With headquarters in Montrouge, near Paris, Bayard Presse is a Catholic publisher owned by the religious congregation of the Augustin de l’Assomption. Bayard is one of the largest publishers of magazines in France, and when considering just subscriptions, they are number one. Bayard is the leader in four markets – Youth, Religious, Senior and Nature & Territories. Besides magazines, Bayard also publishes two weekly newspapers (Pelerin and La Croix L’hebdo) and a national daily (La Croix), and numerous books and editorial products. In addition, Bayard has a large presence in the digital publishing world.
Bayard Presse was founded in 1873 and has expanded worldwide since then, especially in North America and Europe.
A multi-pronged solution
When Bayard started their search for a new subscription system in 2005, they were looking for a solution that could provide a multi-product and multi-sales channel approach, and a partner that would provide a higher level of reliability than their current vendor. They also hoped to achieve savings through synergies with their subsidiary, Milan, and by leveraging the fulfillment process with increased automation.
The European context
After an extensive international search, AdvantageCS was selected and Phase 1 involving Bayard publications began in July 2006. The project faced some significant challenges, as Bayard was the first continental European client for AdvantageCS and required numerous modifications to support the local business model. Other challenges included providing a French translation of the software, developing many interfaces with highly custom aspects, and finally, identifying new vendors in areas such as fulfillment, address hygiene and postal presort. Nearly 200 users of the software at Bayard were impacted by the project.
Timely delivery and reliability
Phase 1 was completed in one year, going live on July 21, 2007–an unprecedented speed for such a large project. It was followed by a second phase focused on migrating mail order business onto Advantage, upgrading the platform with new modifications for web integration on release 2009R1, starting a full eCommerce integration in September 2009, converting the large subsidiary Milan onto Advantage in 2010 and launching digital subscriptions the same year. Since then, more business has been brought onto the platform, with large modification projects like home delivery, two major upgrades in 2012 and 2016 and the move of the Hong Kong subsidiary to a dedicated instance of Advantage in 2018.
Over the dozen-plus years of being live on Advantage, Bayard has been able to implement many changes, enabling extensive automation of its business processing, reorganizing various vendors for increased cost and service efficiency, and developing its digital content across numerous publications.
Today, Bayard Presse and AdvantageCS are proud of the strong partnership they have built. Bayard has functioned as a strong testimonial for many of the European clients that have followed Bayard in choosing Advantage since 2007. Hubert Chicou, project sponsor in 2007 and later president of the board, said at the 10th anniversary celebration, "Bayard has found with AdvantageCS a reliable long-term partner–something that was considered risky by many other French publishers when it was selected 10 years ago, being the first in the French and continental market." Since then, AdvantageCS’s client share in Europe has grown to about 30% of the total global client list. Bayard’s decision to go with Advantage clearly opened up many new opportunities.