A&N Media the technology and services providers for Associated Newspapers, which includes the Metro, The Independent and Evening Standard, is shifting to Microosoft's Officce 365 cloud apps platform. Media companies in the UK have been early adopters of Google Apps, so this deal is a breakthrough for Microsoft.
A&N Media will use Office 365 to deliver Microsoft Office, SharePoint Online, Exchange and Lync Online to the media company.
CIO of A&N Media David Henderson said the company plans to own no servers or datacentres by 2015 and will introduce a bring your own computer model for its employees. Henderson told ComputerworldUK's sister title CIO that he "recently did a staff offer where we gave employees £200 off an iPad to help drive adoption of tablet technology; we had 1,000 applicants within the first 24 hours of the scheme. We are looking at a similar scheme for the Blackberry Play Book and the HP Slate. We are trying to see if we can do this cost neutral ... in some cases it's a laptop replacement and initial signs are cautiously optimistic."
Henderson and his team are also helping the company adopt the commercial aspects of tablet computing.
"We are currently piloting field sales in the Metro newspaper booking ads on the iPad with their customers," he said.
"We must divert more of our time to delivering business change and innovation, which will allow us to stay ahead of our competition. We are also focussed on reducing the time and cost associated with implementing change. We cannot do this operating in the way we always have, so we are embracing new ways of delivering technology services," Henderson said.
Northcliffe Media, the regional newspapers business that is owned by the same parent company as A&N Media will be the first division to move onto Office 365. The regional newspaper division has suffered heavy losses in recent years.