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Case Study: Times Publishing Company

Case Study: Times Publishing Company

“The people continue to be Vology’s best asset. (They) have made a huge difference in Vology’s success with TPC. Having the right people in place makes all the difference in a successful partnership.”

— Wendell W. Hepson, Senior Manager, IT Operations & Business Applications, Times Publishing Company (TPC)

 

Times Publishing Company’s flagship publication is the Tampa Bay Times (formerly the St. Petersburg Times), a daily newspaper serving the Tampa Bay area. The newspaper started before St. Petersburg or Tampa even existed. Three men assembled the first issue in Dunedin, printed as the West Hillsborough Times on July 25, 1884. Back then, Hillsborough County was so big it encompassed Pinellas. By 1892, the paper moved to St. Pete and became the St. Petersburg Times. Finally, in 2012, it became the Tampa Bay Times to reflect the larger region it serves.

Times Publishing Company also publishes the monthly business magazine Florida Trend and the daily tabloid newspaper tbt*. All Times Publishing Company brands combine to reach a weekly audience of 1.2 million print & digital subscribers. TPC’s mission is to provide readers with information, empowering them to make informed decisions that enhance their lives. Additionally, TPC advocates for improved quality of life in Tampa Bay and is a dynamic community leader in the manner it does business. Additional digital and print publication properties include tampabay.com, tbo.com, Senior Living Guides and Tampa Bay Newspapers Inc.

TPC was facing a powerful megatrend: Print‐based publishing and communication was declining as demand for digital channels accelerated. The significant media publishing organization needed to adapt, but it had limitations from its outdated technology systems. In particular, staffing an IT operations team, which was crucial to growing with changing technology requirements, was becoming increasingly difficult, as the publisher also planned to rapidly transform its network infrastructure.

TPC IT leaders desired to team up with a technology partner which understood—and could continue learning—the unique needs of today’s newspaper publisher. Largely, its uniqueness comes by way of a 24‐hour production cycle that makes technology support a challenge, and it was essential to align with a partner that could meet the demanding challenge.

TPC’s CIO followed up on a recommendation from a colleague, whose organization was already working with Vology. Soon, the CIO was strongly convinced by Vology leadership that the managed services provider could make the mandatory commitments required to transform TPC with a modern network infrastructure and meet TPC’s unique support needs with Vology’s 24/7/365, U.S.‐based Network Operating Center.

Vology worked with TPC to transform the publisher into a modern tech, digital media organization, as well as raise the level of technical support provided to TPC staffers.

The experience since 2014 has been described by TPC IT leaders as “challenging, educational and rewarding.”

“Vology, to its credit, is very flexible and always willing to adjust its approach when needed,” says Wendell W. Hepson, Senior Manager, IT Operations and Business Applications at TPC.

The results of the transformation during the past several years are considered by TPC to be a positive journey. Now, TPC is firmly attentive on the digital market, securely knowing it has the technology and support to successfully grow its business.

Some of the key results TPC has experienced since the transformation with Vology include less server downtime, a more stable network infrastructure, increased productivity for TPC staff, and the ability for TPC IT staff to better focus on strategic initiatives.

“We now have the confidence that when server or network issues arise related to our infrastructure, they will be resolved quickly,” Hepson says. “This frees up TPC IT staff to focus on internal strategic projects critical to our success.”

“Vology is a great partner. They care about local businesses throughout the Tampa Bay area, and are on the rise as they partner with Google and other technology giants.”