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Cybercraft Media Manufactory - an agency supporting other agencies

Thanks to Jam from OSP for sharing!

Cybercraft Media Manufactory is built around supporting other digital agencies be successful with TYPO3 CMS. This TYPO3 GmbH official partner provides service and support for TYPO3 extensions, which in turn helps extension developers fund contributions and improvements to the open source CMS. At the 2017 TYPO3 Developer Days in Malmö, Sweden, I had a great chat with Petra Hasenau, CEO of Cybercraft Media Manufactory.

Petra told me joining the TYPO3 GmbH Partner Program was an obvious, easy choice for her. They signed up for the partner program enthusiastically. “It’s fantastic. It was no question for us.” It helps Cybercraft’s business, increasing awareness of company’s service offerings, and also helps ensure the sustainability of the TYPO3 ecosystem Cybercraft is both a part of and relies on for work. “We didn’t need to wait and see what the future will bring regarding the program. It is the right step into the future for TYPO3. For the companies who work with TYPO3 CMS, it’s very important to see the product is growing and that it will be around for a long time into the future.”

Working in partnership

Cybercraft Media Manufactory is an agency’s agency, providing technical services and facilitating cooperation between other agencies. Cybercraft loves bringing people together to collaborate and contribute. Petra organizes the annual TYPO3 User Experience Week. She explains the idea is, “to get together thirty people with a mix of skills in the middle of nowhere,” with good WiFi and no cell reception to promote productivity, including “designers and coders who then must work together.” :-) The collaboration distributes the effort across the community and the mix of skill sets helps them achieve more together than they ever would on their own.

In a similar vein, Cybercraft Media Manufactory has turned to a cooperative model to make much-needed work happen. Petra explained it would cost too much for one agency to build some essential new features, so crowdfunding their solution worked perfectly. “We were the first company who did the first crowdfunding for TYPO3. A lot of agencies needed the Grid Elements extension to grow.” They’ve run two crowdfunding campaigns, raising €44,598 in total to create crowd-supported improvements. Since then there have also been other successful TYPO3 crowdfunding initiatives on StartNext.

Support for TYPO3 CMS Extensions

Any typical TYPO3 site relies on multiple extensions. There’s a common set you might find on many sites, such as the popular layout solution Grid Elements. Then there are the various and unique extensions which provide niche functionality or integrations. Perhaps some extensions are used less frequently, but that’s what might differentiate an airline HR site from a city government portal.

The philosophy of “not reinventing the wheel” drives a lot of open source development. Contributing your improvements and extensions while relying on those of others is as much about saving time as it is expanding your capabilities.

When a team of developers at an agency or company chooses an extension for a project, they might not have expertise in that niche solution, but they need to know the extension is reliable. They need reassurance when they choose it that it will do the job well. And in the long run, they need to guarantee its support and maintenance to their client. Keeping extensions up to date is an integral part of website maintenance and security.

How can extension maintainers guarantee a turnaround extension support issues? TYPO3 GmbH guarantees a Service Level Agreement (SLA) reaction time of eight hours. Petra pointed out, “It’s not easy for freelancers to make that happen. So we offer the service,” supporting extensions, “based on reaction time.” That’s why Cybercraft Media Manufactory created Coders.Care. Coders.Care provides an SLA for TYPO3 extensions, guaranteeing a quick turnaround on support issues.

It’s a mutually beneficial relationship. The extension users get help when they need it, and the developer gets support to improve it. Their Coders.Care model of a per-extension-SLA is a kind of crowdfunding-by-subscription. Someone subsidizes time to support the extension and make improvements it. They state that with TYPO3 GmbH offering SLAs for TYPO3 core, “having similar agreements to maintain and improve extensions seems to be just a logical consequence.”

Ensuring longevity through partnership

In the network of independent developers and small companies, having reassurances like these make TYPO3 CMS a reliable choice for decision makers. Distributing effort among the developer community is also a great way to ensure TYPO3’s longevity.

Developing with TYPO3 since 2002, Cybercraft Media Manufactory puts a lot of thought and work into helping make TYPO3 CMS and the community sustainable. They’ve focused on improving the user experience of the UI and the customer experience of code by supporting extensions directly. They are focused on making TYPO3 and open source development sustainable, ensuring important contribution work was funded and completed. Being an official TYPO3 GmbH partner is a vital part of that plan for them.


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