Case story

From paper to pixels: Sud Ouest's path to becoming digital-first

December 14, 2023 – 4 min. read

A few years ago, Sud Ouest’s ambitions to grow its digital business hit a technological wall caused by its outdated CMS. Their leap to Stibo DX's media enterprise platform, CUE, streamlined workflows, merged print and digital content creation processes and created the technological foundation for their digital transformation.

All rights to the image belong to Sud Ouest.

It’s back in 2019 and the newsrooms in Groupe Sud Ouest have encountered a wall they can’t seem to climb over. A technological one. The dual CMS setup that they have been using for quite some time is starting to hold them back and making it impossible to become digital-first in their approach to content creation. They need a new approach to technology if they are to grow and innovate their digital and print publications.

Sophie Lemaire, tasked with the development of editorial tools at Sud Ouest, outlines the dilemma: “We had two tools that could communicate, but they required journalists to work in two different interfaces. This created duplication of tasks, unnecessary rework of copy, and a significant amount of copy-pasting.”

The group's search for a solution led them to CUE by Stibo DX, a Danish software provider with a long history of supporting news media across the globe. Large publishing houses such as Mediahuis, FUNKE, Groupe Rossel, and many others rely on CUE as their consolidated technology platform. CUE offers a comprehensive collection of solutions for publishers, ranging from content creation and management, digital asset management, digital publishing, print production, live blogging, etc.  

Fast forward to the present, the adoption of CUE in the newsrooms of Groupe Sud Ouest has made a significant impact on the workflows and ability to grow its digital offerings. It has eliminated redundant tasks and fostered a content-centric mindset among journalists who now work in one interface. A single CMS now effectively manages all publications and channels – digital as well as print.

“We deployed CUE in all the main newsrooms of the group's media, which created a common dynamic and resulted in obvious advantages,” Sophie Lemaire says.

Groupe Sud Ouest has witnessed a significant increase in the number of URLs published. While direct attribution to CUE for the growth in subscriptions, reader engagement, and web traffic is challenging, the numbers have only gone up since the newsrooms invested in a digital-first strategy.

Sophie Lemaire adds, "CUE has been the key for us to transform the approach to copy flow and the chronology and timing of publication. By eliminating double tasks and maximizing the digital use of the produced copy, we have clearly reached a new level. It has enabled us to focus on content for the web, moving away from our print-centric past. This aligns with our organisational vision of prioritizing information and content over format or medium.”

Every journalist at Sud Ouest is now working in CUE posting articles online and enriching their stories with multimedia elements such as photos, videos, graphics, and embedded content. A big contrast to 2019 where almost all journalists worked with a print focus and only a few worked on the publication of digital content. And the onboarding of new journalists is a breeze compared to before.

"The web part of our CMS is remarkably user-friendly. New journalists, especially the younger ones, often pick it up almost instinctively, and must only be onboarded in editorial guidelines we set up for the use of the technology. Naturally, the print part is more complex and requires formal training, but here we also see users adapt quickly and confidently”, Sophie Lemaire explains.