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Fast Forward - Mukta Arts speeds up its business processes through telecom upgrades

November 15, 2009



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According to data released by the India Brand Equity Foundation, the Indian film industry is the largest in the world in terms of the number of films it produces every year. A report jointly published by the Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry and KPMG states that the industry is valued at $2.11 billion and projects its growth at 9.1 per cent till 2013.

In view of the various business opportunities such growth would entail, Mukta Arts Limited (MAL) upgraded its "primitive" telecom and IT infrastructure to one that streamlined business processes and helped the production major reach out to its audience better. tele.net tracks the development of the company's telecom infrastructure...

Background

Started over 30 years ago, Mukta Arts' areas of activity are the generation and distribution of content for the entertainment industry. In addition to this, the company also controls many multiplexes and single screens in northern India.

Legacy system

For the past 10 years, the company made use of an fairly simple IT and telecom infrastructure. All the departments were connected via a simple local area network (LAN). The company's offices made use of plain old telephone systems for internal communication, and email for external communication.

However, as its business grew and competition intensified, MAL became aware of the fact that it needed to adopt an IT infrastructure that facilitated efficient and contemporary work practices and optimised workflow.

The shift

The company's agenda was simple –­ to implement a robust, integrated and transparent communications infrastructure that would enable information flow on a realtime basis. The underlying idea was to utilise technology as a tool to beat competition and keep up with market demands.

The company took several steps to reinvent itself. For basic connectivity, it opted for DLC (local loop) connectivity at 10 Gbps, provided by Tulip Telecom; and primary rate interface telephone lines, provided by Reliance Communications.

This afforded the company "alwayson" connectivity supporting bandwidthhungry applications, especially video and audio conferencing. Moreover, leased lines helped the production house trim overhead expenses, as it was a cost-effective connectivity option.

Point-to-point Ethernet, which provides high availability, high capacity and a very secure network for the company's data and information, was also deployed.

For internet access, the company uses a combination of two technologies: an optic fibre-based backbone and Wi-Fi connectivity reaching every corner of the company's business establishment via a leased line network. The Wi-Fi network is maintained and developed in-house.

Amongst enterprise applications, MAL utilises audio and video conferencing, which has helped the company not only save on travel costs but also enabled senior officials to collaborate amongst themselves and take major business-related decisions in real time. Other popular applications include email and instant messaging. These are used by more than 25 per cent of the company's workforce.

Mobile email is a popular option as are conferencing, mobile data connectivity and corporate intranet. Apart from the obvious advantage of any time, anywhere mobility, the corporate intranet provides the company with a cheap, flexible and easy-to-use medium, lending it the freedom to test out new ideas and keep everyone in the company in the know regarding new developments.

Enterprise resource planning (ERP) is also being utilised, apart from a host of other software applications developed inhouse. While ERP delivers a unified database for different functions, MAL also uses group-specific applications that cater to every business group within the company

The company has also upgraded its data servers and implemented a storage area network. In all, the total LAN set-up now has 1 gigabit capacity.

The internet has also been a strategic tool for the company. The production major uses its website as a medium to promote its movies and reach out to a wide range of audiences, both in India and around the globe. The site showcases all the movies produced under the company's banner and features other value-adds such as a movie archives, photo galleries, wallpapers, screen savers, e-cards and trailers.

Benefits and challenges

The benefits of the new infrastructure have been multifold; the upgrade has helped MAL get a clear visibility into the cost implications of each project. This improved control over project execution at every stage ensures that clear information is seamlessly available for decision-making.

The increasing cost of equipment and rapid technology obsolescence are the major challenges before the company.While an important aim is to keep pace with technology advancements to beat competition, cost is a prohibiting factor as the most cutting-edge mediums are available only to a select few.

All in all, it is evident that the entertainment and production house is reaping the benefits of a stable and robust communications infrastructure.



 
 

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