Connecting Iliffe’s remote operations to a single, secure network.
Iliffe Media is the entrepreneurial company behind some of the UK’s most respected regional media outlets. Known for providing accurate information and credible journalism from the heart of local communities, Iliffe operates a portfolio of more than 50 regional newspapers, magazines, websites and radio stations in Kent, the Midlands and the East of England. It also has commercial interests in partner media organisations operating from as far afield as the Highlands of Scotland.
In early 2021, Iliffe Media decided to upgrade the communications infrastructure connecting its newsrooms and office locations across the UK. Modern media companies are bandwidth-hungry environments, and Iliffe is no exception.
Iliffe requires rapid, resilient connectivity between its key locations and the wider internet to function. Its corporate communications network is crucial for serving the millions of people visiting its websites, keeping its radio stations on the air, gathering high-quality content and transferring the many massive media files containing its print publications to the presses on deadline day.
New technologies and new ways of working that became commonplace with the Covid-19 pandemic also put extra strain on Iliffe’s infrastructure. Data-intensive cloud applications, video conferencing and VoIP telephony added to Iliffe’s demand for bandwidth.
Running multiple newsrooms across the UK added to Iliffe’s IT infrastructure challenge. Its people and publications operate from 15 regional offices located within the communities they serve. Iliffe wanted to ensure its teams could quickly and efficiently access the company applications and information required while maintaining a consistent end-user experience and high levels of cyber security.
And with more colleagues working from home, Iliffe needed to ensure its network could also support secure, speedy access to IT applications from users located beyond the confines of its core office environments.
The company’s legacy corporate network struggled to cope with changing working patterns and the growing demands of the expanding Iliffe operation. It was costly to manage and maintain and suffered frequent failures that interrupted the flow of information and content between colleagues and with Iliffe’s readers and listeners in the outside world.
After reviewing a range of solutions, Iliffe Media commissioned Beaming to connect its newsrooms, offices, data centre and printing houses via a private wide area network.
Beaming built Iliffe’s new network to maximise data throughput, security and scalability. Routing equipment for each Iliffe site arrived pre-configured by Beaming technicians to ease installation.
Each of the 15 Iliffe sites were connected to the new network using the most appropriate form of connectivity available at each location to ensure it could meet the demands of each operation.
Each location was moved to the new Beaming network progressively as part of a robust migration approach designed to minimise the chances of any downtime during the transition.
Beaming provided high-capacity firewalls capable of handling the demands of the business and their customers to always ensure a good user experience. Beaming managed the transition to the new devices every step of the way, including migration of Iliffe’s existing firewall rules and thorough testing to ensure maximum resilience.
- Iliffe Media needed its new network to be fully operational within six months. Beaming delivered it in just ten weeks.
- All fifteen wholly-owned Iliffe locations are running smoothly on its new managed network, benefiting from the additional speed, security and scalability it delivers.
- Traffic flows between Iliffe’s endpoints via a dedicated private network, avoiding the congestion of the wider public internet.
- Before Beaming, Iliffe suffered one or two significant network outages a month across its core network. It has yet to experience a single failure since moving to Beaming.
- Iliffe’s new firewalls provide capacity to meet anticipated demand for Iliffe’s online services. They ensure all traffic entering and leaving Iliffe’s IT environment is subjected to rigorous scrutiny for viruses and other malicious activity.
- The use of a single breakout point to the wider internet allows internal traffic to flow freely across Iliffe’s corporate network and reduces the cost and complexity of managing multiple firewalls.
- The network Beaming built is being extended to additional media outlets in which Iliffe has an interest. Newsrooms from as far afield as the Highlands of Scotland have been added seamlessly to Iliffe’s rock-solid corporate network since it went live in June 2021.