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Our New Website

Posted on 02/22/2016

by Sugar Hill Business Technology Group

The Sugar Hill Business Alliance has launched a new website and related services to better service the needs of our members.

A New Beginning

When the Sugar Hill Business Technology Group (SHBTG) took over the Marketing Board Member position for the Sugar Hill Business Alliance (SHBA), one of the first tasks before the SHBTG was to create a new website and new tools for both the SHBA Board and SHBA members. These tools were required to enhance communications, increase productivity, and foster a free exchange of ideas in the most efficient manner possible. The SHBTG looked at the core business needs and functional aspects of the existing SHBA operations and devised a plan centered around a new website.

Pull vs. Push

The SHBTG identified that the SHBA required the ability to distribute news/event information to both SHBA members and the general public in a pull manner whereby members and the public could look up the information on a publically accessible website. This pull-supported environment would be serviced by a new, public website as well as social media channels. The SHBA also needed the ability to distribute news/event information to both SHBA members and the general public in a push manner to members and interested non-members via email and other channels, such as social media.

A Complete Application Framework

Both push and pull communication channels would need to be synchronized to ensure accurate information was available in all communication channels simultaneously. In addition, other backend services were needed for the website that would allow the SHBA board members to manage membership information, dues, and other aspects of the growing SHBA membership. For this reason, the SHBTG elected to integrate a custom membership-management application into the website, as well as a full content management system (CMS) as a complete application framework for the SHBA. This provides a modular, scalable solution for future business needs.

Integrating Third Party Services

In working with the SHBTG, the SHBA also identified the need to provide effortless push communication from the SHBA to members, as well as communication between members. As a result, the SHBTG integrated MailChimp with the new website application to allow the SHBA to be able to communicate to members and perspective members using an existing, powerful email communication tool. For member-to-member communications, the SHBTG integrated Slack. Slack is a real-time messaging and communication tools that combines the features and benefits of instant messaging and email in an intuitive environment available on the desktop and mobile devices. 

Roll Out Schedule

The SHBTG is developing the the new website for the SHBA in February with a March launch to the general public. The SHBTG is also integrating MailChimp during the February development and, following the public rollout of the website, will add the Slack services in March as well.

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