Archant case study: Digital transformation

Archant is one of the UK’s leading media companies with 170 years of heritage. Discover more about how BT managed their digital transformation journey.

Archant case study: Digital transformation

Archant is one of the UK’s leading media companies with 170 years of heritage. Discover more about how BT managed their digital transformation journey.

The challenge

Adapt an established media company’s communications to the digital age, making them more flexible and modern.

The solution

Digital transformation through user research, IT roadshows, vendor days and specific tailoring to Archant’s needs.

The result

“Every single member of Archant has benefited in some way from the work we’ve done.” Justin Parsons, Technology Director.

The challenge

Adapt an established media company’s communications to the digital age, making them more flexible and modern.

The solution

Digital transformation through user research, IT roadshows, vendor days and specific tailoring to Archant’s needs.

The result

“Every single member of Archant has benefited in some way from the work we’ve done.” Justin Parsons, Technology Director.

We recently sat down with Archant. It’s one of the UK’s leading media companies with 170 years of heritage. It manages and produces over 140 magazines and local newspapers, with more than 1,000 employees across the country.

It’s been a successful number of years for the business. But such an established company needed to adapt to the digital age to keep evolving. Digitally transforming a large, established business isn’t easy. Where do you even start? They’ve been around longer and can be less agile than smaller start-ups. But it’s not impossible.

 

The challenge

Four years ago, Justin Parsons, Technology Director at Archant, began this company-wide transformation process. His vision was to change how people work today and attract the best young talent for tomorrow.

One of Justin's main points was the traditional 9-5 office-based culture. He wanted to make the business both flexible and mobile, as before the transformation programme began, 40% of their staff were glued to their desktops. And the media industry is often fast-paced. It requires tight deadlines and a lot of content to be produced.

So, a digital transformation was the only way forward for Archant. But what steps do you need to take to create a more dynamic workplace and organisation?

The solution

Justin’s first step was to chat with the employees. They’re the ones who use the tech to produce the content and do their jobs, so getting their input was important.

Archant hosted a series of IT roadshows to meet the teams and discover what they wanted from their tech – and what was holding them back. The staff said they wanted the right devices, software, and connectivity to get the job done. This then helped create nine ‘personas’ to see the different needs of each user in the business. Archant could tailor the tech to each person and save money – as not everyone needed the fastest desktop or the lightest laptop. It was all about the individual.

Once the research was complete, Archant could get stuck into making the changes happen. We wanted to help, so we hosted a vendor day for Archant at our BT head office. Different tech suppliers and manufacturers came to pitch for Archant’s business. This allowed for specific tailoring to Archant’s needs, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.

Once the digital transformation was in place, as long as the employees had a connection, they could work from anywhere.

 

The result

“Every member of Archant has benefited in some way from our work,” says Justin. Let’s hear from some team members about how digital transformation has affected their day-to-day work.

Jamie Brown, Director of Sales Enablement at Archant, believes collaboration is vital in getting the job done – wherever you’re working from. Jamie’s team have delivered more training and support to the sales teams than ever before, now they have the right tech in place.

Louisa Baldwin also feels the benefits of digital transformation. Archant needs to be the first with the news, which means their reporters have the right tech to upload and edit stories from anywhere, which is essential. They now have this, and Louisa can always be on the move and get the job done.

By focusing more on the people, not tech, and finding out exactly what staff needed and were used to, Archant could see this wasn’t just about overhauling the hardware but the software too. By getting everyone on Microsoft Anywhere365 and Microsoft Teams, every employee has benefitted from improved collaboration and increased productivity, just like Jamie, Louisa and David.

From printing stress to digital press

Not every business knows where to start with digital transformation. But we can help. We want to help businesses of all sizes to adapt to the digital world.

BT has “opened our eyes to opportunities that we hadn’t thought about,” says Justin.

So, what exactly did we do for Archant in terms of tech?

  • BT Cloud Work allows the team to collaborate from any device. It merges seamlessly with Microsoft Anywhere365 and Microsoft Teams, so employees can work together from anywhere.
  • Managed SD-WAN is the backbone of the business. People need to access the network from wherever they are – and SD-WAN allows Justin to prioritise business applications and helps all users work securely.
  • Cisco Meraki provides a robust wi-fi solution, underpinned by BT’s Managed SD-WAN. It allows Archant to manage their entire network from a single dashboard, with visibility and control over users, apps and devices.
  • 5G Private Networks powered by EE allows users to work anywhere. Being covered by the best UK network (from Rootmetrics), Archant is covered across 92% of the country. Meaning a story can be covered from just about anywhere. The tariff is tailored to the business, meaning spending can be forecasted.


And we can do all this for your organisation too. 

Every member of Archant has benefited in some way from the work we’ve done
Justin ParsonsTechnology Director, Archant

Tomorrow’s headline?

Archant can now firmly call themselves a modern media company. But they’re not stopping there. Working with us means they’re always ready to adapt to the newest tech on the market – on the best network. We want to support your business through digital change too. Get in touch with us to see how can help grow your business.

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