SFCM blog

Symbiosis FTW: Better Living Through Partnerships

“Mutualism” is a fancy term for a mutually beneficial, symbiotic relationship between two entities in nature. Organisms, from simple to complex, team up and help each other to the benefit of both; resources that may be scarce for one organism are easily provided by the other. So, how can mutualism apply in the agency world? The modern approach to building technology-agnostic experiences, allows the evolution of the User Experience and Design to lead the executional decisions on “how” (the technologies) to build the “what” that has evolved. At times, firms look for a partnership to complement their team. Therefore, mutualism with other agencies can become an extension of the firm and seamlessly keep projects moving forward.

At Kanopi Studios, we feel that a symbiotic collaboration of great minds breeds great work together! That’s why we are proud to highlight our partnership with Mule Design Studio on the San Francisco Conservatory of Music (SFCM) website.

San Francisco Conservatory of Music gives students the framework and foundation to succeed throughout their studies and careers, creating a path of lifelong learning. In partnering with Mule Design Studio, SFCM was looking for a full web transformation; one that would showcase the Conservatory’s unique mission and offerings. The goal was to delight prospective students and their parents and provide pathways to relevant content inspiring them to want to study at SFCM. SFCM also wanted a robust and manageable content administration process.

Mule expertly constructed an experience to propel the brand experience and accomplish these goals, then chose Kanopi Studios as their Development Partner to bring the experience to life.

“We seek development partners who specialize in implementing state-of-the-art web experiences. Kanopi’s decade-plus experience in Drupal development, their ingenuity, and their people are why we chose to work with their studio. Mule takes a holistic approach to strategy, design, and technology, and selecting a partner like Kanopi to be a part of delivering a successful site is imperative.”

– Mike Monteiro, Mule Design

Kanopi constructed a dedicated multidisciplinary team to perform technical guidance, feasibility and executional services for the project. Together, Mule and Kanopi provided thought-leadership on real-world implementation and actualization of design, while building a blueprint for the end user’s experience, both visually and technically. The partnership between Mule and Kanopi was seamless, and the teams strived to provide a unified experience for the end client.

As with many projects, there were complexities. In this case, the end-result needed to be more of a customized web solution. Not only did the experience require carefully crafted content, the sheer volume of content required a mindful execution for the front-end to be flexible to accommodate it, as well as the CMS administration that powered it. There were also integration points, such as an EMS calendar system. In order to further integrate the calendaring system into the experience, we were able to create a customized model to group related taxonomy with events on the calendar and create a guide that SFCM could build out and load content into as needed.

“Kanopi conducted a thorough technical discovery phase to inform and define the technical specifications for the project. These were outlined in a scope document for the client and included all third party integrations. It also mapped our implementation plan, defined parameters, and called out specific criteria for the build. Throughout the project, Kanopi provided further detailed plans for the client around each milestone: CMS Training, Content Entry, QA Testing, and Launch. This documentation enabled a smooth, on-time launch.”

– Maggie Glaize, Mule Design

Alignment between Mule and Kanopi was critical to provide a unified execution, but the end client’s partnership with the teams was just, if not more, pertinent. SFCM assembled a multi-skilled team to tackle the project and methodically navigated stakeholders on their side to gain buy-in and lead the effort. The project success was an absolute collaboration between several organizations all working diligently toward common goals, and leaning on each other throughout to successfully launch the experience.

In nature, measuring the precise benefits to the individuals in a mutualistic relationship is not always a straightforward process, particularly when organisms can receive benefits from a variety of sources. By creating lasting, trusted, ongoing agency partnerships, Kanopi builds personal connections. The more we understand how our agency partners think, the more we can intuit what they need, and the more we can intuit project needs. Interactions between Kanopi and our partners are harmonious, as are the relationships we have with our end clients. 

Want to form a partnership with us on your next project? Contact us.