Close integration at HT puts new ads in page in seconds

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Indian giant the Hindustan Times has completed its switch to EidosMedia's Méthode, the system embraced by its Mint business paper for the last ten years.

The country's second English-language daily (after the Times of India), Hindustan Times has a circulation of more than 1.6 million print copies spread across 23 editions, with content also available through a web edition, five regional epapers, and smartphone and tablet apps.

The single Méthode platform follows major reorganisation of its editorial operations, and replaces half a dozen earlier systems which handled everything from news planning to print edition management.

The 23 regional and market-specific variants differ in advertising content as well as editorial, and the complex edition structure is managed using the multi-edition planning workspace in Méthode.

Advertising content is paginated in the same pages as the local editorial, increasing speed and accuracy, with more than 1000 ads paginated each day, most using automatic 'smart placement' mechanisms. The SAP advertising booking and payment system is tightly integrated in real time, so that ads booked through SAP show up on the page seconds later. This allows bookings to be modified and updated until the last minute before the edition closes. During recent busy periods the system has handled more than 10,000 updates a day with complete visibility and control over the whole process.

For HT Media, experience with the Méthode deployment at business daily Mint since its launch in 2007 provided intimate knowledge and confidence. "Moving to Méthode has allowed us to bring about a radical transformation in our newsroom practices," says Hindustan Times chief content officer Rajesh Mahapatra.

"By integrating our print and digital operations, it has also significantly improved the management of advertisement content, yielding significant benefits both in terms of quality and revenue potential."

Cloud hosting addresses the issue of frequent peaks and surges in visitor traffic on the HT website, a major information portal in one of the world's largest countries. As well as allowing server capacity to be ramped up and down automatically, the cloud installation managed by Amazon Web Services also hosts the paper's disaster-recovery facility.

Outside the newsroom, journalists and editors are adopting Méthode's remote working applications: Via browser and mobile app versions, Swing allows staff to edit and submit stories and media, and monitor groups and users, while PageTrack delivers a real-time view of print-edition progress to tablets and smartphones - or even 'video walls' - allowing planning and progress meetings to be held at locations outside the newsroom.

The new platform serves around 900 users distributed between the Hindustan Times' main newsroom in New Delhi and its offices in major cities throughout India.

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