Founded at the birth of the 21st century, Xoom is a PayPal service that enables customers to transfer funds to other people, pay bills, and top up phones from the US and Canada to 131 countries.
That works out at just over 2 workers for each country, given that Xoon has a workforce of 300. That means a lot of content spread out across multiple countries, languages, regions, etc.
Expanding into more and more countries represents a lot of work which means a lot of content. In the past, they published their content on their own grown content management system. “The developer that created the whole internal CMS system left,” said Ann Lau, Xoom’s senior product manager. “It was a codebase that nobody really knew how to support.”
Soon after they were founded, Xoom had a content manager to handle everything on their website. In time she became the content management system expert, and also became the handler of all content on the website. And then, after a number of years, this CMS expert/guru retired. It was time to move onto a new and improved content solution that was easier to manage and maintain.
Moving forward with Contentful
“When you have something new like this,” said Ann, “there’s a lot of training that needs to happen, as well as new processes that need to be discussed and implemented… We released something in production in December of last year though, and people are definitely seeing benefits.”
Each of the 131 countries that Xoom works with, from Slovenia to Samoa, has its own page. The team moved the existing country pages over to Contentful, and then began to use it to display pages for each new country that they supported.
“As we add more countries, the number of images increases,” added Ann. “The app was getting bigger and bigger, so we needed a solution to make it more lightweight, so the mobile team decided to serve the images from the Contentful Images API.”
In their pre-Contentful days, Xoom would have to wait for a content release before launching or making any changes to a new offering. These would be scheduled one time per week, yet because of their content management system dependencies, these releases would tend to be delayed by 2 or 3 weeks – things like bugs from other apps or failed builds.
Fortunately, now Xoom can update its content on its website in as short a time as 30 minutes thanks to Contentful. “Once I tell the team the benefits, they get it,” said Ann, “especially product managers that are in charge of updating content and trying to get content out there on a timely basis.
“They really see the value because then they just don’t have to wait, which is what they had to do before.”
“Everybody was used to the old way,” said Ann. “They expected content to go through all of the normal cycles that code goes through.”
Contentful provides awesome features without the necessity of high maintenance and pauses before production releases. Its workforce provides greater freedom and speed to edit content – with easy permissions team can add coworkers to the right docs.
As a clear and simple example, a product manager or content creative may recognize a broken URL on a page that was recently published. Instead of waiting a whole cycle to fix it, they can just fix it themselves.
The user experience team at Xoom is also benefiting from Contentful. “There were many images that had not been updated on the site because they weren’t considered a priority,” said Ann. “It would be a priority for them but not for everybody else. They struggled to get any developer to work on them. But now that the images are served from Contentful, they can just swap out the images themselves. It is so much easier for them because they don’t need a developer.”
Adopting Contentful meant that their team had to go through training sessions. “We had a bunch of folks attend Contentful Certification Training in San Francisco,” said Ann. “Engineering and product took away different things, but they all definitely learned something. It was very helpful.”
So what about the potential for Xoom with Contentful? “The business benefits are huge,” added Ann. “We don’t have to spend so many resources now just getting content out. It allows us to use our development resources much more wisely now.”