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Alterian technology will power websites for five of the county’s top tourist attractions

LONDON, UK – 16 June 2009 – Tourists will be able to engage online with some of Bath’s most popular historic attractions for years to come thanks to a partnership signed with Alterian (LSE:ALN) and Fusion Workshop to enhance the end user experience on its flagship websites.

Alterian’s Web Content Management (WCM) technology was selected by the Bath & North East Somerset Council Heritage Services to redesign five of the key websites that promote Bath’s most popular heritage attractions to national and international tourists, including the Roman Baths, Fashion Museum and Victoria Art Gallery.

For years, potential visitors to Bath have been able to view virtual displays of the museums’ collections and take virtual tours of the exhibition galleries online before physically visiting the attractions themselves. Bath Heritage Services wanted to develop the user experience further and ensure that its websites remained accessible and easy-to-use for years to come, and would be able to incorporate user generated content, blogs and forums in the future.

“It is vital that our heritage websites are engaging for visitors and contain up-to-date information that can be easily sourced and accessed as the web is often the first port of call for tourists planning their holidays.” said Patricia Dunlop, Commercial Manager, Bath Heritage Services. “With so many editors contributing content to the sites, we needed a WCM system that was simple to use and could help us to future-proof our online presence to ensure that Bath remains a tourist hotspot for years to come”.

Alterian Content Management Corporate (CMC) was selected to help the Council’s non-technical users produce, maintain and control complex websites in a simple manner. The platform’s multilingual capabilities were an added attraction; English is not the first language for approximately 20% of the sites visitors, so giving them the opportunity to engage with the site in their preferred language was important.

All public sector websites are obligated to comply with strict accessibility regulations. This can cause problems when there are multiple content editors, but the built-in checker function in Alterian CMC ensures that every single page is compliant with all legislation before it can be published and therefore that that the site meets all legal requirements. Sites found in breach of these regulations can be liable high profile and expensive litigation.

David Eldridge, CEO of Alterian, concluded, “Our WCM technology has always been popular with public sector organisations thanks to its cost effective implementation, engaging interface and accessibility checker that ensures compliance. We are very pleased that Bath Heritage Services selected Alterian to overhaul its online presence and recognised the strength of our platform. Bath is a fantastic example to other councils and organisations of how heritage, which is of central important to a city’s economy, can continue to remain accessible to tourists in the 21st century.”

About Alterian

Alterian (LSE: ALN) empowers organizations to create relevant, effective and engaging experiences with their audience that help build value and reinforce commitment to their brand, through the use of the Alterian Integrated Marketing Platform. Alterian drives the transformation of marketing and communications, making it practical and cost-effective for companies to orchestrate multichannel engagement with the individual.

Alterian’s unprecedented integration of analytics, content and execution through industry leading tools, such as the Dynamic Messenger email platform and the award winning Content Management solutions, enables companies to build integrated communication strategies which create a true picture of the individual.

Alterian works with marketing services partners, system integrators and agencies who recognize the need to plan and deliver coordinated customer engagement services in partnership with their clients. For more information about Alterian, products within the Alterian Integrated Marketing Platform or Alterian’s Partner Network, visit www.alterian.com or the Alterian blog at www.this-is-marketing.com.

About Bath & North East Somerset Council:

The five websites which are run by the Heritage Services section of Bath & North East Somerset Council include:

http://www.romanbaths.co.uk/
http://www.fashionmuseum.co.uk/
http://www.victoriagal.org.uk/
http://www.batharchives.co.uk/
http://www.bathvenues.co.uk/

The Roman Baths and the famous Pump Room above it receive more than 1 million visitors per annum, half of them from overseas. Most of these have never visited the UK before and are making their first trip to the Bath area.

The Roman Baths were built in the first century AD as a religious spa and temple. They were visited by pilgrims from all over the Roman Empire for nearly four hundred years until they fell into decline in the fourth century. The museum has a Roman collection of international importance including 12,000 Roman coins deposited in the hot spring at the centre of the site. This collection and related items of more recent local history will be showcased on the new websites.

The complex is also popular among schoolchildren at key stages 2 and 3 who study the Romans as part of the national curriculum. The new website includes film footage of a typical school visit, created by local film company Constellation Media Ltd to assist teachers in their planning.

The Fashion Museum collection is internationally renowned and is housed in Bath’s magnificent Assembly Rooms, built in 1771. This website is the most popular of all, because of a worldwide interest in historic fashion. It and the Victoria Art Gallery each receive 100,000 visitors per annum. The Gallery has a popular temporary exhibition programme including some selling exhibitions by prominent local artists. These are supported by on-line catalogues of the works for sale.

The Bath Record Office website is a must for people researching their family history, which nowadays relies heavily on on-line access to relevant information.

About the Project:

Fusion Workshop has been looking after the Fashion Museum website since 1999 and those for the Bath Record Office, Roman Baths and Victoria Art Gallery since 2001.

The project’s main aim is to provide Bath & North East Somerset Council with a future-proof Content Management System to carry over it over the next seven years and beyond and can also enhance the delivery of its online presence via:

• The provision of a future-proof platform
• Enabling the Council to leverage its current investment
• Delivering a robust, scalable and flexible website
• Maintaining organic search engine optimisation and also further enhancing it.
• Integrating the sites with existing systems
• Enabling the marketing team to create and manage campaigns that deliver results.
• Ensuring good usability and user experience features
• Conforming to Disability Discrimination Act for web accessibility (W3C level 1-2)

About Fusion Workshop

Fusion Workshop analyses, builds, develops, implements and manages business-driven web solutions for their customers. The company focuses on the following sectors: heritage & performing arts, travel & tourism, education, third sector & membership organisations, financial services and local government.

The company delivers web projects from consultancy through specification and development to completion and ongoing support. It specialises in integration and standards-based Internet projects, and prides itself on a structured (PRINCE2) project management approach with cross-functional teams. Its formal requirements gathering process uses the concepts of stakeholder representation, viewpoints and perspectives to ensure that requirements and quality criteria are captured for analysis.

Fusion Workshop is an experienced Alterian Corporate Content Management System partner. The company works in Microsoft ASP.Net and SQL Server. It also has strong ColdFusion expertise (including migration of these systems to ASP.Net).

See www.fusionworkshop.co.uk

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For more information, contact:

Hannah Smith / Annabel Kerr
Ruder Finn
+44 (0)20 7462 8900
hsmith@ruderfinn.co.uk / akerr@ruderfinn.co.uk

Karen Gibbons
Alterian
+44 (0)117 970 3200
karen.gibbons@alterian.com

This press release was distributed by ResponseSource Press Release Wire on behalf of Ruder Finn UK in the following categories: Business & Finance, Media & Marketing, Computing & Telecoms, for more information visit https://pressreleasewire.responsesource.com/about.