Building a scalable, organized content management platform with an advanced asset management repository
Case-study

Building a scalable, organized content management platform with an advanced asset management repository

62% Less time to create an article
2X Faster content updates
Asset 80

Known for its accurate meteorological forecasting and a large network of weather stations with 50,000 satellite systems, the clients wide suite of web and mobile applications help deliver customizable real-time business intelligence, assisting customers make in-the-moment decisions with complete confidence. Their scope of business in agriculture expands to hosting microsites for agribusinesses, syndicating their content to 200,000 microsites. As of 2018, the company had approximately 600,000 subscribers.

Industry DTN

highlights:

  • Facilitated centralized content creation for a distributed team and across channels, necessary for collaboration among editorial and marketing teams.
  • The client encountered 100% reduction in time for article updates. Earlier the stories would take 20 mins to show up on a website, now it is real-time.
  • The client experienced a 62% reduction in time to create each article and 88% less time to publish an article across different websites.

Summary

Our client specializes in subscription-based services to deliver actionable insights that empower customers’ success in the agriculture, energy, weather, financial analytics, and transportation markets.

To deliver on-time expert analysis and keep on par with industry standards, on-time content dissemination is an integral part of client's user experience. However, producing and governing the increasing amount of content was proving to be a challenge for them.

Increased reliance on human resources in creating and managing content pushed our client to switch to Drupal as its technology of choice. The new Drupal ecosystem incorporates Acquia Lightning, DAM, and Cloud. It helps the client save 62% time to publish each article which is then also transmitted (via satellites) to Satellite receiver boxes, in use for more than 20 years, that farmers use across rural America with low internet connectivity, making it a powerful tech-stack solution.

The Situation

With a centralized content management system that serves all its major web, mobile applications, and legacy applications which sends content to satellite systems, Our client wanted to upgrade to a CMS platform that would be efficient, scalable, and provide a future-ready solution. A platform that would allow editorial teams to focus on enhancing the overall storytelling while also helping stakeholders move to newer technologies in the future for all digital properties.

For them, adopting Drupal and Acquia tools to transform its current content & publishing models was a landmark step in modernizing its tech ecosystem.

The Challenge

Our client follows a consumer-first content strategy to stay relevant, compelling, and ahead of the competition. While the business expanded, editors struggled with redundant and repetitive workflow, processes and tools, leading to increased workload, dissatisfied teams, and missed opportunities for an enhanced content marketing strategy.

The client was actively looking for a solution and expertise to deploy a unified content management platform that could assist in accessing, governing, and delivering contextually relevant content & digital assets over multiple digital channels ranging from website to legacy applications like satellite receivers.

Complex editorial workflow brought challenges in content creation, administration, and reusability. To use an external RSS feed, editors had to browse through the websites, login to the DAM each time, search for digital assets, manually copy-paste content to create a new article. There were dedicated teams working in shifts to push out content that is supposed to go live at odd hours such as midnight.

For content administration, teams worked in silos with no visibility on content produced by the distributed teams or at the user engagement driven by content.

The goal was to provide seamless content creation and management experience to its editorial team who were facing challenges due to a decade-old legacy content management platform. Their primary goal was to reduce the time taken to publish and share news and consistently reach its audience on time with rich content.

Streamlined content creation, media management, scalability, & reliability were then identified as four unique challenge-solution aspects to deliver a better editor experience.

The Solution

To address the challenges effectively, we identified that the Acquia suite of tools was the best choice to deliver the results. The solution effectively assisted in smooth migration of more than 100,000 news items from legacy CMS to Drupal.

Delivering Content-as-a-Service with Acquia Lightning

To provide a simpler and quicker way to create, access, and re-use content across all digital channels with easy administration of content across newsrooms, locking of articles to avoid data loss, auto-save, and content scheduling, we identified Acquia lightning to be the apt solution.
With intricate workflows that could streamline the processes for reviewing, approving, scheduling, and publishing content, Lightning helped the client effortlessly achieve a consumer-first content strategy. It facilitated centralized content creation for a distributed team and across channels, necessary for collaboration among editorial and marketing teams.

It also enabled the teams to generate rich content, with an easy interface to repurpose external RSS content sources, and syndicate it through different channels and medium like web, mobile, Google News, AgHost microsites, and legacy systems like Satellite and ProphetX.

The satellites consumed this data to efficiently broadcast reports and real time news to remote subscribers.

 

The centralized system for editors allowed them to view all dashboards, analyse traffic & user behaviors brought transparent analysis in content production and user engagement. The custom solution was put together with the Drupal charts API module to showcase different data sets. Editors now could have a centralized system to view all dashboards and analyze traffic and user behavior in each article, Admin could filter through publish date, editor information, or taxonomy. Images used in the article more frequently were also shown in the dashboard.

dtn-dashboard

Creating, managing & delivering faster with Acquia DAM

Management of digital assets for a company like our client with multiple websites is always a consideration. Unlike its predecessor which required custom development to integrate with Drupal, Acquia DAM seamlessly integrated with Drupal. It was chosen to assist in creating compelling customer experiences, foster creativity, and collaboration. custom development had to be done to integrate with Drupal.

By providing streamlined organization and governance of creative asset files, Acquia DAM acted as a central repository where all the assets could be stored and accessed by the editors on a need basis. Its end-to-end process for asset creation and delivery, easy-to-use interface, and advanced filtering (Image type, content, keywords, copyright, dimensions) eliminated the need to conduct tedious manual searches, saving them time for more creativity.

Interactions are simplified and streamlined. All aspects of the asset creation process now run smoothly.

Scaling with Acquia Cloud 24*7

The core website was developed on Drupal 8 for a scalable, organized content management, and asset repository.

While Drupal is scalable to support content-rich sites and experiences, Acquia Cloud was chosen for its top-notch performance, easy management of development, stage and production instances, and smooth deployment workflow. Dedicated and extended support with server-side security patches and pre-emptive upgrades ensured that the client could channelize its resources on serving its users better. Features like monitoring of application, log management, and security alerts assured the digital property remained free from errors and always available.

As a specialized Drupal hosting provider, it was easier to collaborate between website architecture and server-side infrastructure to deliver a faster website.

Architecture Overview

Untitled Diagram

This overview of the architecture broadly covers how content is created, curated, and published on different DTN platforms ranging from satellite systems to web applications.

Content is created by content authors and reviewed by content editors on Drupal. Third-party content coming in from other news sources was integrated with Drupal through their respective APIs. It is here that the content authors could select from the pool of content to choose the ones to publish. Once published on Drupal, it is exposed through a REST API and processed via AWS SQS (Simple Queuing Service), which sends it further to a middleware, which segregates and pushes the content to different platforms.

The Results

By the end of the project, Srijan also contributed back to the community with ‘CKEditor allowed content rules’, ‘AWS SQS’, & ‘AP Media Api integrator’ modules which highly benefited the client.

Some measurable success factors against KPIs with the new Drupal CMS were delivered as follows:

  • The client encountered 100% reduction in time for article updates. Earlier the stories would take 20 mins to show up on a website, now it is real time.
  • The client experienced a 62% reduction in time to create each article and 88% less time to publish an article across different websites.
  • The content creation process was made so simple that it would take 51% less time to clone an article and 43% less time to repurpose articles using an external source like RSS.
  • Improved editorial team performance by radiating information about publishing trends in terms of daily published content, top topics used, & top contributors

The new platform is a scalable, organized content management platform, with an advanced asset management repository. Editor and marketing teams could now create better user experiences and respond faster to valuable new opportunities.

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