CASE STUDY

Web development for the Slovak National Theater

web SND

The Slovak National Theater is one of the largest and most important Slovak cultural institutions. Their website was subject of one of the first tenders co-organized with the help of slovensko.digital.

Starting point

The Slovak National Theater, the most famous and largest Slovak cultural institution, has long been under the scrutiny of the public and the media. Perhaps that is why the development of the new website snd.sk became the main project of the then-emerging slovensko.digital organization. In cooperation with past management, it ensured transparent public procurement.

However, the result remained unfinished and semi-functional. Then we entered the process as the winner of another tender for the support, operation, and further development of the snd.sk website. We have been operating the snd.sk website for the third year in a row. Although the management of the theater around us has been ever-changing, we remain a stable partner for our most important cultural institution.

At Altamira, our solutions are not just a one-time hearing of customer requirements, but our solutions create long-term partnerships between the client and us and between the client and the end customer/user.

During the entire development and communication process, we had to consider that the customer is a state institution, a contributory organization of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic. This meant for us the need to accept and adapt to processes different from processes in the ordinary commercial sphere.

New solution

The reason for taking care of the website from another company was the unsatisfactory condition of the website, where the solution was terminated, handed over, and taken over by the previous supplier. Due to the media coverage of the tender, it was necessary to solve the situation urgently.

The website we took over from the original supplier contained many errors, which the SND management knew about and asked us to correct.

Besides correcting errors and completing the website to a fully functional state, the customer also requested the completion of many functionalities not part of the delivery from the original supplier of the website.

At Altamira, we also proactively fixed many parts of the source code we did not consider optimal, and by further “slicing” them, we would push SND into further investments.

By redesigning critical sections, we reduced the TCO (Total Cost of Ownership) of the website.

We bet on a very transparent project management and open communication. The client always had an overview of what is being worked on, had a budget under control, and could regularly enter communication regarding the development and testing of continuously delivered outputs.

Technologies used

The website is based on the open-source CMS DRUPAL, chosen by the previous solution provider and approved by the then SND management. The database is built on the open-source MySQL/MariaDB database solution.

Altamira also provides server solutions and website operations. The originally considered use of the government cloud ran into implementation problems and inconsistencies in this state solution, meaning we used the Digitalocean commercial cloud solution.

The server’s operating system on which the snd.sk website runs is the CentOS Linux distribution.

Our solution proposal

Our primary goal was to eliminate customer frustration from working with IT companies, which we succeeded in during the initial weeks of cooperation. We bet on very transparent project management and open communication, thanks to which the client always had an overview of what is being worked on. They had control over the budget and could regularly enter communications regarding the development and testing of continuously delivered outputs.

When we removed the most pressing critical issues and had evident changes to the website compared to the original state, we proactively proposed improvements and modifications to those parts of the system we believed needed them most.

During the development, we were and still are bound by the original solution of the website, which we do not consider optimal. Therefore, we could not proceed as we imagined, but that is also the role of a quality supplier. At Altamira, we can adapt to the situation, whatever it is, and solve problems for our customers.

How did we help the customer?

During the initial months of cooperation, we completed the website that the customer considered final and instructed us to launch the website live. The live launch directly on the snd.sk domain went smoothly, and the website has experienced no outages since.

The snd.sk website is far from perfect, and we have an enormous number of potential improvements, either from the UI/UX side or from the functionalities side. In our cooperation with SND, we encountered limitations resulting from technological and design imperfections and imperfections of the original website solution. However, their removal would require larger interventions, for which the SND did not have secured funding.

One of the big topics is also a direct connection using the API interface to the state reservation portal navstevnik.sk. This would make it possible to process the purchase of tickets directly in the environment of the snd.sk website, without the need to go to an external site. However, this solution is fully within the competence of the Ministry of Culture of the Slovak Republic, which must ensure the necessary steps on the part of the supplier of the reservation system navstevnik.sk. This has not been possible within 3 years.

If you are also interested in a similar solution, please contact us and arrange a non-binding meeting.

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