Lagardère Active is one of the largest media companies in France, and is the owner and operator of iconic media brands such as Elle, Europe 1, Gulli, Doctissimo, and Paris Match, as well as 23 radio stations worldwide, 17 TV channels and France’s top TV production company. Lagardère Active is also France’s premier mainstream magazine publishing group, with 27 press titles on the domestic market and a further 84 under license worldwide. Lagardère Active also has the largest mobile audience of any media company in France.
Lagardère Active’s core objective was to build a central repository to manage all content and publishing company-wide, which it tried to develop with a relational database. However, the platform took too long to upload and aggregate data from even a single source so the team had to find a database that did not have these problems. The organization also understood that the technology ultimately selected had to be leveraged easily throughout the organization to address a variety of other challenges including:
Integrating and Managing Large Volumes of Complex Data. Lagardère Active had about 15 different databases that contained various content types (text, pictures, sound and video), as well as data from cloud services like Dropbox. The company needed to aggregate all of that content without having to transform the data in order to make it usable.
Meeting Aggressive Product Timelines. Lagardère Active’s IT department faced several tight deadlines to create certain new products. For example, it had just one month before the championships to create a live statistics site for the top French professional soccer league (Ligue 1) using heterogeneous data from several sources. The team also only had two months to build an iPad app for Paris Match, one of its biggest properties, for the launch of the French iPad.
Rigid relational database technology causing inter-department rifts. The IT and editorial departments at Lagardère Active were often at odds because the editorial business solutions built on a relational platform were not flexible enough —it took quite a while to modify in response to the ever changing requirements, which caused delay in product iterations and lack of collaboration between the departments.
With MarkLogic, we don’t spend time and money transforming data like we would have to in a relational model. We focus on user experience and how we are going to manipulate and visualize the data. This has helped us bring in-demand, revenue-driving products to market faster than before.
With the help of MarkLogic partner 4D Concept, Lagardère Active selected the MarkLogic® Enterprise NoSQL database platform to serve as the single platform for powering Digital Factory, Lagardère Active’s central repository that integrates, manages and searches all of the organization’s data. To date, Lagardère Active has used MarkLogic for the following projects:
- A real-time statistics website for Ligue 1, the top French professional soccer league
- An iPad app for Paris Match, one of its biggest properties
- Elle à Table, a digital cookbook spun out of Elle magazine
- A digital version of Auto moto, an automotive magazine
- A digital version of Journal du Dimanche, a popular Sunday newspaper
- An aggregator for the website of Première, a leading television and cinema magazine
By using MarkLogic to power Digital Factory instead of a relational database, Lagardère Active can leverage a flexible data model and adopt an agile development process. This allows IT to build the technology behind digital products quickly, which in turn has transformed the reputation of the IT department from roadblock to a business partner and co-contributor with the editorial department. In addition, Lagardère Active has enjoyed these benefits:
Faster Time to Value. MarkLogic’s data model allows Lagardère Active to repurpose existing code and development processes, and ingest a variety of media types such as magazines, radios, and TV “as is” enabling IT to create new products in weeks rather than months. The company built the statistics site for Ligue 1 in just 4 weeks—just in time for the championship games. It was also able to move quickly and build the iPad app for Paris Match in just 8 weeks so that it could be pre-loaded on iPads for the launch of the device in France.
Continued Innovation. Powered by MarkLogic, Digital Factory configures, structures and ingests millions of documents that are leveraged for the organization’s digital publishing on its existing properties and can integrate new sources of data for new product creation.