Trader Media Group Chooses Proven Software Suite Over Hosted Productivity Tools


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Trader Media Group is a multimedia publisher of a range of local, regional, and national publications. When its parent company, the Guardian Group, moved from Lotus Notes to Google Apps, Trader Media Group needed to decide whether or not to move to Google Apps from Microsoft Office. IT and business managers evaluated both products and determined that continuing its Microsoft investment and upgrading to Microsoft Office 2010 made the most sense for the company. Employees can now do their jobs more efficiently with new features in Microsoft Office 2010, and IT staff can rely on the stability and tight integration of its end-to-end Microsoft technology stack. Trader Media Group also deployed Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Live Meeting to improve employee communication and facilitate collaboration between workers at the company’s 12 locations.

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Trader Media Group Chooses Proven Software Suite Over Hosted Productivity Tools

  1. 1. Microsoft Office System Customer Solution Case Study Multimedia Publisher Chooses Proven Software Suite Over Hosted Productivity ToolsOverview “It’s important to us that employees of Trader MediaCountry or Region: United KingdomIndustry: Publishing industry Group understand we’re happy to invest in the best possible tools for them, and we believe MicrosoftCustomer ProfileTrader Media Group is a multimedia Office 2010 is the best choice out there.”publisher focusing on classified Alison Ross, Head of Service Support, Trader Media Groupadvertising. Based in London, England,the company produces a range ofpublications viewed by 20 million peoplea day. Trader Media Group is a multimedia publisher of a range of local, regional, and national publications. When its parentBusiness SituationWhen its parent company moved to company, the Guardian Group, moved from Lotus Notes toGoogle Apps for communication and Google Apps, Trader Media Group needed to decide whether orcollaboration, Trader Media Groupneeded to decide whether to make the not to move to Google Apps from Microsoft Office. IT andsame move or continue its investment in business managers evaluated both products and determinedMicrosoft Office. that continuing its Microsoft investment and upgrading toSolution Microsoft Office 2010 made the most sense for the company.After evaluating Google Apps andMicrosoft Office 2010, Trader Media Employees can now do their jobs more efficiently with newGroup determined that Office 2010 features in Microsoft Office 2010, and IT staff can rely on theprovided the best functionality andmanageability in a cost-effective way. stability and tight integration of its end-to-end Microsoft technology stack. Trader Media Group also deployed MicrosoftBenefits The right tools for employees Office Communications Server 2007 and Microsoft Office Live An investment in the future Meeting to improve employee communication and facilitate A cost-effective solution collaboration between workers at the company’s 12 locations.
  2. 2. Situation different platform for communication, Wimbledon, England-based Trader Media collaboration, and office productivity Group is one of Europe’s largest publishers, applications. In 2009, The Guardian Media with a portfolio of more than 70 leading Group, its parent, had moved from Lotus classified titles including Auto Trader. The Notes to Google Apps Premiere Edition, company’s website receives 10 million and Trader Media Group needed to decide unique users and 20 million hits per day. whether to follow suit. The company was Trader Media Group, a division of the also approaching the renewal date for its Guardian Media Group, was formed in 2000 licensing agreement with Microsoft, so it from the merger of two other companies. had to decide whether to stay with In addition to its headquarters outside Microsoft. London, Trader Media Group has a technology center in the north of England “Because we’d been using Microsoft Office and 10 branch offices. The company for so long, a lot of people in our employs 1,800 people, 150 of whom work organisation took it for granted—you come“There’s no doubt remotely. in every day and it just works,” says Ross.[Microsoft Office] is the Over the past decade, Trader Media Group “We were getting a lot of pressure from our business divisions to evaluate competitivedefault product for has transitioned much of its business from products. In our sector, we’re very traditional print media to online channels. progressive with technology, so it becameeveryone in the As a result, the company has become as our goal to prove that outstanding,organisation. It’s so much a technology company as a publisher, so it is important that employees leading-edge technology can be Microsoft branded—it doesn’t have to be Google.embedded and ingrained have access to software that they can use And we wanted to show that Microsoft to manage electronic data and solutions are cost effective, becausethat people don’t even communicate effectively with colleagues at businesses obviously want to save as muchthink about it anymore.” any of the company’s locations. money as possible.” Alison Ross, Head of Service Support, Trader Media Group uses the Windows Solution Trader Media Group Server 2008 R2 operating system and relies Although Trader Media Group is part of the on Microsoft SQL Server 2008 SP1 database Guardian Group, the company’s IT staff has software for its main internal business a high degree of autonomy when making applications. Employees use the Windows technology decisions. The Guardian Group XP operating system and the Microsoft determined that Google Apps was the most Office 2007 productivity suite on their appropriate solution for its business and desktop and portable computers, and the technology needs, and Trader Media Group software is a key part of their day-to-day needed to make a decision for itself, so IT work. “There’s no doubt it’s the default staff began evaluating Google Apps and product for everyone in the organisation,” Microsoft Office 2010 in late 2009. As part says Alison Ross, Head of Service Support of the evaluation, they looked at how each at Trader Media Group. “It’s so embedded solution met the company’s requirements. and ingrained that people don’t even think Evaluation criteria included: about it anymore.”  Is the solution easy to administer, with the management features IT staff expect? Although Trader Media Group has a long  Does the solution provide the history with Microsoft products, the functionality employees need to do their company was facing pressure to move to a jobs?
  3. 3.  What would be the process of moving to think we were asking people to lose a lot, the new solution? particularly the full richness of Microsoft  Is the solution cost-effective? Office Outlook.” Evaluating the Options The evaluation team discovered issues with Trader Media Group IT staff began by the Google functionality as well, including evaluating the Google Apps Premiere issues with formatting and exchanging Edition being used by the Guardian Group. documents. Microsoft Office Word One of the most important factors in the documents, Office Excel spreadsheets, and decision was how the Google Apps Office PowerPoint presentations are the de functionality compared with what the facto document standards in the company, company would get with Microsoft Office. and when these documents were opened in “We wanted to see what the Google Google applications, native formatting products would bring us that we dont have translated poorly, and the user experience already,” says Ross. “And more importantly, was difficult to adjust to. “I don’t think I we needed to find out what we would lose. would move our finance or accounts“I don’t think I would For one thing, using the Google solution departments to Google Apps,” says Ross. meant we would lose our strategic “They need the Microsoft Office tools to domove our finance or investment in a Microsoft infrastructure, their jobs, so we’d end up paying for both and it would mean moving to an off- solutions anyway.”accounts departments to premise hosted solution, which we hadn’tGoogle Apps. They need planned to do yet.” IT staff had other concerns, including the level of support available, recoverability ofthe Microsoft Office IT administrators were concerned about the documents, and the availability of changes that would come by moving to a established technical resources and toolstools to do their jobs." hosted Google solution. Although the light for migrating to the new solution. The ever- Alison Ross, Head of Service Support, administrative touch required by hosted changing nature of the Google Trader Media Group applications meant potentially less work for environment was also problematic. “I was technical staff, Trader Media Group wasn’t concerned that the product is so dynamic,” sure about the switch. “Our model for explains Ross. “Features are added running IT is very well structured and continuously, and in our organisation we organised,” says Ross. “Therefore, to prefer to control our releases. I wasn’t remove our ability to closely administer and pleased that new functionality could pop manage the environment made us see the up tomorrow, and our helpdesk wouldn’t Google alternative as a negative, rather be prepared to help with problems. That than a positive.” would compromise the high level of service we give our internal customers.” Trader Media Group was also concerned that the level of functionality provided by Although a major draw for Google Apps is the Google solution might be a step back its low price, Trader Media Group worried from what employees had come to expect about hidden costs. One concern was the from Microsoft Office. “For a company likelihood that the company would need to without great email tools and an older pay for extra user licenses to maintain older version of Microsoft Office, it might be user accounts since users’ data is not more attractive,” notes Ross. “But for us, stored onsite. So even though the upfront with a mature Microsoft architecture and costs might be lower, the full solution could Microsoft Office on everyone’s desktop, I be significantly more expensive.
  4. 4. Given the potential problems with a move As part of the deployment, IT staff solicited to Google Apps, the IT group felt strongly direct feedback from users, and it has been that its preference was to stay with overwhelmingly positive. Users have found Microsoft technology and continue to that enhanced functionality in Microsoft move forward with new Microsoft products Office 2010 and consistency across the as they become available. As part of products has improved the user experience. discussions about renewing its licensing Employees are more productive, especially agreement, technical and business staff when it comes to email. “The Conversation from Trader Media Group visited the View really helps me keep my inbox Microsoft Executive Briefing Centre in orderly,” says Lesley-Anne Davies, SLA/OLA Reading, where they got their first look at Manager at Trader Media Group. “The Microsoft Office 2010. What the Trader Quick Steps are great timesavers. I don’t Media Group representatives saw think I could live without these now!” impressed them, particularly Outlook 2010."Something as simple as “The shared calendar view is brilliant,” addsgrouping messages into “A lot of our senior people would say they spend 60 to 70 percent of their computer Ross Beazley, a Senior Developer at Trader Media Group. “My calendar includes myconversation views can day working with Outlook,” says Ross. “And team members, so I can quickly see what there were several easy-to-demonstrate the others are up to, and the inline view ofhave a profound effect features in Outlook 2010 that people can my calendar in meeting requests hason the way people easily relate to their day-to-day work that will give them a real head start. Something proved invaluable. To sum up, I can just do things quicker with Microsoft Office 2010.”interact with email. This as simple as grouping messages into conversation views can have a profound Workers noted improvements in otherrelease is a genuine leap effect on the way people interact with Microsoft Office 2010 products as well,forward.” email. This release is a genuine leap forward.” including Paste Preview, which allows users to see what formatted text will look like Alison Ross, Head of Service Support, after pasting in Word 2010, or how Trader Media Group Deploying Microsoft Office 2010 formulas will be applied in Excel 2010. Seeing the early preview of Microsoft Office Other frequently cited benefits include the 2010 convinced Trader Media Group that ability to more easily embed audio and renewing its Microsoft licensing agreement video into PowerPoint 2010 presentations, and upgrading to the new version of the and Sparklines in Excel 2010 for easily Office suite was the best choice for its displaying trending based on spreadsheet business. IT staff began the deployment in data. April 2010 with an initial deployment of 60 people from both the IT and business Employees have also been pleased by the departments. The deployment ran improved layout and consistency of the smoothly from the beginning. “It seemed Microsoft Office Fluent Ribbon and the very painless,” notes Chris Rees, Service introduction of the Backstage View for Delivery Manager at Trader Media Group. working with features that fall outside the “Our employees really put the products functionality of the Ribbon. “The new through their paces, but we’ve had no layout is impressive,” notes Stefan Lutener, implementation issues whatsoever, and we Field Support Manager at Trader Media haven’t had to downgrade any users back Group. “And with the Backstage View, the to the older version because of problems.” user experience is greatly improved from
  5. 5. prior versions of Office. It feels more simple and we believe Microsoft Office 2010 is the and methodical with this new feature.” best choice out there,” says Ross. “Employees generally see software At the same time as its Microsoft Office upgrades as an inconvenience, but the 2010 rollout, Trader Media Group has also word of mouth around this upgrade has deployed Microsoft Office Communications been remarkable, and I’ve been fielding Server 2007. Users found that the requests from all over the company for integration of Microsoft Office people to be upgraded. It’s absolutely Communicator with Microsoft Office 2010 going to help people do their jobs better.” is a great combination. “We like the way the tools fit together, with Microsoft Office An Investment in the Future 2010 very much at the centre” says Ross. After its evaluation of products, Trader “We haven’t used Microsoft Office Media Group determined that it made the SharePoint very much up to now, but we best sense for the company to continue the plan to unleash its full power after our investment it had made in Microsoft"The word of mouth Office upgrade, and we expect Office Web products over the years. Not only does thearound this upgrade has Apps will be great for remote workers. Overall, we believe that the sum of the maturity of the Microsoft solution provide the company with technological stabilitybeen remarkable, and Microsoft products is very much more than and consistency, it also makes the company their individual parts.” a more attractive place to work. “WhenI’ve been fielding we’re trying to attract people to work here,requests from all over Benefits it’s great that we’re always working with the Trader Media Group evaluated competing latest technology,” says Ross. “We’re athe company for people solutions for communication and technology company, and we really want to collaboration, and chose the solution it felt take advantage of the possibilities of ourto be upgraded. It’s would best meet the needs of its Microsoft licensing agreement.”absolutely going to help employees and its business. By deploying Microsoft Office 2010 and Microsoft Office Trader Media Group also appreciates thepeople do their jobs Communications Server 2007, Trader Media options provided by its Microsoft Group has provided its employees with a investment, including the possibility ofbetter.” robust set of tools for doing their jobs. The eventually moving to a hosted application Alison Ross, Head of Service Support, company has also strengthened its solution. “We’re not yet ready to move our Trader Media Group investment in a proven technology applications into the cloud,” explains Ross. architecture in a way that lays the “It’s something we’ll absolutely consider in groundwork for future upgrades and that is the future, but it needs to be thought out cost-effective for the company. carefully. Microsoft gives us the flexibility to stay on-premise for now, but move to the The Right Tools for Employees Microsoft Business Productivity Online The IT staff at Trader Media Group believes Suite when we’re ready to move to a that it is extremely important that the hosted solution.” company’s employees have access to the latest technology to do their jobs. Not only A Cost-Effective Solution does this improve business workflow, but it Trader Media Group feels that maintaining also increases employee satisfaction. “It’s its end-to-end Microsoft architecture important to us that employees of Trader provides the best value for money. Media Group understand we’re happy to Although alternative solutions like Google invest in the best possible tools for them, Apps may seem to be less expensive up
  6. 6. For More Information front, Trader Media Group believes the Microsoft Office 2010For more information about Microsoft long-term advantages of an integrated Microsoft Office 2010 gives your peopleproducts and services, call the Microsoft Microsoft solution make the most sense for powerful, timesaving tools to do their bestSales Information Center at (800) 426- the business. “Microsoft was very work from more places. With new9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft supportive in helping us put together a capabilities and insightful updates to Excel,Canada Information Centre at (877) 568- licensing arrangement that really made PowerPoint, Word, and Outlook, Office2495. Customers in the United States and sense and helped us build on our existing 2010 offers the complete package—withCanada who are deaf or hard-of-hearing investment, which brings down the cost of familiar, intuitive tools. Now you cancan reach Microsoft text telephone our desktops by more than 16% on a year- express ideas, solve problems, connect with(TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234. to-year basis.” people, and create amazing results—in theOutside the 50 United States and office, at home, or on the go.Canada, please contact your local As Trader Media Group moves from itsMicrosoft subsidiary. To access initial deployment to a production For more information about Microsoftinformation using the World Wide Web, deployment, the company believes that the Office, go to:go to: success of the project will attract the attention of other companies in the Guardian Group. “We work closely withFor more information about Trader other companies in the group forMedia Group products and services, call technology procurement,” says Ross. “So I(44) (0) 208-544-700 or visit the website think that our choice of a Microsoftat: solution will definitely trickle out to divisions.” Software and Services  Microsoft Server Product Portfolio  Microsoft Office − Microsoft SQL Server 2008 Enterprise − Microsoft Office 2010 − Windows Server 2008 Enterprise − Microsoft Office Communications Server 2007 − Microsoft Office Communicator 2007 − Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 −This case study is for informational purposes only.MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS ORIMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY.Document published June 2010