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The Walloon Business Federation opts for Plone

by Nicolas Bossut last modified 2008-03-07 14:09

The Walloon Business Federation (UWE) is the official voice of industrial, commercial and service sector businesses in Wallonia, Belgium. In a move to improve communication and services to its 6000 member businesses, the Federation recently launched its new Plone portal.

Based on an article by Reflab

uweThe Walloon Business Federation (UWE - Union Wallonne des Entreprises) mission is to “promote and support business” driving the Region's economic and social well-being. In 1995, the UWE established its presence on the web. The site, started as a simple static page, soon became a major tool for the Federation communication providing business information and maintained by an active editorial staff.

Late 2007, the UWE management took the decision to move to a modern Content Management System. The major needs being to ease the process of creating and spreading information, and to offer the best service to a dynamic audience.

The Choice: seduced by Plone

"We were looking for a technical solution, affordable and able to meet our specific requirements" - says Vincent Reuter, chairman of UWE. "We analyzed several solutions and we were finally seduced by the open source platform Plone".

Plone is currently used in Belgium by many institutions, including universities, local governments and the Walloon Government. UWE adopted Plone for its main site, a new extranet and to upgrade the NCP Wallonie communication infrastructure Providing information about EU Calls and research programs, the NCP portal is a central service to UWE members businesses.

The Portal

The new portal is leveraging UWE image on the web: the graphical aspect is professional and pleasant, playing a significant role in the usability of the site.

Plone provides all users with advanced search function, which are further customized to match the architecture of the site; RSS aggregation is available for all main themes and special tools allow interaction with the federates sites.

The high level integration work involved specific views and content types to manage UWE public database, which are special databases of business resources; they provide a huge amount of knowledge for operators, including directories of certified companies, press contacts, job offers.

The site has multimedia capabilities, from video to photos; it features reserved areas with further documentation and a newsletter service for the associates.

The project team

The UWE project is the result of companies working together, under the umbrella of ZEA Partners business network: editorial management and webmastering was made by Thierry Decloux of UWE; development and deployment was provided by Reflab; training courses by Affinitic and graphic design was made by Perfect.

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