COMPUTER BUSINESS REVIEW

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Issue Date: June 2007

Barloworld chooses open source

June 2007

Obsidian Switch has provided Barloworld CVT Technologies with a new website to drive product awareness.

Obsidian Switch has completed work on a new website for Barloworld CVT Technologies. A subsidiary of Barloworld CVT Technologies has developed a revolutionary new gearbox for the automotive industry and required a website to facilitate its business.
"The company has just acquired patent rights for a new gearbox that we have developed," says Dr. Jan Naude, MD of Barloworld CVT Technologies. "The product has been in development since 2002 and is now being marketed internationally. A prototype has already been tested in a car in South Africa."
This revolutionary new gearbox is set to establish a new standard in the automotive industry and the company's website has to be world-class in order to accommodate the growing interest internationally.
"Obsidian Switch have delivered a powerful website that allows us to build an online user base, track visitors by region and get a solid idea of who is showing interest in our product," says Naude. "The site was launched in February and since then we have had 20 registrations per month - this is a good sign for such a specialised product."
By visiting the website at www.barloworld-cvt.com users are able to register and view product videos as well as information. Naude says that it is a vital tool in educating the market about BarloworldCVT Technology's new product.
"The site is powered by Drupal, an open source content management system," explains Andre Ellis, information architect for Obsidian Switch. "Drupal is incredibly stable and has a clear upgrade path. It is also flexible, allowing for advanced customisation and functionality which can be added with modules."
He says that adding the video and other media functionality required for the BarloworldCVT Technologies' website was possible thanks to Drupal's broad capabilities. The system is also highly secure and makes user management easy.
"Obsidian showed me how to use the website and within no time I was able to add content myself and manage the user base. It was that easy," affirms Naude.
The site is hosted by Obsidian Switch who handled all development and design in-house. Obsidian Switch also optimised video used on the company's old website to reduce the site's use of bandwidth.
"Our team converted the video to a compressed Quicktime format that looks great and saves bandwidth," says Ellis. He explains that, thanks to this and other plugins integrated by the Obsidian Switch team, BarloworldCVT Technologies' bandwidth usage has dropped from more than a gigabyte a month to just a couple of hundred megabytes now.
"Obsidian has delivered a highly professional website that positively facilitates BarloworldCVT Technologies' business," concludes Naude.
For more information about Obsidian Switch contact +27 (0)11 792 6500 or visit http://www.switch-it.co.za/


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