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Harvard Business Publishing Customer Story

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Harvard Business Publishing (HBP), a wholly owned subsidiary of Harvard University, has been improving the practice of management through a wide range of publications. Key to the success of HBP is the ability to develop new and innovative products, foster community around existing products and services, and attract new audiences to its Web sites including Harvard Business Review (, Higher Education (, and HBP’s eCommerce site (

HBP faced a host of challenges related to its digital publishing enterprise. Namely, managing its aging and disparate legacy systems used to run its Web sites was proving to be unstable. Routinely, the system caused downtime, integration hurdles, IT bottlenecks, and escalating operational costs due to personnel overhead and software licensing fees. A lack of easy-to-use Web publishing tools hindered the editorial staff’s ability to contribute fresh content to the Web and, consequently, limited HBP’s ability to drive site traffic and ad revenue or eCommerce transactions.

HBP recognized the need for a robust Web content management platform that would empower business users and integrate with existing systems, including enterprise content repositories, search and merchandising tools, eCommerce systems, ad networks, Web analytics and community building applications such as blogs. HBP sought to provide a cost-effective yet robust foundation from which to address its current and emerging editorial workflow needs. HBP needed tools to make it easier for each business unit to publish content to their individual Web sites while maintaining overall control of its high-value material.


  • Timelier, fresher and more valuable content improves site traffic, repeat visits and revenue opportunities
  • Minimized content bottlenecks by shifting publishing capability from IT to business users
  • Reduced average page load times to less than one second
  • Blog integration and user-generated content enables article ratings
  • Improved search with faceted navigation
  • Straightforward integration with content repositories and eCommerce
  • Stronger brand management and adherence to corporate standards
  • Shifted software licensing dollars to content development and site innovation


HBP selected and deployed Alfresco Enterprise Content Management (ECM) to unify all Web content under one robust and stable platform, promote anytime/anywhere Web publishing, and eliminate IT bottlenecks by shifting publishing control from technical support teams to individual business end-users.

Rivet Logic, an Alfresco Platinum Partner, implemented and customized Alfresco for HBP. Rivet Logic helped HBP define a hierarchy of content and associated metadata that was modeled within Alfresco to help optimize content delivery to the Web in the form of improved search, navigation and dynamic functionality to further enhance the site visitor experience.

The Alfresco platform enables HBP to more effectively reinforce its brand with easy-to-use templates, metadata inheritance and shared content. HBP can generate broader awareness of all content and digital media products while maintaining a common branded look and feel across the sites.

Using the Crafter Rivet WCM application, HBP has the flexibility it needs to assign business units and end-users the necessary editorial control over Web content, site management and presentation. A shared Web project allows HBP to maintain enterprise-wide branding consistency, while individual business units manage all sites and mini/micro sites using separate Web projects that contain content for each business unit.

Web editors and producers have a flexible authoring environment and the ability to preview in-context changes made to any Web page. Crafter Rivet WCM integrates with the Alfresco repository providing editors with easy access to product catalog content and other enterprise content for Web publishing.

Rivet Logic implemented a Java-based content delivery system that seamlessly connects the presentation, application and content repository layers for high performance and scalability. A Service Oriented Architecture (SOA) approach addresses the need for single sign-on support, while enabling integration with a variety of systems, including a blogging platform, eCommerce system, an XML repository (for HBR article content), and community platforms. Integration with a third-party search engine offers powerful faceted search and navigation functionalities. This approach also meets standards-compliant XHTML/CSS requirements, maintains SEO-friendly URLs, and allows for straightforward integration of Web analytics.


  • HBP can better leverage the value of its branded content, including articles, book chapters, blogs, podcasts and videos.
  • Enhanced the visitor experience with improved navigation and faceted search, along with much faster Web site performance. HBP has expand its revenue opportunities by increasing site traffic and offering dynamic content.
  • Business end-users can publish dynamic content faster to the individual sites.
  • HBP can develop products faster, bundle existing products more efficiently, and generate new revenue opportunities by increasing site traffic and offering richer, fresher, and more varied content.
  • Broadened community appeal and increased repeat site visits by encouraging outside editorial contributions using the blogging platform.

"The implementation of Alfresco WCM enables us to publish new content quickly, push ownership and responsibility out to each publishing unit, and provide total site control with minimal IT involvement. Rivet Logic did this by structuring Alfresco so that corporate marketing has control over the look and feel of the sites while individual business units have the editorial control they require."

—Martha Stephenson, Senior Project Manager, Harvard Business Publishing