Gruppo 24 ORE Speeds Search for Professional Services with AWS and Claranet

Executive Summary

Gruppo 24 ORE worked with Claranet to improve and automate its search functions. Moving to AWS services allowed it to easily access machine learning while freeing up editorial staff from manually labelling every piece of content which needed to be indexed. The new system provides better results than before, and continues to improve, at half the cost of the previous set up.

Gruppo 24 ORE Speeds Search for Professional Services with AWS and Claranet

Gruppo 24 ORE is an Italian company that provides data services for business professionals as well as publishing Italy’s national financial newspaper—Il Sole 24 ORE. It works with the leading players in the industry to create innovative solutions and products for lawyers, chief financial officers, accountants, and tax professionals. All this is part of Gruppo 24 ORE’s digitalization transformation, which includes modernizing day-to-day business processes, updating its traditional product lines, and creating new value-added services.

In an increasingly competitive market Gruppo 24 ORE needed to match its customers’ expectations to provide the best digital services. The group was also considering how to improve the search engine system for its products, which required laborious manual tagging of individual items and documents.

“Claranet really know AWS services and especially its machine learning services. They exceeded our expectations on quality and on reducing the burden on the editorial team.”

- Flavio Corsi, Marketing Director, Gruppo 24 ORE 

In only five months, from first conversations to a live service, AWS Partner offering consulting services Claranet created a solution, called Fiscobot, using Amazon Web Services (AWS), which both improved search engine performance and saved many hours of editorial staff time. The move to AWS has meant much less manual work by editorial teams annotating documents to help the AI reply correctly to search requests. This machine-based approach means staff time spent on these tasks has been cut by 75 percent compared to the previous system. A key consideration was to provide a small number of highly relevant search responses for users who do not have time to look through long lists of search results. If the right results are not immediately obvious, there is a conversational function to help users drill down to find what they need. The system automatically creates metadata and labels for each piece of content as it’s uploaded—something previously done manually by staff. Although the search engine came with a pretrained model it also uses machine learning to constantly improve the relevance and accuracy of results.

Feedback from users has been very positive and so have quality checks run by the editorial staff. With much less manual work the search continues to learn and improve and is set to exceed the standards it met before the move to AWS. The company is also saving money because it’s a completely serverless solution so there are no hardware or software licensing costs or additional staff expenses. The current set up costs 50 percent less to run than the system it replaced. And the previous system had limits as to how much documentation it could cope with—using AWS, new documentation and content can be added without incurring substantial new costs.

Reusable Code for Other Services

Gruppo 24 ORE is looking to the search engine to create new lines of business. It is confident that the AWS modular technology built by Claranet will allow it to quickly create new applications to offer new services, based on the technology already in place, for example to provide analytics and predictive services for other professionals. The company is also in the process of expanding its archive of content providing an even better experience for Gruppo 24 ORE’s users. Thanks to AWS, the system is easy to scale so adding extra data is relatively simple and inexpensive. It is also considering providing more sophisticated search results which will offer not just documents or excerpts of documents but more intelligent, conversational replies to queries. The search engine project is part of a wider shift to managed services across the group which aims to increase innovation while saving costs.

Embracing Innovative Work Methods

Gruppo 24 ORE has embraced AWS's working backwards method—part of the AWS Digital Innovation program. This gets teams to start by writing a press release as if the product was about to ship. This helps them focus on the business benefits and create a clear explanation of what they want to achieve. This approach helps create a relationship between the companies that is not just about technology but also keeps in mind the business strategy.

AWS Partner offering consulting services Claranet has provided the systems integration skills and knowledge to ensure the whole process runs smoothly. Gruppo 24 said the project showed Claranet’s expertise, efficiency and ability to work to a budget under time constraints. “Claranet really knows AWS services and especially its machine learning services. They exceeded our expectations on quality and on reducing the burden on the editorial team.” Flavio Corsi,  Marketing Director at Gruppo 24 ORE. “Claranet and AWS Professional Services each bring innovation, expertise, and experience to every engagement. By co-creating a smart search capability, Claranet and AWS Professional Services unlocked real business value for Gruppo 24 ORE”, says Corsi.

Gruppo 24 ORE has gained flexibility and scalability alongside cost efficiency while still providing its customers with good service and less overhead for its staff. For the next stage of this collaboration Gruppo 24 ORE is confident that its work with Claranet has created the foundations for future innovation. It estimates it is using about 25 percent of compute and storage capacity, leaving plenty of room for growth. It has the right technology foundations to create a series of information products targeted at specific industries and business functions, while keeping tight control of its costs. 

Gruppo 24 ORE

About Gruppo 24 ORE

Gruppo 24 ORE is an Italian multimedia publishing organization, operating in the economic, financial, professional, and cultural information sector. It publishes a daily business newspaper and a variety of online information services.

About Claranet

Founded in 1996, Claranet Group is an European provider of managed network, hosting, and application services. The company works with customers of all sizes to design, build, and manage infrastructure and tooling for mission-critical operations.

Published December 2021