ERP
Connected Enterprise
Communication, media and technology

Modernized the internal system of a news agency to enable planning and management of workflows in one environment

Background

This customer is a major European news agency founded in 1995. The agency is one of the oldest and best-known members of the British National Association of Press Agencies (NAPA). It provides material for news outlets around the world from BBC and The Times in the UK to the International Herald Tribune and ABC in the US. The agency covers business, politics, sports, celebrity and other news from Central Europe.

 

Goal

To streamline resources and tasks management across the agency, the customer used a news editorial production system developed in 2003, which eventually failed to meet customer’s needs. The old version of the software was only used by the news agency to manage its internal processes and workflow and it didn’t include new concepts and technologies.

In order to improve the agency’s business processes effectively and efficiently, to streamline the financial part of the business as it expands globally, our customer needed to modernize and reengineer the existing system in order to improve its processes.

The new system had to include news production processes, the possibility to build contributor communities across different countries and to automate news distribution, plus a module for internal bookkeeping, expenses and revenues. It also had to include the option to add more languages as the agency expands globally.

Solution

We started the project by analyzing the client's business and technical requirements. The solution was developed to operate on a host server running Drupal 8 platform with an Apache web server. The modules have been developed and tested one by one to ensure flawless workflow and logical interaction with the entire ERP system. We have also carried out a thorough restructuring of business processes to increase operational efficiency.

 

Highlights:

  • A configurable workflow engine for the internal news production flow adaptable to the business model changes;
  • Business indicator measurement system (KPIs);
  • Financial reward system for the editorial team (contributors, journalists and editors);
  • Financial management and reporting system;
  • Customer Relationship Management (CRM) system, including a client-side news monitoring function and automatic billing (through a semantic text processing algorithm);
  • Interoperability mode for system integration with various related systems needed for news agency activities.

Results & Benefits

To streamline collaboration and data sharing between agency departments, we have completely perfected the existing ERP for the customer. To make the system as easy to use as possible, we asked the agency staff to test it in real life. Based on their feedback, we added some additional features and offered a completely functional system.

In the end, the customer received an improved system enabling the agency's staff to perform their tasks efficiently without downtime and risks.

  • Fully automated editorial workflow;
  • The agency doubled its staff after the first year of implementation of the new system.

Technologies

Drupal 7
MySQL
PHP
Ajax
XML
HTML
JavaScript
jQuery
CSS
Apache SOLR

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