Ancestry.com is the world’s largest online resource for family history, with approximately 2 million subscribers worldwide. In the past 16 years, the company’s online collection has grown to include more than 11 billion historical records, 41 million family trees and more than 4 billion profiles. In addition to its flagship site, Ancestry.com offers several localized Websites around the globe.
As an internet company, Ancestry.com knows the importance of delivering a fresh and engaging online experience that converts site visitors into paying and loyal customers. However, the company relied on engineering resources to update its Web presence. As the company grew, this model became increasingly unsustainable. The company realized that when its marketing team came up with a new idea, it would take eight to twelve weeks before that idea ever became customer-facing via the Web presence.
With Oracle WebCenter Sites, Ancestry.com significantly reduced time-to-market for its online initiatives by empowering its marketing and product teams to manage many aspects of the Web experience themselves. Site changes, which previously required a long lead time can now be made almost instantly by marketers without IT help—enabling Ancestry.com to easily respond to trends and create a fresher and more engaging experience.
Ancestry.com also uses Oracle RightNow for its online self support and knowledge base, which includes 3,000 articles and averages 200,000 visitors per month. The company has also used the solution to respond to more than 1 million customer e-mail inquiries and to collect customer satisfaction ratings—ensuring that Ancestry.com maintains its excellent customer service levels.
Ancestry.com originally surveyed 40 Web experience management solutions, based on recommendations from product and marketing teams. The company narrowed the list down to five, then three, before holding a technology bake-off for the finalists.
“In our business, we need to constantly provide our customers with a fresh and engaging Web experience. We also have a huge amount of online content and a number of legacy systems with which we needed to integrate. We looked at the site-authoring experience, the features each system supported, and the technical specifications. Oracle WebCenter Sites was identified as the right fit for our current needs,” said Blane Nelson, chief architect, applications, Ancestry.com.
Ancestry.com implemented Oracle WebCenter Sites three years ago. The company chose an initial project—an international Website launch—which took two-and-a-half months.
“After the initial project, we went through several other site areas. Projects are as large as updating all home pages or as small as updating a small area of legacy content, and Oracle WebCenter Sites provides the flexibility we need,” Nelson said.
Ancestry.com implemented Oracle RightNow in 2003 and upgraded to latest version in February 2012.