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August 2, 2016

With well known newspaper titles such as The Times, The Sun, The TLS and The Sunday Times in its portfolio, News UK is one of the leading information sources for the estimated two thirds of the UK population that read a newspaper in print or digitally every week. A wholly owned subsidiary of the American media organisation, News Corp, founded by Rupert Murdoch, News UK operates in a climate of constant reinvention, adaptation and improvement within a fast moving, highly creative, multichannel media business.

What’s the story?
News UK operates from eight sites across the UK and Ireland including Broxbourne, Enfield, Knowsley, Dublin, a distribution centre in Glasgow, and its headquarters in London, which sits at the foot of The Shard. Over 5,000 people work across these buildings in departments including legal, human resources, technology, journalism and online development, and they all rely on printing, scanning and copying technology to do their jobs.

The company has enjoyed a longstanding relationship with Toshiba TEC going back to 2003. Jim Robinson, News UK & News Corp. Technology Shared Services, Desktop Services Manager EMEA, comments, ‘We review our print based requirements about every three years and it’s testament to Toshiba TEC’s spirit of innovation that it keeps being awarded a new contract. Apart from demonstrating keen pricing and a first class service package, one of the key reasons it is viewed so favourably is the relationship we have with key Toshiba TEC personnel. To give an example, it recently provided two senior people to work with us for six months on a document management analysis programme – that’s the sort of added value that is brought to the table.’

Streamlined operation
When Jim took over at News UK, he inherited a fleet of machines designed for the layout of the Wapping building. When they moved to the new building, the solution had to be completely re-designed so Toshiba was asked to perform an audit to reconfigure the print infrastructure.

The audit ascertained that the number of machines required at the new offices was substantially less than they had at Wapping. According to Jim: “We were able to reduce the number of devices from 720 devices to just 200, with the installation of PaperCut’s Follow Me secure printing this number was further reduced to 65 which are located in our London headquarters. This new configuration has saved us £130,000 per annum in paper and toner alone and reduces printing by around 30 per cent.’

Asked how such a phenomenal saving was made, Simon Coulson, Business Services Sales Manager at Toshiba TEC, answers, ‘Put simply, introducing PaperCut software made all the difference. PaperCut collects data via a print server and allows administrators to monitor usage patterns and costs, and take appropriate action when necessary. The ability to implement quotas and restrict where certain types of printing can take place has been proven to facilitate significant cost savings. Similarly, PaperCut allows someone to send an item to be printed, which joins a print queue. News UK staff are able to use their building entrance passes to access their documents via any chosen networked MFP, thereby keeping their documents secure. Users also have the ability to delete a specific print command if necessary and after 24 hours all print jobs are wiped from the machine if they are not printed and collected.’

Up in the sky
When Toshiba TEC won the new contract News UK was adamant that it wanted data to be stored and accessed via the cloud, instead of in its own data centres. This meant that some of the PaperCut software had to be re-written and this required some additional development work – which Toshiba TEC arranged at no extra cost to News UK – to enable it to sit within the cloud environment.

Toshiba TEC has five on-site engineers permanently working on this contract, providing a seven-day service from 7am-7pm. Simon Coulson states, ‘We have introduced a four hour fix time on most machines, but at the headquarters there are some that service “VIPs” and for these special devices they have a one hour fix time in place. Having the right tools for the job on site is really important and we always have a stock of switch machines for a “roll in-roll out” solution, or just for parts. In addition, we have devised a 15 point plan so that engineers don’t just fix the fault, they have a series of checks they have to do before they walk away from the device.’
Constant monitoring of the printing infrastructure is considered vital in order to maximise its effectiveness and News UK has a service level agreement (SLA) in place with Toshiba TEC, which looks at the performance and maintenance statistics across all devices to see how well they are working. Penalties are in place if the SLA is not met, however, so far this hasn’t happened.

Positive step
Jim Robinson believes that the new system has made an enormous difference in terms of flexibility, efficiency and cost savings at News UK. He concludes, ‘We set Toshiba TEC a complex task that required a complete reconfiguration of our print-based set up. I’m delighted that it rose to the challenge by meeting all of our requirements and more – reaffirming my belief that it not only provides the best technology on the market, but also knows how to specify and implement it to best effect.’