Last week we attended the AWS Summit in Utrecht and spoke briefly with Leon Backbier, ICT manager at Endemol Shine Netherlands. AWS has helped them save approximately 70% in ICT investments and 30% on the operational side. And yes – they plan to expand their business with AWS, at the expense of Microsoft.
Why the enthusiasm? In 2010 Endemol ICT saw its users moving faster than ICT could keep up with and they made the strategic decision to move to a cloud only and mobile first environment. Looking at the business requirements, Endemol is a textbook example of how public cloud meets business.
- Endemol ICT has up to 3 to 4000 employee changes a year. They have only 200 employees with a fixed contract, and many more with temporary contracts. The number of coworkers on a production can vary from 5 up to 100. Most of these employees are self-employed and they can be employed by a competitor the following week, so simple on- and off boarding is a necessity.
- In addition many of its users work on location to create content and have a need to produce and distribute that content, making video and audio requirements and broad network access a key priority.
- With such a creative and segmented user base, the need for a flexible and scalable cloud solution seems eminent. And with creativity high on the agenda, IT does not want to control but encourage use of new functionality.
- Users can bring and use their own apps, though IT stimulates that they are notified when this is the case. Identity management will be a key issue for 2016.
Endemol adopts a best of breed strategy where they work with vendors like Amazon, Microsoft, Mendix, Box, Coda and Cognos. Leon Backbier says they prefer working with the smaller more flexible ICT partners. Especially Mendix and AWS have proven to be valuable partners during the transition to the cloud.
Endemol ICT states that as it works with such a variety of people with high demands on creativity & flexibility, it was not possible to use trusted advisors as they simply weren’t there, although Mendix came close to that status. Being a smaller company itself, it was able to show the flexibility needed by Endemol. Endemol has developed a number of custom solutions on the Mendix platform.
Though quite a bit larger, AWS has been able to support Endemol as well. “Amazon can still profit from the early starter advantage. They are still ahead of the competition, And the philosophy of building blocks works really well for us.” During the transition process Amazon stood out in the level of service & support they provided. According to Backbier other vendors may have a more ‘sophisticated’ solution, but Amazon showed the flexibility to adapt, and has the functionality to perform.
Endemol is not alone. METISfiles research shows that Amazon leads the pack with respect to SaaS infrastructure. In the Netherlands companies like Wehkamp, Randstad, PostNL, Philips and Unilever also use Amazon. The transition to cloud combined with a move towards decentralized ICT has made decreased the number of fte’s at Endemol Shine Netherlands ICT department from 30 -40 fte’s to 6-7 fte’s. And though the ICT budget has decreased to approximately €2 million, ICT is more aligned to business than ever.