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SABTN's infrastructure upgrade boosts operations

December 15, 2010
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Sri Adhikari Brothers Television Network (SABTN) was incorporated in 1995 and began operations in television programming and programme content. Thereafter, it entered the broadcasting business and launched SAB TV in 2000. The company was listed on the Bombay Stock Exchange in 1995.

Keeping in mind the fact that the Indian film industry is estimated to grow at a compound annual growth rate of 16 per cent to reach $4.42 billion by 2011, SABTN decided to invest in upgrading its rather basic telecom infrastructure.

The idea was to improve on the business processes and help the production major reach audiences better. tele.net tracks the development of its telecom infrastructure...

Legacy system

The company’s IT and telecom infrastructure comprised a network of telephone lines and a dial-up internet connection. All the computers were connected to the main server and were primarily used for surfing the internet and email functions.

In short, the infrastructure was extremely basic as the company operated on a small scale in its initial days.

However, as business grew, the company realised that its IT and telecom infrastructure was restricting operations and growth. There was no common platform where information and data could be shared and the production process itself was very long and cumbersome. Everything was manually operated, which led to many delays.

The shift

The company realised the need to install a robust and flexible infrastructure that could consolidate the data and provide executives with production-related applications and customisable information.

To achieve this, the company opted for technologies such as DLC (local loop), IP-VPNs and the internet.

Its IP-VPN set-up helped the entertainment major achieve network scalability and reduce costs by saving on capital expenditure.

Moreover, DLC (local loop) gave the company a large variety of bandwidths to choose from so the latter could customise its broadband package.

In addition, the internet proved to be a strategic tool for the company. The production major’s website is used as a medium to promote its movies and reach out to a wide range of audiences both in India and abroad. The site showcases all the movies produced under the banner apart from extras such as a movie archives, photo galleries, wallpapers, screen savers, e-cards, trailers, etc.

To connect to the internet, the entertainment player opted for DSL and a wireless set-up (Wi-Fi). Several applications, such as web hosting, audio and web conferencing, email and instant messaging were used. Audio and web conferencing not only helped SABTN save on travel costs but also helped senior officials collaborate and take major decisions in real time, exchange and share information and data, etc.

To stay in touch while on the move, a host of mobility applications were put in place. The company used the mobile email facility, conferencing, mobile data connectivity, personal information management, push alerts, location-based services and corporate intranet. Apart from the obvious advantage of any time, anywhere mobility, the corporate intranet provided the company with a cheap, flexible and easy-to-use medium. It gave it the freedom to test out new ideas and keep everyone in the company informed about new developments.

Its security mechanism is relatively simple, with only firewalls in place. Similarly, the company uses mirror servers as redundancies.

Challenges and benefits

The transition from a “primitive” to an upgraded telecom infrastructure was uneventful. The production major did not face any major hurdles while implementing its new communications infrastructure. However, downtime is sometimes an issue. The company, moreover, feels that undertaking timely upgradation of technology to meet evolving requirements can be a demanding task.

Post-revamp, the organisation has been able to carry out its day-to-day activities more efficiently, as data and information transfers are now functioning smoothly. In addition, the company’s website has helped it reach out to customers better.

Now, with a responsive and efficient telecom and IT infrastructure in place, the company is poised to further consolidate its position in the market.

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