Staying connected despite rough physical environments; Nautilus International make waves with new digital landscape on the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud Service

Even in the most remote environments, 22,000 members remain connected.

Members include; shipmasters, yatch crews, nautical lecturers, harbourmasters, river boatmen and maritime lawyers - all positioned in unique positions worldwide. Nautilus provides, often remote men and women at sea, regular information, updates and critical support at each stage of their career. 

The 160-year old association wanted to create a modern engagement hub to keep members connected, that would lead to stronger retention, renewal and regrowth of lapsed memberships.

Surfing on Azure

The Episerver Digital Experience Cloud Service, running off the Microsoft Azure Network, was chosen as the optimum Cloud platform to unleash a modernised Nautilus site, making it more user-friendly. Given the global and 'always-on' nature members operate, a vital feature was the around-the-clock support from Episerver backed up by a full-stack disaster recovery.

Not only does the Episerver Digital Experience Cloud Service optimise the digital estate for users - it allows organisations to redistribute operational costs. The Episerver Cloud infrastructure minimises energy consumption and IT maintainence costs with fewer servers to manage allowing funds to be redirected elsewhere within the business.

Navigating to success

Nautilus sought to create a digital platform that fulfils the unique requirements of Nautilus' members. In particular, to ensure the platform works on any device even on the lowest of bandwidths. The platform also needed to project the organisation's forward-thinking brand and convey the critical messages of protection and support for members.

Embarking on a new voyage

Nautilus partnered with The MTM Agency to build the new site on Episerver. The project began with a journey of discovery with Nautilus' Leadership team and key stakeholders to understand the union's position in their marketplace, the challenges members faced and the opportunities for growth.

During this stage of the project, the key business theme that stood out were Nautilus' ambition to engage and retain their membership base.

The exploration phase was the most crucial of the entire process. The new site had to be user-centric at its heart. Nautilus' internal teams were interviewed and the head offices were regulary visited by The MTM team who also met seafarers on the ocean. They listened to to newly-graduated sea cadets and drew out an understanding from every person on what they needed from the new site. An online survey was also run on the existing site which revealed a number of significant findings.

Delivering experience in low bandwidth environments

The team leveraged the latest 'atomic design' techniques and fully optimised CSS to create a site that would perform well in low bandwidth conditions, whilst still delivering a rich experience

The outcomes

The MTM Agency used their Episerver expertise to devise a digital hub which responded to all the key findings and user feedback. It is clean and clear, offers simple user journeys, provides members with a personalised membership experience and fast access to key information. The site is multilingual and multiregional; it offers a best-in-class membership engine, magazine style media sections and user engagement at every opportunity.

The Episerver CMS experience empowers the Nautilus team to achieve more than ever before. Semlessly integrated with Nautilus's CRM and Microsoft Dynamics technology stack, extending their capabilities is slick and painless. The internal team can easily build perfectly designed new pages from scratch in minutes and add new content in seconds.

Since going live in March 2018 the business has garnered excellent feedback from members and staff. Notable function elements include;

  • Functioning on low bandwidth - site access is possible on submarines!
  • An enhanced membership area
  • optimised joining forms
  • Excellent editing experience
  • Multilingual/multiregional site
  • A fully responsive design
  • Best in class membership orgainsation site experience


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Gordon Hawes

Gordon Hawes