Millions of people read the news on digital devices. Others rely on streaming videos or social media. While that’s old news to the media industry, the bigger story is how traditional print media companies are successfully adapting to deliver content to their audiences.
Take, for instance, France Messagerie. The company, which distributes magazines, daily newspapers and other print media — every day of the year — to 20,500 sales outlets in France and abroad, knows the importance of having a reliable, agile IT infrastructure. In a challenging business sector, the company must meet the needs of a strict regulatory system, manage complex logistics and develop new services to grow. These are all challenges that require the right IT services partner.
The company renewed its contract with Kyndryl this year, following a tender. France Messagerie's CIO, Martine Bolâtre, discusses key business challenges and how IT helps overcome them.
How will France Messagerie achieve its main priorities?
Our main priorities are fulfilling our operational requirements and delivering quality service, thanks to data collected and customer support, while controlling costs. And we do this in a challenging business sector.
To adapt, we are developing new service functionalities for our customers — newspaper publishers — such as automation, traceability, sales performance analysis, and new online applications to facilitate communication between all the actors of the press industry that are distributors and publishers. For example, a new feature of our application allows the press merchant to choose under rules to offer certain magazines rather than others, and to easily inform us of their choices so we can fulfill the order.
We also wish to analyze and reduce our carbon footprint, with the aim of becoming a "mission-driven company" in France. This strategic axis of decarbonation is especially important because we have a large logistical footprint.
What are the major challenges in your industry?
The press distribution sector in France is highly regulated: all distributors must be approved by ARCEP, the communications, postal and print regulatory authority. Only two companies in France have this approval to date. Our daily challenge is to distribute newspapers and magazines — 900,000 units each day — on time to the various dedicated sales outlets throughout France, the French overseas territories and abroad. These complex logistical challenges place real demands on our IT and information system.
In addition to these challenges, the press distribution sector has been facing a market decline for more than 20 years, which requires the reinvention of new models and opportunities.
How does digital technology help you meet the new challenges of your business sector?
In addition to meeting our daily distribution and logistics challenges, digital technology now allows us to exchange information directly with newsagents through online applications. In addition to helping newsagents reach a wider audience, these applications allow them to collect information and data, for example, on what they sell or do not sell at their points of sale. This data is then processed and allows the entire industry to make strategic choices. It is also an opportunity for the newsagent to reduce complaints and thus reduce operational losses.
How does Kyndryl contribute to your digital strategy?
Kyndryl, the world's largest IT infrastructure services provider, has responded to our need for reliability, agility and modernization by ensuring that our IT infrastructure and applications are robust, secure and resilient. Kyndryl's services enable us to meet our delivery requirements and also analyze and exploit large volumes of critical data.
For more than 15 years, Kyndryl has been operating and evolving our partnership through a "glocal" approach, by providing global capabilities while tailoring the solution specifically to our needs.
Our longstanding partnership was renewed this year following a call for tenders. Together, Kyndryl and France Messagerie have collaboratively defined a modern financial model and worked to optimize the underlying IT infrastructure. This "right choice" strategy is based on local governance, a near-shore expertise center and a local data center in Montpellier.
How did Kyndryl support France Messagerie throughout the process?
This partnership is a success thanks to the close relationship built over time between Kyndryl and us, particularly with the mobilization of Kyndryl's team and their cutting-edge expertise. Kyndryl's "glocal" model works perfectly, and we have a relationship of trust with Kyndryl's Customer Innovation Centers in India, Poland and the Czech Republic, who are very available and accessible in a "fast" and "agile" mode.