NORTHERN Ireland’s largest locally-owned weekly news group, Alpha Media, has committed a further £150,000 as part of a targeted, multi-year major investment in its telecommunications network.
The company, which has around 200,000 weekly readers across 13 key paid-for regional titles, said the additional investment would provide greater efficiencies, reliability and security to support its ambitious Northern Ireland-wide editorial, advertising and management teams.
Alpha Media Group publishes The Ulster Gazette (Armagh), Tyrone Courier (Dungannon), Mid Ulster Courier (Cookstown), Tyrone Constitution (Omagh), Strabane Weekly News, Ballymena Guardian, Antrim Guardian, Coleraine Chronicle, Ballymoney Chronicle, Ballycastle Chronicle, Northern Constitution (Limavady), County Down Outlook (Rathfriland) and The Newry Democrat.
Based in Moygashel, the company has been working with chosen supplier and partner, Northern Ireland telecommunications specialist Rainbow Communications since 2010 to ensure it continually has the most innovative systems firmly in place to underpin its growth.
The latest investment is part of a multi-year investment programme incorporating 17 locations designed to increase the capacity of its technological framework, improve connectivity between sites, reduce costs and facilitate operations online – and in the “cloud”.
Andrew Mussen, Group IT Manager, Alpha Media Group, said: “Communications and technology are key levers in our success, ensuring our readers, customers and colleagues are fully and reliably connected on every level and across multiple sites.
“This further investment reinforces our strategy to maintain and grow our leadership position in the delivery of quality local news and media services. We are delighted to collaborate once again with Rainbow Communications in rolling out best-practice solutions that fully meet all our daily needs.”
The supply agreement with Rainbow Communications allows Alpha Media Group to dramatically increase speed, data flows and capacity through the introduction of a new Multiprotocol Label Switching (MPLS) routing system which is linked back to one central, secured Internet portal.
Additional Virtual Private Networks (VPN) are also being incorporated which allow all local editorial staff to directly access its newly installed ‘Miles33’ centralised publishing system securely so news and information can be shared quickly and effectively for print and online use.
Newly-updated VoIP (voice over internet protocol) telephony means staff can connect seamlessly while providing Alpha Media Group with new options for expansion, additional users, reliability and reduced call costs.
Stuart Carson, Sales and Marketing Director at Rainbow, said: “By investing in the right communications solutions, Alpha Media Group continues to successfully innovate its entire operation, properly optimising and improving the experience for customers and staff thanks to a speedier, more agile network with greater security and capacity.”
With over 100 locally-based employees, Rainbow Communications provide round-the-clock efficient technical assistance and support to Alpha Media Group.
“This further and continued investment by the company means more smarter working and more time savings, as well as greater opportunities for confident expansion,” Stuart said.
“The technology which is available right now provides companies large and small with better flexibility, better value for money and a future-proofed system that leaves little to worry about – and that means businesses can focus on sustaining growth and achieving their ambitions.”