Digital services that colour the future


AkzoNobel, the Dutch paint and lacquer multinational, managed 140 websites, all supported locally. At a certain point, the organisation realised that it was time to rationalise and centralise, with the next step being to bring the management of all websites under central control. We took on the role of incubator and permanent partner for AkzoNobel and provided a new, more efficient approach to web content management support. The result: scalable, repeatable quality for 140 unique websites.

  • New, more efficient approach to web content management 

  • Centralised digital marketing support for 140 unique websites

  • A successful migration to Adobe Experience Manager 

AkzoNobel's vision for (accelerated) growth

140 websites supported locally. A situation with a lot of room for efficiency and improvement for AkzoNobel. This required an expansion of the support by the iO team, specialised in digital activation, to form a strengthened Digital Activation Support (DAS) team for the day-to-day digital marketing operation.

In the meantime, AkzoNobel's IT team also migrated all Drupal websites to Adobe Experience Manager. A challenge that was deeply intertwined with digital activation. Close collaboration between the DAS team and the IT teams was essential. 

In the collaboration with AkzoNobel, iO took on the role of incubator. In other words: a partner that accelerated AkzoNobel's new services with an integrated approach. We jumped on an incredible, moving train. The final destination: a (softer) landing for the extension of the relationship. With good reason, because change often involves friction. More on that later. 

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Centralised support for 140 websites and associated digital activation


A successful migration to an Adobe Experience Manager platform and (stakeholder) support

About AkzoNobel

AkzoNobel represents more than 200 years of Dutch pioneering in a world full of possibilities in paints and lacquers. In short: in perfect finishes. Chances are, you’re surrounded by AkzoNobel products – in households, stores, and organisations. Customers around the world rely on first-class AkzoNobel brands and products every day, including Flexa, Sikkens, International and Interpon.  

Today, AkzoNobel operates in more than 150 countries, with the ambition to consolidate their position as a permanent global leader in their industry. This as a progressive organisation that has been colouring the future for more than two centuries. 


iO: permanent partners and incubators

AkzoNobel's own DAS team was expanded with experienced specialists from iO, in order to use external knowledge in the start-up and expansion of the new support services for web content management. As a permanent partner, iO already provided high-quality support in the field of, among other things, analytics and marketing automation.  

To keep the quality of the DAS team high, we decided to start by taking the support requests for web content management ourselves and translating them into standardised services. That’s how we integrated the new services into the DAS team in a structured, logical manner, while always maintaining quality. 

Get started right away in a world in motion

When iO started, the first websites had already been transferred from Drupal to Adobe Experience Manager. Every time a website was transferred to AEM, the DAS team supported it. Our experts ended up in an environment that was already in full swing, with no defined services.

Providing support without processes, guidelines and structures is still possible for two or three websites. But of course, it’s a different story for dozens or hundreds of sites. iO regarded establishing the service catalogue as an important task to support the DAS team and thus help them to provide support at scale. For example, supporting 140 websites was not equal to 140 times the capacity of the same work for one website.

The first set of services: six weeks

From day one, we supported local markets in their requests, based on iO's own best practices and knowledge of Adobe Experience Manager. By analysing all these requests in depth, we quickly got an idea of the services that were required. 

An example of such a service? Think of adapting a piece of text on one page of the website, but also organising the publication of a complete campaign in multiple languages across dozens of websites. 

The team started the development of these services almost immediately and asserted itself as stakeholder management experts. Every relevant stakeholder was involved in the process, from local marketers to digital specialists, IT, and even external IT partners. It was this decisive approach that quickly delivered an initial result with AkzoNobel: the first set of services was delivered within six weeks. 


Bigger and smaller insights, website after website

Soon we were supporting new websites every week and our team noticed something. Not all websites that were delivered were built the same and that made the overall picture less measurable and manageable. This while the CMS migration and support centralisation offered opportunities to standardise and improve quality. 

Good control turned out to be the task par excellence for iO. With every new website we took into support, we checked with a checklist whether it corresponded to the functional and business requirements. A small mistake? We fixed that ourselves immediately. We gave larger points for improvement and insights back to the organisation and the IT team. For example, we helped to improve the quality, which resulted in beautiful, well-designed websites for the local marketers and scalable support for the central DAS team. 

Objective communication against friction

As we said before, with change there is always a chance of friction. That's perfectly normal. When a large organisation starts working in a new way, it takes everyone some getting used to. AkzoNobel was no different. By continuing to provide objective insights and putting the interests of AkzoNobel as a whole first, this friction slowly turned into shine.  

In addition, with AkzoNobel, we have achieved a clear improvement in quality, and today the DAS team can deliver the support according to established services that are scalable and repeatable over 140 markets. 

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