Always one step ahead with Evolane


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Belgian financial newspapers De Tijd (Flanders) & L’Echo (Wallonia) have become day-to-day references for anyone with a firm interest in the (world) economy. Just like many others, owner Mediafin took these beloved paper brands into the online world while being the first one to offer subscription models. If you’re bent on winning the editorial game in today’s day and age, be prepared to always be one step ahead of the (online) competition. Also, be sure to have reliable partners on board. Bits of wisdom that ended up proven in practice by Evolane and Akamai.

Mediafin: a joint venture of publishing forces

Mediafin’s print and online portfolio is any investor’s best friend. It encompasses financial media De Tijd/L’Echo, magazines Netto and Sabato, as well as numerous weekly publications aimed at both novice and experienced investors. Mediafin is the result of a joint venture between Rossel and Roularta and soon grew to become a game changer of Belgian media. With a workforce of around 300 professionals — in-house PR agency included — everyone at Mediafin gets told a simple truth from day one: be one step ahead of the competition in terms of technology.

Partnerships to serve subscribers everywhere

Mediafin was established as a consortium of Groupe Rossel and De Persgroep. Throughout its formative years, Mediafin witnessed the effectiveness of Akamai solutions first-hand and it proved a showcase of the best digital technologies currently out there. After a few changes in shareholders, as well as Mediafin’s coming-of-age leaving them to decide on their own partner in IT, there’s little surprise in finding Mediafin and Akamai at the same table in 2005. Exciting times, according to Kris van Rossem, Mediafin CTO. We were happy with the solution Akamai offered us to work with. We soon found a local partner in Evolane, made up out of a few familiar faces we knew to be experts in Akamai’s technology.’

Evolane was more than happy to introduce Mediafin to everything Akamai and Dynatrace had to offer. After all, Mediafin’s end user is entitled to online experiences worthy of their subscription, adds Kris. We want our service to be the best our audience could ever wish for. Take the stock market, for example. Stock ratings get updated every five seconds. If that starts taking too long, experienced investors won’t feel like they get the value they were promised. Mediafin has over half a million stocks to update, every day is one of top performances and solid security.’

Akamai & Dynatrace – monitoring safely

Mediafin recognized the importance of top-notch security from the start. Kona Site Defender matched that view with the proper technology. With Mediafin being a public medium, it wouldn’t be the first time for an ambitious hacker to attempt a break-in for the sole purpose of boasting, or because of the misconception that financial records are up for grabs. It’s a bit funny, really. We don’t have subscribers’ credit card data stored anywhere. Addresses might be the only records we actually have but, then again, they’re well-protected, as they should be’, says Kris.

Dynatrace we brought in as our go-to partner in application monitoring & creating different sales funnels. We were actually the first media company in Belgium to set up a paywall for digital media. A bit of innovation, if you will. Everyone does it nowadays. It only shows how every platform we operate should be always-on. We still have ways to go with Dynatrace. It’s acting king so far – now we’re ready to explore more of it’, reviews Kris.

We were happy with Akamai’s solutions. Now we found a local partner made up out of familiar faces with Akamai expertise: Evolane! ’
– Kris van Rossem, Mediafin CTO

Regardless of budget, feeling valued comes included 

Working with Evolane is somewhat of an honesty story’, says Kris. They advise us on the right steps we have to take. They don’t shy away from pitching tools that work best to our needs, regardless of that being in their own best interests or not. If something does come up and we’re in dire need of assistance, they instantly drop what they’re doing and help us out. It shows how they care for us as a client. It’s reassuring.’

Evolane knows the things we consider important. For example, say we get a sudden spike in website traffic goes because everyone – true story — starts working from home overnight. They’d let us know as soon as it starts showing. That way we don’t exceed our Akamai coverage limit by huge numbers which in turn saves us a lot of money. See where I’m coming from?’

Experts in security, performance and… modesty? 

To be honest, I think only a handful of people at Mediafin know of Evolane. It’s a clear sign that things are going well. You can bet any IT partner’s reputation would go sour if our teams weren’t satisfied’, Kris states. At the moment, DDoS attacks are mitigated on the regular, data gets cached without a sweat and the entire environment is monitored by Evolane experts. Anything else, Kris? The people at Evolane could, in fact, do some more boasting. They’re way too modest at times. Yes, you can write that down.’

Evolane knows exactly what’s important to us and they are aligned to our needs, our wants and – very important — our budget’
– Kris van Rossem, Mediafin CTO

One single source of monetary truth

With the rise of cryptocurrency shaping financial headlines everywhere, where does that leave Mediafin? Kris concludes: That’s a whole different story. We’ll just keep going along the road we’ve been on for a while now. Along with partners like Evolane and Akamai, that’s more than enough.’

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