Ford Motor Company
"It's great to have a Michigan company working alongside us that can work at a global level."
i2Integration is helping Ford Motor Co. expand the connected car on a global scale, and setting the stage for a growing presence in developer program creation and management.
As the technology company behind the digital assets in the Ford Developer Program, the Lansing-based web and application developer is playing a key role in establishing the Detroit automaker as the leader in integrating mobile apps with vehicles.
i2Integration provides technology support for both developer and consumer facing resources within the Ford Developer Program for AppLink which is the Ford product built upon the open-source SmartDeviceLink (SDL) platform.
"Other automakers are picking up Ford's open source architecture," said Scott Burnell, who heads the Ford program. "This is a brand-new world for a very old industry, and it's going to grow -- exponentially.”
Right now, some 15,000 developers are part of the FordDev Program, from Pandora and Major League Baseball to one-person shops that span nearly 100 countries.
"What we really like about having i2Integration on board is, we’re a global company but we're still where the entire automotive industry began, in Michigan," Burnell said. "It's great to have a Michigan company working alongside us that can work at a global level."
For i2Integration, that global capability includes developing, establishing and managing systems, content and mobile apps for the development program in key locations worldwide, with each installation tailored for speed, reliability and accessibility.
“Our team is at the forefront of what is truly a transformation of the automotive and mobile app industries and the growth of the 'Internet of Things,'" said John Forsberg, CEO of i2Integration. “We're proud to be a key component in Ford’s lead in that transformation.
“There's also a real and growing need for industries to integrate their products with independent mobile app developers worldwide, whether that's retail, automotive, b2b or healthcare. i2Integration is perfectly positioned to support that need, and that is extremely exciting for us.”
American College of Radiology
"We were treated as though they were a partner, that we were valued customers, like they were on our team."
When the American College of Radiology contacted i2Integration in late October about switching to an open-source content management system for six of the independent subspecialty societies it manages by the first of the year, CEO John Forsberg knew it was going to be no small task. But he was confident the Lansing-based company was up to it.
That came as good news to Michele Wittling, executive director of three of the organizations. While no organization wants some or all of its online presence to go dark, even temporarily, anything less than a seamless transition was "not an option," she said.
"We were in the process of sending out our annual dues membership bills, and the switch also coincided with annual membership meetings," Wittling recalled. "The communications about those events, including activities at RSNA, the largest radiology conference in the world, are on the website. All non-meeting activities of the societies are also on the website."
Ronni Levine, ACR program coordinator of association services, found i2Integration online and liked what she saw, particularly the company's experience with DNN.
"We were using a content management system that was rather outdated, and we wanted to take advantage of having to find a new one that was more robust and flexible," she said. "And we were definitely looking for something that would address the needs of small associations."
In the eight weeks before the plug was to be pulled on the proprietary CMS system the organizations' websites operated, five of the societies with a December 31st deadline migrated their content to new sites operated with the open source DNN content management system.
The project included creating new DNN sites for each organization and implementing a new design that is responsive to different devices (PC, tablet, phone). Each site utilized the same design structure, but was modified to give an individualized look and feel. i2Integration also provided training on the administration of DNN and assisted in SEO and content migration questions.
What was i2Integration like to work with? " I would recommend them, and I have." Wittling said. "And I don't recommend people or companies easily.
"We are not web professionals. That is not what we do. We needed to ask questions and to count on them to not only answer the questions we were asking, but to know the questions we weren't thinking to ask. We were treated as though they were a partner, that we were valued customers, like they were on our team."
i2Integration currently is also working on setting up single sign-on between some of the websites and the member database, Avectra, which will allow members to log in once and immediately be logged into Avectra's netFORUM for member specific (and username/password protected) services.
Sparrow Health System
From 2,500 to over 9,000,000 hits per month
For over 15 years, everything that touched the web for Sparrow Health System was built and managed by i2Integration. That included over 45 websites and the development of countless web applications for employees, patients and visitors, including:
- Health history
- Bill payment
- Open enrollment
- Job postings and processing
- Heart center patient scheduling
- Gift shop
- Multimedia center
- Patient portal
Over those years, we took the sparrow.org website from 2,500 hits per month, to over 9,000,000 hits per month, making the Sparrow website one of the most visited in Michigan.
What they have to say about us:
"i2Integration developed a comprehensive plan for both the website and the assessment including an accurate estimation of the time and resources required. Goals were met as predicted and our website went live less than 10 weeks after the first assessment meeting. Actual development time for the website was just 6 ½ weeks.
i2Integration worked with us to develop a website that met and exceeded our expectations. As we approached the live date for our site and minor glitches were encountered, our calls and last minute requests were met with immediate response. Due to the wide range of service and affiliations that are a part of Sparrow, many custom solutions were created for our website. These custom solutions add greatly to the value of the website as a tool for our various service lines."
Slashed load times by up to 92 percent.
When some 525 Princeton Review employees around the globe had major problems distributing information and collaborating between locations via the international education company’s intranet website, The Princeton Review turned to i2Integration.
Project Manager Sofia Hansen said employee users were waiting “far too long” for the system to complete even the most basic tasks. And when employees can do nothing but wait, that’s time and money lost.
i2Integration optimized The Princeton Review’s intranet site which utilizes .net, a Microsoft-based technology, and DNN, a content management system. Now, functions that were taking minutes “are running in seconds,” Hansen said. “i2Integration did a great job improving the performance on several of our functions.”
In fact, through code modifications and upgrades, i2Integration slashed load times in some areas by up to 92 percent.
John Forsberg, i2Integration CEO, recalled the project, which resulted in a Master Service of Agreement for Web development services. “This is the type of project we love: an almost Whodunnit where we sift through mountains of code, looking for ways to tweak performance,” he said. “Then, when at the end of the project we can show definitive, not to mention drastic improvements in performance… How fun is that?”
Hansen listed the benefits of working with i2Integration: “They are very professional, attentive to our needs, responsive, available for us during our business hours and technically solid in DNN.”
The attributes above are critical to the New York-based Princeton Review, Inc. (Nasdaq: REVU), an educational services company which helps more than half of all university-bound students research, apply to, prepare for and learn how to pay for their education, as well as works with U.S. school districts to measurably strengthen students' academic skills, provides school districts with college and career resources.
The company also authors more than 200 print and software titles on test preparation, college and graduate school selection and admissions, and related topics.
Physicians Health Plan
Saved the organization approximately $100,000 in four months.
i2Integration designed and developed a web-based member portal, allowing PHP clients (organizations and individuals) to login, view and request documentation based on the user’s individualized group plan and manage profile data. Integrated into this system is a custom-developed document management and print system, allowing users to request print versions of group policy documentation. These documents are dynamically generated (based on an extensive library of business logic rules tied to the user and policy codes), integrated into a singular PDF document and sent via a nightly batch to a mid-Michigan printing company for printing and distribution.
According to PHP, the system saved the organization approximately $100,000 in print costs in the first four months the system was in operation.
Construction Assn of Michigan
"This opens a whole new dynamic for us."
i2Integration recently unveiled a new website for the Construction Association of Michigan (CAM), - www.cam-online.com - that displays a sleek, streamlined look with user-friendly navigation.
More than that, however, the site has been completely overhauled and upgraded for maximum use by association staff and members, and has already seen a notable spike in traffic and usage since it went live.
"This re-design is a great example of how we bring all our services to the table for an association website," said John Forsberg, i2Integration CEO. "We couldn't be happier with the final result."
The project involved integrating member data for the Bloomfield Hills-based association with a membership of more than 3,000 companies. A DotNetNuke content management system also was implemented, providing custom solutions that consolidated and streamlined data and produced a website that is rich in content and easy to navigate. Key elements also were incorporated that increase CAM's search engine optimization efforts to ensure excellent page ranking on Google and other search engines.
For CAM members, the redesign means consolidation of applications so they are centralized within the website, where before, members had to login to multiple sites and CAM had to track multiple accounts. The new site also includes ecommerce capabilities, allowing visitors and members to register and pay for various events, purchase ad space in the Buyers Guide and become a member.
The Buyers Guide - a major draw for site visitors - has been redesigned, making it easier for visitors to find the best match for the services they seek, and the CAM Marketplace was integrated to simplify the requirements and processes to post, search and display when buying and selling construction equipment.
"The most important thing to us is the ability to use e-commerce," said Kevin N. Koehler, CAM president, who explained the capability translates to increased revenues for users and for the association."This opens a whole new dynamic for us, and it sets up a platform we can build off of to increase the offerings."
Koehler said i2Integration"couldn't have been more professional, and the fact that they understand associations, and what we do, was crucial."
Quest to go paperless.
As one of just a few commercial mills in the country that still uses water as a power source, King Milling turns wheat into flour the old-fashioned way.
But the more-than century-old company is blazing a technological trail aimed at streamlining procedures and saving money, time and more than a few trees.
Lansing-based i2Integration created a new website for the company utilizing the DNN content management system and plug-in modules to provide King Milling with complete, enterprise-wide form and workflow management capabilities.
Designated employees now can create and track work orders, new forms and workflow processes on their own, as well as migrate additional paper-based forms into the new system -- without the need for IT staff.
“We used to hand-write all this stuff,” said company spokesman Jeff Barber. “Now it’s available to everyone who is on our Intranet, and we can go right to the computer and see what’s done and how it was done.”
The workflow system is a huge leap forward for King Milling in their quest to go paperless, said John Forsberg, i2Integration CEO.
"By choosing an open source system as the foundation, we were able to easily make the minor modifications needed to meet their needs,” Forsberg said. “And they can migrate other paper-based processes entirely by themselves. In fact, the system has only been in place a few weeks and they are already adding new forms."
Barber said the company has added a customer complaint form, and is looking to add several other documents that can be easily shared by those working on the same projects.
Every time Diane Pelak wanted to make a change to her company’s Web site, she had to call her Web developer.
“It would cost me five hundred bucks,” she said. “The other thing that was so frustrating was that it took so long, sometimes six weeks.”
Pelak, president and CEO of Flexchecks.com, a payroll processing and benefit administration company, solved both those problems when she hired i2Integration to migrate her existing .Net site to DotNetNuke, a free, open-source content management system.
“It makes it really easy for me to make instant changes now,” Pelak said. “It’s empowering.”
Those simple changes were crucial. Flexchecks.com is a busy Web site. Thousands of employees and clients use it every day, whether to check balances, submit claims or participate in Web-based time keeping.
With DoNetNuke, the company has the ability to edit content in-house versus paying for external development time For example, Flexchecks was paying a Web developer up to three hours for a simple .pdf upload, where now they can do it internally.
Can make same-day changes, versus requesting changes that previously could take days or weeks.
Has the flexibility to add off-the-shelf features.
“Giving power to the client to update their own Web site is where DotNetNuke really shines, which is why we’re such strong supporters of it,” said John Forsberg, i2Integration CEO. “Plus, besides the obvious cost-effectiveness, the real benefit is that our clients are creating more content – specifically, more relevant, timely content – on their Web sites. That’s what brings in viewers, and ultimately, makes a Web site successful.”
Michigan Mfg Association
"We needed somebody to take us by the hand and tell us how not to make the most common mistakes others make on their websites."
With some 3,000 member companies that employ nearly all of Michigan's industrial workforce, the Michigan Manufacturers Association's website gets a ton of traffic every day.
It's the go-to spot for members who need up-to-the-minute industry and legislative information, best practices, employee training resources and more.
But the website hadn't been updated in more than a decade.
"It was horribly in need of an overhaul," said Amy Shaw, MMA vice president of communications and marketing. "Our organization is very information-intensive, and we couldn't even find what we needed to when we wanted it. The new site is built around what members are looking for and helps them feel more connected with us."
The association's new website -- http://www.mma-net.org -- was designed and built by Lansing-based Web development company i2Integration.
The company has nearly 20 years experience as a premier provider of web and IT solutions, including custom web development and IT support for clients in the healthcare, corporate, non-profit, government and business-to-business sectors. Upgrades and improvements to MMA's website included:
- In-depth analysis and consulting on the navigation structure of the new website to streamline access to important content Integration with MMA's existing member database, allowing members to log in and access secure content, receive news and events and sign up for various member subscriptions
- Migrated the site to DotNetNuke, allowing MMA administrators to handle, in-house, all aspects of content management, site security and collaboration
- Designed a new logo for MMA to be used for the web and all print material and developed a new graphic design, including an "iPod-like" rotating banner for the home page
"Our goal was to create a showpiece website that would wow MMA's audience, from the overall design to member-driven functionality," said John Forsberg, i2Integration president and CEO. "And, using DotNetNuke as the content management system gives MMA the ability to continually grow and evolve the site in the future, which is a high priority for MMA. The final product is one we're very proud of." Shaw said MMA feels fortunate to have hired a company with decades of experience for the major redesign and migration.
"It was really important to have someone who could walk us through the process," Shaw said. "We needed somebody to take us by the hand and tell us how not to make the most common mistakes others make on their websites.
"We had a lot more obstacles than we had anticipated, but i2 was so patient, and so good at helping us understand which side of the equation the problems were on. I can't say enough about the staff."