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.

Client

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 maintenance of the newly migrated websites running on the new platform was going to present new challenges: several internal and external teams were continually delivering websites with new functionality, and the websites themselves were using multiple custom components that enhanced the capability of the CMS, including SMS modules, sales and marketing systems, outside search service, mobile applications, etc.

Bonnier decided to task First Line with providing 24x7 3rd level support for the newly migrated online publications’ websites as they went live (over 25 new websites in total), as well as several Bonnier Intranet websites.

First Line’s solution

First Line worked closely with the customer to develop the optimal maintenance and support processes and procedures. First Line’s responsibilities included reproduction of defects, severity estimation, triage and prioritization of maintenance tasks. While working on defect resolution, First Line specialists work with the client teams using innovative and highly effective estimation techniques (such as Scrum Poker and Kanban). Defect resolution and delivery of new functionality is performed in accordance with a number of quality metrics.

The First Line team also maintains the defect matrix and acceptance matrices, as well as the product documentation, change history and knowledge base.

As an innovative technique to prevent personnel fatigue in the high-pressure environment, First Line has been rotating engineers across delivery and maintenance teams sprint by sprint, thereby also ensuring knowledge dissemination and retention across all team members.

After the fixes or changes are submitted, First Line’s dedicated team of 5 test engineers working closely with the developers and the client performs comprehensive testing of the new code. Their job is made more challenging by the fact that full testing automation is impossible due to multiple integration-level dependencies. Still, First Line testers are able to maintain high levels of test coverage, by running comprehensive regression scenarios.

Results

First Line was able to create a highly effective maintenance team that is pro- viding 3rd level 24x7 support to a broad range of websites in different object domains. A seamless and transparent process developed by First Line accommodates several internal and external delivery teams, maintains an effective support hotline with the client, and ensures proper knowledge management across the several teams.

Team size: 15
Methodology: Scrum, Kanban

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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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