AI Issue 8 2017

10 Acquisition International - August 2017 Backbone is a digital web agency that specialises in developing dynamic and interactive websites and web-based applications. Having recently been given the Leading Web Design Consultant, Canada accolade, we invited them to tell us about their role as experts in digital strategy, world- class web development and design as well as producing effective content and managing cutting-edge social media campaigns. We invited the firm’s President and CEO, Marc Charalambous to tell us more. ackbone is a digital web agency, that specialises in developing dynamic and interactive websites and web- based applications. We are experts in digital strategy, world-class web development and design, as well as producing effective content and managing cutting-edge social media campaigns. Backbone also develops, sells, implements and supports a custom CMS/WMS/eCommerce Development Platform as a service to all its customers called Expression. Expression (or XPR) is hosted and delivered as a SAAS model on top of Backbone’s Vancouver-based data centre called Backbone Data Vault, which also provides high density colocation services to digital organisations locally and around the globe, with specialisation in both the media and entertainment sectors. On winning the Leading Web Design Consultant, Canada accolade, it feels great! At Backbone, we pride ourselves on delivering best-in-class web design to our clients. We become their true digital partner and liberate companies to do what they do best plus to excel in a quickly evolving digital world. To be recognised externally for this work makes our whole team feel even more proud of their work and its value overall. It’s always great to be recognised. For over 17 years, Backbone has been committed to building business digitally through a combination of great people and technology, accountability and sustainable web solutions that enable our customers to shine in the changing digital world. We have been focused and worked hard to achieve what we have, so it means a great deal to me and the firm to be recognised. My own role in the company is as President and CEO. Other than the obvious, I drive the strategy and technical architecture, planning, and consulting for client projects, as well as Backbone and Expression (our technology). In terms of the firm’s specific areas of expertise and what we can offer to potential future clients, I would say that we build business digitally here. When a company isn’t digital, it is essential for them to have a partner that is. Technology evolves quickly, and if a potential client’s business is not tech-centric, it’s hard to keep up. That’s where a digital partner comes in. Some partners have the tech, but not the creative. Others can do brand strategy or become your marketing partner. At Backbone, we do it all - and more. In our world, creativity and technology are on the same spectrum. We balance them perfectly to transform our client’s online presence into real- Company: Marc Charalambous, President and CEO Name: Backbone Technology Email: [email protected] Web: Address: 55 East 7th Avenue, Vancouver BC Phone: +1 604 713 8560 Freedom in Expression B 1705AI65 world dominance. When left, brain meets right, technology meets creative, business starts to build. We achieve this through our proprietary software, Expression. Expression is a cloud based, scalable, fully customisable web development framework that seamlessly combines content management and e-commerce out-of-the-box. It features a modular architecture, a rich set of powerful APIs, a unified handlebars-based render stack, code versioning, real-time debugging tools and is fully extensible using native Server Side JavaScript (SSJS). On the important behind the scenes work that advisors here carry out; I believe that crafting the vision of a project through the technical and business strategy is important. Leading and mentoring the team through the process will achieve the desired outcomes – and will drive business and market growth plus a competitive advantage for our clients. The result is long-term relationships in place and being the ‘go-to’ team for our clients - because they love working with us - and we drive ROI with hard results. On the extent to which advisers today contribute to a company’s success, I would say that they do very heavily. Most companies do not have the internal ability to deliver results in these areas. You can’t fake or compete with the experience and expertise - that focused and specialised experts bring to the enterprise - and choosing the right partners in these areas can make or break a company. All too often, internal resources are simply unable to act as effectively as experts. Knowing when this is the case, hiring outside with real accountability (not always available internally), is critical to the success of many organisations. On the clients, there are those that will either become real digital organisations or die. It’s not enough to be the best at what you do anymore. That alone, not having a long term sustainable digital strategy, is almost certain death. Younger companies that do digital right have a real chance to disrupt leaders with decades behind them. Helping those companies transition and partner in digital is what we do best, and we target companies that are open and see the value in that change. Looking to the future, I would like to underline that continued differentiation in technology offerings and bespoke workflows/approach that Backbone offers to the market are important. The future I believe is a decisive launch of our Expression Saas web development platform to the market, as well as transitioning into a more technical support role for web/design/ad agencies, that want to excel in digital.