Creating an exceptional web presence at Hearst Direct with IBM WebSphere Portal

Published on 06-Dec-2010

Validated on 14 Jan 2014

"We are able to reach more people and to provide more detailed, relevant information to our customers and their participants. The simplicity of Ixion’s implementation of Portal NOW was key to our decision." - Greg Cox, Business Development Manager, Hearst Direct

Customer:
Hearst Direct

Industry:
Professional Services

Deployment country:
United States

IBM Business Partner:
Ixion LLC

Overview

With more than 120 years in the business, the Hearst Corporation knows the media, advertising and publishing market on both the national and local scale. Like other companies in their industry, the American conglomerate must respond quickly to changes and opportunities in the rapidly evolving media business. As a department of the conglomerate’s newspaper division, the task of Hearst Direct is to leverage the large-scale infrastructure to offer highly profitable print, mail and distribution services for local publishers, marketers and advertisers.

Business need:
For Hearst Direct to maintain its competitive advantage, it needed to expand its customer reach through a high-quality, high-touch online presence. The company also needed to grow the business and remain responsive to changes in the industry by expanding the business beyond Houston to other properties nationwide. To achieve this, different cities and organizations needed a way to share information and deliver a unified message to the customer. In addition, Hearst Direct sought to increase the capacity of its Houston sales force by minimizing time spent handling operational and customer support

Solution:
Hearst Direct turned to IBM Business Partner Ixion LLC to design a self-service web portal based on IBM WebSphere Portal, IBM Lotus Web Content Manager and IBM WebSphere NOW templates and deployment methodology. Allowing print-based advertisers to upload and distribute print ad assets, the site is simple, informative and supports easy administration of content. The new portal streamlines delivery operations by allowing customers to log into a secure portal based on IBM WebSphere Portal to upload all the files that need to print.

Benefits:
·Hearst Direct can now offer its customers and prospects a modern, professional site with quick, easy access to information and an online delivery infrastructure for files and reports · Customer self-service portal reduces error rates caused by file version control issues and allows the sales team to focus on revenue instead of operations · Renewed web presence allows Hearst Direct to provide a high-touch relationship with customers while supporting a potential 10 to 15 percent gain in productivity

Case Study

With more than 120 years in the business, the Hearst Corporation knows the media, advertising and publishing market on both the national and local scale. Like other companies in their industry, the American conglomerate must respond quickly to changes and opportunities in the rapidly evolving media business. As a department of the conglomerate’s newspaper division, the task of Hearst Direct is to leverage the large-scale infrastructure to offer highly profitable print, mail and distribution services for local publishers, marketers and advertisers.

Challenge
For Hearst Direct to maintain its competitive advantage, it needed to expand its customer reach through a high-quality, high-touch online presence. The company also needed to grow the business and remain responsive to changes in the industry by expanding the business beyond Houston to other properties nationwide. To achieve this, different cities and organizations needed a way to share information and deliver a unified message to the customer. In addition, Hearst Direct sought to increase the capacity of its Houston sales force by minimizing time spent handling operational and customer support issues. The web solution they chose needed to be simple and turnkey, with very little IT skill required to create and maintain it.

Solution
Hearst Direct turned to IBM Business Partner Ixion LLC to design a self-service web portal based on IBM WebSphere Portal, IBM Lotus Web Content Manager and IBM WebSphere NOW templates and deployment methodology. Allowing print-based advertisers to upload and distribute print ad assets, the site is simple, informative and supports easy administration of content.

The new portal streamlines delivery operations by allowing customers to log into a secure portal based on IBM WebSphere Portal to upload all the files that need to print. Lotus Web Content Manager enables design reviews, complete with comments and workflow to exchange feedback.

IBM WebSphere Portal NOW provided Ixion with a set of extensible software templates and deployment guidelines for rapidly setting up the content-rich site, streamlining the engagement with Hearst Direct. Software templates were customized to meet Hearst Direct’s needs and combined with other custom components created by Ixion.

Rather than purchasing hardware to manage the solution on premise, Ixion and Hearst Direct chose to host the solution using the Amazon Web Services (AWS) cloud. Using the Amazon cloud, users can easily deploy a pre-built and pre-configured WebSphere Portal and Lotus Web Content Manager machine image in minutes. Delivered through a pay-as-you-go model through Ixion, this allowed Hearst Direct to reduce capital expenses and operating costs for maintenance and upgrades—the perfect model for an organization with a minimal IT staff.

Benefits
· Hearst Direct can now offer its customers and prospects a modern, professional site with quick, easy access to information and an online delivery infrastructure for files and reports
· Customer self-service portal reduces error rates caused by file version control issues and allows the sales team to focus on revenue instead of operations
· Renewed web presence allows Hearst Direct to provide a high-touch relationship with customers while supporting a potential 10 to 15 percent gain in productivity

For more information
Please contact your IBM sales representative or IBM Business Partner. Visit us at: ibm.com/software/websphere/portal

Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
WebSphere Portal, IBM Web Content Manager

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2010 IBM Corporation Software Group Route 100 Somers, NY 10589 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America November 2010 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, Lotus and WebSphere are trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries or both. Other company, product and service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates.