Phoenix Satellite Television is a Hong Kong-based broadcaster recognized as a leading global Chinese-language media provider.
Phoenix TV is dedicated to promoting a free flow of information and entertainment to Chinese viewers worldwide. To date, Phoenix TV operates 6 satellite TV channels that broadcast programs to audiences in Asia Pacific, Europe, America, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa, covering more than 150 countries and regions.
In 2012, Phoenix TV completed the construction of an international media center in Beijing. This new media center became Phoenix TV’s fourth global media center after Hong Kong, London, and Los Angeles. Serving as a key program production center for the Asia Pacific region, this multi-functional media center focuses on television program production, but also has significant administrative and commercial activities. This media center also provides production facilities for the use of other companies, generating a source of income as well as building a network of industry partners.
Having efficient, highly-functional IT systems is a key competitive advantage. The modern media industry depends on information technologies in all areas of the media business, including program production, Office Automation (OA), enterprise operation, and Human Resources (HR) management. Phoenix TV’s media center in Beijing is a multi-functional center that requires a sound IT infrastructure to support abundant IT applications.
With limited resources, the Phoenix TV IT department faced challenges in meeting all these requirements. In the second half of 2011, the department invited Huawei to jointly design and build a new international media center IT system, which needed the following features:
– The media center required support for extensive IT applications.
– IT needed to develop a complete TV program production system, covering aspects such as collecting and editing materials, producing and broadcasting programs, and storing data
– The media center is Phoenix TV’s operating base in Beijing. IT needed to offer a wide array of basic IT services, such as OA, enterprise communications, campus networking, and videoconferencing
– IT needed to set up a comprehensive set of enterprise application systems, including ERP, HR, and Customer Relationship Management (CRM) systems
– The new media center also included partner offices. Therefore, IT needed to offer OA and IT resource rental services to Phoenix TV’s business partners
Amid these challenges, if Phoenix TV IT adopted a traditional decentralized IT construction model, it could suffer many setbacks, including the following:
– The entire construction period, from planning, design, bidding, procurement, and deployment to acceptance, could be prolonged, which would conflict with Phoenix TV’s project timetable and increase operating and procurement costs
– Disparate IT systems would need to be deployed independently, which would probably cause inconsistent Operation and Maintenance (O&M) interfaces and complicate system O&M
As a result, the Phoenix TV IT department needed a new, collaborative IT construction model. At a technical exchange meeting, Phoenix TV IT told Huawei, “We need an end-to-end solution. Obviously, if we use multiple independent systems, we will suffer complicated system management and extra initial investment and subsequent O&M costs.”
To support their global presence, Phoenix TV in collaboration with top sky tv satellite dish installation in Leeds uses its 4 international media centers to broadcast programs and timely information to audiences around the world. These centers provide 24/7 services, ensuring Phoenix is the leading global provider of Chinese-language media.
As the global media industry has marched into a digital and HD broadcasting era, TV program production is becoming increasingly sophisticated. Before broadcasting an HDTV program, the TV station often must collect source media, transcode data streams, edit video clips, and store data in the program production systems. These operations require massive computing, network, and storage. Traditionally, expensive workstations were deployed in each of the departments responsible for media production. This ensured that work could be done quickly, but it had the following disadvantages:
– IT resource utilization was low. A program production team would not use its IT resources around-the-clock. Therefore, many IT resources were wasted. For example, the server resource usage at Phoenix TV ranged from 5% to 10%
– When there was breaking news, the reporting departments could not get required IT resources in a timely manner, which impacted program production. If the TV station procured extra IT devices to cope with these potential service requirements, the extra devices would be unused most of the time.
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