Financial Times launch ground-breaking content republishing tool

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The Financial Times is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, recognised internationally for its authority, integrity and accuracy.

With a paying readership of one million subscribers, of which three-quarters are digital subscriptions, the FT provides a broad range of information, news and services for the global business community. Part of Nikkei Inc., the FT operates a republishing service that allows subscribers to publish FT content to their own publications - be it newspaper or magazine, and across media channels.

Highlights

  • Ground-breaking search engine developed

  • Industry-standard front end portal development using the latest UX principles

  • Rapid onboarding of skilled resources, thanks to Xoomworks domain knowledge

An automated tool to supply tailored content to subscribers

The FT’s copyright-cleared content to businesses service involves accredited subscribers logging on to the FT site and selecting individual articles for download.

Users find relevant content using text search and can set up email alerts to surface articles they want to read. They can publish these articles on their own websites or other media.

To meet the potential demand for these services, the FT needed an automated way to supply content directly to subscribers’ workflows via an RSS feed. The Copyright Cleared Feed (CCF) portal would be a powerful instrument for setting up a custom RSS feed tailored to specific customer needs.

While the in-house Content and Metadata team focused on the back-end and the advanced search capability, the FT needed a partner to develop an industry-standard front end for the platform.

Xoomworks provided both development and design resources, supporting the FT project in Sofia.

“In line with Xoomworks’ OneTeam approach, they immediately became a vital part of our product team,” says Penko Ivanov, Senior Business Analyst at Financial Times.

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Xoomworks Technology has had a long and fruitful relationship with the FT, having built the FT offshore product development capability in Sofia. The FT approached Xoomworks to see if they could help to create the CCF.

“Our timescales were very tight, with only six months available to complete the end-to-end design, build and test process,” says Penko. “We needed people who could hit the ground running.”

Xoomworks provided both development and design resources, supporting the FT project in Sofia.

“In line with the Xoomworks’ OneTeam approach, they immediately became a vital part of our product team,” says Penko. “They delivered a full product design in the allocated six weeks”.

The platform consists of a back end that operates the RSS feeds, and a front end for performing searches and selecting content. It has a state-of-the-art search facility to discover content relevant to the customer’s needs.

Ground breaking search features and republishing tool

The Xoomworks team designed and developed the portal’s front end using the latest technologies and best user experience (UX) principles. The portal includes embedded tips and tools, explaining how to use the system, reducing training needs to a minimum.

The new search features are ground-breaking and proprietary to the FT, including text searching and matching to the FT’s knowledge graph. With the new search, customers can find content that is up-to-date and relevant to their specific interests.

“This is a big deal for the FT,” says Penko. “The revolutionary search engine will have many applications throughout the FT, and we expect it to be a unique selling point for this product.” The first phase of the development was completed, including a rigorous testing programme, and handed over within five days of the original target date.

“This is an exceptional achievement,” says Penko. “Thanks to Xoomworks’ design and development capabilities, we hit our targets for launching an exciting new service for our B2B customers.” Initially, the platform is being operated by FT staff, building searches and filters for B2B customers, who then receive content via an RSS feed. The platform will be launched to B2B customers in 2021. This phase of the rollout also provides a live testbed for the FT to fine-tune the new search engine’s functionality.

The plan is to further develop the engine for internal use, exploring the FT’s own metadata and building relationships between information across the organisation.

Key benefits

 

Ground-breaking product launched

The CCF portal enables B2B customers to receive customised RSS feeds, freeing them from downloading content article by article and widening the scope of the FT’s republishing service.

Revolutionary search engine development

The project has delivered a state-of-the-art search engine for use throughout the FT’s organisation, bringing significant benefits and expands the scope of the republishing offering.

Increased B2B customer engagement

B2B customers can now integrate FT content with their own publishing platforms, building richer relationships within the FT’s market.

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The results

  • Ground-breaking search engine developed

  • Industry-standard front end portal development using the latest UX principles

  • Rapid onboarding of skilled resources, thanks to Xoomworks domain knowledge

  • Ahead of target, on-budget delivery of CCF product design, build and test

tailored search engine development
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We are used to engaging with Xoomworks for long-term assignments but had not asked them for such a time-limited set of resources before. We had no reason to be concerned, however, as the team onboarded without any fuss and got straight to work. We have had a long relationship with Xoomworks, and once again, our faith in them has been justified.

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Penko Ivanov

Senior Business Analyst at Financial Times

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