Customers

Dish Media Network drives direct-to-home TV across Nepal using Nutanix

With Nutanix, Dish Media Network has re-tuned its IT to provide fast access to information, so customers receive a great level of service and the company can realize new business opportunities

INDUSTRY

Media & Entertainment

BENEFITS

  • Customer information is available to CSRs almost 70% faster
  • Delivers management reports 3X quicker for improved business decision making
  • Reduces unplanned outages to zero
  • Eliminates lengthy hardware procurement cycles
  • Consolidates data center footprint by 83%, reducing power usage by 50%
  • Increases IT productivity by around 40%
  • Excellent disaster recovery and failover capabilitiesInstant expert support from Nutanix
  • Instant expert support from Nutanix

 SOLUTIONS

  • Nutanix Cloud Platform
  • Nutanix AHV
  • Nutanix Prism
  • Nutanix Flow

BUSINESS BENEFITS

Dish Media Network (DMN) always delivers the highest level of service to Dish Home customers. However, the company experienced limitations imposed by end-of-life legacy servers and storage, which was having a negative impact on its ability to do business in the most efficient way. For instance, there was a need to improve the time to collate the required information for customer service representatives (CSRs) to answer customer queries. The business also found it time-consuming to generate reports, reducing management effectiveness.

DMN migrated to a Nutanix hyperconverged infrastructure (HCI) with the support of Nutanix Partner Digital Network Solution (DNS). With Nutanix behind customer service and payment processing applications, as well as business-critical databases, performance issues disappeared. Customer data could be collated 70 percent faster, and management reports delivered 67 percent quicker. Furthermore, the productivity of IT personnel increased by around 40 percent and concerns about maintaining the availability of data in the event of a disaster is behind the company. Crucially, DMN can deliver great service to customers while also moving forward with plans to deliver IT-as-a-service to local businesses.

With Nutanix, our IT is working for us and not against us—meaning we can deliver greater experience to our customers and push ahead with plans to extend our range of services to support greater digitization across Nepal.

—Manoj KC, General Manager of IT, Dish Home

CHALLENGE

Dish Media Network (DMN) runs Nepal’s number one direct-to-home (DTH) broadcasting service, Dish Home. Its substantial subscriber base has access to 200-plus TV channels, offering sports, movies, kids’ programs, and reality shows. It also provides all the major Hindi and English channels in the country.

The success of Dish Home reflects the country’s digitization and a widespread growth in demand for subscriber and pay-per-view (PPV) TV services. Yet, competition in DTH services is increasing and DMN is keen to continue growing its subscriber base while retaining existing customers. What that comes down to, apart from great TV content on its channels, is excellent service. Furthermore and looking to the future, DMN is keen to diversify and provide IT-as-a-service (ITaaS) to local companies.

With its legacy three-tier infrastructure, however, DMN aimed to deliver even greater service and enabling the diversification it sought. An application used by CSRs, for instance, could take a while to collate the required customer information to answer a query. Says Manoj KC, general manager of IT at Dish Home, “When hundreds of people are calling to add an upcoming PPV event to their subscription, several seconds can be a long time to wait and puts a lot of pressure on the call-center staff.”

It was often unclear whether the bottleneck was at the application or the database layer. That said, the legacy infrastructure was also running out of performance more broadly, to meet the increasing business needs. Mr. KC says, “Sometimes we have to produce reports urgently for senior team members. Retrieving data from a database for a business intelligence (BI) report could take up to 15 minutes.” The performance limitation paired with unplanned downtime, increasing IT management time, and concerns about disaster recovery prompted DMN to act. “It was time to reinvent our IT to support the digital transformation,” adds Mr. KC.

SOLUTION

Mr. KC describes how he embarked on a “path to find the right solution,” meeting Nutanix Partner Digital Network Solution (DNS) at an early stage in that journey. At first, DNS was one of several solution vendors he spoke to, but that number quickly came down to one. “DNS proposed a hyperconverged infrastructure [HCI] based on Nutanix and we immediately liked the idea because it simplified our IT a whole lot while giving us the performance we needed to meet our business goals,” he says.

Not only did he like the idea of a Nutanix HCI, but also working with DNS. “The people at DNS were expert in Nutanix, giving us a lot of confidence that moving to HCI was the right decision,” Mr. KC states. DNS had a proven track record in deploying Nutanix infrastructures and would be there every step of the way. “DNS could provide us with the support to enhance the performance of Nutanix stack and make sure performance issues, downtime, and disaster recovery (DR) challenges were behind us,” comments Mr. KC.

For management, DMN is using Nutanix Prism, which provides single-pane management, and Nutanix AHV as the virtualization hypervisor, enabling one-click simplicity. It also leverages Nutanix Flow for software-defined networking and to protect individual applications. Mr. KC adds, “So far, we’ve migrated around 60 percent of our applications to Nutanix, and plan to migrate the remaining software over time as we wind down the legacy stack.”

CUSTOMER OUTCOME

Increased application performance means customer information is available almost 70% faster

Mr. KC follows the school of thought that says focus on your own business rather than worrying about the competition. As such, the increasing competitiveness of DTH is equally important as the great IT improvements that DMN is making with Nutanix. “We’re much better at delivering the service quality that will keep growing subscribers and retaining customers,” he says. For example, our CSRs collate the data they need on customers to answer queries and onboard new subscribers 70 percent faster even when the number of callers is at its highest. That is because Nutanix is able to get much better performance out of both the applications and the databases in the background.

Delivers management reports 3X quicker

When DMN’s senior team want an up-to-the-minute report on operations, queries to the database from the company’s BI software are handled significantly quicker. “We retrieve the data we need from the database for a BI report 3 times faster in less than five minutes,” says Mr. KC. This helps greatly at key periods, such as month or quarterly end, when multiple reports are produced. “The great part is that we don’t have to worry about the reliability of the Nutanix infrastructure,” comments Mr. KC. “It just keeps going.”

Reduces unplanned outages to nearly zero in a year

With Nutanix, unplanned outages have gone down to almost zero—a fact that Mr. KC is truly happy about. “Uptime is my main KPI, and the downtime we faced was a real challenge, because achieving that KPI often seemed impossible. I’m pleased to say I’m no longer worried about it with Nutanix.”

Eliminates hardware procurement cycles of three months

Scaling the infrastructure behind the customer service applications and payment processing no longer takes three months—the time to procure new server hardware. Thanks to the spare capacity in the current Nutanix stack, adding virtual servers to the infrastructure is done in a few clicks.

Consolidates data center footprint by 83%, reducing power usage by 50%

Before Nutanix, the DMN IT team oversaw six full racks of hardware in the data center—but now that’s been cut down to a single rack. “This level of consolidation is crucial for us because power and cooling are significant overheads. As a result of migrating to Nutanix, we have cut our energy costs by 50 percent,” comments Mr. KC.

Increases IT productivity by around 40%

The simplicity of adding servers as well as the ease of managing storage and networking with Nutanix has made the IT team approximately 40 percent more efficient. What this means is Mr. KC and his colleagues can focus their time on projects that will help DMN evolve as a business. Mr. KC explains, “Our goal is to offer B2B services to local companies and help drive digital transformation across Nepal.” Thanks to the flexibility, performance, and ease-of-management DMN can do that, offering ITaaS to business customers.

Gains robust DR with great support from local Nutanix partner

Mr. KC is 100 percent certain the business can avoid disruption in the event of an outage because of the resiliency architected into the Nutanix infrastructure with the support of DNS. “Through the support of DNS, we made sure our cluster has resiliency at the node level to help us maintain availability. Even in the event of a disaster, I feel confident that we can maintain operations and protect applications and data.”

NEXT STEPS

Looking ahead, DMN plans to work with DNS to extend the capabilities of its Nutanix HCI with additional Nutanix products. Solutions on the radar include Nutanix Prism Pro, which will build out the capabilities of its existing Prism tool, using operational intelligence. “We want to retire our legacy infrastructure and run completely on Nutanix,” comments Mr. KC. “As such, we will look to increase the value of our investment through the Nutanix product portfolio.”