A CMS Success Story

Industry Telecom


The challenge

Shaw, a Canadian telecommunications company, wanted to dive into a new line of business, all in record time. Launching Shaw Mobile required a flexible CMS that could handle real-time updates to support this dream. Contentful’s headless technology made it the right CMS for the job, giving Shaw the best platform for delivering robust omnichannel content responsive to changing market conditions.

A laptop and mobile phone display the Shaw Mobile website

Building during a pandemic

Shaw Mobile found themselves facing unusual circumstances as a global pandemic hit in the middle of developing this CMS. Migrating Shaw’s team from a traditional waterfall model to a more reactive agile model allowed us to make the transition to remote work seamless — and launch a top-of-class product on time.

Two mobile phones display Shaw Mobile's website


Choosing Contentful as a headless CMS

Contentful’s CMS is built to support an interactive approach to product development. It is well suited to adapt to the distinct needs of each Shaw Mobile website feature, and sophisticated enough to keep content integrated, accessible, and ready to publish at a second’s notice. Contentful gives Shaw the ability to store and update content — and makes it easy for users to make changes to copy, template colors, font, embedded media, and more.

With a well-earned reputation for expertly using Contentful during a successful project with Freedom Mobile, Apply Digital was the first choice to lead the charge. We hit the ground running by embedding specialists across development, QA, and design to work alongside members of the Shaw digital team to build the presentation and integration layers.

The Shaw Mobile website is displayed on a blue and purple gradient background
A man smiles while talking on the phone
A tablet displays Shaw Mobile's coverage map on their website.

Designing for adapability

Most wireless carriers group their services into predetermined data and calling packages, but Shaw Mobile does it differently. With multiple customization options available on each plan down to nuanced geolocation differentiators, Shaw Mobile’s MyAccount feature gave Apply Digital’s detailed-obsessed UI/UX team a chance to shine.

Across the UI/UX development process, the benefits of Contentful were clear. Team members are able to collaborate by introducing interface and design elements into one database, testing these together in staging environments, and then publishing updates in real-time from one central place, saving time and streamlining communication.

Delivering agile at scale during a pandemic

The onset of the COVID pandemic did not deter the team’s ambitions. Determined to do it all, we transitioned all teams to an agile sprint cycle approach instead, sizing each set of goals into chunks focused on microelements that could be developed over two weeks. This allowed for faster feedback loops packed with more actionable data, and in the long term meant we met product goals that wouldn’t have been previously possible. It also helped enhance agile capabilities and drove new confidence for future work.

A phone and tablet display Shaw Mobile's website features

Ensuring quality

Quality Assurance (QA) ensures the development of a high-quality product by identifying and troubleshooting any problems that emerge during the sprint cycle. Apply Digital met with Shaw Mobile team members to define sprint requirements every two weeks. Then, while our developers were working on the product, our QA team would test, appraise results, log bugs, and define the requirements for the next sprint. This iterative QA approach allowed us to keep pace with the rapid timeline of this product, while still building a top-of-class product.

Shaw Mobile's website for a mobile phone view

Securing Shaw Mobile

Customers are sharing sensitive data like addresses and banking info at various touchpoints on this web service portal. To keep this data protected, we ran a security audit, built-in end-to-end data encryption, and implemented an automated scanning system.

Apply Digital also worked closely with the Shaw Mobile team to migrate existing APIs to an AWS framework, which naturally offers an advanced firewall. Exceeding client recommendations, we also encrypted the site cache system to the level of leading HIPAA recommendations.

A collage of images featuring women smiling at their phones

Technical architecture

The architecture of Shaw Mobile's website involves AWS. In AWS, there are Customers which lead into Browse, Shop, and My Account options. The Freedom Data Center section includes Digital Services Layer (DSL) which is run by Developers. Arrows point down from DSL and to Sonic (an Enterprise Service Bus that connects the digital service layer to other business services) and SingleView (the source of truth for all customer data; billing, plans, devices, etc.). Contentful, a Content Management System that stores copy (labels, images, text), configuration (theming, component variations), and concessions (data augmentations).

THE RESULTS successfully launched on time, across Canada. The launch got significant media attention and Shaw Mobile is already disrupting the field and forcing their competitors to react, as customers make the switch to Canada’s newest mobile provider.



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A large acquisition proposed by Rogers