Company: AT&T Corp., New York
Target audience:C-level executives, IT managers
Key Web executive: Chris Casserly, director of publishing operations
No. of employees who work on the site: 18 dedicated (ATT.com/ business), 25 total (ATT.com)
Last major redesign: October 2003 and ongoing
No. of pages in site: Approximately 30,000
Believe it or not, though ATT.com is a veritable Web site behemoth, hosting 30,000-plus pages, it used to be a lot more unwieldy to manage. These days, despite its size, the site is appealing and easy to navigate.
Part of this comes from AT&T’s massive overhaul of its Web operations starting last October. “We’re still working to dramatically simplify the site’s functionality, as well as unifying all of its disparate parts with a consistent look and feel,” said Chris Casserly, director of publishing operations for ATT.com and ATT.com/ business. “Much like we’ve spun off the AT&T wireless and broadband business, each unit—or ‘sitelet’—had begun to spin off in its own direction, and we had to bring everything back together.”
The site redesign also is an attempt to help AT&T reposition itself as a leader in the business enterprise networking arena. “The company is making a big push in this direction, and we’ve really beefed up this area online,” Casserly said.
Casserly took the approximately 70 enterprise sitelets and regrouped them by product portfolios, ranging from hosting to business continuity and security. The company also instituted an “Insights and News” section that provides value-added content such as white papers, case studies, videos and other interactive content, he said. “Our e-newsletter offerings—a relatively new product—are ramping up, and we hope to soon reach 1 million customers and prospects,” Casserly said.
But perhaps what’s most important is the enterprise site’s renewed customer focus. “Customer self-service is a really big deal, and we hope we’ve significantly raised the bar on anticipating and responding to the needs of our 250,000 to 300,000 enterprise customers,” Casserly said.
Still in redesign mode is ATT.com’s Small and Medium Business site, which Casserly said “is getting up to speed and should be completed this fall.” Look for similarly enhanced features and functionality, as well as greater simplicity to keep the behemoth at bay.
Shane Ginsberg: “This site puts AT&T Business head and shoulders above its competitors in an increasingly crowded marketplace. AT&T clearly set its focus on ease-of-use and information architecture to intuitively structure a complex offering.”
Jakob Nielsen: “Navigation is strong. I also like the fact that I’m in an area about hosting services and there’s a short description that’s written with highlighted words. Business people don’t have a lot of time to read, so these get them right to the point.” [Note: Nielsen did not like the “annoying animation” on AT&T’s home page. “They should get rid of it,” he said].