Platforms for President!


Earlier this month our Platforms team entered the 2016 BCS UK IT Awards for the category of ‘Digital Project of the Year’ and ‘Project team of the year’ by building an API driven, microservice architecture, scaled platform to replace eRights.

BCS, the Chartered Institute for IT, is committed to making IT good for society. They are a network of IT practitioners whose aim is to encourage and bring about tangible change within the global IT industry. Originally founded in 1957, BCS now boasts almost 90,000 members and the UK IT Awards look to recognise and promote outstanding achievement within the UK IT industry.

The application process for a coveted UK IT award is long. Approximately 2,500 words long. Our submission totalled some carefully selected 2,557 words and covers a multitude of sections surrounding our project’s innovative beginnings, quality of management throughout, our return on investment, the technical impacts and our ‘summary of success’ thereafter. This was a very wordy process for a not-very-wordy long term project. The overhaul of eRights saw teams drag the FT’s subscriber accessibilities and entitlements into the modern age over an arduous seven month period.

Above: A relieved Nick and Dan celebrate successful quest in writing ONLY 2500 words about themselves for BCS

eRights was the decade old monolithic service that helped run our digital subscription and entitlement services. Hard to work on, full to the brim of technical debt and unsuitable for the innovation the FT strives for, over the course of 2015 the Membership team rebuilt this platform.

The new Membership platform, with an API first mentality, has enabled not only cost saving across licences for eRights, support and other software but also opportunity to grow and deliver new, exciting products and services. Google AMP is a great example of a product we would not have had the ability to deliver in a timely fashion on an eRights platform, now, with our new APIs, we are able to do this within a matter of weeks.

Additionally, by simplifying our services, consolidating features into Salesforce we have enabled savings and opportunity across customer services to improve our interaction with customer dramatically. As we move forward to our march to one million digital subscribers, the Membership platform is at the core of enabling this growth.

Author: Georgina Murray

Communications Assistant