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Financial Times

Product Manager, Financial Times

The FT increases individual engagement within institutions using OpenAthens.

The challenge

The Financial Times (FT) is one of the world’s leading business news organisations, providing news, comment, data and analysis for the global business community. The FT has a combined paid print and digital circulation of over 2,000,000.One of the FT’s fastest growing customer sectors is corporate and education organisations that buy group subscriptions for their staff and students. These customers typically comprise of businesses, government organisations, universities and business schools wanting the FT’s broad range of business news and information.

When these partnerships formed in 2008, the FT provided basic tools for managing access. Users had to log on to separately from other services offered by their organisation. While inconvenient for users, this was becoming a significant challenge for administrators because they had to manage access, often covering thousands of users for a separate standalone service.

As multi-user organisation begin to roll out digital resources, so does the demand shift from print to digital content. An example is the rise in use of SAML/Shibboleth as an access management tool. Listening to their customers, the FT wanted to make it easier for these organisations to use

The solution

The FT had considered a number of solutions, including developing its own system, but because of market penetration – especially in the academic sector – it decided to use OpenAthens. The FT has replaced its digital rights management system and OpenAthens is one of the few products that can bridge both old and new environments while delivering value for money to the FT. Also, the business had set a tight deadline to deploy a solution. OpenAthens enables the FT to reach the most customers quickly while working with their existing subscription tools.

The FT is using OpenAthens to enable corporate and education customers to set up and manage single sign-on access to Administrators can integrate with existing access processes and policies, for example, via a portal or intranet. For users, is automatically added to their existing digital information services to deliver a seamless user experience. OpenAthens significantly improves administrator productivity by making authentication more efficient.


  • Increases access to content with average page views up by 25%+ compared to prior year.
  • Number of active users increased by 10%+ compared to prior year.
  • Delivers huge improvements in productivity for customers by removing the equivalent of a full-time job. This is achieved by automating the process of updating leavers and joiners.
  • Improves the detail of reporting about user activity the FT can provide to customers.