We showed a music publisher how to gain business agility by modernising its technical infrastructure: 

  • Technical audit clarifies challenges caused by the legacy systems
  • Roadmap prioritises steps needed to modernise infrastructure
  • API strategy drives business agility

The challenge

Faber Music provides specialist music publishing consultancy, services, and syllabus development. 

Founded in the 1960s by Benjamin Britten, the music publisher’s services include the likes of sub-licensing services, rights clearances, and digital publishing, while its products include digital scores, sheet music, songbooks, and educational publications.

With an aging ecommerce system, designed by a digital agency no longer in business, Faber Music approached Inviqa to help source a suitable replacement system. 

But what soon emerged, during talks with Inviqa and Faber’s various stakeholders, was that an unsupported ecommerce platform was far from the company’s biggest pain point.

Without a clear understanding of some of its most complex technical systems, Faber Music did not have a holistic view of how its legacy systems ‘talked’ to each other, or the biggest business challenges and opportunities they presented.

As a result, the music publisher was missing opportunities to innovate and bring its products and services to new audiences and touchpoints.

We needed a clearer picture of our legacy digital systems, of the opportunities and goals connected with them, and of how our legacy systems could better support those needs.

Sarah Holcroft, digital director, Faber Music

What we did

Our work with Faber Music included:

  • Technical architecture consulting, design & implementation
  • Digital roadmap development
  • Digital maturity audit

To help achieve a detailed understanding of part of its technical infrastructure, Faber Music appointed Inviqa to conduct a technical audit with a digital maturity strategy component. 

Ahead of the technical audit, Inviqa got Faber Music stakeholders together in one room for a half-day ‘event storming’ workshop to understand how information flows from one end of Faber’s digital infrastructure to the other. This enabled the team to rapidly gain a high-level understanding of the technology landscape before starting the audit.

Inviqa spent the next few days auditing and mapping Faber Music’s enterprise systems, including its systems for CMS, ecommerce, copyright, and composer data. 

Our technical architecture consults then put together the detailed design and prioritised recommendations for how the technical architecture could be adapted to better meet the organisation’s needs and strategic goals.

One of Faber Music’s most important systems is a large database of information on rights management and the company’s musical works and products. This system, responsible for the data that flows through to other systems, and for exposing data to third-party consumers, needed to be at the heart of Inviqa’s review and recommendations.

Inviqa has helped us prioritise our digital investments and gain a clearly-documented systems overview. We now have the recommendations and strategy we need to start modernising our systems so that they work more efficiently for the business.

Sarah Holcroft, digital director, Faber Music

The results

The audit resulted in the following:

  • A technical architecture blueprint that maps Faber Music's legacy systems and the flow of data between them, identifying high-risk areas
  • Proposal for a modernised technical architecture that better supports the strategic goals
  • A phased digital roadmap providing a blueprint for action

The technical architecture blueprint provided a holistic understanding of Faber Music’s interconnected digital systems, while our proposed digital architecture detailed our recommendations on how to rewire those systems to work more efficiently.

Phase I of the prioritised roadmap included the likes of addressing critical security issues relating to the CMS, and decoupling components of the CMS. APIs were core to our recommendations and one of our Phase I recommendations included laying the foundation for a REST API.

We proposed that Faber Music maintain its legacy systems in the short term, but surround them with a modern, customised API for third-party communication with the likes of Amazon.

In this way Faber Music would be able to access the all-important data from its legacy systems, without anything needing to directly ‘talk’ to those legacy systems. This would  also provide Faber Music with the flexibility to start phasing-out some of those legacy systems that were struggling to cope with the demands placed upon them.

The recommended API would work with the central product management system to fetch the right information and present it in the right way for each respective platform or third-party consumer. 

This gave Faber a way to standardise how its product data is exposed to the outside world, allowing the business to quickly deliver information anywhere, and in any way that’s required.