Plans ahead for future growth

Area of operation: Publishing

Founded: Bauer Media was founded in Europe in 1870′s

ACP was founded as Consolidated Press in 1936

Number of sites: 11

Technology implemented:

  • comUnity Data
    –  managed WAN
  • comUnity View
    –  system wide reporting tools

Key benefits:

  • Swift changeover with minimal downtime
  • Secure and scalable network
  • Improved speed and ease of access
  • Flexibility for future changes
  • Reduced operational costs
  • High-level network support

Bauer Media is one of the world’s largest magazine groups. The group acquired ACP, the publishing arm of the Nine Entertainment Group in 2012, and now publishes over 80 magazines in Australia, including some of the longest-running and most successful titles such as The Australian Women’s Weekly, Woman’s Day, Dolly, NW, TV Week, Cleo, Cosmopolitan, Australian Gourmet Traveller, Australian House & Garden, Zoo Weekly, Top Gear Australia and Wheels.

Acquisition creates need for a stand-alone network

Since the Bauer acquisition, the Bauer IT team have been working on a major transition project to separate from Nine Entertainment Co. shared services. This transition provided a welcome opportunity for CIO Simon Wheeler to re-evaluate the existing network.

“From a networking and telecommunications perspective, the company went from a shared infrastructure model under the Nine Entertainment Group to a stand-alone model,” said Simon Wheeler, CIO, Bauer Media.

“This provided us with the opportunity to review what our needs were and look for a provider that could better align with our new business objectives.”

The previous network requirements as part of the Nine Entertainment Group were complex and diverse. The Bauer Media acquisition provided the opportunity for the team to really focus on their requirements. They determined a need for a rationalised network, with faster access and wanted someone who could maintain a high level of service and support, all while keeping costs down.

Increased speed and phased migration solution a winner

Outlining the project requirements, Wheeler asserts, “The relationship is important but the time limit of the rollout and the value for money we received was more important.”

The ability to deliver on a tight deadline was a crucial factor in the selection process. With contracts expiring and the imminent break away from the shared network looming, timing and delivery was going to be a challenge. Business continuity and minimal downtime during changeover was also critical to the success of the project.

Wheeler outlined three critical determining factors in the selection process: “Meeting the deadlines; competitive pricing and having a strong relationship.” Enablis ticked all of these boxes and was selected to provide the new data services.

“I really liked how Enablis took the time to understand our requirements. They didn’t try to oversell and the team were very knowledgeable and open in their communication, which was a key part of the success of the project,” said Wheeler.

Enablis developed a phasing plan to ensure that the cost of migration to Bauer Media was minimised. The new network was set up to provide a greater speed of access to applications for staff and to lay the foundation for the introduction of new technologies to further enhance staff productivity and reduce ongoing business costs.

Laying the foundation to support future growth

Supporting a secure infrastructure with the flexibility to enable future growth and development was a project pre-requisite. At the core of the Enablis solution is the comUnity® platform. comUnity Data provides a scalable, secure and flexible platform that provides the optimum data network to deliver on these requirements and is specifically designed to enable growth and to allow for the convergence of voice & data.

Enablis was focused on improving Bauer Media’s WAN performance, stability and speed. The diverse WAN solution links to various locations including distribution warehouses using a hub-and-spoke architecture. Enablis commissioned wireless redundancy with automated failover at the distribution centres, while implementing diverse fibre runs at the primary sites to support the business goals.

Wheeler was impressed with the level of technical knowledge and the professional conduct of the Enablis team. “Overall, the account management was great. The account manager was very knowledgeable as was the pre-sales and technical team. They were very open in their communication,” said Wheeler.

He attributes the success of the project and the smooth transition to this clear and open communication approach. “Any hiccups were dealt with very quickly and I was very satisfied with the service,” said Wheeler.
Planning ahead for further efficiencies

As the project settles, Wheeler is already planning ahead and is keen to review how Enablis’ comUnity Voice can be overlayed onto the existing network and further improve efficiencies.

Digital transformation