Sarganserländer – Outsourcing to the cloud instead of acquisition of new hardware

Sarganserländer Druck AG and a&f are joining forces to develop a forward-looking ICT strategy in view of impending hardware replacements.

Sarganserländer – Outsourcing to the cloud instead of acquisition of new hardware

Initial situation

Sarganserländer is a regional newspaper and one of the oldest newspapers still in print in Switzerland. The first Sarganserländer issue came out in in 1873. With a circulation of 9,202, the paper is published daily for the enjoyment of the residents of Sarganserland. A major circulation of 21,053 appears on Tuesdays. In 2019, Sarganserländer Druck AG needed to acquire new infrastructure – traditionally this would have involved local servers, storage and backup hardware. The company approached its long-standing IT partner, a&f systems ag, for this purpose.

Objective

a&f encouraged the publishing company to take this perfect opportunity to look at the ICT environment as a whole. The latter was analysed as a result and a joint ICT strategy developed for the coming five years.

«Based on a five-year ICT plan, the customer can identify the weighted cost drivers at any time and budget and align its ICT strategy accordingly.»

Philippe Lindegger, CEO & Co-Owner and Head of System Engineering a&f systems ag

Project timeline

Depending on the scope of the project, the a&f consultants recommend to split the objective into two phases. This provides the customer and a&f with total clarity, control and cost transparency at all times. The Sarganserländer project was divided into the following phases:

  1. Phase: Future requirements analysis
  2. Phase: Concept development
  3. Phase: Migration of the production environment to the cloud
  4. Phase: Removal of the local server systems
  5. Phase: Replacement and optimisation of the local infrastructure

It quickly became clear that the customer would like to minimise the complexity of the local server infrastructure and in the future also outsource the responsibility for the production environment to the a&f systems experts. The persons responsible for the project at Sarganserländer saw the benefits of outsourcing the entire production infrastructure to the a&f cloud at the Green Data Centre, which also fits in excellently with the company’s strategy.

«The cloud solution provides our company with planning and budget security and ensures that our editorial and production departments have a permanently monitored and fully functional system environment.»

Thomas Ambühl, CEO Sarganserländer Druck AG

In a first step, Philippe Lindegger led an a&f team which analysed the existing production workflows and systems. The a&f experts in the Cloud and Application Solutions departments worked closely together on establishing the requirements. Workshops were held together with the Sarganserländer editorial management during which a&f developed a concept that met all of the customer’s requirements. Thomas Ambühl, the CEO of Sarganserländer Druck AG, presented the resulting proposal to the Board of Directors and finally gave the go-ahead for its implementation.

«Thanks to the outstanding cooperation and trusting relationship between all project participants, we were able to produce the issue on 30 June 2020 already in the new a&f cloud.»

Diana Fenato, System Engineer Application, a&f systems ag

Conclusion

a&f and Sarganserländer developed a friendly relationship whilst working jointly on the project. Thanks to a&f’s intensive project supervision, a milestone was reached in the summer of 2020 – the first successful production of the Sarganserländer newspaper in the cloud.

«The production of the first Sarganserländer newspaper in the cloud went smoothly and the issue was delivered on time to our readers.” Right from the beginning, the editorial department found the handling to be very easy and quick.»

Thomas Ambühl, CEO Sarganserländer Druck AG

Both a&f and Sarganserländer Druck AG are extremely satisfied with the result. The projects was a complete success.

«For me, the cooperation with Thomas Ambühl is an outstanding example of our approach during various phases.»

Philippe Lindegger, CEO & Co-Owner and Head of System Engineering a&f systems ag

a&f systems would like to take this opportunity to thank Thomas Ambühl and his team for the trust they have placed in us and our company and for the great cooperation.

Your contact

Philippe Lindegger

CEO & Co-Owner, Head of System Engineering