Channel 4 Television Optimizes & Automates Its Application Development While Capturing Timely Business Insights

As a major public service broadcaster, Channel 4 Television (UK) delivers a high volume of programming and commercial content to millions of viewers every day. 

Behind the scenes, the operation is powered by two main line-of-business systems: 

  • A Broadcast Management System which manages the content catalogue, distribution rights and scheduling for broadcast and video on demand. 
  • An Advertising Sales System that manages commercial deals and campaigns, and which is responsible for maximising revenue through optimised advert placement. 

Both systems experience regular and complex updates to maintain market advantage, and so the timely and accurate distribution of data to our development and test environments is critical and underpins the successful operation of the business. 

Channel 4 also relies heavily on a suite of data warehouses to provide accurate and up-to-date insights into business performance and future opportunities. The ability to rapidly refresh this information and manage volume sizes is key to their ongoing success, and helps target spend on screen instead of on technology. 

Challenge | Agile data management for development and insights

Channel 4 already uses Agile and DevOps models to accelerate delivery of business change, but a lack of automation tools in optimising data management caused delays to environment deployment, and drives significant costs in storage and tooling. The protracted time taken to refresh the circa 18TB of data in test environments was inhibiting system and business agility, and ultimately preventing teams from realising their goal of regular change and deployment.

Solution | Better and dynamic distribution of data accelerating consistent and reliable delivery of change

Channel 4 needed a solution that could accelerate data delivery to both the broadcast management and advertising scheduling development teams. They needed more environments containing full production-like data in order to be more productive without incurring additional cost. After selecting the Delphix  Data Platform, once deployed, it only took a few weeks to test before going live.

Results | Faster systems innovation and timely business insights

Channel 4 now uses Delphix as part of a DataOps approach to optimise and automate their application development process. Through the use of the Delphix platform, changes and modifications to key systems are more efficiently managed and the availability of reporting data is improved. 

The success of our business depends on the immediate availability of high quality data. Delphix has driven faster innovation and improved our delivery of key business systems and timely business insights.
James Curran,
IS Programme Manager, Channel 4

Delphix has allowed them to accelerate data delivery for development, testing and reporting enabling faster innovation and improving operational efficiency. With Delphix, Channel 4 has developed a way to connect DBAs to developers to ensure fresh, secure delivery of data. What used to take days now takes just minutes, enabling Channel 4 to release applications quickly and with confidence.

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