Starting in 1804 as a small bookstore and publishing firm, Bonnier Group is now a multichannel media company with experience and knowledge from a full range of media in 175 companies across 16 countries.

Challenge

In 2010, Bonnier undertook a strategic initiative to consolidate its 60+ online publications on a single Content Management System (CMS) in order to ensure uniform functionality, minimize maintenance costs, and to streamline online ad delivery and maximize ad revenues. The key component of this program was the development of a unified content management platform based on EPiServer to enable the migration of Bonnier websites. 

The platform was to be comprised of a set of components that extend the out-of- the-box functionality of EPiServer, optimize в for large volumes of data, as well as a set of flexible tools that enable editors to create engaging online content.

First Line was engaged by Bonnier as the lead technical partner of the program.

First Line’s solution

First Line set up a dedicated team of software engineers to deliver the project. 

The platform developed by First Line consists of two main components:

  • Core: Web development framework (to be used mainly by developers) for creating websites’ architecture and data structures and for optimizing the interaction between the CMS and the database
  • Web editorial: An environment (workplace) for website editors that extends the standard CMS functionality and creates a highly intuitive user interface

First Line worked in a highly distributed environment, interacting with multiple outside teams and remote customers. Our specialists were responsible for the development, testing, configuration, support, and user documentation for the entire platform.

We also developed a proprietary methodology for rapid migration of very large volumes of existing content to EPiServer CMS. This methodology leaves the original look and feel and the URL structure intact, providing editors with the full range of EPiServer’s online engagement capabilities while preserving familiarity and ease-of-use and maximizing SEO benefits at the same time.

Results

The first release of the platform has been successfully integrated with EPiServer and launched into production. The new platform significantly reduces the costs and time required for migrating a website to the new CMS. As a result of implementing the program, Bonnier was able to reduce the maintenance costs for its online assets by a factor of 5.

Project statistics

  • Team size: 16
  • Total effort: 300 person-months

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Client References

I want to express my gratitude for all of your team’s hard work and support over the last few months. Our project is officially live and we could not have done it without your assistance. I especially would like to thank Alex for his extra help this weekend. I understand it was at the last minute and late nights for him. We are very grateful for all that he has done for us.

Senior Project Manager, the US software development company

Your quality of work is exceptional, and your flexible approach has allowed us to build and deploy a large amount of complex functionality in a very short space of time. Kudos to everyone for their professionalism and for delivering results that exceeded our expectations.

CEO, leading social media analytics provider

We have never had a better release that we can think of. And that is all because of your hard and dedicated work. So here is a big THANK YOU to everyone from all of us!

Editor, leading Scandinavian newspaper

For a software vendor like ourselves, picking the right development partner is crucial. First Line’s technical expertise and solid project management, coupled with their proficiency in Agile methodologies, have made them an integral part of our product development group.

VP Product Development, leading enterprise software vendor

Our First Line Team has been doing a great job. All of the guys check in great code, and they have a forward thinking mindset, not a feature-to-feature approach. They are also very open in terms of sharing knowledge, which is critical to running productive distributed teams.

Application Development Director, global marketing company

We've all learned a lot from you, and it is great working with you.

Application Development Director, global marketing company

The First Line team has an excellent process and we can learn from your team and improve.

Product Owner, Strategic Software Consultancy

I would like to thank the First Line development team for their dedication and high level of quality in their work. Despite being thousands of miles apart, we have been able to work quickly, effectively, and intelligently. Your team has been a major part of why we have been successful thus far.

VP Engineering, e-learning startup

First Line is a great technology partner capable of delivering complex, ‘industrial grade’ projects. They have demonstrated strong technical competence and solid understanding of the media and publishing domain. We have also been very impressed by the management team's attention to our needs and commitment to our success.

CEO, leading European digital media company

Your effort is the #1 reason that this project is going so well. I've worked with a lot of teams over the years and there are very few teams that I trust and respect. When you are given a task or feature, I never have to worry whether or not it will be accomplished on time and I never worry about the quality - you always deliver.

Architect, Strategic Software Consultancy

The team we put together in the last half of this year is one of the most productive, skilled and enjoyable I’ve ever worked on. It’s great to see the product brought to life, and I’m proud to work with all you folks.

Senior Architect, Fortune 100 company

The First Line Software team is professional, results driven, and proactive. I know that when we provide requirements for new functionality, they will not only deliver on the scope of what has been asked but will look beyond and give insight into how we can make our product even better. It has been a privilege to work with First Line Software, and I look forward to continuing our partnership in future.

VP, global marketing company
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VICE PRESIDENT