SaaS success story

Magnum Photos

4 complex services for the most canonical photography giant of all times – Magnum Photos – ready to receive traffic of several dozen thousand users at once without fail.

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About Magnum Photos

Magnum is an iconic cooperative of photographers based around the world, founded in 1947 by the most renowned photojournalists of the time.

They hire the creme de la creme of the world of photography and film, working with top brands such as Dior, Nike, TIME, Vogue, National Geographic, Apple, and more.

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Timeline

2600 working hours from the project’s launch till its final release

Magnum Photos

August 2018 –

February 2020

Magnum Learn

August 2019 – December 2018

Magnum Creative

December 2018 –

July 2019

Magnum Shop

August 2019 – February 2020

Business needs and goals

Magnum needed our support in developing 4 of its services. Each had a slightly different goal.

  • 01.

    Magnum Photos

    Magnum Photos required ongoing support, tech responsibility takeover, site efficiency boost, as well as adding several small marketing features, like a landing page and newsletters.

  • 02.

    Magnum Learn

    Magnum Learn, a platform for purchasing and watching photography e-learning courses, needed thorough development and implementation.

  • 03.

    Magnum Shop

    Magnum Shop, a shopping platform with albums, photos, books, and posters, needed to be developed, implemented, and tied with other systems used currently by our Client – prints, distribution and a photo bank.

  • 04.

    Magnum CREATIVE

    Magnum Creative is a service that aggregates and demonstrates Magnum Photographers’ cooperation with particular brands, presenting their individual portfolios.

Functionality

  • 01.

    Magnum Photos

    1. A typical reportage service with articles, galleries, and special offer announcements
    2. We’ve made an intuitive and user-friendly navigation system, allowing visitors to effortlessly browse through their vast collection of iconic photographs and stories.
    3. To help users find specific photographs or topics of interest, a powerful search and filtering system has been integrated. Users can search for images based on photographers, themes, locations, and more, enabling a tailored experience.

  • 02.

    Magnum Learn

    1. SSO central users management system – single login and password work seamlessly on every service a user can log into, and the process is automatic under different domains
    2. Creating a full educational path with descriptions, downloadable materials, and embedded video lessons
    3. Integration with Vimeo
    4. Tracking the progress of viewed materials

  • 03.

    Magnum Creative

    1. A complex material sorting filter
    2. Integration of a tool for choosing and downloading photos from the Magnum photo bank along with meta descriptions. Photos are in the format and size applicable only for presentation. Original pictures aren’t stored locally.
    3. Photo loading optimization

  • 04.

    Magnum Shop

    1. A platform with an e-commerce system based on joining WordPress with Magento and external microservices
    2. Product variants presentation and a user profile implemented with WordPress
    3. Order finalization, realization, shipment, payments, prices and special offers are implemented through a separate subsystem in the internal net by the Magento e-commerce platform
    4. Importing all products to WordPress from a separate microservice (product service)

Development

Challenges and solutions

  • 01.

    Integrations among all of Magnum’s technological ecosystem elements

    Our technological team consisted of 4 independent suppliers: Fooz, the one responsible for Magento, one for AWS, and one for integrations.

    Main challenges included:
    Integration with microservices such as Image Service, User Service, and Fulfillment Service, all based on Symphony, also integration with AWS and the deployment system based on Docker and SSO

    All systems are automatically deployed on the AWS server with a separate bank of static photos. AWS ensures service scalability – it creates and applies additional service instances depending on the load, sustaining integrity of data generated by users.
    We worked on Docker images, server configuration, and user authentication through external platforms, ensuring seamless integration and scalability.

  • 02.

    Global basket

    The challenge here was integrating one global basket available from every service. A user could add an item to the basket whilst being on the Shop site, move to the Learn platform, add a chosen course to the same basket, and complete the transaction with one payment.

    The basket is operated by the Magento system, but data presentation (photo and description) is uploaded and stored while adding a product to the basket. Each product’s description can present its full story and functionalities even if the section has been worked out in other services, e.g. integration with the photo bank and optimized photo gallery presentation.

  • 03.

    Bespoke e-learning platform

    The first challenge was creating an e-learning platform. We’ve chosen the most adequate service for video hosting and sharing. The next task was stapling particular courses to the e-commerce system, which abreast controls (grants and revokes) the access to the materials. Apart from that, the e-learning system monitors users’ course progress so they are able to continue the training from the place they previously stopped.

  • 04.

    Integration with Magento e-commerce

    Typical store information like price, special offers, and discounts are implemented live through the integration with the main sales tool based on Magento. One of the companies we worked closely with took responsibility for its realization and implementation. WordPress, on the other hand, played a part in an engine/supply base for the frontend. It created a space to manage products, their visibility, descriptions, photos, etc. At the same time, prices and stock levels were imported live by WordPress from external services.

  • 05.

    Ongoing support

    Our team was responsible for the whole process of ongoing support over all the WordPress services used as part of the Magnum Photos infrastructure. We participated in the marketing campaigns on an ongoing basis, helping the Magnum team in creating landing pages, newsletters, mailings, dedicated subpages, product sets, promotional campaigns for new courses, etc.

  • 06.

    Creative Site Photographers’ portfolios

    It was a challenge to create a tool for browsing and downloading chosen photos to use them in the entries. Photos had to be compressed and cropped locally on the server and only then added to a publicly available library. Admins are able to search for the photos by a given name, author and keywords.

    Additionally, we had to prepare adequate hooks in WordPress which allow downloading photo descriptions and licenses. Then, we entered them into a meta_description of the processed photo.

Summary

Business enhancement

The refreshed design and increased presentation of Magnum services for users

All services had to be optimized for mobiles. Because of the photographic character of the business, we had to provide a high-quality presented photos as well as optimization of loading, including mobile devices.

E-commerce system with AWS-based infrastructure and high availability for clients

At the time of the advertising campaign, the service had to predict and accept the load of several dozen thousand users at once, which was carried out flawlessly. Proper optimization and maintaining a high standard of coding allowed us to reduce the usage of resources.

Full control over the content

By transferring all the activities to WordPress, Magnum Content and Marketing teams got full control over the content, products, and their visual presentation.

Unique portfolios

Due to the implementation of the Creative Sites, several dozen Magnum photographers had the opportunity of creating their own unique online portfolios. Its goal was to present the best photos and campaigns they worked on cooperating with top brands as so-called commercial assignments.

Smooth order management

Thanks to separating the presentation services from those responsible for fulfilling the order, a client can manage and fulfill the orders despite a heavy load generated by the site’s visitors.

Marek Korczak,
CEO BTSI

They’re very responsive and are probably the best team that has been involved in the entire project. I feel very positive about the cooperation I had with them. From my perspective, it’s important that I can rely on people to estimate and advise in terms of technology implementation. I never had a problem where an estimate was underrepresented or they weren’t able to solve it.

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Outcome

Magnum’s top 4 modern and refreshed services are now easier and more pleasant to manage, allowing the client’s team to fully automate their work and have all the sales operations in one handy place. Thanks to moving the sites to WordPress, it’s much simpler to manage a vast collection of assets and edit the details of offered products.

The platform became a great base of knowledge and photography-related items and courses for the vast community of Magnum fans. They can seamlessly go through all of the company’s services and be up to date with their selection of products, special offers, discounts, and novelties.