CTAMB

A Transition to Composable Boosts Digital Experiences

Teacher using CTAMB website

The California Teachers Association Member Benefits (CTAMB) offers insurance, retirement support, financial benefits, and discounts on travel and other activities for educator members of CTA.

CTAMB

Going composable by moving from Sitecore XP to XM Cloud with Search improved PageSpeed Performance scores by 60%.




The Challenge

Providing intuitive, personalized member experiences

California Teachers Association’s Member Benefits website is a vital gateway for members to access tools and resources such as insurance, financial services, assistance with life events and wellness, a disaster relief fund, travel and entertainment discounts, and retirement planning. The site needs to offer members intuitive experiences so they can easily find the help they need.

CTAMB was using an outdated version of the Sitecore Experience Platform (XP) to manage its website and digital presence. The opportunity to upgrade from XP 9.3 to the latest version sparked consideration of other options to enhance its digital experience platform and improve performance, including building a new website.

As a long-term partner of CTAMB frequently relied on for its Sitecore expertise, Oshyn stepped in to help with this issue by helping them transition to XM Cloud and Sitecore Search as their new composable solution.

“We wanted a high-performing, feature-rich platform that would simplify management while providing enhanced member experiences with personalization and better search capabilities,” said CTA’s Member Benefits & Risk Management supervisor, Henry Ahn.

The Solution

Migrating to Sitecore’s cloud-native, composable platform

By moving to a SaaS platform, CTAMB could benefit from automatic upgrades and save tens of thousands of dollars, for a substantially lower overall total cost of ownership. Additionally, Google Lighthouse scores would improve, leading to higher SEO rankings and a better customer experience.

Convinced by these opportunities, CTAMB elected to leverage its longstanding confidence in Sitecore technology and trusted relationship with Sitecore Gold solution partner, Oshyn, to migrate to a composable approach with the Sitecore XM Cloud and AI-based Sitecore Search solutions.

Oshyn rebuilt the members-only CTAMB website on Sitecore’s next-generation, cloud-native technologies. Using a headless approach in Next.js and React leveraging the creative and UX from the previous website, Oshyn delivered a brand-new website with the previous functionality fully intact. The transition to the new site was smooth, with no interruptions and several performance-related improvements.

“Building the new site using a headless approach made it possible for CTAMB to improve performance in response time, PageSpeed, and Lighthouse scores while simplifying the integration of third-party services,” said Christian Burne, Oshyn VP, Technology and Co-Founder.

The enhanced forms on the new site were faster and more responsive, as was the overall user experience. The old code base for the CTAMB website was created using .NET C#. However, Oshyn leveraged modern technologies and rewrote the entire backend using TypeScript.

The JavaScript code was improved and simplified using React and Next.js so that the site would run smoothly on Vercel and provide a better developer experience.

Sitecore Search was integrated to further enhance the user experience, and aided by XM Cloud's composable architecture, Oshyn also integrated Azure B2C for member access and MS Dynamics CRM for member communications and management of critical user data related to member insurance products.

Oshyn used existing creative assets and user experience elements with automated content migration to accelerate the migration process and ensure consistency.

While migrating CTAMB’s content assets, the Oshyn team demonstrated its attention to detail by modifying some custom code and ensuring it was viable for the new website. Oshyn also resized and optimized images and adapted formats so the site functioned even better in XM Cloud. The team ensured that content migration was automated, allowing CTAMB team members to continue using the CMS until it was time to redirect to the new website.

CTAMB website

The Outcome

Faster performance and improved search boosts user experiences

Oshyn successfully implemented a fully composable DXP solution for CTAMB using agile development practices while maintaining the website requirements. Oshyn was able to leverage parts of the existing site (HTML and CSS, content, and components) into the new composable DXP to make the transition swift and low-risk.

With Sitecore’s composable technologies at its core, the new website delivers enhanced user experiences with 67% faster response times. PageSpeed performance is also up by 40% for mobile and 45% for desktop devices. These improvements bolster SEO and lead to higher search engine rankings.

“Oshyn’s knowledge and expertise were key for us maximizing Sitecore technology, and we’re happy with the results. Our performance scores have gone up 40%, our website is so much faster, and the experience on the backend is smooth,” said Vicki Rodgers, CTA’s Manager of Member Benefits and Risk Management.

Sitecore Search’s AI-powered search functionality ensures users can find relevant content rapidly and accurately across CTA’s Member Benefits website. As well as delivering improvements for users, the automated upgrades innate to Sitecore’s cloud-based solutions reduce ongoing maintenance requirements and total cost of ownership. Sitecore XM Cloud also enables greater agility, with significantly faster set-up times when creating new environments.

The quick turnaround resulted in a successful project and a happy client. Now CTAMB is enjoying the results of the upgrade, including:

  • 67% improvement in initial HTML response time
  • 40% improvement in PageSpeed Insights scores for mobile performance and a 45% improvement on desktop
  • Automatic deployments which save developer’s time
  • Significantly faster setup time when creating new environments for frontend and backend developers

“With faster performance and optimized content, we are providing better online experiences for our educator members, and easier access to the tools and resources they need to enhance their careers and their lives,” concluded Rodgers.

Graph of CTAMB performance improvment
Home Page HTML Response Time Pre-Launch and Post Launch

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