Boyce Thompson Institute for Plant Research
BTI is an independent, nonprofit plant research organization affiliated with and located at Cornell University. Originating 90 years ago, BTI was founded on the premise that plant research can contribute to addressing societal issues.
BTI came to Sanmita after their previous site had been down for nearly two months following a security breach. With over 3,000 pages of information on their website and 30 separate contributors continually making updates, the sheer scale of content to manage was staggering. One of the biggest problems they faced were delays in publishing research and data, and problems keeping content up to date and in sync when it appeared in mulitple areas of the site. In addition to providing a secure and sophisticated information architecture capable of handling the massive scale of the project, BTI also wanted to address brand confusion associated with the old site.
- Previous site used an unsupported CMS theme
- Stale content that was taking weeks to publish
- Branding confusion due to poor organization of content
- Robust information architecture incorporating improved CMS that is fully supported
- Consultative process streamlined organization of content to reinforce branding
- Automated content formatting that maintains consistency and speeds up the publishing process. For example, personnel information feeds directly from the master HR database, enabling online information to be kept automatically up to date and consistent in appearance
One of our most complex projects, the success of the BTI website is a result of extensive assessment and consultation combined with efficient implementation. Additionally, our custom CMS solution included mobile friendly responsive technology, enabling the site to function optimally across all devices.
Cornell University Division of Budget and Planning
Case Study Story Coming Soon
Cornell Center for Materials Research
Mapformation is the industry leader in illustrative maps, serving over 400 institutions of higher learning, as well as a diverse range of international clientele including cities, corporations, ski resorts, and many others.
The client desired a map-driven, visually streamlined site with very little text to distract from the power of the images. Virtually all business is attracted via the website, so user experience had to be smooth and easy to navigate through the wide range of portfolio pieces presented.
- Organize hundreds of high-resolution images
- Allow for easy viewing with full zoom capability
- Minimize or eliminate image load time
- Integrate map locations, clients, artists, and categories of work to enable multiple search options
The site utilizes a complex information architecture to accommodate the varying levels of organization and detail, including a custom back end system to enable dynamic content management and map integration. One of the unique features designed for this site is an easily updatable integration with Google maps, demonstrating where on the globe each project is located. Sanmita also built an automatically integrated email function that enables the receiver to know which specific map an inquiring writer has been viewing.
An elegantly understated site that relies on icons rather than text for navigation, allowing the maps to take center stage. Browsing the maps is an enjoyable and informative process.
Le Moyne College
CMT, Empowering Education
Founded in 1920, Ithaca Agway began as an old-time general store serving local family farms. Now an established hardware and gardening retail shop with two locations, the owner realized his online presence needed improvement.
The old website looked dated and uninteresting, and was very limited in scope. Owner also wanted to be able to reach out to new customers.
- Make a dynamic and visually appealing presentation of hardware and garden needs
- Manage a large and constantly changing product and service database so that customers can view and compare online
- Integrate True Value franchise product searches
- Create an eCommerce function for customers to place orders online for pickup at store
- Bright contemporary styling with improved organization and navigation
- Searchable product and service database using custom WordPress CMS
- Customer wish list function
- Integration with social media, newsletter functions, events calendar and coupons for new customer outreach
A fresh, functional and modern-looking website that retains the helpful, friendly tone of a small-town general store.
Wharton Studio Museum
The Wharton Studio Museum is a nonprofit organization dedicated to transforming a historic studio building in Ithaca, New York, into a silent movie museum to preserve and celebrate Ithaca’s role in the history of American filmmaking. Originally founded as Ithaca Motion Picture Project, the organization re-named itself as their vision for the museum became a reality.
When IMPP changed their name to Wharton Studio Museum, they not only needed to re-brand the organization, their website had to play a different and larger role to serve the museum and public in new capacities. News and community events had to take center stage, and so the site had to be easy for a changing roster of volunteers to maintain and update. And of course, the online donation process needed to be easy and prominent for supporters to use.
- Make the site much more user-friendly so that volunteers could easily maintain and update content.
- Content had to be migrated from the previous site, created in Drupal, to the new WordPress based site.
- Limited budget
- Quick turnaround
- Sanmita’s customized WordPress CMS is far more user-friendly than the previous Drupal site
- Integration of social media, news, and events calendar on home page
- Google Analytics is also integrated with the site to enable easy tracking of website visits and trends
- Mobile responsiveness was built into the site at no additional cost, a feature that impressed and pleased the client.
A visually appealing site that is inviting for visitors to explore, and easy for volunteers to maintain. The site is ready to handle future expansion as the museum grows.
Namgyal Monastery in Ithaca, New York, is the North American Seat of His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama. It is also an institute of Buddhist studies, hosting numerous teachings, lectures, ceremonies and other cultural events.
In addition to presenting an engaging online identity that reflects the rich historical and cultural significance of their activities, the monastery needed to keep members informed about scheduled classes and events. Staffed by volunteers, the content management had to be easy to maintain and update without technical training. Sanmita’s relationship with the monastery spans nearly ten years and illustrates the kind of full service and support we take pride in providing.
- Previous website cumbersome to use
- Could only make changes to events calendar; needed full content management capability throughout site
- Make site easy for volunteers to maintain and update
- Easy to use donations process
- Sanmita developed a donation engine called 123PayNow, an intuitive application that allows donations by credit card & check
- Migrate content from old site to new, customized, easy to use WordPress CMS
- Sanmita took care of all details, making transition from old site to new simple and pain-free.
Analysis showed that site usage increased to an average of 75,000 page views a month. With the new Events calendar, complimented by email communication, participation at Monastery-hosted events and classes increased.
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology
The Cornell Lab of Ornithology, founded in 1915 is a world leader in the study, research, appreciation and conservation of birds. The website contains a live video stream which allows viewers to observe new birds in the lab, and is called Bird Cam. Bird Cam was previously known as Nest Cam and Nest Watch.
Sanmita took part in the BirdCams web page, with WordPress, by adding unique features to help the non-profit maintain members, gain new members and generate donations. Previously, The Cornell Lab of Ornithology was only able to receive email addresses if users entered it into the website. This method made it difficult for the organization to gain new members and donors. Sanmita developed a unique feature that connected the BirdCams webpage with the user’s Facebook page. Through this connection, when users make a comment on the BirdCams webpage, his or her email address is automatically entered into The Cornell Lab of Ornithology database. Sanmita ensured that there was full disclosure that creating a comment would allow the organization to obtain email addresses.
Another important feature Sanmita incorporated was integrating web services. The advertisements seen on the BirdCams page are through the same software that provides advertisements for the entire website. This is an important feature because it allows the organization to easily track and monitor advertising clicks and impressions.
The College of Saint Rose
U.S. Chamber of Commerce Foundation
Wheaton College is a liberal arts college based in Norton, Massachusetts.
Wheaton College contacted Sanmita after the sudden departure of their webmaster, leaving a major academic website in chaos. Wheaton College encompassed some 180 websites on WordPress, another on Drupal, and yet another on a different CMS, for a total of over 5,000 pages managed by 700 contributors. Sanmita was hired to do an in depth audit of the site and servers and to make recommendations.
- Massive and highly complex site with very little supporting means of assessment
- Crisis situation required immediate solutions
- Portal software pulling data from varying sources
- Dozens of outdated plugins
- Collaborating with the enterprise team and web development team, Sanmita made recommendations to ensure compatability between enterprise data sources and other portals.
Tarleton State University
Texas Wesleyan University
California State University, San Marcos
The City College of New York
University of Chicago
University of North Texas
Inteliquent is a full-scale network solutions provider to over 80 countries across 6 continents. Inteliquent offers networking solutions to solve interconnection and interoperability issues on a global level. The service provider has an advanced MPLS network that provides voice, IP Transit, Ethernet capabilities and hosted service solutions to major carriers and service providers.
The Problem: Every time a new location needed to be added to the map, inteliquent had to manually update the map. If more than one person added updates, the last update would override any previous ones created. This process was time consuming, allowed a big gap for errors. Updates could only be done through the server, which further limited the ability to easily update.
The Sanmita Solution: Sanmita developed an interactive map for the Inteliquent. The update process is now automated, allows Inteliquent website management personnel to update on XML from anywhere, instead of being limited to updating solely on the server. The content manager will go to an XML interface, update information, and it will automatically update the map accordingly. This allows less error to occur and is a much simpler process.
When users clicked the map, previously, a PDF would be downloaded with information. The PDF information was previously static, which meant that Inteliquent content management personnel needed to update the PDF when new information was present. Sanmita changed this by making the PDF dynamic. New information that is entered into the Inteliquent XML interface with automatically update the PDF. This saves a significant amount of time and errors for Inteliquent and is able to provide Inteliquent users to have the most accurate and up to date information as possible.
Benedictine University is a private Catholic university located in Lisle, Illinois. Benedictine University is a CommonSpot client for Sanmita. Sanmita was brought on by the university to supply needed technology support regarding their website to the university’s website management team.
Currently, Sanmita is working with Benedictine University to help develop, improve and update the information architecture of their website. Sanmita is providing the university with support that will allow their website to be easily accessible by users as well as easier to navigate.
Export-Import Bank of the United States
The Export-Import Bank of the United States (Ex-Im Bank) is the official export credit agency that facilitates sales between national governments and U.S. companies to provide export financing. With more than 70 years of experience, Ex-Im Bank has supported over $400 billion of U.S. exports.
The Ex-Im Bank had an existing website and decided to purchase a CommonSpot license in order to help them manage their website. In addition to migrating the site, they needed to connect the new CommonSpot site with their Oracle database and integrate their e-newsletter application, Lyris. Ex-Im Bank contracted a local technology support company with which they had an existing relationship, Washington Technology Group (WTG), to help with the migration and integration process. WTG outsourced the project to a smaller vendor who, part-way through the project, dropped the project and left no documentation or information about the progress.
Ex-Im Bank and WTG solicited Sanmita Inc. at this point to help finish the project. Sanmita successfully migrated the old Ex-Im Bank website onto the CommonSpot platform, connected the site to Ex-Im Bank’s Oracle database, and integrated the Lyris e-newsletter application.
- There was no documentation left by the previous vendor about the progress of the project. This wasted valuable time, money, and other resources for Ex-Im Bank.
- Sanmita had to begin the project from scratch and finish it within the remaining schedule and budget constraints originally placed upon the project.
In partnership with Washington Technology Group, Sanmita Inc. helped Ex-Im Bank complete CommonSpot forms migration and Lyris integration, under the tight schedule and cost constraints. Sanmita also advised the client on CommonSpot Server architecture necessary to improve site performance and scalability. The diagnosis of the server’s optimal needs was outside the scope of the project, but the client was very grateful for the effort and suggestions in addition to being satisfied with the successful completion of the project.
- Estimated hours of work: 100 hrs. (40 hrs. consulting, 40 hrs. migration, and 20 hrs testing).
- Actual hours of work: 60 hrs. (20 hrs. consulting, 30 hrs. migration, and 10 hrs. resolving issues out of the original project scope).
Ex-Im Bank operates within ever-changing global markets. By handling the migration of Ex-Im Bank’s site onto the more intuitive and user-friendly CommonSpot platform, Sanmita Inc. helped Ex-Im Bank reach its stakeholders and manage its global subscriptions more efficiently and effectively.
Cornell University Center for a Sustainable Future
In an effort to promote a sustainable future for all, CCSF at Cornell University encourages multidisciplinary partnerships within and outside the Cornell community.
CCSF recently started an initiative called Academic Venture Fund where they fund sustainability initiatives across all disciplines at Cornell. Since this is a new initiative, CCSF wanted us to design an application for the grant proposal process using which, members of the Cornell community could apply for funding.
- Build an application around the existing technical platform used by CCSF – Short time frame (less than 4 weeks)
This project was done in two phases. In the first phase, CCSF wanted to gauge the level of interest in the venture; hence we designed a letter of intent process. This phase was completed within a week. In the second phase we created a multi-step form for the proposal application process and delivered within 2.5 weeks. The application was custom built, from scratch, in PHP to tie in with the client’s existing technical framework. Initially, the plan was to build off phase I. However, as we moved along there were significant additions made to phase II. First, this was a multi-step process and so, the code was significantly more complicated. New features were added such as linking the email id field to the Cornell LDAP server in order to pick up the applicant’s name directly from the directory. The application theme was designed like a checkout process where the users could save and return later to add, edit or make changes to the proposal application.
Through our creative design process, we designed a seamless solution that enabled our client to use the application without any glitches. Despite tight project deadlines, the client was able to launch the program on time.
We were fortunate to find Sanmita when we did! Despite a sudden, 7 day project timeline, they delivered a reliable web application as specified, on time, and within budget. Thanks guys! -Mark Lawrence, Web & Communications Manager CornellCenter for a Sustainable Future
Management Sciences for Health
Cornell Alumni-Student Mentoring Program
Cornell University Alumni-Student Mentoring Program (CASMP) was created with the aim to enable personal and professional relationships between current enrolled students and alumni at Cornell University. Over 900 alumni and 1,000 students have been matched through this program. Matches are made on the basis of gender, ethnicity, course of study, career field, and location.
The student/alumni registration process was tedious and repetitive resulting in a slow turn-around time and low registration rates. To enable the match both students and alumni have to fill out a registration form with some basic information. They also write about what they hope to achieve from the program. After the registration form was completed an administrator from the CASMP office would filter each response and snail- mail waiver forms to each applicant. The signed waiver forms were required by the Risk Management office at the University as part of the security protocol. This slowed down the process tremendously and lead to several inefficiencies caused by human error, such as at times students would sign in the wrong place and this meant that they would receive a follow up mail requesting them to make the necessary changes. Each year 200 alumni agreements and 250 student agreements were processed Hence in order to make the system more efficient, we worked collaboratively with CASMP to automate and streamline the entire process such that there was a sustained interest in the program on behalf of both the student and alumni.
- Issue of accuracy caused by 1.) signatures in inaccurate spots on the waiver form, 2.) manual scanning of addresses when mailing the forms out to alumni and students
- Repetition of task: With each registration, the administrative staff had to follow the same process of writing letters, mailing waiver forms, scanning these forms and then, repeating the entire process in case of any errors.
- Low response rate: Since the entire registration process was a combination of online and offline tasks, interest in the program dropped resulting in low response rates
- Tedious process: Once the administrative staff at CASMP received the completed waiver forms, they would scan each document and compile it together to send it over to the Risk Management office.
Our expertise in CommonSpot enabled us to streamline and automate the entire process, thus making the system more efficient. We worked collaboratively with the CASMP staff to integrate the registration and waiver process. Now, the applicant first fills out the registration form and then as a next step of the application process completes the waiver form. We created digital signatures, such that each applicant is now assigned a unique digital signature. This has resulted in a significant reduction of time and effort of all individuals involved in the process. In addition the applicants can now use the save function and return to the registration process at a later date/time. This has eliminated the creation of multiple accounts and has streamlined the entire process. In the past, applicants would loose data if they did not finish the entire process in one sitting. The completed forms are then sent as an attachment to administrative staff at CASMP who then forward the waiver forms to the office of Risk Management. We have also included a provision such that CASMP can include the office of Risk management in their email list in order for them receive the forms directly.
|Parameter||Old System||New System|
|Time spent in processing a single agreement||couple of weeks to couple of months, the worst case being chasing the individual for 2 years||Couple of minutes|
|Spare time for administrative staff to devote to other activities||Limited||Couple weeks worth of time over the year|
|Student Agreement Completion rate||40%||100%|
|Alumni Agreement Completion rate||80%||100%|
|Applications processed *time spent*hourly rate||450*0.5*50 ($11,250)||Almost zero|
University of Southern California
First Presbyterian Church of Southampton
The First Presbyterian Church of Southampton confronted us with a multi-tiered project. The goals of this project were to create an engaging online identity that reflected the church’s history, creating features to engage the younger audience and building a structure to provide intuitive, easily updated website content. The online identity we implemented was both visually appealing and historically connected. For the young (and young at heart) we developed a Podcast production and distribution system. We also developed a content management system (CMS) called Impress, allowing non-technical users to update the site content with ease.
The results of our efforts were monitored and analyzed and we found that site visits increased up to 15,000 page views per month. The Podcast (titled ‘Words of Encouragement’) and Events calendar were kept up to date and participation by Church members was increased. Using our custom built CMS, the client was able to update content in a fraction of the time it took previously.
M A K I N G T H E W E B W O R K
Meet Our Awesome CEO and Illustrious Advisory Board
Sanjeev ShuklaFounder & CEO
A head for business, with a heart for social entrepreneurship, Sanjeev is passionate about pursuing knowledge and sharing it with others. Had he not pursued a career in business, he would have liked to have been a teacher. In fact, one of his bucket list ambitions is to open schools which will enable people in remote villages in India to access quality education.
Sanjeev founded Sanmita after honing his skills building business ventures, which included a company that grew to become the largest distributor of Zenith computers in Northern India. His dual MBA from Cornell University and Queen’s School of Business underscores his enthusiasm for doing business, a process which he describes as giving people “the flexibility to do many things and the freedom to experiment with their ideas.”
A deep knowledge of IT, finance and business provides the framework for Sanmita’s success; Sanjeev’s passion and commitment are what powers the team above and beyond in providing the best service for our clients.
Todd EdmondsDesign Director
Todd has nearly 30 years experience in the design industry, and has been internationally recognized by ID Magazine, the UK’s Creative Review, the HOW Design Annual, the NY Type Directors Club, The American Institute of Graphic Arts, the regional Genesis Awards, Studio Magazine, The Communicator Awards, and is a member of the Design Management Institute and the American Institute of Graphic Arts.
His depth of experience in website design & development has been cultivated for clients like Cornell University, Ithaca Motion Picture Project, Center for a Sustainable Future and many others. Todd graduated from the School of Visual Arts in 1986, and is also the CEO and Creative Director of Iron Design.
Sue KrauerContent Director
Rohit AhujaAdvisor, Higher Education & Corporate
The worlds of business, academia, government and finance are infinitely complex, and often perilous to navigate. You want to have someone on board with the experience and wisdom you can trust to make the right decisions.
Rohit has over 30 years of service in finance and administration in higher education, the telecommunications industry, and state government. His credentials include serving as Senior Finance Officer at Cornell University; Finance Director for the Network Services Division at AT&T, where he directed a $2.5 billion capital budget; and the State of Ohio, where he worked with Wall Street firms, state legislators and testified before the Public Utilities Commissions. Mr. Ahuja holds graduate degrees in Mechanical Engineering and Economics from the University of Cincinnati, and an undergraduate degree in Physics with honors from the University of Delhi.
A results-oriented leader, Rohit not only possesses extraordinary technical and business acumen, he is a true visionary, with expertise in developing strategic financial plans, start-up organizations, and reengineering administrative processes.
David KoehlerAdvisor, Higher Education
Academics will tell you higher education operates in a universe of its own, where rationales that serve other businesses too often don’t function as expected. When you’re serving the demanding world of academia, it’s crucial to have an insider’s guidance.
David has over 30 years of experience in Information Technology in higher education. He served as the Director for Information Technologies at Cornell University, where he managed a team of 107 full time employees and a budget of $18 million. Previously, David worked with Princeton University as Director of Information Systems and Director of Distributed Management Systems. There, he directed the development of strategic plan to roll out $50 million of new administrative systems. David served at Stanford University, CBOARD, and Burroughs Corporation in various management capacities.
David has been a faculty member at CAUSE Leadership Institute and Chair of CAUSE National Conference. He has also been an active member of Educause Administrative Computing Advisory Committee. Mr. Koehler holds an MBA from Johnson Graduate School of Management, Cornell University and an undergraduate degree in Operations Research from Cornell University.
Paula E.F. YoungerAdvisor, Government & Non-profits
Our advisor in the complex arena of government agencies, Paula is an executive level administrator with 20 years of experience in program development, management systems design, performance planning, and policy formation and implementation. Paula has worked extensively with federal, state, and local government entities, community based organizations, and private consulting firms in Washington, D.C. and throughout the United States, Puerto Rico and Pacific Island territories.
Paula is presently both the Deputy County Administrator and Corporate Compliance Officer for Tompkins County, New York. She previously served as Project Director for the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) Office for Victims of Crime Training and Technical Assistance, where she received a DOJ Certificate of Special Recognition in appreciation of her “dedication, conscientiousness, and professionalism” in strengthening the mission to support crime victims’ rights and services. Prior appointments include Director of the federal Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention National Training and Technical Assistance Center, and Division Manager for Training and Technical Assistance for the Center for Substance Abuse Treatment National Leadership Institute.
Paula often presents on the subjects of organization development, leadership, and performance planning and monitoring. An active participant in local community, Paula is a member of the Ithaca City School District’s Equity and Inclusion Leadership Council; Multicultural Resource Center “Talking Circles on Race and Racism” facilitator; and founding member of the Friends of Ithaca Youth Bureau. Ms. Younger holds a Master of Science degree in Human Services Administration.
Thomas RichardsonAdvisor, Products & Projects
Award-winning web guru Thomas Richardson’s work has revolutionized interactive communications within higher education. As founding Director of Web Communications at Cornell University, Thomas led the comprehensive, university-wide endeavor to overhaul and redesign the entire interactive experience of Cornell across each of the university’s centers, institutes, schools, colleges, and campuses. In addition to serving as senior digital advisor to the committee charged with rebranding the entirety of Cornell University, Richardson led all web and multimedia production efforts, digital strategy, developer support, and online communications and adoption.
Richardson’s work has been featured in Science Magazine, The New York Times, Apple’s QuickTime Showcase, and The Chronicle of Higher Education.
In addition to his groundbreaking work at Cornell, Richardson has managed award-winning UX design, development and online communications teams in Silicon Valley for successful startups as well as international Fortune 500 corporations—spanning higher education to the financial services, advertising and travel industries.
His creative genius extends into the world of filmmaking, where Thomas has written six feature scripts, taught screenwriting at both Ohio University and Cornell University, and is an award-winning experimental filmmaker with over 15 short films to his credit.
Mr. Richardson holds his BA in Philosophy from Indiana University-Bloomington and an MFA in Film Production and Screenwriting from Ohio University School of Film. Richardson is based in San Francisco.
Ravi LaljaniSenior Consultant
When you’ve got a job that needs to get done, you want the talents of someone who has the practical know-how to make it happen.
An experienced project manager with a proven track record of developing successful solutions in engineering and web and database applications, Ravi has consulted extensively throughout the public and private sectors. He has developed database solutions for Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions and software products such as PaperChase, Incognito, Morph, and Slice; as well as web applications for medical practices and the National Rural Water Association.
Ravi has an extensive background with environmental engineering and compliance, and holds a Master of Science degree from the University of Cincinnati, Ohio, as well as a degree in Chemical Engineering from the Indian Institute of Technology, Delhi.
Anya NagarkarSenior Consultant
With over twenty years of web development wizardry in his pocket, Anya’s resume is so extensive and technically detailed we’re not even sure we know exactly what his credentials are.
Let’s just say he’s fluent in pretty much every computer language, operating system, hardware platform, web tool, database package, e-commerce… and that’s just the beginning. Anya has provided custom programming and consultative services for Avon, Microsoft, Johns Hopkins Hospitals, the USDA, General Physics, and many more.
He is currently an adjunct professor at Capitol College’s Master of Science in Information Architecture program.
Whether you need an analysis to determine the effect of thermal cycling of graphite, a comparative study of operating systems and web servers, or software that will extract data from the LMS, transform it and periodically load the data warehouse for reporting, Anya has you covered.