keys) to find what you're interested in
  • View the entire article text inline, or in the context of the site where it was created

See the blog post at Evolving Web

Evolving Web