FD Solutions considered using a full e-commerce framework, but believed that the inevitable reliance upon a specific release level and the heavy degree of customization required would outweigh the benefits and, in the end, increase the cost to Ivey. FD therefore proposed building a custom developed system that would meet Ivey's needs, leveraging significant third-party products and services wherever possible.
Since the preferred technology within Ivey Publishing was the Microsoft .NET stack and was where the existing IT expertise lay, FD recommended building the solution on the Microsoft platform.
In collaboration with Toronto-based design firm Delvinia, a leader in digital strategy and customer experience, FD delivered a custom solution that solves the common retail needs of product and SKU management. As well as e-commerce transactions related to selling business cases on line, and a system that also supports a complex back-office. The system integrates with Great Plains accounting systems, interfaces to third-party print shops for fulfillment, loads usage data from third-party distributors, integrates with a content management system (Cascade), and integrates to a digital rights management application (Protected PDF by Vitrium Systems). The result is an automated, streamlined, efficient, and accurate system that users have embraced, and that well positions Ivey Publishing for future growth as their business moves on line.
The site iveycases.com is much more than an e-commerce vehicle. In addition to selling cases on line, the system supports and manages a complex administration of copyrights, case authors and writers, third-party distributors of Ivey cases, third-party suppliers of non-Ivey cases such as those from Harvard University, as well as tracks and reports on sales data. The breadth of functionality that the site provides, and workflows it supports, was made possible due to extensive collaboration between FD and Ivey to recognize business needs for various user roles. Well thought-out design and an agile approach that continually engaged Ivey led to custom development that met the diverse and intricate needs of Ivey Publishing.