Biotech Innovator Amyris Scales Digital Experience

Amyris starts with leading research and goes all the way to commercialization using Pantheon as its digital marketing platform for optimal visitor experience, security, and brand awareness.

Summary

Business Outcomes

  • Leveling up workflow enabled efficient digital campaign creation, growing global industry recognition, and improved visitor experience
  • Secure process for engaging external developers improved productivity and freed up management to focus on brand building
  • Improved visitor experience with fast page loads on content-rich pages

Challenges

  • Legacy website did not showcase the company’s strong growth phase, creative marketing campaigns, or desired responsiveness for enriched visitor experiences
  • Not able to confidently engage outside development teams because the legacy platform could not properly secure FTP access 
  •  Lack of workflow and ability to restrict the live environment caused initial attempts to improve the site to fall short of efficiency goals
  • Backups were not comprehensive, increasing the risk of data loss

 

Approaches

  • Partnered with a creative agency and Pantheon for a major website overhaul to create a modern, highly-responsive digital platform to serve its investors, brands, and potential candidates 
  • Pantheon's workflow enabled the team to work safely with external developers, and rapid backup and recovery increased data security
  • Used Pantheon’s self-guided migration tools to seamlessly migrate WordPress sites onto the new platform 

 

Why Pantheon

  • Pantheon’s Dev-Test-Live workflow allowed developers to integrate version control and securely stage development work, supporting both the initial redesign and ongoing digital marketing projects
  • The expert support team provides immediate guidance to resolve any issues that arose 
  • Pantheon’s automated workflows and integration tools enabled the IT team to integrate with third-party services and applications quickly and easily

Introduction: Amyris

 

Amyris is a synthetic biology company transitioning the world to more sustainable ingredients. Amyris was founded in 2003 and with the support of a grant from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation,  Amyris used its fermentation technology to produce a key ingredient used in antimalarial treatments.

Since then, Amyris has developed and commercialized a portfolio of 13 sustainable ingredients that are licensed to commercial partners across major industries, including clean beauty, health and wellness, and flavors and fragrances. The company has also launched a family of nine consumer brands that bring sustainable and high-performing products directly to consumers.

 Amyris leverages its technology platform to address new and varied opportunities, including ones that have yet to be fully imagined. In 2021, Amyris launched its inaugural ESG (Environmental, Social, and Governance) Report to underscore its commitment to building a more sustainable future for all and provide insight into the company’s progress on a range of long-term commitments to people, the planet, and profitability. Additionally, Amyris partners with leading non-profit and government organizations to further support global efforts to improve the health of people and the planet, including the UN Sustainability Development Goals, Bonsucro, Oceana, American Diabetes Association, and more.

Amyris is headquartered in Emeryville, California with additional offices and manufacturing plants in Leland, North Carolina, Brazil, and Portugal.

Challenge

In an intense phase of growth, the Amyris team found itself supporting an expanding range of audiences and portfolio of brands. As a publicly traded company (NASDAQ: AMRS) and parent brand to a family of nine consumer brands, a strong corporate website is critical to its branding and communications. 

Amyris needed a modern, highly-responsive website to serve its growth and key audiences.

The legacy site did not reflect the cutting-edge technology our organization develops. Seemingly simple changes, like swapping out images, required web developer experience as the interface was not user friendly. We needed to wipe the slate clean and start fresh.

- Rhett Henderson, Senior Applications Engineer at Amyris

Amyris’ security measures also needed refreshing – external developers only had access to master user credentials to perform file transfer (FTP), which introduced strains on management’s time and risked the development process. 

Amyris sought out a new web platform to support  a major redesign on WordPress, secure the development workflow, support Amyris’ rapid growth, and better reflect the company’s success. 

Approach

The IT team decided on Pantheon and used its self-guided migration tools to seamlessly move from the legacy site to the Pantheon WebOps platform. There was no data loss or interruption during the transition, performance improved, and developers experienced only a short learning curve. 

Rhett Henderson, Senior Applications Engineer at Amyris, said, “In my experience with previous WordPress migrations, something always goes wrong, and you then have to check every page for broken images and links. With Pantheon, the migration went very, very smoothly.”

Amyris then launched a website redesign, which involved rebuilding the website framework, adding new visual and written content, and introducing new digital capabilities for amyris.com. The Pantheon platform supported continuous deployment, redesign, and new digital campaigns.

 The team leveraged the Pantheon Dev-Test-Live environments for expedited and de-risked site development. If there was a problem with new code, the team could easily restore the original code from an Automated Backup. The staged development environments within Dev-Test-Live enabled development workflows to run smoothly, and also solved the security issues. The team provisioned the developers’ credentials using least privilege security practices. For example, in some development stages, the contractors could access both Dev and Test. At other stages, the team could easily revise user credentials to only access Dev. 

Henderson said, “Pantheon empowered me to better manage and feel more secure with external design teams and their developers. Before we pass projects to them, I customize permissions for those developers at this stage. When the stage is complete, I simply dial back permissions to secure our development staging.” 

Deploying new features and content is now much faster than with the legacy system. The team can spin up a new site in half an hour, including DNS configuration and going live. In the past, testing and verification added hours each time. “The old deployment process would cover 90% or 95% of a site, but then there is 5% that is broken. And it's that last 5% that takes forever to locate and then resolve because a single error affects multiple pages.”

Why Pantheon

Pantheon’s separate Dev-Test-Live environments allowed the Amyris team to develop and test its site without impacting the Live environment's availability to the world.

Switching to Pantheon was night and day. Dev-Test-Live development workflow is very valuable for our redesign and ongoing digital marketing projects, and it's out-of-the-box security solved our risk exposure.

- Rhett Henderson, Senior Applications Engineer at Amyris

Pantheon Support is always there.  Pantheon’s expert support team is available 24/7 with technical insights, expertise, and solutions. Amyris also relies on Pantheon’s open platform for easy integration with vendors including Cision for critical investor and board relations information and, for talent management, the Lever application tracking system (ATS).

“In exploring all our options for web platform providers, Pantheon had proven itself by delivering what we needed and more. And it wasn’t just the website. They supported our promotional videos, style guides, and anything else we needed. This was a huge project, and Pantheon delivered. They have been a true partner,” said Henderson.  

Results

The corporate website redesign project was a major success. Henderson said, “Working with the design agency and Pantheon, we managed within the budget and achieved important marketing goals, including featuring our family brands on the main website, , leveling up our site performance, and growing our industry recognition.” 

The team streamlined development using Dev-Test-Live and lowered security risks with a secure and efficient credentialing process, freeing up time to focus on brand building.

Streamlined deployments on Pantheon supported the massive redesign and ongoing development and marketing initiatives. And while the legacy site’s performance was acceptable, Pantheon sped up page loads even on image- and video-rich pages. Amyris will shortly roll out Autopilot for even more time savings with efficient CMS update management. 

Henderson added, “The development stages, the security, the smooth migration, and the nice speed boost surprise were all big wins. With Pantheon, we have the quality WebOps foundation we need to deliver a digital experience that accurately reflects Amyris’ impact on people and the planet.”

 
Webinar Date Monday, January 31, 2022 - 15:00

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