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Telecom Thrust: IT and communications tools help Deccan Herald streamline operations

November 30, 2011

Founded in 1948, The Printers (Mysore) Limited has four publications: the Deccan Herald, Prajavani, Sudha and Mayura.

Deccan Herald has several zonal editions, including the Hyderabad-Karnataka and Mangalore editions, and the newspaper is printed and published at the Hubli-Dharwad facility. With a growing readership, Deccan Herald recognised the potential of telecom as a strategic tool to improve its business processes and reach out to its subscribers better.

tele.net tracks the development of the media major’s communications infrastructure...

The legacy system

Initially, the company had very basic telecom infrastructure comprising leased lines and simple telephone lines. Internet connectivity was another feature of this infrastructure. The network had basic and specific functions. With relatively small-scale operations, the company did not feel the need to expand its communications infrastructure at the time.

However, with business growth, the media company realised the limitations of its IT and telecom infrastructure. Operations were “restricted” to some extent due to the absence of a common platform for sharing information and data.

The shift

To keep pace with its growing operations, the company decided to upgrade and expand its telecom infrastructure. It opted for a multilayered telecom structure. Currently, the company uses three 64 kbps leased line connections for quick and easy transmission of data between its printing centre and offices, apart from ISDN lines.

The leased lines have provided the media major numerous benefits. For instance, they have made several bandwidths available to it, making it easier to customise its broadband package, apart from improving branch office connectivity. Also, since the company uses a heavy load of data and information as well as bandwidth-hungry applications on a daily basis, leased lines are a cost-effective solution and have helped prioritise traffic.

Meanwhile, the ISDN set-up has enabled faster data downloads and deployment of new applications such as video/audio streaming without interruption. It has also helped transmit voice, data and video on a single line so that employees can remain online without any reduction in speed or data transmission.

In addition, the operations of Deccan Herald’s Bangalore office, including front-end and billing-related functions, have been fully automated. Also, all district correspondents are connected to each other via the I-Net facility.

The company makes use of applications like enterprise resource planning (ERP) and customer relationship management (CRM). ERP has facilitated seamless flow of data and information across the company, thereby integrating all critical processes on one platform.

More importantly, this business support system maintains an integrated database for operations related to manufacturing, supply chain management, financials, projects, human resources and CRM.

Security is a key priority for the company. It has a multi-level security structure in place, comprising firewalls, antivirus protection, etc.

To stay connected while on the move, the top management uses mobile email, mobile data connectivity and corporate intranet, albeit in a limited way. These tools have been beneficial for the company as apart from the advantages of any time, anywhere mobility, corporate intranet has provided it a cheap, flexible and user-friendly medium. It has also helped improve information sharing and coordination across the organisation and provided employees access to all information through a simple web interface.

Moreover, Deccan Herald uses the internet to reach out to its readers. The company’s website has an online version of its print edition and offers news, opinion pieces, analysis, daily photo galleries, etc.

The facsimile edition of Deccan Herald is edited in Bangalore. This version is sent through high speed lines to Hubli-Dharwad where the paper is printed and distributed.

Challenges and benefits

The company did not face any major challenges during the process of overhauling its communications infrastructure.

It has benefited significantly from the exercise. Upgrading its leased line capacity has helped the media organisation utilise its bandwidth more efficiently without downtime or outages. ISDN connectivity has helped the organisation streamline communications between its offices and undertake daily operations more efficiently.

All in all, by adopting various telecom tools, Deccan Herald has widened its business reach and scope.

 
 

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