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Thursday, May 18, 2017

Welcome to the club: LAIT becomes Umbraco Gold Partner

The story of LAIT (well, and Umbraco)

Today we are 15 employees and our offices are located in Odense, just next to Odins Bro.

We started out ten years ago. What we did in the beginning was more like custom development, not CMS and websites. But that was the start of the company.

It was only me and another partner at that time, so two guys in a little room. And then in 2008 we found out that it was about time to look at some CMS'. And of course, at that time Umbraco came as a candidate: free, open source, flexible - all of it, so we decided to go for it.

Of course, in the beginning it was small solutions and rather small customers, that’s how it goes. In 2009 we started doing e-commerce sites and we had a breakthrough in 2010, when we won a competition to do an e-commerce site for Sony Music Denmark.

It was a big deal for us and a small deal for them, but it kind of got the ball rolling. It was the first big solution we made on Umbraco. Since then, we have done countless Umbraco solutions - from the very small ones, to very big ones.

We are a growing business and we have become a “Gazellevirksomhed” (The Gazelle Award for fast growing companies) 4 times in a row now.

Has LAIT anything to do with light… or is it French for milk?

We started out as two partners: Benjamin Andresen and me, Anders Lund. And that became Lund and Andresen IT, there you have the LAIT (spelling each letter). However, nobody understood our name, nobody could spell it and we found out after a couple of years that it was not a good name 🙂

Then in 2012 Benjamin left the company, so I was alone with the other guys and we had to decide on what to do. In the end we chose to stick with the name, but now we pronounce it as “light” and that’s because we aim to be light in everything we do, be agile.

Why Umbraco as a CMS stands out

Between the out-of-the-box features that you need for pretty much every CMS project and flexibility to build almost anything, Umbraco is a very good choice for us.

When Umbraco v7 came around, it was really a big step forward in terms of UI and UX for editors. Today I see Umbraco as a very good CMS for the editor as well as a great platform that enables us to build exactly what our clients want.

“All in” with Umbraco

What we usually do when we go for a platform, we go all in. That’s how we’ve done with the Umbraco Gold Partnership as well. We sent all of our employees, including our office assistant to the Umbraco Fundamentals course. So now we are able to call ourselves Umbraco Certified Professionals!

In general, we have decided to do all 4 Umbraco courses, which will probably give us more than 10 certified developers, Umbraco Certified Masters to be precise. And that’s because I see the educational part as very important in this partnership with Umbraco.

When we have done the 4 courses, we are in the position to come back to you and give you some feedback. And if we don’t do the courses, we can’t complain about them. That’s my point of view.

Expectations for the golden partnership

The support from Umbraco HQ is very important - if we find bugs or have questions about the platform. Also help when it comes to architectural solutions.You can always write a post on Our Umbraco forum or you can ask around, it’s a friendly community of course, but it is great to have a direct connection to Umbraco support.

One of the other things I look forward as a Gold Partner is a voice in the Gold Partner summit which takes place the day before Codegarden. A great opportunity for Gold Partners to discuss and influence the future of Umbraco.

The most important part is that Umbraco is moving ahead. You will not be able to hire employees, you will not be able to have a support department, you will not be able to have a sales department if you don’t earn anything. You will simply not be able to develop and grow and thus, provide great service to your clients.

Umbraco has become a lot more commercial. That, combined with the open source platform that we can all download and use for free is unique. And that’s a big thing!

P.S. This May LAIT actually celebrates their 10th birthday. Happy Birthday! 🎉

“LAIT has been around Umbraco for many years and has been working with other platforms. I am glad to see that due to the growth and changes in Umbraco, a skilled agency like LAIT is going “all in” by certifying all qualified staff to a master level and becoming a part of the Gold Partner family.”Anders Trans Sørensen, Major Friends Maker, Umbraco HQ

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