About the ABC

Content in real time


ABC

AT A GLANCE

  • Migration of three key online properties:

    • The Drum
    • ABC News Online
    • Radio National
  • Major transformational project undertaken by the ABC, affecting 1,500 staff
  • 99.99% uptime across websites
  • 30 seconds to publish a page
  • Easy to create and upload pages
  • Only one-half day for training needed
  • Integrates into ABC’s Akamai Content Distribution Network

The Australian Broadcasting Corporation (ABC) is Australia’s primary public broadcaster reaching approximately 73% of all Australians.

The ABC is a trusted and innovative media organization, connecting with audiences through distinctive content that informs, educates and entertains — and in today’s digital environment this increasingly means providing content on-demand, online.

The ABC’s Web presence is significant — with monthly averages of 15.1 million visitors to ABC Online, including 8.8 million visitors to its news and current affairs websites in 2011.

The need to upgrade and improve

In 2007, the ABC decided to significantly upgrade the ABC’s Web capability — with a focus on improving the ease and speed of publishing.

And so began a two-year process involving a global search for the best “off the shelf” WCMS — one that had all the required capabilities, a track record in the media business and credible references. Crucial too was the search for the right systems integrator. The ABC needed a partner with experience in application development and large-scale deployments, who could customize the WCMS to fit the ABC’s requirements.

The ABC awarded the contract to NCS, using CoreMedia as the WCMS provider and NCS as the System Integrator.

High Expectation

ABC laid out a series of critical end-user deliverables:

  • EASY TO USE: Editors needed to be able to use the system on their own, with limited or no technical support
  • EASY TO LEARN: Basic training needed to be completed in less than one day
  • ALWAYS ON: The new WCMS had to achieve 99.99% uptime
  • QUICK: It had to take NO MORE THAN 30 seconds to publish a page
  • INTEGRATED: It had to integrate seamlessly into the ABC’s Content Delivery Network (currently Akamai) — which would optimize the performance of the site.

These deliverables were met through a combination of the advanced functionality of CoreMedia and the skillful integration of the product with the ABC’s existing infrastructure.

Excellence at the Core

CoreMedia’s strength and power lies in its simplicity and functionality — offering full support for a wide range of content types that can be simply accessed and utilized. For users this meant they were provided with a customized editorial front end that made it far easier to manage workflows and upload content — enabling them to quickly extract added value from existing content, as well as ensure information consistency across a range of sites. The scalable underlying architecture of CoreMedia CMS also ensured greater flexibility, which meant that the ABC’s content management requirements could be met now and into the future.

Gerrit Kolb, CEO, CoreMedia, said “When it comes to creating and managing significant volumes of online content, platforms such as CoreMedia, which are optimized to support high-intensity editorial environments
such as ABC Online, really do prove their value.”

Bringing It All Together

A key challenge involved integrating CoreMedia CMS with the ABC’s backend systems and databases. Working closely with the ABC WCMS project team, CoreMedia and its partner NCS designed and tested the infrastructure that would support the WCMS platform, and supported the transition to the new system, from the same core database that housed hundreds of thousands of documents. The WCMS was also customized with the building of tools to migrate content and to allow the syndication of content to ABC’s subscribers.

For more on this case study, please read the ABC Case Study.