M&E Daily

M&E Journal: Delivering A Showcase Entertainment Experience To Employees And Partners

Chuck Fontana, Okta

When we talk about innovation in M&E, it’s easy to focus on advancements in filmmaking technology and the home entertainment space. The strides the industry has made in CGI and special effects, as well as bringing personalized media experiences to anyone with a Wi-Fi connection and a mobile device are without a doubt amazing. But what isn’t always talked about is the employee and partner experience.

The audience is bigger – and smarter: Gone are the days where you physically had to come to a newsroom or a studio every morning to do your work. You have editors in Bangalore collaborating with producers in Vancouver and Hong Kong. Citizen journalists in Baton Rouge, La. use Facebook Live to send reports to mobile newsrooms on the streets of Washington, D.C. Every company is expected to have streaming content available via apps. And the employees that work for these entertainment companies expect to have the same streamlined, always-on experience that the company’s customers receive. Consumers and employees demand ease of use because there’s so much commoditization of technology, so it’s crucial to make the experience superior. And key to that is technology: making experiences customized, simple and secure.

In my experience at Okta (which helps companies like 20th Century Fox, News Corp and DISH Network securely connect their people to technology), digital media companies are no longer focusing solely on the viewer experience. That’s because the model of media has completely changed: it’s no longer just a small group of creatives delivering content to audiences at movie theaters. Employees, customers, partners and contractors are all trying to access and/ or edit content on multiple devices. If you don’t make that process simple, your company could meet the same fate as the video rental store.

Even worse, if you don’t keep it secure, your company’s emails become front page news for an entire year. And at the same time, if your service isn’t reliable or easy, you lose customers as they complain about their negative experience on social media.

The reality of a big supporting cast

The complicated landscape means that it’s impossible to build all your own services from the ground up. The reality is that a company pulls together hundreds of applications and services for both its employees and customers.

So how does a company handle this new reality? We recently spoke to Okta customer John Swieringa, Executive Vice President of Operations at DISH, to get his take.

DISH uses cloud to keep the game on

When you think of DISH Network, you probably think of their iconic gray satellite dishes. But in today’s fast-paced world of media and entertainment, they are a technology services leader accelerated by cloud partners. And when it comes to bringing on technology, John prioritizes the needs of his customers and his 18,000 DISH employees: “When you are in this type of environment you have to figure out how to partner, how to work with other companies that are making investments,” Swieringa said.

Screen Shot 2017-05-17 at 11.48.00 AM DISH quickly realized how the cloud could improve the entertainment leader’s workflow. “The recovering finance guy in me quickly found out that we needed a sustainable and repeatable way to effectively bring these applications into our environment,” Swieringa said. “Something foundational that we could rely on regardless of the customer or the use case, to be able to deliver secure computing.”

DISH’s satellite customers expect more from the pay-TV provider’s technology than ever before. The company has integrated apps into its set-top box that deliver everything from the pay-TV provider’s sports app, Game Finder, to Netflix and Pandora. It recently launched My Tech, an Uber-like application that helps customers pinpoint when their technician will arrive for their home service appointment.

In order to deliver this experience, DISH needed to provide workers the ability to access the right software and keep customer needs as the top priority. Flexibility and self-sufficiency are key to DISH’s business: after all, its technicians can’t sit in cubicles all day. They are out in the field, helping DISH customers.

Flexible IT teams are the foundation of business

When we talk to heads of IT and technology leaders at media companie, this pressure to deliver seamlessness and security is immense. That’s why it’s important for technology providers to build this mindset into IT and beyond. Every leader needs to learn that the new future is IT that’s adaptive. Whatever comes next in media, whether it’s augmented or virtual reality, 3D sports or movies made by AI, it’s paramount that the team that supports these efforts can quickly get the show up and running smoothly.

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