For over 100 years the name Pathé has been synonymous with moving and still images of the greatest events in world history. In 2008 British Pathé was split and became an independent archive for the first time in its history. Since then its CEO and shareholder has been Roger Felber.
“When we acquired British Pathé we saw the opportunity to create a modern subscription service, to increase the licensing and programming revenue, and to drive our social media activities as well”, says Felber, “and though a significant part of our revenue is dependent on technology, we are not and don’t want to be a technology company.”
Today, British Pathé is considered to be the finest newsreel archive in the world and is a treasure trove of films unrivalled in their historical and cultural significance. In 2012 British Pathe was awarded “Footage library of the Year” and the materials are now used extensively by broadcasters, corporations, publishers, teachers and museums, amongst many others.
Steve Clarke (one of Freeman Clarke’s founders) first met Roger in 2011 when British Pathé were attempting to switch their software development partner and build a new online presence at the same time.
But the project had run in to significant difficulties and needed someone to take charge and ensure that it was delivered.
“Initially Steve rescued our website project and designed the website’s replacement infrastructure, an element that had been overlooked, but badly needed.”
Since then, Steve has steered the website and supporting infrastructure through a number of major changes as well as continual evolutions and updates. Steve has implemented corporate-grade hosting as the revenues generated online have grown. And the site had to be hardened against cyber-attacks which are common for high-profile sites.
In addition, performance of the site has had to be improved to support the business as it has grown and internationalisation has required further enhancements as well.
At the same time, Steve has directed the IT through many other major growth initiatives, including office moves and new commercial opportunities like British Pathé’s partnership with YouTube. Throughout this he has also ensured compliance with PCI and other regulations.
Roger commented that
“Freeman Clarke have always provided honest and clear advice, guidance and support to the senior team. Having someone completely independent and trusted who understands both the business and the technology has proved to be a significant business enabler.”