Retro: Information Technology

FREMANTLEMEDIA – Comprehensive Information Technology and Telecom services

FremantleMedia, one of the largest creators and producers of entertainment formats in the world, today produces more than 10,000 hours of original programming a year for broadcasters in over 40 countries (USA, Germany, France, Italy, Spain, Latin America, Portugal, Scandinavia, Asia, etc.)

With world-renowned production enterprises in over 25 countries such as UFA, Blu, TeamWorx, talkbackTHAMES, Grundy, Blue Circle and Crackerjack, the FremantleMedia companies deliver more than 8,500 hours of programming per year to broadcasters all around the world.

FremantleMedia owns global brands such as Got Talent, Idols, X Factor, The Price is Right, Family Fortunes, Hole in the Wall, etc.

FremantleMedia relies on BCE to take care of the management of its IT and Telecom services at its 25 sites.

“The centralised management of our data workflow has improved both our efficiency and our security. BCE’s team is composed of specialist telecommunication and technical engineers who excel at supporting our IT operations and provide an essential reliability for our production units throughout the entire global group and linking us to our customers.
BCE have provided Fremantle- Media with a reference point for technical solutions and operating services, they have proved to be a genuine partner that works with us to deliver exceptionally high quality results. ”
Adam Seaman | Head of Operations | Fremantlemedia Group Ltd.

Telecom and Networks: Interconnection of sites with increased security

The media content market is subject to constant change and evolution. In order to satisfy the increasingly complex requirements, FremantleMedia had to optimize the connections between the 25 entities, provide access to centralized applications and improve communication between the various subsidiaries.

CHALLENGE

Such interconnection was to fulfil the purpose of facilitating the exchange of files, giving access to centralized applications, ensuring communication between entities via video conference and allowing users to access data regardless of where they are located.

In addition to optimizing company resources and ensuring the smooth operation of the new services, another objective was to significantly reduce the costs of these activities.

SOLUTION

With its strong presence in Europe, BCE has at its disposal a global telecom network that ensures delivery of services perfectly meeting the expectations of FremantleMedia. To ensure connectivity between subsidiaries, the BCE experts provide the network equipment (Transmode for dark fibre, NetInsight for Media Pop and Cisco for traditional network nodes) and remotely manage various local networks.

Through the provision of Internet access, BCE enables the different entities to distribute video files from the production site to the United Kingdom and Luxembourg, the exchange being handled via proprietary applications and servers thus maximizing transfer speed.

This increased connectivity facilitates file exchanges between subsidiaries. The European Media Hub of BCE takes care of the digitization of the physical media of FremantleMedia and also performs all necessary conversions for the different terminal devices on the market, such as smartphones, interactive tablets, websites, game consoles, IP TV, as many systems as there are potential customers.

Access to centralized applications at the headquarters of FremantleMedia and BCE being more critical, it is important to be able to rely on dedicated telecommunication links. With remote connection software combined with an e-token system (USB key which generates a code), BCE provides absolute security for mobile users.

In an effort to reduce its carbon balance and transport costs, FremantleMedia operates video conferencing systems in High Definition on its communication lines.

Systems and database: Centralized management of Information Technology systems

FremantleMedia has entrusted BCE with the technical support of the systems and databases of its most critical applications spread over several sites.

CHALLENGE

With a view to increasing the availability rate, it was essential to entrust the management of the most critical systems to a third party. Furthermore, in order to increase the reliability of the system, it was necessary to implement an emergency procedure that can be applied at the level of the servers and databases as well as at the telecommunications and network level.

Finally, the possibility of monitoring all equipment worldwide was paramount, in particular the provision of support services to employees of the FremantleMedia production units on a 24 hours a day/7 days a week basis.

SOLUTION

To increase its strength, FremantleMedia has outsourced the management of its IT infrastructure to BCE on the basis of an ad-hoc contract covering networks, telecom and systems.

For all requests from local IT services, BCE offers assistance 24 hours a day, 7 days a week in four languages (English being the default language) with a reaction time (Service Level Agreement – SLA) of less than 15 minutes and this anywhere in the world. To facilitate the local management of existing contracts, the department also manages hardware support contracts and remote guidance of engineers.

In addition to handling second level requests, the BCE engineers centralize all management of changes by following the ITIL V3 recommendations. Thus they ensure the management and supervision of the servers at various sites including the management of backups and operating systems, the administration of databases and the control of associated licenses.

Regular monitoring is essential in a centralized structure. Through the use of advanced monitoring software, the NOC (see box on this page) provides a platform for the operational control of FremantleMedia services.

This infrastructure allows remote detection of incidents and, if necessary, the implementation of emergency procedures at the telecom, networks and systems level. In addition, monitoring is integrated with the ticket management software.

“The multiple activities of BCE in the fields of telecom, IT, broadcasting, digitisation and integration of turnkey solutions combined with their extensive hands-on expertise are both assets and solutions for the future development of FremantleMedia.”
David Dunt | IT Operations Infrastructure Manager | Fremantlemedia Group Ltd.

BENEFITS

The complete centralization of IT services at BCE brings concrete advantages in terms of operational reliability and allows FremantleMedia to focus on its core business.

  • Optimization of the network between the 25 subsidiaries
  • Global centralization of IT operations
  • Global monitoring 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
  • SLA of 15 minutes
  • Provision of disaster recovery infrastructures
  • Secure mobile connections
  • Digitization and multiple video conversion
  • Technical advice

“Working with an audiovisual content producer such as FremantleMedia is a unique experience. Working just in time, our teams are accustomed to this rhythm specific to the industry.
The flexibility and expertise of our teams have put us in a position to establish a lasting relationship of trust enabling us to carry out together numerous projects other than SLA, such as major network, server and database migrations.
More than a mere a customer-supplier relationship, the cooperation with BCE has developed into a true partnership, BCE having become a technology consultant which supports the company in its future development.”
Xavier Boschian | System, telecom and network manager | BCE.

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