A customer since 2010, the Florida Department of Health operates county health departments for each of the 67 Florida counties. The department “works to protect, promote & improve the health of all people in Florida through integrated state, county, & community efforts.”
The Florida Department of Health was using Serena Collage prior to switching to Cascade CMS. The product worked well for the department, but in 2008 Serena discontinued support and development for the CMS. With no support or improvements to the product, the team at the Florida Department of Health knew they needed to start looking for another solution.
The most important feature that the Florida DOH needed in a new CMS was the ability to migrate all of their content from Serena easily with a migration tool. The web team did not have the resources to do any sort of manual website project.
To select a new CMS, the team, including former webmaster, Jake Bradley, went through an RFQ process, resulting in quotes from over twenty different companies. From there they narrowed it down based on pricing, and Cascade CMS came out ahead.
Unfortunately, after the team made their final decision, they learned that their website was not set up properly. There was no structured data, so there was nothing for them to migrate. Realizing that they had to do the migration manually, the team was impressed that they were able to do all of the velocity
Before transitioning to Cascade CMS, each county department had their own template and web staff. The web team was told that they would never be able to bring everything under one system; however, with one in-house built template, they were able to complete the project within two years. The template helped encourage each department to take ownership of their website. Currently, their website has all 67 counties underneath it, which has freed up resources and convinced the agency that it is okay to let communications run things. Jake Bradley commented that since their transition to Cascade CMS, “the culture in the agency is 100% different thanks to Cascade CMS and what they were able to accomplish with it.” They even had a deputy secretary ask why all IT resources are not run the same way theirs is.
Currently, the Florida Department of Health has over 350 users who are adding content. They went from secretaries building HTML pages on their own to a professional website all under one roof and well managed. The web team is now at the point where they are able to focus on rolling out cool features instead of doing
The department has a dedicated Cascade CMS developer who builds out any custom features that are requested by content contributors. Once it is built, they can roll it out to the entire state at once. If anything needs to be changed, the web team can modify it in one place and it will affect the entire state, which they believe is one of the best features of Cascade CMS. For example, one recent feature that was requested was a generic slideshow. The slideshow fits with the template, the website’s color scheme, and has a professional look and feel, so their users only have to add photos.
Among many other exciting projects, the team has completed in the past few years is their Newsroom and Events Center. These two sites are separate from their other sites but do work on the backend to publish things out using publish sets. The Newsroom pulls information and articles based on the visitor’s specific county, so they only see news specific to their county. This allows the state to control how and what information is shared, instead of leaving it up to each individual county to distribute news.
The Florida Department of Health has a few projects that they are working on. However, most of the time when they receive a list of things they would like to develop, they immediately move into a feasibility test phase. During this phase, the project is given to a Cascade developer to see how much work it would take and to determine if they should move forward with developing it.
Working with Hannon Hill
According to the team, the product and the support they have received from Hannon Hill is why they have been successful over the past few years. The Hannon Hill support team goes out of their way, to the point of scheduling a conference call to work with them on solving an issue, which is more support than they have received from any other vendor.