Manchester Evening News Case Study
News & Media
Part of the Guardian Media Group, Manchester Evening News (MEN) is a major regional publishing house with approximately 500 employees. The newspaper was launched as a personal propaganda sheet on October 10, 1868. Today, the Manchester Evening News is a leading UK regional daily newspaper with a readership of 1,876,053.
When MEN approached PTS Consulting, the organisation was planning to relocate all 500 employees to a new prestigious office development in Manchester. The new premises would be used primarily by employees, but would also have open visitor spaces. In the fast-paced media industry where working to tight print deadlines is routine, it was vital that a reliable voice and data infrastructure was put in place to support the newspaper’s day-to-day communications. Previously, the media and editorial teams within MEN had worked from different systems. This relocation thus presented an ideal opportunity for MEN to introduce new collaborative and flexible working practices along with the new voice and data infrastructure that would be required. MEN wanted the IT to be ‘invisible to the users’ and fully harmonised into the building fabric. The relocation of both the people and the systems would present a number of challenges for MEN, so PTS Consulting was appointed as an IT partner to work alongside MEN’s professional team and reduce the project risk.
1) Strategic programme and project management: Over a period of two years, PTS Consulting worked in harmony with MEN and their construction team to ensure that all voice and data communication specifications and project requirements were clearly defined and delivered to deadline and on budget. Experienced PTS consultants operated as part of MEN’s project team using a proven methodology under a tried and tested quality assurance process. From the initial IT strategy and conceptual design and budget, through to design and procurement, installation management and post project support, PTS Consulting led the IT programme and was on hand at all times to ensure that the relocation project ran smoothly from start to finish.
Marco Casulli, Head of IT for Manchester Evening News commented: “From a personal point of view, I would like to say that working with PTS personnel during the entire project was a pleasure and everyone demonstrated a high level of professionalism in all aspects. PTS supported and worked with the MEN IT team in a professional and proactive manner and the result was outstanding as the success of the project.”
2) Infrastructure and environment: The physical design, specification and installation of the structured cabling and central and satellite equipment rooms were very important parts of the project. The new reception area, conference suite, broadcasting facility and auditorium are all very prominent within the new premises and the fit-out of these had to be very carefully managed. The new state of the art reception area was designed to feature a media video wall and incorporate simple to use Internet kiosks to enable the public to come in and place adverts in the paper. PTS Consulting also helped design a new state of the art conference suite for MEN, which has already hosted a number of national media events.
4) Wireless LAN: For the new building, wireless networking was identified as the most appropriate and aesthetically pleasing solution for MEN’s needs. With a new wireless network in place, new and existing mobile users at MEN can now securely and easily access the corporate network. This provided the IT ‘invisibility’ required, enabled hot-desking and improved worker efficiency.
5) Server and Storage consolidation: As part of the relocation, PTS Consulting helped MEN to consolidate their data storage significantly to streamline working practices. Marco elaborated: “Consolidation is key to today’s IT, because it leads to simplified infrastructure, accelerates business processes and reduced costs.”
6) Business Centres: MEN now has an extremely efficient internal working environment for everyday processes such as copying, printing, faxing and scanning. There are no printers on the desktop, but two “business centres” per floor containing three devices that take care of copying, printing, faxing and scanning to email or folder. Marco explained: “I am very happy with the business centre set-up and method of working. All the jobs work on “follow-me” swipe card system, so someone orders a print from their desk and walks to any business centre where it will be delivered to them when they swipe the card. I am delighted that this has cut management and print costs by 35%.”
7) WAN Connectivity: PTS Consulting also project managed Wide Area Network connectivity to other businesses in the Guardian Media Group. This was absolutely vital to make sure that communications were effectively and consistently integrated on a wider scale.
The Verdict: Ian Townley, Project Director for Greater Manchester Newspapers commented: “Based on a proven track record, a clear understanding of the scope and a flexible approach, PTS was selected to deliver a completely new IT/Telephony infrastructure for our new building move. The PTS team of highly competent specialists worked seamlessly with our in-house IT department to deliver the project successfully, on time and within budget.”