Digitally transforming a large, established business isn’t easy. Where do you even start? They’ve been around for longer and can be less agile than smaller start-ups. But it’s not impossible.

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.

A cultural shift

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 the main points Justin focused on 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 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?

Freedom and flexibility

Justin’s first step was to chat to 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 find out what they wanted from their tech – and what was holding them back. The staff said they wanted the right devices, the right software and the right 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 then get stuck in with making the changes happen. We wanted to help out – so we hosted a vendor day for Archant at our BT head office. Different tech suppliers and manufactures came to pitch for Archant’s business. This then allowed for specific tailoring to Archant’s needs, instead of a one-size-fits-all approach.

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

Where’s the proof?

‘Every single member of Archant has benefited in some way from the work we’ve done’, says Justin. Let’s hear from some of the team members to see 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 been able to deliver more training and support to the sales teams than ever before, now they have the right tech in place.

Louisa Baldwin feels the benefits of the digital transformation too. Archant need to be the first with the news, which means their reporters having the right tech to upload and edit stories from anywhere 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 Office 365 and 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 have ‘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?

  • Cloud Work allows the team to collaborate from any device. It merges seamlessly with Office 365 and Teams, so employees can work together from anywhere
  • Managed WAN is the backbone of the business. People need to access the network from wherever they are - and 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 WAN. It allows Archant to manage their entire network from a single dashboard, with visibility and control over users, apps and devices
  • EE Mobile allows users to work anywhere. Being covered by the best 4G 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 spend can be forecasted

And we can do all this for your organisation too. 


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. And we want to support your business through the digital change too. Get in touch with us to see how can help grow your business.

Want to hear more from Archant?

We’ve got more of their story to tell. Not only have we got a live event recording, but a case study too. Come and see how our tech helped their digital journey.

Discover more content on digital transformation in our insights & events hub.