Fairfax Media is a leading multi-platform media company in New Zealand.
More than 600 journalists also publish nine daily newspapers including The Dominion Post, 50-plus community papers and 25 magazines including NZ Autocar, NZ Gardener and Cuisine.
As part of a wider strategy, Fairfax wanted to create a membership portal that would act as a single entry point for customers across all of their digital platforms. Having a single source of customer data was expected to give Fairfax a better understanding of their customers, resulting in better relationship management and engagement through an improved customer experience.
Fairfax approached Datacom with the project’s requirements and work began in July 2014.
We developed an identity management system and membership portal, my.stuﬀ.co.nz, which centred on the user’s proﬁle and oﬀered an improved online experience. As part of the project, existing members were migrated from the old legacy system to a new database.
In addition to managing user identities, key features of the portal include a self-service capability for newspaper subscriptions. Subscribers can report delivery issues or put their papers on hold when on holiday and donate their papers for arts and crafts activities through the Tools for Schools programme.
Online newsletters are a signiﬁcant and scaling part of Fairfax’s reach in the digital space, with many users subscribed to receive top news headlines in their inbox every morning covering a variety of topics from Stuﬀ. Users can also sign up as a subject expert with the ‘Open Newsroom Network’ which means they may be contacted to provide a comment or sound bite for an upcoming news story.
We led the delivery, working with multiple teams across Fairfax New Zealand and other suppliers to deliver a completed MVP portal over six months. The process was rapid and adaptive, thanks to the close relationship between Datacom and a highly engaged team of stakeholders at Fairfax.
The project team performed daily stand-ups via video conference with team members across New Zealand, and met in person for collaboration as necessary. We were strict about adhering to timeframes with regular milestone dates that coincided with progress walk-throughs and demos. Challenges were dealt with by time boxing and scaling the team to avoid compromising on quality or the deadline.
The combination of collaboration and great direction meant that the team could work quickly while allowing for ﬂexibility when challenges arose.
This approach resulted in Fairfax and Datacom achieving a signiﬁcant delivery within a short time.
"The most crucial ingredient in this successful delivery – and perhaps the element that I’m most satisfied with – was that Datacom believed in why and what we were trying to deliver to our customers."
Fei Bian Goh, Senior Product Manager - Fairfax Media
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