How to Support a Global Web Publisher During a Major Reorganization

Industry

  • Publishing

Services

  • Software development
  • Architecture
  • Cloud computing

Technology

  • NodeJS
  • Java
  • PHP
  • Drupal
  • Angular
  • Azure
  • AWS

TL;DR

  • Supporting multiple core systems post global restructuring
  • Fast and effective knowledge transfer process
  • Different solutions for an extremely versatile tech

The challenge

XL Media is a global web publishing company based in the UK with branches and subsidiaries worldwide. They own and operate more than 2,000 websites in 18 different languages, for which they create high-performing content, technical, and data modeling solutions that result in consistently high returns and superior value to their customers and consumers.

Since its IPO in 2014, XL Media has established a stellar track record for delivering and integrating earnings accretive acquisitions to expand its vertical and geographic reach.

Following a reorganization decision, they decided to shift one of their initiatives, which had been operating under Webpals, one of their subsidiaries. There were five systems that supported the business, and during the transition, they needed to keep them live and maintained.

XL Media was already well acquainted with us. We had provided a range of services for both Webpals and XL Media and had a year-long working relationship. Given the success of these initiatives, they knew we had what it took to accomplish what they needed, so we wasted no time getting down to work.

We came on board with the project while it was already underway. We needed to gather as much information as possible until the relevant people left their positions. There was a lot to learn in a short space of time. XL Media needed an agile, nimble team with diverse capabilities to accomplish this quickly and efficiently.

  • Technology
    The client needed to maintain uptime on five separate systems, each based on a different tech stack: NodeJS, Java, PHP, Drupal, and Angular. Learning all five systems—plus the business logic—in 30 days was incredibly intense, but we have determination, experience, and agility on our side, making us uniquely qualified for the task.
  • Architecture
    Understating XL Media’s systems was just the beginning. They also needed an agency with the ability to learn the cross-system architecture and the different protocols each uses to communicate with the other.
  • Business
    In addition to technology and architecture expertise, we needed to understand the business logic to support the organization and ensure the best possible user experience. Fortunately, all these tools and skillsets are in our wheelhouse, so we were able to provide the solutions they needed without compromise.

The Solution

  1. Seamless Transition
    The reorganization process was already underway when we came on board. To overcome this challenge, we spent a month focusing on knowledge transfer sessions with the outgoing stakeholders, documenting every detail of this process to make life easier for everyone later on.
  2. Resource Allocation
    Each system required a unique and highly specialized skillset. We allocated the different resources needed for the task, combining all those components into a functional team. Some systems were written in legacy frameworks, which presented additional challenges. Leveraging our diverse in-house team and a strong network of professionals in different fields worldwide, we quickly pulled together the resources we needed to complete the team.
  1. Future Forward
    Given the ambitious nature of the company, it was critical to ensure their systems and business functionality would support them into the future. Our intense efforts during the months prior helped us connect deeply with XL Media’s leadership team, enabling us to reimagine the technological structure in a way that was more conducive to business growth after the re-org.

The project is ongoing and will continue to develop and grow as we delve deeper into other aspects of the client’s systems and business. Our resourcefulness, agility, and ability to learn new systems quickly carried us through significant challenges without a hitch. No matter how monumental the task or how little time we had to solve it, we never gave up. The strong foundations of trust and respect we have built with XL Media strengthen both our organizations, epitomizing the true meaning of partnership.

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