SGS provides inspection, testing, certification and verification services to ensure that products, services and systems meet quality, safety and performance standards. With the corporate headquarters based in Switzerland, the SGS network comprises over 1,350 offices and laboratories and more than 70,000 employees around the world.

Challenges faced

The original SGS website was based on Livelink WCM from ex-Obtree and consisted of one corporate site and 60 country websites in over 30 languages. In addition, 215 mini-sites in a number of languages existed. From the marketing perspective, the goal for the new website was to ensure that SGS remains competitive by pushing sales, promote the brand globally and facilitate the delivery of high quality services to customers.

Another important goal was to streamline the huge portfolio of services SGS offers. With over 2,500 services described in a variety of languages across the multiple sites, there was a lack of consistency in communication, different quality levels and thus a great deal of work inefficiency. The previous website (corporate and country sites) made it difficult for visitors to find the information they were looking for also due to the confusing navigation structure and the lack of easy access to the requested content.

As a result, SGS’s business and capabilities were fragmented across more than 270 websites on the centralised web platform. The range of services offered by SGS was presented suboptimal as well as the corporate brand. Therefore, due to the complexity of the structure and functionalities needed by SGS, Livelink WCM had reached its limits.

Solution provided

Over a period of 12 months, SGS evaluated all main Content Management Systems and chose Sitecore as the leader for a wide range of reasons including:

  • Sitecore solution allowing multiple content servers
  • Localisation and translation capabilities
  • Integration with third party technology.

SGS has customised the Sitecore solution and extended it in many ways. Custom fields were created on a number of templates for SGS specific content and a number of standard fields were adapted. Also, many Sitecore modules were implemented, like SEO and Web Forms for Marketers (WFFM).

The most important integration was the Languagewire module and its supporting process. This ensures that content in all languages stays up to date. The primary language for the solution is English but as the site serves over 60 countries, the content is delivered in 21 languages. In addition, the company CRM is integrated to ensure efficient lead tracking.

The use and full integration of the Endeca enterprise search engine gives the site a strong navigational anchor. One of the next steps will be the integration of Sharepoint to share key documentation. To improve website performance from China, Akamai Technology is partly used. Web analytics tools including Google and WebTrends are also integrated into the new website.

The whole architecture of the site is based on delivering localised content. In addition, the overall usability and site experience have been changed completely compared to the previous website. SGS now offers a user-centric navigation to enable visitors to approach the site from their perspective rather than reflecting the internal structure of SGS, as it was before.

SGS Home page
SGS Social
SGS Tiles
SGS Contact Form


The result of this new web presence is that all services and information are channelised on one platform. Furthermore, a coherent, brand consistent feeling of SGS services is presented. The decision to create a universal service directory that is available for the visitors through a number of navigation entry points is a way of turning the business model away from being service centric to being customer-centric. In addition to the fundamental changes, with regard to communicating the business SGS offers, there have been massive changes to the internal organisations around the website structure. Content editors are very satisfied with the system due to easy maintenance and the ability to create a more compelling, personalised web experience for visitors.

Technical Description

  • Mobile Web: responsive design that allows varying screen widths and displays correctly in smartphones and iPad
  • SEO Module
  • Web Forms for Marketers
  • CRM integration (Salespipeline from Oracle)
  • Email marketing platform uses landing pages located in Sitecore
  • Social Media on all relevant pages.

The SGS operates a total of:

  • 54 websites
  • An average of 25.000 pages per site
  • 45 simultaneous users (approx. the equivalent of 450 editors)
  • 150 micro-sites