by Mark Chillingworth

Associated Newspapers latest media firm to go cloud

Jul 03, 20112 mins
Cloud ComputingIT StrategyMedia and Entertainment Industry

A&N Mediawhich provides technology and services to newspapers from the Associated Newspaper stable such as the free Metro newspaper as well as The Independent and Evening Standard, has set itself on a course to cloud computing adoption with the announcement of a deal with Microsoft to integrate its Office 365 platform.

A&N Media will use Office 365 to deliver Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange and Lync Online to the media company.

In a statement CIO of A&N Media David Henderson said the company plans to own no servers or datacentres by 2015 and will have introduced a bring your own computer model for its employees. Henderson told CIO that he: “recently did a staff offer where we gave employees £200 off an iPad to help drive adoption of tablet technology; we had 1,000 applicants within the first 24 hours of the scheme! We are looking at a similar scheme for the Blackberry Play Book and the HP Slate. We are trying to see if we can do this cost neutral … in some cases it’s a laptop replacement and initial signs are cautiously optimistic.”

Read David Henderson’s exclusive CIO article on IT vendor management

Henderson and his team are also helping the company adopt the commercial aspects of tablet computing.

“We are currently piloting field sales in the Metro newspaper booking ads on the iPad with their customers,” he said.

“We must divert more of our time to delivering business change and innovation, which will allow us to stay ahead of our competition. We are also focussed on reducing the time and cost associated with implementing change. We cannot do this operating in the way we always have, so we are embracing new ways of delivering technology services,” Henderson (pictured) said.

Read David Henderson’s exclusive CIO article on talent management

Northcliffe Media, the regional newspapers business that is owned by the same parent company as A&N Media will be the first division to move onto Office 365. The regional newspaper division has suffered heavy losses in recent years, like many local newspaper publishers.

A&N Media is the latest media company to introduce cloud computing as a way of increasing its ability to be flexible and reduce costs; the Daily Telegraph publishers The Telegraph Group pioneered its use with Google.

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