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Chromatic delivers unique website fleet approach for HR firm Segal Benz

09 December, 2022
Case study



To accelerate multisite development, silo proprietary client HR data, and reduce site build and maintenance costs


A single, unified code base for all Segal Benz client sites—hosted on Platform.sh as a fleet of independent projects—that streamlines Platinum agency partner Chromatic’s workflow and speeds project development and deployment


For agency partner Chromatic
  • 20% reduction in build and maintenance time and costs
  • Gained development efficiencies by migrating 22 Drupal projects to Platform.sh, freeing staff to focus on adding more value to client projects
  • Can more rapidly build, test, and deploy new features—even during busy, seasonal, open-enrollment periods
For Segal Benz
  • Can choose from an à la carte set of features and functionality for each uniquely designed site—all managed securely on a single unified platform
  • Tapped into new revenue streams by creating a simplified offering for clients with limited resources or less complex site requirements
  • Improved security and decreased ongoing maintenance requirements

Collaborators with benefits

Support for mental health. Wellness programs. Flexible work schedules. A commitment to diversity and inclusion. As organizations become more focused on employee experience, human resources consulting firms like Segal Benz are proving their worth.

The Bay Area firm helps clients from top industry organizations align employee benefits with business results through dedicated websites and portals where employees can access educational content and resources. These resources empower staff to take full advantage of their benefits to improve their health and manage their finances. 

Platform.sh Platinum agency partner Chromatic acts not only as Segal Benz’s web developer, but also as strategic partner and advisor. The two joined together at a time when both organizations were “small potatoes,” says Chromatic President Chris Free, and have grown together over the years through many collaborative projects. 

The two organizations have a shared belief to put people first; Chromatic prioritizes building a positive workplace for their entire team. “We’re an organization that cares deeply for one another,” says Free. “We focus a lot of our attention on making sure that people are seen and heard and that they can do their best work.”

Better, faster, more efficient website development

With a significant number of Drupal projects in Chromatic’s portfolio, including magazine sites like Parents, Shape, Martha Stewart, and Outside Magazine, Segal Benz’s projects (usually on Drupal) were a logical collaboration. 

As Segal Benz added more clients to its roster, the Chromatic team realized DevOps work had become a large portion of their partnership—work that wasn’t delivering visible impact. As they began another collaborative Drupal project, the Chromatic team also recognized they were unnecessarily duplicating efforts. 

“We were essentially reinventing the wheel every time we built a new one of these sites,” says Chromatic Chief Technology Officer Mark Dorison. Instead, Chromatic could better support Segal Benz’s vision of selling, creating, and rolling out a large number of sites by taking an entirely different approach. “We reached a critical point,” says Dorison. The Chromatic team knew migrating to Platform.sh would gain newfound efficiencies.

One codebase, many projects 
Read Chromatic’s blog post to learn about the technical bits of their solution

Zooming in on client value

Prior to moving to Platform.sh, every new Segal Benz site required another set of servers. By migrating projects to Platform.sh, “we greatly reduced the amount of time that we were spending on DevOps for each of these sites,” says Dorison. Now the Chromatic team can focus on quickly creating value by developing new features and capabilities for Segal Benz that make an impact for all their clients.

“We shouldn't be spending that much time managing infrastructure. So it just made so much sense from a developer's point of view to move to Platform.sh; it also made sense from a client's point of view. Platform.sh just checked all those boxes.”

- Chris Free

Client privacy on a single code base

Historically, each of Segal Benz’s end clients had used completely independent QA and production servers, with different resources and configuration. Chromatic wanted to retain that partition to keep each end-client’s proprietary organizational information separated. 

“We didn't want to lose any of that in the transition,” says Dorison “So it was essential—or at least a very high priority—that we were able to silo those things completely.” It was decided that using a single code base, but housed within independent Platform.sh projects for every client, delivered an ideal balance of both security and scalability.  

Clearer roles and responsibilities

Platform.sh has taken a “big mental burden” off the Chromatic team—a relief that extends to the team at Segal Benz, too. The Chromatic team continues to develop Segal Benz applications, including new features and experiences; Platform.sh takes care of uptime and maintenance. Available Platform.sh direct support enables Segal Benz to create their own Platform.sh tickets, as needed—resulting in faster resolution when issues arise. This distribution of duties removes Chromatic as a middle-man and better delineates the partners’ roles and responsibilities.

Keep rolling through seasonal peak demands

Beginning in the fall and leading into the new year, Segal Benz’s busy season or open enrollment opens a window for employees to elect to adjust current benefits plans or enroll in their employee plan for the first time for the following calendar year.

Prior to the Platform.sh migration, high demand for availability during the Segal Benz enrollment period prompted the Chromatic dev team to focus on other projects, saving any new Segal Benz feature work and deployments until enrollment came to a close. With Platform.sh, the Chromatic team can easily and confidently work throughout open-enrollment peak demand. “We can spin up environments in minutes, run tests, and review revisions/changes in staging, so they’re ready to be deployed,” says Dorison. 

"Allowing Chromatic and Platform.sh to do what they do best has really freed us up to put our time and effort into delighting our clients—which makes everyone happy!"
- Kristin Thompson
Sr. Consultant, Technology
Segal Benz

Unlocking efficiencies to benefit teams

Nearly 10 years and 75-plus projects later, the partnership between Chromatic and Segal Benz is stronger than ever. The two agencies continue to collaborate on Drupal projects, with a vision of selling, creating, and rolling out a large number of these sites going forward and an opportunity for more features to be layered on. For now, “we’ve built a powerful, scalable system that unlocks a ton of value and efficiencies for our team and theirs,” says Free—looking forward to a continued collaboration, with a healthy future.

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