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A Multi-Site
Ecommerce Solution for Professional Development

Caltech migrated to Adobe Commerce and CMS Page Builder to create custom learning portals for businesses with scientific education and certification needs.

Who Should Read This?

This case study will be especially relevant for those interested in the following topics:

  • Platform Migration
  • Adobe Commerce CMS Page Builder
  • Customer Integrations
  • SKU Management
  • Custom Product Detail Pages (PDPs)
  • Ecommerce Redesign
  • Style Guide
  • Customer Experience (CX)


Caltech’s Center for Technology & Management Education (CTME) has delivered talent-centric experiences to thousands of executives and professionals. CTME partnered with Guidance to migrate to Adobe Commerce and their CMS Page Builder to make it easy to create and manage new storefronts with multiple course delivery and payment options.


From humble beginnings in 1891, the California Institute of Technology – or Caltech, as it’s commonly known – has become one of the world’s foremost science and engineering institutions. In addition to educating the next generation of leaders and pursuing groundbreaking research, their Center for Technology & Management Education (CTME) creates customized certificate programs for enterprise clients.

Education Beyond the Campus

Caltech is world-renowned for their academic and research endeavors. More Nobel laureates are associated with Caltech than any other American college or university. The independent, privately supported institution also manages prominent laboratories and observatories in the US and abroad. Six academic divisions fulfill their mission to expand human knowledge and benefit society, while investigating the most challenging, fundamental problems in science and technology.
Perhaps less well known, but also widely impactful, is Caltech’s Center for Technology & Management Education (CTME). Designed for both individuals and organizations, CTME offers public courses as well as private customized programs for B2B clients. These programs may include classes already offered by Caltech; bespoke classes created specifically for a client; and classes offered by other institutions. All are designed to enhance employees’ practical knowledge and leadership development.
The website CTME used to offer these programs to enterprise clients had been built on older technology that had become increasingly difficult for their team to manage. Developers needed to implement increasingly frequent manual updates – not just to the website, but even to the content of the site itself. CTME’s team determined that replatforming was the best solution, to enable their staff to build new storefronts for enterprise clients, and handily manage them from a single CMS.
To make this possible, CMTE engaged Guidance for a two-part project. Part one was a deep collaborative discovery and design process. Requirements were documented, use cases were validated, and solutions were reviewed and approved for implementation. Part two was the deployment process, which involved replatforming to Adobe Commerce to handle product detail pages and payment for the courses offered by CTME, and Adobe Commerce’s CMS Page Builder to manage the course offerings for individuals and within an organization’s specially tailored offerings.

The Customized Experience

Caltech’s CTME team consults with their B2B clients to develop the training programs and certifications these enterprises need to keep their employees on the leading edge of their technical specialties, and develop the leadership skills needed to advance their careers. In the storefronts CTME populates, the employees of organizations like Northrop Grumman, SoCalGas, Deere & Company, and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory get to choose from programs and courses specific to their fields.
CTME worked with Guidance to create the presentation of courses within these programs and the schedules for live offerings. Because many of these classes have enrollment limits, Guidance implemented rules around the opening and closing of registration periods, as well as waitlisting. Implementing waitlists was more complex, because not all classes are eligible to have them. Ultimately, the custom rules Guidance developed allow CTME to quickly set up and modify course parameters, making the buildout of new programs easier than ever.
Developing this experience in Adobe Commerce also allowed the CTME team to use various blocks within the CMS to make their own updates, easily creating and modifying pages quickly and without additional help from external developers. As a result, CTME has the opportunity to focus more time on developing new partnerships with enterprise clients.

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Selling a Custom Curriculum

The programs and certification courses Caltech’s CTME creates on behalf of its enterprise clients are developed specifically for each client’s needs. Often, Caltech has classes in its current course offerings that are suitable for these clients and their employees. In some cases, Caltech will work with a client to develop a new class or course to fill a gap in the training that a client is looking for. Additionally, a few programs necessitated the inclusion of digital courses offered through a third-party site unaffiliated with Caltech.
As a result, a product detail page (PDP) might consist of a single course; multiple courses from a single source; or multiple courses from multiple sources. Further complicating matters, there were cases where a program might have 10 different course options, but only five were needed to receive a certification. This required additional customization of the PDP, to present all the course options but make it clear that only a subset of those options was necessary to complete the program.
This is not a traditional ecommerce situation, but the flexibility of Adobe Commerce made it possible for Guidance to create highly customized product types based on the programs and what was contained in each of them. This also required new PDPs to be designed, detailing how courses were delivered (live and online or self-paced), and presenting detailed information about the courses in a way that would be easy for people to understand and absorb quickly.

Paying Your Way, Their Way

With a typical ecommerce implementation, you may offer customers a few different ways to make payments for your products, which are often physical goods. With education, you’re selling what amounts to a digital item, in the form of access to a course or a training. That’s one layer of what made the implementation of CTME’s Adobe Commerce platform so complex.
The next layer is the result of the clients – the companies for which CTME was designing unique storefronts. Each of them had different requirements for how they wanted their employees to pay for these courses. One thing that remained consistent was the need for module numbers assigned to the courses, which facilitated reimbursement for employees paying for their courses or having them invoiced.
To solve for this, Guidance developed extensive customizations for the payment options each company could use. Vouchers, installment arrangements, and billing via invoice are possible, and it’s easy for users to login, view the courses they’ve purchased, and make additional payments on any set of courses they’ve started – a function that’s not native to Adobe Commerce.


“Guidance’s tech and CX solutions met CalTech’s business objectives by empowering both corporate and individual students to easily find the classes appropriate for them, removing a pain point that had existed in their prior build.”
- Annalisa Agoston, Executive Customer Experience Director at Guidance

Passing on Progress

The installation of Adobe Commerce with CMS Page Builder allowed Caltech’s CTME to easily create and manage multiple storefronts for their clients. These sites featured extensive customizations to accommodate a range of course choices, schedules, and payment options. What they didn’t do was track an employee’s progress through the courses being paid for.
Caltech already had a custom Microsoft application in place for this purpose, which would also track the courses purchased, how much had been paid toward those courses and through which payment methods, and customer relationship management data. Guidance collaborated with the technical vendor for that student information system (SIS) application, and built a custom integration that would pass all the necessary data from Adobe Commerce to the SIS application. This allows the companies and employees utilizing these programs to get the documentation they need to assure courses and certifications are being completed.

Looking the Part

Caltech’s primary website offers a fresh, uncluttered appearance to its visitors. Under the legacy content management system, the microsites created for these customized programs and enterprise clients didn’t reflect Caltech’s current branding. The work to migrate Caltech’s CTME group to Adobe Commerce CMS Page Builder also provided a perfect opportunity to deliver a visual and functional upgrade.
Guidance developed a responsive design for the new storefronts, with a clean presentation and improved performance for the menus and pages. Upgraded search capabilities, with improved methods for sorting and filtering, were enabled by the improvements to the program descriptions and listing pages.

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Guidance replatformed Caltech’s CTME offerings, using Adobe Commerce with a CMS Page Builder and creating a custom integration to pass on track course completion progress, while updating the look and feel of the site to match Caltech’s current brand presentation. 

The project allows CMTE to easily create new microsites tailored to each of their corporate clients.


Caltech leveraged its highly regarded academic and research expertise to create the Center for Technology & Management Education (CTME). Their mission is to provide executives and professionals with courses and certifications to enhance careers and prepare for the future of their industries. To do this, CTME needed a solution that could fulfill that mission’s increasingly complex demands.
Guidance partnered with CTME to help them migrate from an outdated platform to a solution their team could manage without developer assistance at every turn. Using CMS Page Builder as a course management CMS, and a non-traditional Adobe Commerce implementation to present certificate programs as ecommerce products, Guidance created a new platform that allows for easy management of multiple storefronts.
With the ability to quickly build new sites for enterprise clients, while providing unique offerings and a variety of payment options, CTME can focus on establishing more B2B partnerships. Their innovative and transformative programs will be available to more emerging leaders in specialized fields than ever before.


  • Branding
  • Custom Integrations
  • Digital Style Guide
  • eCommerce
  • Payment Gateways
  • Project Management
  • User Experience
  • Visual Design
  • Website Development
  • Technical Design


  • Adobe Commerce
  • Adobe Commerce CMS Page Builder
  • Google Analytics 4
  • Marketo
  • Simplilearn
  • Student Information Systems

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