With the launch of their new website BECTU now offer their members an enhanced user experience, with tools that improve communication and enliven branch activity. To support this, NetXtra have integrated the website with BECTU´s MTL Software Solutions' Sodalitas membership database to deliver more attractive and personalised functionality. This in turn is encouraging widespread participation across the website from the Union´s existing members, as well as leveraging the Union to potential new members. The site is also encouraging members to develop more regular contact with the Union and specifically with their branch representatives. Dedicated branch pages, available only to BECTU members, enables all members to have around-the-clock access to the latest branch news.
To further encourage interaction and engagement, a number of forums are available, allowing users to ask questions, offer opinions and share thoughts and ideas regarding things such as BECTU campaigns, divisional matters and other specific issues of the day.
Authorised administrators at branch and divisional level can also add content to their own areas of the site, with information such as news, contact information, diary events, electronic resources and even their own blogs.
The website´s Content Management System (CMS) also enables designated administrators within each BECTU division or branch, to run their own member reports. This is useful when wanting to understand things such as overall site usage or membership renewals. New training pages showcase courses available to Union representatives and the Union´s career development programme is now more visible to the freelance workers for whom it was originally designed.
Similarly, an Events area lists BECTU and other industry events in an interactive calendar, with members getting the opportunity to book their places online to certain BECTU events. Crewbus, the Union´s established online freelance directory for employers seeking ´crew´ has been extensively remodelled. The service was relaunched as an integrated element of the site and delivers new facilities for users, including the option to upload member CV's and showreels.
Fundamentally, the objective of the BECTU website is to engage, inform, recruit, and encourage members, non-members, prospective members and staff to interact with each other. It also offers those unfamiliar with BECTU a clearer and more positive view about the range of services provided by the Union.
This website actively promotes user-interaction and gives people the opportunity to add their own user-generated content, which, in turn, gives them a genuine reason to return regularly. Furthermore, opening up the website in this way has allowed BECTU to keep the site current and is providing visitors fresh content each time they return.
The integration of Sodalitas has proven to be popular with members who now enjoy the ability to view personalised information on the website, as well as update their own membership profile, saving BECTU time and money with administration.
As part of the project´s delivery, the website´s security was rigorously tested and subjected to extensive penetration testing by a third party supplier. Its ability to pass with flying colours was mainly due to the high standard of build quality by NetXtra and the use of MTL Solutions APIs (Application Programming Interface) that submits sensitive data securely using SOAP and XML.