Information Technology (IT), the underlining point of interest in this issue of Techno Society has once again proved the fact that it is one of the Key Success Factors (KSFs) for every organization. Mr. Anthony Arundell, IT Consultant and IT Director at Post Publishing Public Company Limited will share valuable experiences on a passage of success. Techno Society readers and every enterprise will be exposed to a new perspective when “IT Outsourcing” is not served by just a “Vendor” but by a trusted “Business Partner”.
Post Publishing Public Company Limited: Business Needs
Mr. Anthony: “Post Publishing PCL. is one of the largest media companies in Thailand. We have three core business lines: 1. Post Publishing which is print media such as Bangkok Post Newspaper, Post Today Newspaper, M2F (daily free copy newspaper), Guru, Student Weekly, Commercial Printing 2. Post International which publishes international magazines such as Forbes, Elle, Elle Men, Elle Decoration, Marie Claire, and Science Illustrated. 3. Post TV which is TV and radio program production. Our digital media for Post Publishing websites is managed via our Post Digital Team. “Several years ago the Post Publishing Management evaluated whether to continue on an in house strategy or to outsource their IT operations. After reviewing the business operations and needs and analyzing the IT operations and total cost of ownership of the business, the best alternative was to outsource their back office operations starting with IT to a specialist IT Company.”
Digital Content Management: A Robust Tool to Manage “Content Farming”
Mr. Anthony: “For us, content increases everyday. It is important to ensure that we have the tools and processes to store the content for review and retrieval at a later date in a fast and efficient manner. The IT systems and infrastructure deployed provide the tools and applications to quickly retrieve content, we “Digitalize” all of our content for newsprint production with an advanced digital management solution. Given the large amounts of content we manage we need to design the infrastructure and systems to support the business in a cost effective manner. With this in mind we intend to move more of our storage and digital content management facilities to the cloud in the future to achieve these goals.”
Passage to Success: TCCT – our Trusted IT Outsourcing – not just a “Vendor” but our “Business Partner” Mr. Anthony: “8 years ago Post Publishing were looking at significant business challenges, and specifically on how to make the business more efficient and profitable. Key questions raised were; What could we do to make the business more productive and responsive? How could we lower costs of operation and be more profitable? Since we are a Publishing Company and most of our operations are on a daily basis with strict deadlines (e.g. producing daily newspapers) we needed to ensure that the changes to be made improved our ability to meet these deadlines and improve the business operations at a lower cost At the end of the day the Business decided to outsource their back office operations to specialist companies with core capabilities, our first outsourcing project was with IT”.
Mr. Anthony continues, “Our strategy has been to outsource most of the back office key components. The Business started with outsourcing of the IT and AMS (Application Management Services) operations. We went through a thorough process of evaluating both international and local vendors to meet our IT and AMS outsourcing requirements. We selected TCCT as our primary IT Outsourcing Partner. One of the key success factors was the fact that we treated the outsourcing companies as key partners to our business, as part of this, senior level management from both the Post Publishing team and the Outsourcing companies actively participated to ensure the project was a success.
In addition we put in a place a set of SLA’s that were based primarily on business objectives e.g. to meet our deadlines for publishing, ability to bill and process invoices. There were changes in the way the business worked such as all contact for IT had to be through the helpdesk and a ticket needed to be issued in order to monitor and improve the service. During our weekly management reviews we regularly reviewed the performance of the IT service to the various business units and at the Steering Committee meetings we measured the performance. If there are major issues then the escalation procedure put in place ensured a smooth resolution to problems or major issues raised – (by either party). Our costs to provide IT service was reduced from the original internal costs (approximately 25% savings over a 5 year contract), while upgrading the facilities and services provided to the business. To date we have changed the IT service to be business oriented, responsive and agile in order to support the business operations at a lower TCO”.
Outsourcing Arrangement: Our Journey of Disaster Recovery (DR) and Business Continuity Plan (BCP)
Mr. Anthony: “Prior to outsourcing of IT there was no DR facility at Post. As part of the outsourcing agreement we established a DR site and procedures to ensure the smooth operation of the business in the event of a disaster. As part of this the business implemented a Business Continuity Plan, and the IT DR site was an integral part of this plan. Our big challenge was how to produce daily newspapers under different disaster scenarios e.g. If we were forced to abandon the office i.e. flooding at our office, how fast could we be operational at an alternative site and what was the priority of the service. At TCCT’s virtual BCP site, we could temporary operate the business in order to ensure critical functions such as producing the newspapers could be performed. Unfortunately our BCP was put into production during the riots in Bangkok and through the help of thebusiness units and TCCT we were able to successfully utilize our DR site and ensure we got the newspapers published, printed and distributed until we could move back into our main office. During this time TCCT staff and Management were fantastic in supporting the business through these trying times and really demonstrated their commitment, dedication and professionalism in supporting our business”.
Mr. Anthony concludes, “For our team, IT is not just about technology. It is about how you create value to your business and how to make IT more integrated within the business, responsive and agile, and cost effective. We outsourced our IT operations to TCCT over the past 8 years, and the business benefits achieved through outsourcing has proven that it was the right decision. TCCT has proven their commitment to help making our business a success, they are a trusted partner. With their Management commitment to Customer satisfaction, their technical personnel, infrastructure and data centers we can definitely say that TCCT is the right business partner for our IT needs.