Aceik adds Chief Operating Officer and Creative Director to staff

Wayne Vickers
COO & Creative Director, Aceik

Aceik is excited to announce the recent appointment of Wayne Vickers, former Head of Customer Experience for the Australian Football League (AFL) as Chief Operating Officer and Creative Director.

The new hire demonstrates Aceik’s continued commitment to its Sitecore clients, as well as the Sitecore partnership. The Aceik team is already in a strong partnership with both the Chief Executive Officer, Jason Horne and Chief Technology Officer, Thomas Tyack holding Sitecore MVP recognition over multiple years.

The appointment highlights Aceik’s desire to introduce more and more brands to the power of Sitecore, to enable them to drive personalised experiences and positive marketing ROI.

Vickers has more than 20 years digital experience, having worked client side for AFL, Myer, Quiksilver in Customer Experience and eCommerce roles, as well as founding two digital agencies that included brands such as Seek and Fosters.

“I’m thrilled to join Aceik. The agency has always shown outstanding technical Sitecore prowess, and I’m excited to take our Sitecore marketing and creative expertise to the next level, so we continue to help new and existing customers to grow their digital businesses through the use of Sitecore’s best-in-class marketing features,” said Vickers.

Jason Horne, Chief Executive Officer at Aceik said, “Aceik’s Sitecore knowledge is vast and our agility is unmatched. We keep up with evolving technology and can change direction more easily than larger companies, giving our clients the most innovative Sitecore solutions to their business problems.

Horne continued, “Helping our clients to realise the full potential of Sitecore’s experience platform is at the centre of everything we do. With Wayne’s digital experience expertise, we’re looking forward to creating stronger long term relationships with our clients and Sitecore”.

Aceik named a 2020 Sitecore Experience Award Honorable Mention in Most Sophisticated Implementation category for work with RAA

Aceik today announced it has been named a Sitecore Experience Award (SEA) Honorable Mention in the Most Sophisticated Implementation category for its work with customer RAA. The agency was recognised for RAA’s improved website performance, increased automation, making site services more efficient and providing customers and visitors with a better experience.

“We now have a great foundation for our primary digital channel, a more capable team and a business that has confidence in our delivery thanks to our partnership with Aceik,” said Matt Mitchell, Senior Manager, Digital Technology Services, RAA.

The Sitecore Experience Awards 2020 recognize brands that have built truly customer-centric digital experiences with Sitecore® technology. The SEAs are awarded to Sitecore customers and their partners whose entries clearly demonstrate that their Sitecore solution delivers an outstanding experience for all users from partner developers and internal customer marketers to business and IT users and end-user customers.

“We are honored to have worked closely with the RAA team to deliver this next step in the business’ digital strategy: a customer-centric website that not only meets the needs of their customers, but is now also recognized by Sitecore,” said Jason Horne, Chief Executive Officer, Aceik.

“Showcasing the complex capabilities and scalability that Sitecore enables for organisations and brands, we’re proud to recognise some of the most sophisticated implementations we’ve seen from customers and partners at the 2020 Sitecore Experience Awards,” said Paige O’Neill, CMO, Sitecore. “Helping organizations make data-informed marketing decisions, utilize content more effectively across channels and regions, and deliver more personalised experiences is at the heart Sitecore’s integrated platform. We have seen exceptional customer work this year, unlocking new levels of audience engagement and shortened time-to-market for content creation to provide superior digital experiences that drive ROI and deliver business value.”

SEA 2020 Honorable Mentions were selected as they demonstrated to the judges that they used Sitecore solutions to make notable impact in terms of experience or content management.

Through the rigorous selection process, each entry was judged by a panel of Sitecore leadership from that entry’s region. There are five regions that evaluated and approved all regional selections based on specific selection and scoring criteria.

Q&A with Sitecore Strategy MVPs

Last week, our fearless leader, Aceik’s CEO, Jason Horne joined a stellar panel, Sitecore Strategy MVP Q&A! as part of the Australian Sitecore Marketers Group.

Australians love an open dialogue, and Australian Sitecore marketers are no exception. This panel was the chance to ask a Sitecore MVP questions about personalisation, testing or marketing automation!

For this event, group organisers wanted to do something completely different – and taking a page from the popular ABC show Q&A assembled a stellar panel of Sitecore MVPs including:

Marty Drill – Moderator, CEO Luminary

Marty founded Luminary in 1999. One of the pioneers in digital, Luminary is a Sitecore Gold Partner that focuses on crafting experiences that are intuitive and engaging. A digital agency that has worked with hundreds of companies on countless projects across just about every industry there is. Luminary remains one of the oldest independent digital agencies in Australia.

Alison Sainsbury – Panelist, Director of Sitecore’s Business Value & Strategy Asia Pacific Japan

Alison leads the regional Sitecore SBOS (Sitecore Business Optimisation Strategies) team. She’s a global expert on optimisation in Sitecore, and has worked with customers such as Toyota, ExxonMobil, Blackmores and Brother to help them create and deliver optimisation strategies on Sitecore. Alison is also the author of numerous Sitecore guides and whitepapers, including UX4CX and the recently released Multisite Optimisation whitepaper, and works closely with the MVP community globally.

Greg Baxter – Panelist, Experience Director Codehouse

Greg was a founding member of Sitecore APJ, and spent 8 years working with Sitecore partners and customers with personalisation and optimisation . Greg has worked all over the globe with customers including The Australian Dept of Defence, Billabong, Church & Dwight, Huawei, Network 10, Stockland and Roche Pharmaceuticals. Greg is a three time Sitecore Strategy MVP.

Robyn Johnstone – Panelist, Digital Marketing Manager Minter Ellison

Robyn Johnstone is the Digital Marketing Manager at law firm MinterEllison. She is relentless in her aim to deliver outstanding digital experience in a traditional business with no shortage of content. She and her small team, work to optimise content though the use of profile building, personalisation and targeting. Robyn is a Sitecore Strategy MVP.

Jason Horne – Panelist, CEO Aceik

Jason is an expert in Sitecore solutions, and has delivered numerous large Sitecore projects, including RAA, Village Roadshow and UniSuper among many others. Jason is a technical leader who enjoys bridging the gap between technical and non-technical professionals to deliver innovative enterprise solutions built on Sitecore. Jason is a five time Sitecore Technical MVP.

Brady Clarke – Panelist, Technical Content Manager R/GA

Brady is the glue that ties Sitecore to content optimisation. He has broad front and back end technical skills combined with the marketing knowledge to drive digital campaigns, landing page optimisation and marketing automation. Brady has worked with customers like Toyota, Crikey and Smart Company. Brady is a Sitecore Strategy MVP.

Let’s get into the Q&A

With the format free form, expect the questions and answers to be varied.

Why do Google Analytics and Sitecore Analytics give different results?

Alison: Google Analytics is a JAVA script based client side tracking and Sitecore Analytics is ASP based service side tracking. Technically, they’re tracking slightly different things.

Google is also better at screening out bots and providing actual visitor numbers.

But you do need both. Sitecore Analytics will usually be a little higher but should only be 10% higher if more than that then you might be tracking some weird things (ie firing multiple times on a page). It’s good to compare the two sets of results as part of a marketing readiness scan.

What’s the most exciting thing about Sitecore 10 for marketers?

Greg: Where to start? Additional filters around analytics, and segmenting more tightly around profiles. Now able to manipulate actionable analytics which means campaign creation is much easier.

Can also more easily tell what goals have been converted by people in that campaign and what location they were in. Split filter by that dimension.

Also, Salesforce connector and updates to horizon.

Additional templates in EXM.

When I do profiles should I be using my existing personas?

Greg: Profile on higher level things at least initially. Profile around things like what kind of cheese you like, connoisseur lifecycle rather than Minnie or Mickey Mouse.

For personalisation – start simply by understanding what people want, where they are in the lifecycle and is there an opportunity to cross sell and upsell.

Robyn: I agree, keep it as simple as possible. You usually have a lot of content and building it out for all the areas is overwhelming. Ask yourself, are they interested in X or Y industry then personalise.  Then dig deeper for more sophistication.

How do we go about setting up taxonomies?

Greg: Plan for scalability. Taxonomies are really easy to set up technically. The biggest issue is thinking into the future. Roll them into campaign groups and around goals but take the time to sit back and think about possible campaign combinations that you may have.

Map out the taxonomies and consider what the ramifications might be on future marketing endeavours. Work out whether you wish to be super specific or general.

Another potential difficulty, if you’re building these out agency side can be getting client buy in for setting these up in a specific way. Be ready to justify the plan.

Robyn: Going campaign by campaign was most useful for my team. Sometimes campaigns are easier than the whole site as it is taking bite sized bits but obviously the con is not having a whole-site view.

Alison: Set up campaign groups, campaign facets, asset facets, goal facets. You need to have a campaign group and a channel. The rest around facets is optional. Also consider that you may wish to add your own new custom channels.

Can you each share some best practice examples of campaigns you have seen?

Brady: Toyota Corolla Hatch launch campaign – simple implementation, hectic turnaround (6 weeks). Personalisation with campaign tags based on 4 different channels including email for 5 different segments and incredible uplift compared to control groups. Display ads are usually a low conversion rate, but on this campaign we saw a 600% uptick for category leadership and 500% for owners.

Greg: Back in the day, it was a small regional bank, 2 week campaign and they wanted more likes than the Big 4 Banks and wanted visitors to switch to their home loan offering. They created an online game on a personalised website. The difference between the personalised campaign and the same campaign a year prior that wasn’t personalised was a 60% increase in direct sales.

Another favourite of mine is Auckland Airport with the goal of driving people to retail pages. Most retail sales at an airport are terminal spend. The set up campaign personalisation around products and drove 400% increase to terminal pages and people pre-ordering product when knew they had to travel.

Robyn: We now show other content because we know someone is interested in a particular topic. We sometimes have marketers in other areas ask why a PDF has been downloaded in a particular campaign – and it’s usually because of these triggers.

Jason: Village Theme Parks – some multi-site personalisation and campaigns, fed into whitepaper.

Any bad rollouts – what else should we not do?

Jason: Make personalisation part of the plan from the start. Start thinking about how to use personalisation and Sitecore marketing features in the discovery and design phases. Start with the end in mind. And go live utilising some personalisation immediately. Don’t make personalisation Phase 2 because you want to show tangible value immediately.

If you leave personalisation til Phase 2 there may be delays, budgets are cut back and then you aren’t demonstrating immediate gains. You need to show that you’re a profit centre and not a cost centre.

Robyn: Wish we had done that too.

Greg: Once saw a campaign with autotranslated content from English to Japanese. The system called ‘dolphins’ ‘sea monsters’ – so the tagline was basically ‘Come to SeaWorld and feed the Sea Monster’. Cultural sensitivity lacking.

Alison: Read and learn. How personalisation planning will impact the UX. Go live with a site that’s ready for personalisation.

#1 identify your goals and implement while site is being built. You can change the values later! Just pop them in.

#2 QA/UAT Testing – does it work. Create a campaign tag, give it to a few people, hit the link, go into analytics and check it worked, is analytics happening at all, do a TEST DRIVE! Have seen assumptions about analytics working and then it’s not once the site goes live. Sitecore is a Ferrari but looked around rather than given a test drive. Take the test drive!

Jason: If you’re going out to tender, always include that out-of-the-box features should work, test for that and make sure they are working. That’s also down to the implementation. Sitecore allows a lot of rope, which is great, but without a plan some people can hang themselves with it. If personalisation is not included in phase 1, it may not be set up correctly and then phase 2 becomes remediation (which is a drag).

Greg: Personalise around your highest value profiles and campaign. Look at the hero image and launch with hero image personalisation. It doesn’t add a huge amount to launch cost/to Phase 1. And then you know from Day 1 that personalisation does work. If your budget gets squeezed – don’t let personalisation walk out the door.

Jason: To enable these features is not costly because it’s built into the partner proposal. You just need to ensure it’s built into the RFP.

How do you account for lifestyle – future personalisations to this change? Ie home loan > insurance

Brady: Consider what is the length of the funnel for your industry? Toyota is a 2-3 month funnel length. You’re a Hilux person and probably want a ute. The funnel doesn’t work in 3 months time because you’ve probably already purchased.

How long do people spend on deciding and researching home loans? If you have a goal for a purchase then do not show that personalised pre-purchase content to people who have triggered that goal.

Greg: Create a goal ladder for the customer journey. If the visitor has bought home insurance then show car insurance, and inside, if they’ve bought both then showcase Frisbee insurance.

Sitecore Commerce has a bunch of goals in there around the shopping cart. If you’re looking at a purchase form for insurance, then absolutely track it. Figure out where visitors drop out on the form and take a look at the form to determine why they’re dropping out. Inject an A/B test into a form. And personalise someone who hasn’t completed the process (ie 50% of the form to go, 1 step left).

Is it possible to globally manage a rule that appears on multiple pages?

Jason: Yes. That’s what you should do so you don’t have a bunch of custom rules dotted throughout your components. Set up one rule and reuse them. Best way not to get lost.

Alison: One rule to rule them all.

Conclusion

Marty Drill wrapped up the session perfectly with “we’re no longer in the same boat. But we are in the same storm and people are being impacted in different ways and make a difference by reaching out to someone.”

Resources from the Sitecore team:

People of Aceik: Jen Gorshkova, Account Manager

We have launched a new series to introduce you to our talented and hard working team mates. They’re behind the success of our client’s projects – working diligently to ensure we exceed our customers’ expectations.

This month, we sat down with our Account Manager, Jen Gorshkova.

Jen, tell us about your background.

Jen: I moved to Melbourne in 2014 when I started my career in business development at Epicor, ERP software solution. I fell in love with helping clients by finding the best solutions for the business. Getting the “Aha” moment from my clients after the implementation was the most rewarding, and seeing their business succeeding and growing further.

In 2016, I joined Revolution IT as an Account Manager, where my role was to build and maintain strong, long-lasting customer relationships with the clients and partners. I was working closely with the Product Owner and Marketing Manager to push out a new product – Crowdsource testing. The new and most effective method of digital testing platforms.

In 2018, I joined Aceik as an Account Manager to look after our exciting clients and ensure world-class delivery.

Tell us about joining Aceik

Jen: I met Jason, our CEO, in 2018 because he had an account manager role available. I joined Aceik because Jason wanted to build a company that is different from any other. The company that deeply cares about the quality of the work delivery, and ensures honesty and transparency with their clients.

At that time, Aceik was at the start of its growth journey. Jason had won a few large clients and projects and required help to provide the best service! I was looking forward to bringing my expertise and experience working with enterprise clients to help take Aceik to the next level. I was learning new skills and taking on responsibilities outside of my role from the day one. It was also great to see how close the Sitecore community is.

Why did you join Aceik?

Jen: I was impressed by Jason’s vision of wanting to build a unique company. A company that is known for providing high-quality work, full transparency and honesty with its clients. I wanted to be part of a team that doesn’t cut corners, always thrives and offers learning and improvement opportunities.

I got really excited about contributing to the success and growth of Aceik. My work ethic always included providing the best possible solution to my clients, and ensuring that they are happy with the outcome. The Aceik culture is very much aligned to how I operate.

I was also thrilled with the line of work, as Aceik provides a great range of digital services from a full rebuild to solution review to ongoing support. Aceik stood out from most companies out there, and I knew that my skill set and can-do attitude would benefit the team and company.

What’s your favourite thing about working for Jason and with the team?

Jen: I like working in a close-knit team where each day is different and never boring. You always have to wear different hats, and take on extra responsibility, learn a new skill set and see new ideas come to life. I have participated in various roles – marketing, project management and operations. Sometimes, I’ve even been challenged to improve my technical knowledge and skills. I have learnt a lot and I’m grateful to have the best teachers!

The team at Aceik is always keen to jump in and help. No job is too small or too big. Each team member is unique and has their own style of working – but one thing everyone has in common is their passion for what they do.

Working in a culture where each opinion matters is how we do it at Aceik!  

Is there a project, a customer campaign, something that stands out in your mind that you were really excited that you got to tick that box and go, “This is done”.

Jen: One of our clients reached out to us, as they had a tight deadline to meet. The previous vendor had left the platform in non-working state. We were able to quickly to jump onboard and identify their issues and put the best plan forward on rescuing the project.

It was amazing to see two teams collaborating and brainstorming ideas. It was a great representation of a truly agile project! Where we had the scope right from the start but also the opportunity to add and change features along the way.

The client was pleased about the open communication via Slack and seeing tickets moving through the board on JIRA – where they could easily comment as we go. One of their favourite parts was the showcase at the end of each sprint, where we all celebrated success!

When the customer went live – their site speed was drastically enhanced, user experience improved and they won new clients! Here at Aceik we see our clients’ success is our success!

While we’re in the middle of coronavirus pandemic and Aceik is now working from home. How do you make it work for you?

Jen: As a company, we ensured everyone is comfortable and have all they need to work from home. My working station is well set up with an ergonomic chair and a big screen. We also introduced regular online catch-ups and quick quizzes/games to keep the team connected.

I do miss meeting up with the team in person, but thanks to technologies such as Slack and Zoom, we’re still able to communicate well and ensure our projects are delivered on time.

There a few tricks I have learned about working from home:

  1. Prioritise your tasks in the morning and ensure to timebox them.
  2. I also found it important to disengage and go for walks around lunchtime. It meant I was refreshed and energised for the afternoon.

Let’s talk about life outside of Aceik. Who is Jen outside of work?

Jen: I’ve moved countries a few times now. I was born and raised in a place called Kyrgyzstan, which is a beautiful country in the middle east. When I was younger, I moved to New Zealand, but always wanted to live in a big city and eventually relocated to Melbourne, one of the most liveable places in the world.

Being active is a big part of my life. I enjoy running, yoga, hikes and healthy eating. I believe that staying healthy helps with being productive at work. I also believe in continued learning. Since joining Aceik, I’ve become certificated in a number of Sitecore courses. And my current goal is to gain new project management skills and some of the courses I would like to do:

  1. Prince2
  2. PMBok

Aceik hires Brad Paton as Account Director

Exceeding our clients’ expectations has always been and continues to be Aceik’s #1 priority. With the current difficult climate, we are doubling our efforts to look after our clients. To this end, we’re excited to announce that our team has grown again with the addition of Account Director, Brad Paton. Welcome Brad!

Brad’s expertise in digital strategy development and execution as well as his understanding of the Sitecore platform will go a long way to helping our clients to achieve their business goals. We’re also thrilled to share that with Brad now on-board, we’ll be offering Aceik’s Sitecore Business Optimisation Services (Aceik SBOS) to our marketing clients.

We sat down with Brad to get to know him a little better. Here’s what he revealed about himself.

Tell us a little bit about yourself.

Brad: My career has been an interesting one when it comes to digital software development in that I actually studied law many, many years ago. It was the late 90’s, the internet was taking off and I found myself interested in computers and technology. I taught myself to code– first Microsoft BASIC, then Visual Basic, and when the internet gained traction learned HTML, and eventually JavaScript.

I was a big Essendon Bombers Football fan. I actually sent them a letter and said, “I think this internet thing is going to be pretty big do you want to get involved?” and I helped them create the first official Essendon website.

But then I finished my Arts/Law degree and worked as a lawyer for a few years before deciding that law wasn’t for me. I really liked building websites. So, I returned to the Essendon guys and kept working with them, and then also after that build up my own small web design business in the 2000s.

Following the sale of my business to IMG, I landed at Reactive, a digital agency with a Sitecore arm that was eventually sold to Accenture. I spent 4 years working for Reactive and another 2 years at Accenture.

It happened that Richmond Football Club was looking for a Head of Digital so I made the leap from one football team to another. I didn’t think I could change teams from Essendon to Richmond but turns out you can. And so, I’ve spent the last four years as Head of Digital at Richmond, in which time the digital part of the business has grown enormously. We doubled headcount from six to 12 in those four years and won two premierships.

I was introduced to Jason Horne, our Managing Director, by Reactive’s former co-founder. Jason was looking for someone to manage digital strategy, business development and client relationship management. That ticked all of the boxes of what I was looking for in my next role. I started last Friday, met Jason at the office, had a client meeting, collected my computer and have been working remotely ever since.

You’ve been working in digital for about 20 years now. What do you love about digital?

Brad: The thing that kept me in it for so long is that it just changes all the time. So, in my time with Essendon FC back in the 2000s, it went from being a static website to a content managed website. Then we added video and we were the first AFL club to do that. Then social media came along, and then the iPhone was released in 2007. With mobile being important, we built an app.

Digital is just constantly evolving, and you never know what’s going to pop up on the horizon that needs to be addressed. I like the changing nature of the industry.

Any predictions on what’s coming in the next 12 months or so?

Brad: I’m huge on voice. I’ve got a three-year-old daughter and if she ever uses a keyboard, I’ll be surprised. We’ve got a Google Home at home and she can control that already. But voice taking over inputs from keyboards, visual pointing and interactions so whether that’s just by hand gestures or mouse or whatever.

But then of course, the next big leap is going to be augmented reality and virtual reality and how that impacts life. It has promised a lot for a long time and it hasn’t delivered, but the technology now is a lot better and cheaper. They’re starting to scale and I think for the next five to 10 years VR is going to really start to take off and who knows what that means for society.

We’re pretty much in lockdown for the coronavirus at the moment. It doesn’t matter if it’s virtual or physical anymore. If you’re in the same room physically together, you can be there virtually just as easily, and people are doing that at the moment. They’re having a Google Hangout or Skype, if they’re in self-isolation to try and maintain that human contact. And as the technology progresses, then virtual reality is that next logical step.

Why did you choose to join Aceik then?

Brad: Just from the position description I was interested, but when I met Jason, I got a really good sense of his vision and purpose for Aceik. He wants to grow the business in a sustainable way to retain quality. And that’s pretty rare in a lot of businesses because they just want to scale quickly. And what happens then is you might do some good work early, you get a lot more business, you hire a lot of people, not necessarily the most qualified people, and then you turn out work that’s not as good and your reputation goes down. So, I like Jason’s philosophy.

And I guess the other thing is that I like the idea of getting involved in a business that is more technically focused and keeping up to date with the latest trends in that area.

And funnily enough, I learned only after I’d met with Jason that Lila Tournier, who I worked well with at Reactive for about three or four years is currently at Aceik. So, once I knew she was there that was kind of like almost the last check in the box to say, “Yes, obviously this is an organisation worth working for.”

What are your goals over the next couple of months?

Brad: The first thing is really to identify the opportunities, especially in this climate that we want to prioritise. I want to help in terms of growing those relationships with existing clients to ensure that when new opportunities come up we’re first on the list to be looked at. And then second to that is looking at what new opportunities exist with potential organisations that haven’t been clients.

Another the big opportunity is around digital strategy. So, rather than just delivering excellent  technical work, which Aceik has an amazing reputation for, we can actually go in before that technical phase, and do a digital strategy piece of work with the client. This would involve workshops, customer journey mapping and coming up with recommendations on how to use the Sitecore platform to the best of its ability. We all know Sitecore, at its core can just be a content management system for a website, but if you want to get to the top you need to use the marketing features and the marketing features are where the ROI is.

We’re already looking at how we put together multiple options for clients to engage us in a digital strategy piece of work, with the outcome being a roadmap the best way to implement Sitecore.

Was there anything else you wanted to add?

I’ve seen a lot of change in the industry over the last two decades. I remember having my first modem and I had to tell my parents they couldn’t use the phone for two hours because I needed to get onto the internet and learn how to code. Whereas now, I look at my Apple watch on my wrist and it can tell me almost anything that I need to know.

And with that experience, I’ve learnt that times change very quickly. Don’t plan on putting something together today for an activity in 12 months because it’s unlikely to be the same then. It’s crucial to be adaptable.

COVID-19 update: It’s all business as usual at Aceik

Aceik’s approach to the COVID-19 outbreak and how we will continue to support our clients, team, families and community throughout this difficult period.

Remote working is our norm

For many companies, remote working isn’t part of their normal practice. In the last few days, employers and HR departments are frantically exploring and launching flexible work options which have a level of complexity for traditional workplaces. It has provided a new level of chaos and complexity to their work processes and relationships.

Not for the Aceik team.

We have always offered our employees the option of flexible working. In fact, what many of our clients and community may not realise is that 95% of our work has traditionally been remote. Yes! Our engagements with RAA, Fitness Lifestyle Group, Fitness First, Goodlife Health Clubs, Village Theme Parks and Chisholm Institute (to name a few) have all been undertaken offsite.

What has changed for Aceik

The health and safety of the team is paramount and so to complement our flexible working culture, we’ve implemented a policy specifically addressing the changing COVID 19 situation. As of Friday 13 March 2020, all team members are working remotely. There is no international travel and domestic travel is only if completely unavoidable. In-person meetings and events are limited. Our phone system has been diverted and will continue to be answered.

Aceik has always offered online training for developers, marketers and clients. We have moved all of our in-person Sitecore public classes to online training for the foreseeable future. Aceik’s Virtual Classroom will be delivered via Google Hangouts and will feature the same live instructor interaction, the same materials and remote machine lab exercises as you would have in our face-to-face courses.

As always, Aceik documents as we work, and this process is unchanged. This means that if a member of our team becomes unwell, that another colleague can easily step in. It is vital to us that there is no interruption to our clients’ businesses and projects.

Tips for anyone new to remote working

We asked the team to share their top tip for remote working:

1. Continue with your regular morning routine just as if you had to commute to work and play music in the background (recommendation: Bossa Nova does the trick).

2. If you can have a separate space that is only used for work (for example, a study, spare bedroom etc) to commute to work, then it will help family to understand that you are at work and not home.

3. Make a checklist in the morning and use the Pomodoro Technique to execute. There are plenty of phone apps available to manage the technique, and act as a timer.

4. The number one rule for client work is keeping the progress updates going on whatever communication platform is used. So, if its Slack keep the updates streaming in because this builds and maintains trust between all parties.

  • Check in at the start of the day with your team and client.
  • Update them when you complete a task.
  • Update them when you’re blocked on a task.

5. Your new colleagues might now have fur and four legs. It is awesome working alongside the furbabies but when you have a call scheduled, ensure you’re in a quiet space. Not everyone understands how offensive the dogs find it that the pesky postman keeps coming back day after day (that guy just hasn’t learned!)

6. Get outdoors for a walk around lunch time.

7. Take short breaks like you would in an office. It’s just that this break might look like putting on a load of washing, hanging clothes, emptying the dishwasher or weeding. But always return to your laptop (and not the TV) once you’re done.

8. Set an alarm to get up, move around and take a few steps. It’s important to stretch and keep moving every hour. Getting the heart rate up every now and again keeps you alert, and some stretching will help prevent long term injury. You could even do a minute or two of core work like planks or push ups.

9. Staying connected as a team is super important. Start a Slack channel like we have called #coffee_buddies channel for random virtual coffee catch ups. And encourage staff to share ideas to help work and socialise like a dream! 

10. Prepare some witty one liners for when your kids add their own commentary or make an appearance during your video meetings. 

We’re committed to…

Nothing has changed for Aceik in terms of our commitment to our clients, team, suppliers or community. We continue to be committed to:

  • Respecting our client relationships and always exceeding expectations.
  • Paying our suppliers on time or ahead of time so there is no disruption to their business activities.
  • Remunerating our team members on time and recognising their continued outstanding work.
  • Doing our utmost for our community during this difficult time
  • Slowing the spread of COVID 19

Aceik’s Jason Horne and Thomas Tyack Win Sitecore Most Valuable Professional Technology Award

Aceik is thrilled to share that our very own, CEO & Founder, Jason Horne and Solutions Architect, Thomas Tyack have again been named a Most Valuable Professional (MVP) in the Technology category by Sitecore®, the global leader in digital experience management software.

Jason and Thomas are two of only seven named Technology MVPs in Australia. This is the fifth consecutive year that Sitecore has honoured Jason with the Technology MVP award, and the second year for Thomas.

Recognising professionals within the Sitecore community who actively apply their talent and expertise to help others best utilise Sitecore products to deliver premier customer experiences, the MVP program is now in its 14th year. Of more than 13,000 certified developers and over 24,000 active community participants, the 316 MVPs around the world are truly an elite group. This year’s MVPs were selected for the quality, quantity and impact of the contributions they made in 2019, including the sharing of product expertise and mastery of the Sitecore platform to support both partners and customers.

And we are absolutely stoked to have two globally-recognised Sitecore MVPs as part of our team, a true accolade to their commitment to our customers. A huge congratulations to the other 2020 MVPs around the world!

A little about Jason Horne

Jason founded Aceik, a digital consultancy that specializes in the implementation, training and support of Sitecore solutions in 2014. Jason’s vision back then, to place customer satisfaction at the core of all Sitecore projects, still guides the team’s direction today.

Jason has delivered numerous large Sitecore projects, including RAA, Village Roadshow and UniSuper (to name just a few) whilst always holding his team to the highest levels of transparency, communication and technical standards.

Learn more about Thomas Tyack

Thomas is a Technical Lead / Architect that has built a career in content management with over 14 years’ experience across 5 different content management systems. Working for high profile agencies in Australia and the UK he has experience directing web teams across a broad cross section of clients in both the enterprise and start-up sectors.

As a Technical Lead, Thomas’ main toolset strengths are around object orientated programming, .NET, web service API’s and modern java script frameworks like React. His ability to help clients deliver a program of work by bringing teams and projects into line with best practice tools, processes and documentation should be well noted.

Sitecore MVP Program

More information can be found about the MVP Program on the Sitecore MVP site:http://mvp.sitecore.com.

Season’s Greetings and 2019 Wrap Up

‘Tis the season to be jolly and over at Aceik, we certainly have a lot to celebrate these holidays. What a year 2019 has been! For starters, we celebrated our 5th anniversary. But then we celebrated so much more:

Partnerships

We partnered with a number of new clients including RAA, City of Yarra, RACQ, Chisholm Institute and CMYKHub. Our partnerships with clients like Toyota, CPA, Unisuper and ANZIIF continued with new and exciting projects.

Team Growth

Our team and capabilities grew with the addition of 8 incredibly talented individuals. We added speciality skills in Sitecore Commerce and UX/UI. Aceik also welcomed Tim O’Neill, formerly of digital services agency Reactive and Accenture in an advisory capacity and Nicole Stirling, formerly Sitecore’s Marketing Director to assist with our marketing activities.

Recognition

Sitecore announced that two of the four Australian Sitecore Technology MVPs were on the Aceik team, Jason Horne and Thomas Tyack.

Events

We organised the first SUGCON event in Australia & New Zealand region and presented at Sitecore User Groups in Melbourne and Queensland.

Product Development

Our development team built two Sitecore modules and we shared these openly with the community. Aceik became a Contentful partner and built a new gym website on this platform. And we wrap up 2019 with the launch of our new training practice. Our first courses will be available from January 2020 and you can sign up here.

What are we getting up to in 2020?

Our 2020 plans are equally exciting and we’d love to share a couple with you:

  • Aceik is aiming to double the number of Sitecore MVPs on our team.
  • Sustainable growth is based on insuring our 100% customer success record. We are planning to continue to grow our team, starting with a new Senior Front End Developer (if you know of anyone who is looking, please let them know that we’re hiring!)

I know I say this a lot, but I truly mean it when I say, ‘thank you’. Your support has been invaluable and I’m looking forward to continuing our work together in 2020.

I wish you and your family and friends a safe and happy holiday.

Cheers

Jason Horne & Aceik team