IndustryInformation Technology & Services
ServiceCloud Adoption, Consulting & Design

Bringing to life a marketplace and online platform for isme&co

ServiceCloud Adoption, Consulting & Design
IndustryInformation Technology & Services

Bringing to life a marketplace and online platform for UK SMEs

Meet isme|&|co

isme|&|co is the new digital network and collaborative platform for UK SMEs. A market network built for independent businesses across the UK and at all stages of growth. Providing a platform that allows for specialised content creation, marketplace features as well as community growth. The business is unique in that it aims to eliminate the hurdles and inefficiencies businesses face when seeking the right advice from the right person. Doing this by harnessing the very best of the latest technologies available.

16 weeks

From concept to live site, open to the public.

Business Challenges

When we were first introduced, isme|&|co were at the beginning of a new venture, one that combined a unique business community, whilst providing a marketplace of specialised businesses and content creation, providing collaboration and guidance for business leaders.

Like many companies who begin to create a new platform that provides a digital service, they knew that in order to breathe life into the concept and nurture it’s evolution into a living, breathing platform, they would need specialised guidance across hosting, cloud technology, scalability and design.

Whilst both co-founders are seasoned and experienced business leaders and are used to occupying C-level roles, this was the first time they would be building a business from the ground up using the latest AWS cloud technology.

Their vision for the isme&co concept would not only need a technical build in the cloud following best practices, but also guidance on branding, style, tone of voice, delivery of a design and implementation of a user interface and experience that would match established platforms.

Furthermore, isme&co recognised significant value in the ability to provide a highly personalised user experience, via suggested content and relevant providers, as well as content moderation and personalisation.

Why us?

isme&co knew that in order to realise all business needs, and successfully deliver the first phase of their concept, they would require a partner with specialisations in AWS and expertise in design and UI/UX.

They also knew they would need to be at every key stage of their journey, working alongside Firemind as a delivery partner, from the first design concepts and live pages to core functions and user experience crafting.

After reaching out to Amazon Web Services (AWS), Firemind were recommended as a partner of choice, due to our experience in start-ups and initial cloud adoption, as well as our design capabilities.

The Minimum Viable Product (MVP)

This project started with the base infrastructure and best practice framework using AWS services. The platform was built within a custom CMS, running on AWS Cloud services. This made use of Amazon’s highly scalable elastic containers as well as the increased load balancing services for dynamic content, utilising Amazon S3 for the storage and retrieval of large and complex files such as images, audio files within podcasts and other digital media.

This entire skeleton was supported by Amazon CloudFront CDN, enabling faster load speeds and dependable service throughout all regions of access. Amazon Aurora was also used for persistent database storage needs as the content, entities and users expanded.

  • Start-up journey – With experience working with other start-ups in the digital space, Firemind were able to guide isme&co’s journey and project requirements, delivering quick, visible results which helped secure funding during the early 4 stages of development.
  • Service blueprint – To ensure all user avenues were explored and the business could be built in a way that was scalable, we worked closely with the co-founders to build a thorough plan and flow for every area of the platform.
  • Discovery & branding – From defining concepts into tangible actions and user friendly webpages to crafting high fidelity mock-ups and designs, we’ve endeavoured to provide both professional cloud services as well as defining branding implementation.
  • Personalisation readiness – With the platform quickly building both users and business profiles, the wealth of specialised reading content as well as newly founded audio podcasts will enable the ability to add AI/ML driven personalisation options. These services will ensure users of the growing platform will find businesses and content relevant to their interests and spark more genuine and human led connections across the site. In turn, leading to more users, increased activity, less churn and more revenue across the platform.

Added value

Firemind was able to fully integrate to isme&co’s roadmap, from bringing the vision of the concept to live creation. By delivering key components in parallel, in terms of technical design, business branding, and UI/UX designs – an early buzz was realised around the potential of the concept. This was evident in the businesses successful pre-seed funding raises.

1 week

To secure seed funding after initial MVP showcase to investors.

Roadmap integration

From branding workshops to collaborative design sessions, we’ve undergone 4 key stages to the MVP, ensuring customer use and understanding of the isme&co platform was always a priority.

By acting quickly and working closely with the co-founders, our design department were able to produce a selection of interactive, user focused mock-ups, highlighting the visual potential of the platform and it’s userbase. This laser focused engagement ensured an early turnaround during an initial funding round, quickly receiving the necessary investment to propel this project to its next phase with Firemind.

Best practice delivery

Not only did this project benefit from our experienced in-house design team, but the partnership with Firemind as an Advanced AWS Partner meant the entire framework for the platform could be built to the highest standards using AWS. For a platform with the scale and complexity that any popular social platform boasts, the ability to accurately provide user access, download and upload options as well as communicate safely, presents many challenges.

Working backwards to build a smart deployment of the isme&co platform negates many of these pitfalls, future proofing the next evolution of the project’s direction. Thorough penetration testing by a contracted 3rd party revealed zero majors and only minor weaknesses in the custom CMS, not the AWS infrastructure. All of which were quickly identified and corrected before launch.

Path to AI/ML

Central to the co-founders vision for isme|&|co is the opportunity to harness the very best of the latest technology available. Providing a digital-first solution that makes the user experience responsive, relevant and engaging.

By ensuring a well architected and best practice AWS structure, we’ve ensured a defined path to more complex human learning processes, allowing for an automated and personalised recommendation service that can be built into the platform.

What's next?

Following the successful MVP launch, isme|&|co are now early revenues. And the co-founders are fundraising in order to accelerate growth and, crucially, to provide the investment firepower they need for the next generation of the isme|&|co platform. During this time, we are working closely with them to fully map out the platform landscape and next step requirements.

The next phase focuses on defining a path for content and marketplace personalisation, along with manual task automation and more in-depth analytics and reporting.

Continuing to integrate with the delivery schedule of the customer roadmap, ensuring the most successful successful startup journey possible.

Customer Satisfaction

“Since the first engagement with Firemind, the journey has been really, really brilliant! Firemind put in place a great team on our project, and both Tim and I have been delighted with the work we’ve been doing. We can be quite demanding as co-founders, responding very actively, and by return, the team at Firemind turn things around very quickly. We’re delighted with the way the working relationship is going and continues to go.”

William Maughan

Co-founder of isme|&|co

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