Yle: How to introduce CUE to 1000+ journalists

Finland's national public broadcasting company Yle saw great potential in CUE’s intuitive user interface – and implemented the system in only four months.

August 28, 2018

Antti Plathan from Yle had his reservations about replacing the Escenic Content Studio CMS, which his editorial colleagues had gotten so comfortable with. But as a service manager with a passion for “providing excellent tools for our journalists”, he knew it was time to upgrade as soon as he had seen CCI and Escenic’s new content creation platform CUE in action.

The promises and risks of CUE
Antti Plathan could see a lot of potential in the promises of CUE, which he had identified as:

  • A pure HTML5 web client, which meant no more Java: “The biggest advantage is that there is no software to be installed locally on the machines, and that is fantastic”, Antti said.
  • A customizable user interface: CUE is built for extensibility, which means that Antti can choose the exact tools and components that fit his newsrooms’ needs and integrate them into CUE.
  • Easy development of new components: CUE uses the same modern web technologies that Yle’s developers are used to from developing their front-end applications.
  • Support for proper proofreading: The Finnish language is quite unique, so this was a priority for Antti and his team: “We need special software for proofreading, and in order to have that, we need to be able to integrate a third-party system into a system like CUE.”
  • Native support for mobile devices: CUE is designed for mobility, so content creators can produce stories as they are experiencing them in the field.
  • Fast startup time: “CUE loads up really fast. It’s like many other web applications, it’s pretty much immediate,” Antti explained in his presentation at CUE Days 2018.

 

However, in the beginning, Antti also saw a few risks in relation to a CUE project:

  • Did CUE have as many of the vital features as Escenic Content Studio did?
  • Would CUE’s look and feel would be so different from Escenic Content Studio that it would require a lot of training?
  • And did ALL of the Yle’s 1000 journalists need training from Escenic?

Taking a closer look at CUE, Antti found out that CUE is in feature parity with Escenic Content Studio. And when he showed CUE to some of Yle’s journalists, their immediate reaction was: “Okay, this is very simple, we know how to use it”. Hence, the need for training was minimal, as he had hoped.

 

How to implement CUE in just 4 months
With the potential risks swept aside, Yle was now ready to upgrade to CUE. But due to a third-party software license running out by the end of 2017, Yle had a strict deadline of having to fully implement CUE and completely shut down Escenic Content Studio in just 4 months. Here’s how they did it:

  • August 22, 2017: The production upgrade from Escenic 5.7 to Escenic 6 was done to allow simultaneous Content Studio and CUE usage for piloting. According to Antti, this was painless: “The technical part of upgrading from Escenic Content Studio to CUE is really easy.”
  • August 28, 2017: Antti and his team presented the CUE implementation plan to the management group at Yle. The go-ahead was given right away.
  • September 22, 2017: The CUE Pilot Group of 48 journalists was chosen. The 48 journalists were chosen because they were considered superusers of Escenic Content Studio and were thus expected to easily figure out CUE as well.
  • October 2-6, 2017:The CUE Pilot Group was trained in smaller groups by Escenic Professional Services for one full day.
  • October 9-20, 2017: Antti’s team did a lot of hectic testing and hacking of the training environment based on the pilot group’s feedback.
  • October 23-December 22, 2017: Mass trainings for the rest of the 1000 journalists were given by the CUE Pilot Group.
  • January 14, 2018: YLE’s Escenic Content Studio servers were shut down.


After upgrading to CUE, the active user base has steadily kept growing to currently over 1300 registered users. Below, you can see a more detailed outline of the training of the 1000 journalists. Photo: slide deck from Antti Plathan’s presentation at CUE Days 2018.

How we trained the journalists CUE Days 2018 Yle Antti.png 

 


Watch the full Yle presentation

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