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Cutting-edge communication

Lightning speed is essential to Aftonbladet. News must be reported fast and accurately day and night — whether the story is Sweden’s royal wedding, a major political event or the latest sports. Blogs must be updated, from the newsroom or the road. Editors must be kept informed. All that is possible with iPhone.

“The iPhone has changed the way I work, and the readers’ way of getting the news. I can be connected all the time,” says Jenny Alexandersson, Royal Reporter for Aftonbladet.

With a tap, multimedia communication

Alexandersson should know. She travels worldwide with Sweden’s Crown Princess, constantly checking information, writing and submitting articles, liaising with colleagues and keeping tabs on readers’ reaction.

iPhone’s versatility helps her compete successfully with rivals. With two taps of a finger, her iPhone becomes a tape recorder or a high-quality camera for instant photos. “I notice when I meet colleagues from other newspapers that they don’t have the same speed in what they are doing,” she says.

Alexandersson can check which news articles are most popular. She can use an Aftonbladet brand app, Varumärket, for detailed information about how to reach specific target groups in her audience. Or she can use Vision, an internal switchboard app that allows her to ‘log out’ with a quick shake of her iPhone — so she is identified as unavailable for phone calls.

She says it didn’t take her long to appreciate the full value of iPhone. “When I first got one, I was happy that there were so many fun applications. But I soon realized that iPhone made it possible for me to leave my desk in a totally different way. I was not tied to my workplace and it was a fantastic feeling.”

In fact all employees at the media house have an iPhone, from top executives to receptionists and security guards. “Everyone at Aftonbladet needs mobility,” says Oscar Edholm, CIO, at Schibsted Sverige, Aftonbladet’s owner. “We don’t see it as just a phone,” he adds. “It has replaced so many different workplace devices.”

Enriching the brand

Aftonbladet’s three powerful internal iPhone apps help streamline the workflow. They also convey core company values. For example, the Vision switchboard app shows a photo alongside the phone number of every user. “Who shall we work with? Who shall we reach? That’s what we wanted to communicate,” says Edholm.

Likewise, the Varumärket brand app presents the company philosophy via iPhone. “For instance, we have identified five or six different target groups of consumers,” says Martin Belak, Senior Developer and Head of IT Innovation. “We have video snippets, and we have samples of articles that will appeal to them.”

A third internal iPhone app, Butiksappen, allows employees in the field to give feedback about retail displays. It’s important, says Belak, to ensure that the newspaper stands look neat and tidy, are properly stocked and are near the cashier. The app uses geocoding. “This could have been done on the web,” he notes. “But it is so much easier to do it using an internal app.”

Aftonbladet built its internal apps with the iPhone Software Developer Kit -- and Apple developer tools. “We found it very simple,” says Belak. “You get started quickly and in just about a week you can have a finished application that you can run. This is because the SDK is very clear, contains everything you need and is well-defined.”

Belak notes the additional advantage of iPhone being a clearly defined product, compared with other smart phones. That’s a boon particularly for his IT department. “You have one screen size. And you always know what utilities you have to work with,” he says. “It’s the same with our websites. You have a clear target group to develop for — iPhone users,” he says.

Secure and effortless distribution

In Sweden, the constitution requires that information from journalistic sources is protected to the highest degree — another reason why iPhone was an automatic choice for Aftonbladet.

“We’re pleased with the level of security that iPhone automatically provides” says Edholm. “With the ability to create complex passwords, device and data encryption on the phone and our internal profile distribution, we’re confident our data is secure”.

Edholm recalls that iPhone worked right out of the box. Aftonbladet’s users need only about 15 minutes of instruction. “The roll-out of the iPhones has been amazingly simple,” he says. “We perform a quick installation and when the user receives their iPhone, it has the apps, email, contacts and calendar – all synced and ready to go.”

Not surprisingly, employees say that iPhone makes them feel more in control. “We are a media company,” says Edholm. “We work 24 hours a day. With iPhone, I’ve noticed that it’s more like having a sense of security in knowing that you haven’t missed anything rather than creating stress about always being connected,” he explains.

A definitive product

For everyone at Aftonbladet, it seems there’s just no better business device than iPhone. “Aftonbladet's strength, historically, is to be cutting-edge and not afraid to test new things,” concludes Belak. “So it was completely natural for us to adopt the iPhone – to stay at the forefront of global media growth.”

Company Snapshot

  • Media house that includes the Nordic countries’ largest newspaper and provider of online news
  • Reaches 2.5 million Swedes daily
  • Owned by Schibsted, the global media group
  • Based in Stockholm, Sweden

“The iPhone has changed the way I work, and the readers’ way of getting the news. I can be connected all the time.”

Jenny Alexandersson, Royal Reporter, Aftonbladet

“Aftonbladet's strength, historically, is to be cutting-edge and not afraid to test new things. So it was completely natural for us to adopt the iPhone.”

Martin Belak, Senior Developer and Head of IT Innovation, Aftonbladet

“The iPhone is a seamless product for working effectively. It’s strengthened our brand and made us more efficient. There is perfect integration in the iPhone.”

Oscar Edholm, CIO, Schibsted Sverige