Case Study: The Harvard Crimson

See how Blissfully helped America's oldest college newspaper.

About the Harvard Crimson

The Harvard Crimson is the only breakfast-table daily newspaper in Cambridge, Mass. and the nation's oldest continuously published daily college newspaper. Over 140 years after its founding, The Crimson continues to flourish as a preeminent college publication with a strong staff of over 400 Harvard undergraduates.

Background

When we first met the Harvard Crimson, they were complaining about lack of reliability of key IT infrastructure, issues with on site servers, worries about security, and a desire to move to the cloud. They had expressed frustration with their current IT service provider and engaged with us to start a long term transition. The organization has decades of archives, working files, terabytes of data, hundreds of user and email accounts, a three story office, and a demanding daily production for the paper newspaper and online editions.

Working Together and Goals

Blissfully initially engaged at a strategic level, working with the graduate board that helps oversee the newspaper. Once we confirmed strategic long term IT priorities, specifically around moving to the cloud, we began working on an implementation plan, starting with a deep dive to ensure business continuity and safe-guard critical files and backups.

We worked hands on with the students and student leadership to create and implement our plan. The first step was moving critical information (5 TB worth) from a local Windows file share to a secure onsite + offsite backup, with real time sync to Dropbox ensuring business continuity and remote access. The next large project involved migrating 2 critical internal workflows built on Microsoft Access to Salesforce, and finally migrating accounting software and workflow from an old local Great Plains instance to Quickbooks Online.

Results

The organization is now cloud-first, improving productivity and student happiness. We’ve also significantly reduced exposure to critical hardware failure by relying more on the cloud and less on physical on premise servers.

By the Numbers

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Gigabytes of data to backup and migrate
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Organization staff
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Years since founding
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Number of old computers recycled

Interview

Mariel Klein, President of the Harvard Crimson

What are the most important IT considerations and priorities for you and your organization?

Our key priorities were updating our IT infrastructure and workflow, having reliable service, improving institutional memory, and reducing student burnout.

Describe some of your previous frustrations with IT

Our previous IT service was remote and unreliable. As the IT needs of our organization changed and our infrastructure became increasingly outdated, we realized we needed a more reliable service that would be able to help us any time we had an issue.

What made you choose Blissfully?

We were referred to Blissfully by a member of our graduate board, Josh Schanker. After evaluating several IT companies, we decided to work with Blissfully because they devised a smart vision for IT at our company, and they have since been able to work with us to deliver the services promised.

What are some of the critical things early on Blissfully has helped with?

Blissfully did a great job diagnosing our IT needs and devising a strategic plan to address those issues. They have worked with our team to transition our files and workflow to the cloud, a huge improvement for efficiency, accessibility, and security. They have also helped us upgrade wifi and clean out the old technological equipment in our building.

Would you recommend Blissfully to others?

Yes! Blissfully has provided great service to us, and the team is always reachable and responsive. They continue to come up with new ways to improve IT for our company.