From Magento to AWS, how a digital agency owns the cloud stack

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From Magento to AWS, how a digital agency owns the cloud stack
Venroy founders Sean Venturi and Theo Smallbone

Digital agencies have expanded their tech skills from online marketing and e-commerce implementation through to Amazon Web Services hosting, CRM configuration and API development.

Digital agency Netstarter is an AWS integrator as well as Magento’s largest Australian partner. A fully integrated approach was essential to managing websites with millions of dollars in turnover.

“Our focus is omni-commerce – selling across all channels. It’s not just Magento, it’s the infrastructure, hosting, POS, CRM,” said Justin Milwidsky, general manager for digital strategy at Netstarter. “We think it’s really important to provide an end-to-end offering so there’s full accountability and no finger pointing.”

NetStarter recently rebuilt the world's first website built using the latest version of Magento’s e-commerce platform for Australian menswear label Venroy. Since launching with Magento 2.0, has seen a 38 percent increase in conversion, a 65 percent increase in mobile conversion and a 40 percent decrease in page load times.

NetStarter, which is owned by publicly listed Salmat, uses AWS for all its hosting and Milwidsky said he strongly preferred the “as-a-service” model. “We just provide the service layer on top of it. The app and hosting is very tightly integrated. If there are issues you need someone who is across sys ops and dev ops.”

The 140-staff digital agency deals with a range of CRMs from global brands such as NetSuite and Salesforce to local suppliers Pronto, Retail Directions, Microsoft Dynamics and MYOB EXO. Many of the CRMs are legacy systems from which NetStarter must extract data through APIs or recommend replatforming to a newer technology.

“A lot of our clients might have made a big investment in the last three to 10 years. We determine what’s going to be your source of truth and how to best connect them,” Milwidsky said.

Netstarter is a gold partner of e-commerce engine Hybris. The agency's "ecosystem" also expands to Google's web tools, payment tools such as PayPal and eWay, fulfillment via Australia Post along with a new wave of digital tools such as Barilliance, Accertify and Feefo.

There is an increasing growing intersection of the digital agency world and the traditional IT channel, including Microsoft gold partner Readify investing in digital agency Folk, serial acquirer RXP Services buying Melbourne consultancy 10collective, and renowned advertising agency Ogilvy being named a platinum partner of Sitecore.

Netstarter's parent Salmat recently overhauled the user experience for the Qantas site using the MaritzCX hosted on AWS.

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