VNU Vacature Media
VNU builds entire platform, migrates content, and implements a new design in 10 weeks
Moving to an all-digital business model requires speed and agility. Leading Dutch publisher VNU Vacature Media knew it needed a strong digital strategy in place to ensure the successful migration of Intermediair from a print magazine with a digital property to an online-only format. Intermediair’s move to an all-new, all-digital format was hastened after Belgian-Dutch publishing group De Persgroep acquired VNU Vacature Media. With the help of Acquia, VNU Vacature Media managed to implement a new online platform offering new features at breakneck speed.
Part of the course change included the integration with assets of De Persgroep, said Bret Kelly, design and technology director at VNU Vacature Media. “We needed to integrate Intermediair with the rest of the assets of De Persgroep,” Kelly said. These include tie-ins with the websites of leading Dutch newspapers AD, de Volkskrant, Trouw, and Het Parool.
The new strategy demanded a new online focus. “We had to be able to deliver targeted career information to relevant audiences. In addition, all existing content needed to be reviewed and either updated for the new platform, or removed if obsolete.” Finally, the new platform needed to include some of the online tools already implemented by sister publications of De Persgroep in Belgium.
The biggest challenge for the migration project was time. “We had 10 weeks to build an entire platform, redo the tooling, migrate content, and implement a new design. That’s half of the time we would normally take.”
In order to support the engineering teams, Kelly started to look for a partner that could support his team hands-on without taking full control. “We have a firm belief that an online company needs to develop its own talent in order to compete.”
Equally convincing to Kelly was Acquia’s flexible services portfolio. “Acquia provides us with a technical account manager, which was exactly what we needed.” The manager would give advice on every query the development team would have, including on governance and version management. “And the two workshops Acquia led were specifically tailored to our case, speeding up the project considerably.”
Kelly also mentions the personal approach that Acquia took. “They introduced us to other clients who have completed projects similar to ours,” he said. “Learning from other Acquia clients was extremely useful, and it gave our project a major boost.” Acquia also assisted with configuring the hosting and site monitoring environment to improve scalability and performance of Drupal on the Persgroep web stack.
The project was completed in time for the planned relaunch of Intermediair.nl, with all planned features operational. The new strategy at VNU has already yielded some impressive results. Within six months, traffic to Intermediair.nl had risen by approximately 50 percent compared to a year earlier, and the number of job views has doubled.
“Without the help from Acquia, we would either not finish on time, or drop a significant number of features. That includes the tie-ins with the other Persgroep websites, which has greatly increased traffic,” Kelly said.