Jagran Prakashan Ltd. (JPL) is one of India's premier media and communications groups with interests spanning print, advertising, event management, and mobile services for weather, cricket scores, and educational activities. It is a major media enterprise, with 300 locations across 15 states. Its impressive stable of print publications includes Dainik Jagran, the world’s most widely read daily newspaper––with a readership of over 55 million––the country’s leading afternoon dailies, and a range of popular local, bilingual, and English language newspapers.
JPL was using multiple systems to manage its business processes. Users were resistant to using multiple passwords for various applications, preferring to continue their less efficient, legacy work practices.
In addition, there was no single repository for sharing documents across the organization, such as company announcements or project documents. The company relied on e-mail to disseminate up-to-date company information, often missing employees. It was also time-consuming and difficult for managers to track the status of ongoing assignments or projects because collaboration and document sharing was inefficient and ineffective.
With diverse businesses and many geographic locations, JPL needed to implement a centralized and user-friendly enterprise portal to improve document sharing and collaboration and increase business agility. The company implemented Oracle WebCenter Portal to create a dynamic, secure, and intuitive self-service enterprise portal to improve the user experience and increase operating efficiency. It improved staff productivity by 40%, accelerated new IT projects by up to 4x, boosted staff morale, and increased business agility.
Before implementing Oracle WebCenter Portal, JPL stored project-critical information, such as page planning of daily newspaper editions and the launch of new editions or supplements on individual laptops or in the e-mail system. Collaboration between colleagues was limited to physical meetings, telephone discussions, and e-mail. It was difficult to trace and recover important project documents when a staff member resigned, which represented a significant risk to business continuity. Employees were also averse to multiple passwords and resisted using the systems, affecting staff productivity.
With Oracle WebCenter Portal, JPL created a dynamic, secure, and intuitive self-service enterprise portal with business activity streams. The portal allowed users to navigate, discover, and access information, such as advertising rates, requisition approvals, ad-hoc queries, and employee surveys from a single entry point with a single password. Managers can also upload important documents, such as new pricing for advertisers or newspaper distributors, and share them through the information and instruction section in the portal. In addition, managers can now easily track and review timelines for projects online rather than gathering information from meetings and e-mails. The company gained the ability to centrally manage information, ensured business continuity, and improved staff productivity by 40%.
“In the media industry, news has a very short shelf life, so speed is crucial. Information delayed is like information lost,” said Sarbani Bhatia, vice president IT, Jagran Prakashahn Ltd. “Thanks to Oracle WebCenter Portal’s contextual collaboration tools, we can provide and share feedback for new project launches, such as career or education supplements, up to 2x faster through discussion forums or knowledge groups. Tasks that previously required four months, we now complete in one month.”
In addition, the company can broadcast announcements, flash employee birthdays, and promote important events through the message section on the webpage, instead of using the e-mail system. The company can also conduct opinion polls to gauge employee response to organizational issues and improve management decision-making.
“With over 10,000 employees across 300 locations, it is critical for management to hear the voice of employees and develop a cohesive organizational culture. Oracle WebCenter Portal enables employees to engage with business processes and systems in a collaborative environment, providing users with an exceptional experience,” Bhatia said.
Newspaper advertisements generate the majority of JPL’s revenue. With most sales staff on the move, the company needed to ensure timely approval of print advertisement discounts for specific clients and meet tight publication deadlines.
By integrating Oracle WebCenter Portal seamlessly with its enterprise resource planning (ERP) system and other applications, such as the organizational mass mailing system, business intelligence, and management information system, JPL embedded its approval workflow processes into the enterprise portal and provided users with an integrated and intuitive interface. About 30% of JPL’s sales staff members now have tablets and receive advertising discount approval from managers while in the field and no longer need to return to the office, which has significantly improved efficiency and increased business agility.
“Application mobility was critical for sales representatives in the field to meet stringent auditing requirements for online accountability, particularly for our newspaper advertising business. Staff member satisfaction has improved significantly now that the sales team can use tablets to access the portal––a capability we will extend to smart phones in the second stage of the implementation,” Bhatia said.
With Oracle WebCenter Portal, users can easily create, modify, and upload information to their personalized webpages without IT assistance. By seamlessly integrating Oracle WebCenter Portal with the payroll database, managers can decide which members of their team can access the page and with whom they will share information, a decision based on role or geographical location. A sales representative selling advertising space for a local language daily newspaper, for example, can upload an updated advertising rate relevant only to that particular publication. Users can also easily adapt to the new platform, thanks to its intuitive design and look, reducing the need for training and lowering resistance to using the system.
Using Oracle WebCenter Portal’s out-of-the-box reusable components, such as portal pages and templates, provided JPL’s developers with a comprehensive and flexible user experience platform and increased the speed of application development. In less than five months, JPL developed more than 55 workflows. The IT team accelerated deployment of new applications by up to 4x, as they do not need to install them on individual machines now that they have a web-based environment.
“Previously, we would have spent a whole day deploying a new application for each department or location. With a browser-based environment, we have cut costs by up to 60% by reducing deployment time to zero, because our IT team can roll out a new application from a single point, thanks to Oracle WebCenter Portal,” Bhatia said.
JPL did not consider other products because the company was already using Oracle Database, Enterprise Edition with Real Application Clusters and had a positive experience with Oracle. JPL chose Oracle WebCenter Portal to ensure no compatibility issues for integration with its existing Oracle products and to take advantage of the experience and support of a reputable vendor to ensure business continuity.
“We chose Oracle because we knew we could rely on its support and experience. In addition, Oracle WebCenter Portal’s speed, agility, and mobile access features were a perfect fit for our business requirements,” Bhatia said.
JPL launched the enterprise portal to 500 users in the first phase of the project, and plans to extend this to 2,000 users when the portal is fully launched. Oracle partner PricewaterhouseCoopers used Oracle Application Development Framework for the intial set-up, user training and to develop and design sample workflows. JPL’s internal IT staff then took charge of the implementation, bringing it to completion on budget.