For this case study, we met with Tim and Adele from Taylor & Francis to speak with them about their experience of moving over to RightsZone. We discussed what prompted the decisions, the process of transferring an extensive amount of data and the advantages they have found in using a new, globally-accessible, secure and integrated system.
“RightsZone was the most intuitive system. It just made sense to us…”– Tim Spanner, Rights & Permissions Manager, Taylor & Francis
Replacing antiquated systems
The rights business at Taylor and Francis (T&F) has been growing quickly. With new imprints acquired, the possibilities for licensing content expanding and staff located around the world, the rights team could see that their existing systems were holding them back. They were no longer fit for purpose.
Managing two systems which worked independently, alongside a mix of databases, spreadsheets and old files (that had led to much duplicate information) was inefficient and time consuming. With twenty years’ worth of data, covering different regions, for imprints past and present, there was little standardisation and the team at T&F found themselves in a “data stew”.
On top of this, as there was minimal integration with existing systems, the rights team found themselves re-keying title data for over 7000 new ISBNs every year!
As the Taylor and Francis rights business has grown, so too has the team dynamic, from a close-knit team of three, they have expanded to over 20 members of staff, globally. It was important that any new system was easy to use and the data it held was standardised and easy to interpret, by all team members – current, new and for those joining in the future, wherever they happened to be working.
Taylor & Francis needed a stable and secure, cloud-based system that would help them manage their rights business more efficiently and support future growth.
How we helped Taylor & Francis (at a glance)
- Collaborated with rights team to review, edit and update legacy data
- Migrated over 600,000 records form the legacy database (majority migrated in 1 week!)
- Provided extensive on-site training to the global team to get them up and running immediately
- Implemented REST API to enable over 1 million title records to be created and updated in real time!
- Worked with rights and technology teams to identify and deliver additional developments including
- integration with SAP for invoicing
- validating customer addresses
- enhancing functionality for recording royalty statements
- adding additional workflow features
- creating a library of bespoke reports
Why T&F chose RightsZone
Choosing an experienced and trusted partner
The team highlighted many factors, but one thing we were delighted to hear was that although they had met with other providers, when they saw the RightsZone demo, they felt it was:
“the most intuitive and it just made sense to us”
In contrast to other providers, whom they felt did not understand the rights business so comprehensively, the T&F rights team noted that the vocabulary used in the app was the same familiar language that they used every day. They summarised our point of difference perfectly, in stating:
“to have someone who has the experience of selling rights and has been there at Bookfairs is extremely valuable”
Secure and reliable
The fact that RightsZone is built and hosted on the Salesforce Platform was very reassuring to the broader business at Taylor and Francis.
As an established global, secure solution, already in use within the business, the advantages of Salesforce were well understood and it was technology that the business felt comfortable with. The decision to select RightsZone was made easier by the fact that it ticked both the Rights team’s and the Technology team’s boxes.
“There was an immediate trust of working with people who know exactly what our business is”.– Adele Parker, Head of Rights, Taylor & Francis
You can’t move from a 20-year-old system without some issues and there were challenges, of course, especially with the amount of data that was being transferred. However, T&F felt confident throughout the process that the move would be worth it and they felt supported throughout the period of transition.
RightsZone worked with Taylor and Francis to review their existing data, and our rights expertise meant we could quickly and accurately identify and resolve issues. The actual data migration was very quick, moving from the old system to the new, whilst the rights team were working at a bookfair, so that they could get back to work immediately on their return.
Now the rights team have been using RightsZone for some time, they have been able to reflect on the benefits they have seen from making the switch. The most important outcome has been the ease with which they can now see, access and compare the history of every single title. Their workflows are flowing smoothly, and they have the consistency of data they had craved.
They have seen huge time savings from the significant reduction in data entry required, as well as from workflow features such as cloning tools, list views and being able to send data merged emails directly from the system.
Importantly, it has given the team, which continues to grow, more time to focus on selling.
As Adele stated:
“Year on year, we have seen significant organic growth because we have the extra time.”
Business insights revealed
The business analysis tools have also been a major highlight. The rights team have found that reports are easy to create and adapt and the output is of high quality, meaning they can be sent to other departments, teams, and customers without needing to be edited.
Easy access to data via reports, list views and dashboards have given the team new insights into their business, enabling them to test assumptions and identify new opportunities as well as to report relevant and accurate rights data to the wider business.
Flexible and adaptable
The team have appreciated our willingness to adapt elements of the app to their business, instead of them having to adapt to us. We have been able to configure the app to suit their requirements and even show them how they can make their own changes as their needs change over time.
As well as flexibility within the system, the flexibility of access has proved hugely important with much of the team working remotely. It is also a huge benefit for a team that needs to travel a lot, with much less time needing to be invested in preparation and printing of documentation to support client meetings at bookfairs and on sales trips. As Tim says:
“ We are confident now that if we travel and have internet, we can get to all of our data really easily”
Supporting Future Growth
It is fair to say that implementing RightsZone for Taylor and Francis was a sizeable task, and moving so much data in such a short space of time was certainly a challenge! However, it has been extremely rewarding to see so many of the benefits that we envisaged when we first created RightsZone being realised on such a large scale. We really enjoy working with the team at Taylor & Francis, and continue to collaborate on ideas for new features and development to support the growth of their rights and licensing business.