Tata Sky: Launching a major satellite TV business with unprecedented speed

Published on 05-Jan-2009

Validated on 16 Dec 2013

"Tata Sky is leaping ahead to garner eight million connections by 2012. We are the first DTH company across the globe to achieve the significant milestone of crossing one million connections in the first year of our operations and are confident of achieving the eight million mark as well." - Chakrapani Perangur, CIO, Tata Sky

Customer:
Tata Sky

Industry:
Media & Entertainment

Deployment country:
India

Solution:
Business-to-Consumer, C-Suite Framework, Customer Relationship Management, Enterprise Resource Planning, Optimizing IT, Service Oriented Architecture, Smarter Planet

Smarter Planet:
Smarter Media

IBM Business Partner:
Tata Consultancy Services

Overview

TATA Group, one of India’s oldest and most respected business conglomerates, recognized the significance of the opportunity in the broadcasting busines, when the government decided in 2004 to grant a precious few licenses for direct-to-home satellite TV broadcasting.

Business need:
TATA Group wanted to become a pioneer in the country’s newly opened direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television market. To reach its ambitious growth and market penetration goals, the company needed to gain the first-mover advantage by launching its offering faster than its competitors.

Solution:
TATA chose IBM to build a robust, flexible business model and service-oriented architecture (SOA)-based IT infrastructure to launch its Tata Sky satellite broadcasting service. This “green field” project, in which a business is built from scratch, was the first of its kind in India.

Benefits:
- Launched its business in a short time—about six months after work began; - Crossed the one million connections mark in its first year of operations; - Achieved goal of in-home installation within a specified time limit with immediate service access

Case Study


"Tata Sky is leaping ahead to garner eight million connections by 2012. We are the first DTH company across the globe to achieve the significant milestone of crossing one million connections in the first year of our operations and are confident of achieving the eight million mark as well.”
Chakrapani Perangur, CIO, Tata Sky






Business Challenge
Major Indian conglomerate TATA Group wanted to become a pioneer in the country’s newly opened direct-to-home (DTH) satellite television market. To reach its ambitious growth and market penetration goals, the company needed to gain the first-mover advantage by launching its offering faster than its competitors.

Solution
Starting with a clean slate, TATA chose IBM to build a robust, flexible business model and service-oriented architecture (SOA)-based IT infrastructure to launch its Tata Sky satellite broadcasting service. This “green field” project, in which a business is built from scratch, was the first of its kind in India.

Business Benefits
  • Launched business in only six months, starting from scratch
  • Crossed the one million connections mark in its first year of operations—the fastest growth rate in world history for this kind of business—and is on track to reach a target of eight million connections by 2012
  • Achieved goal of in-home installation within a specified time limit with immediate service access
  • Provided seamless integration of customer service across all channels including call centers, over-the-counter or via the Web
  • Leveraged IBM’s expertise in operational and business support systems as well as business process definition to create a robust joint solution within a highly compressed time frame
  • Positioned Tata Sky to take advantage of IBM Media Hub to create a media-enabled service-oriented architecture

Smarter IT for Media & Entertainment
Seeking to enter the newly opened direct-to-home Indian satellite television market, TATA chose IBM to launch a new business starting from scratch. Tata Sky, the service-oriented architecture-based business resulting from this first-of-its-kind “green field” project, was launched in only six months. Within a year of its operations, the company had signed up its one-millionth connection—a world-record growth rate for direct-to-home broadcasting.

Solution Components
Software
  • IBM WebSphere Application Server
  • IBM WebSphere Process Server
  • IBM WebSphere Message Broker
Services
  • IBM Software Group Services
IBM Business Partner
  • Tata Consultancy Services

In the enormous consumer market that is India, occasionally an opportunity arises that can create incredible growth and profit—provided those who seek to capture it can move quickly enough. That was the situation facing TATA Group, one of India’s oldest and most respected business conglomerates, when the government decided in 2004 to grant a precious few licenses for direct-to-home satellite TV broadcasting. “The key business challenge in a country like India is meeting customer demands—which are very dynamic—under the regulatory purview of the country,” says Chakrapani Perangur, CIO of Tata Sky.

Tata Sky recognized the significance of the opportunity in the broadcasting business. To become a major player in the new market, the company had to launch an entirely new business beginning with no infrastructure or existing processes at all—and do it very quickly, in order to beat out the competition in what was sure to become a hotly contested drive for new subscribers. This “green field” project would be an unprecedented effort in India, and would significantly test TATA’s ability to innovate and rapidly create a flexible, scalable and viable business model.

Offering viewers a choice
What attracted TATA to the DTH business was the technology’s customer value proposition. Pay television in India has long been dominated by cable companies, but the available services left much to be desired from the customer point of view. Viewers had to pre-pay for packages that contained many channels they were not interested in.

TATA saw an opportunity to give viewers a better choice by changing the pay-television business model, and also realized it could leverage new technology to vastly improve the customer experience, both in terms of broadcast quality and customer service. The digital DTH service enables over 160 channels of customizable content, interactivity and DVD-quality picture with CD-quality sound.

The ability to better accommodate regional needs was also a key differentiator. India is a polyglot country: there are 17 official languages and some 22 state languages. With the ability to easily customize content for local markets, Tata Sky would be able to give viewers more relevant content.

Speed and integration are essential
TATA Group teamed with broadcast partner STAR to create Tata Sky, and incorporated it soon after the government’s opening of the market. IBM was enlisted to help launch the broadcaster at the end of 2005. In early 2006, work began on creating the actual infrastructure for the company and the service was launched a mere six months later.

Tata Sky knew that launching the business fast was only part of the path to success. The new company would also have to do business better than its competition. That meant not only more broadcast choices, but also a better customer service experience.

The vision was to make the experience seamless, enabling quick and easy sign-up and customer service no matter how the customer chose to interact with the company, be it over the telephone, via the Web or over the counter at a retail outlet. And once signed up, installation should be fast, efficient and painless, with immediate activation.

"IBM’s product maturity and expertise was the right fit for Tata Sky in helping us communicate our vision to our subscribers.” Chakrapani Perangur

In order to accomplish this, all of Tata Sky’s applications and business processes would have to be highly integrated. The company opted for best-of-breed applications from SAP (for Enterprise Resource Planning), Siebel (for Customer Resource Management) and others.

Tata Sky turned to IBM Business Partner Tata Consultancy Services to help integrate these applications and create the underpinnings of the new business. Tata Consultancy Services and Tata Sky teamed to define business processes and build a service-oriented architecture for the new company’s IT needs. The green-field nature of the business was an advantage here, says Chakrapani Perangur. “We could work seamlessly with the IBM Business Partner team in putting the right architecture in place and fine tuning it without getting bogged down by legacy systems.”

IBM Software Group Services deployed a full suite of WebSphere® products to create the SOA platform, including WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Process Server and WebSphere Message Broker, which together form the architecture’s integration layer – the means by which different applications are made visible to one another and are able to pass data back and forth. By linking all of the company’s applications in this way via the SOA’s Enterprise Service Bus, information could be shared and processed across the entire company seamlessly.

While Tata Sky’s SOA infrastructure serves its business processes alone at present, it provides a flexible platform for potential future uses such as management of the media itself. The decision to adopt SOA positions Tata Sky to leverage IBM Media Hub, which enables the Enterprise Service Bus to handle rich media content.

History-making results
Perangur points to the flexible service capabilities and outstanding growth of the company as evidence of the wisdom of the company’s decision to create an integrated SOA-based infrastructure. “The flexibility that SOA has enabled us to bring into the customer relationship management software is amazing,” he says. “Tata Sky is leaping ahead to garner eight million connections by 2012. We are the first DTH company, across the globe to achieve the significant milestone of crossing one million connections in the first year of our operations and are confident of achieving the eight million mark as well.”

The company is young and wants to excel in customer service continuously. Already able to meet its core promises of rapid installation and immediate activation, better viewing choices, better broadcast quality and superior customer service, Tata Sky is leveraging its SOA infrastructure and relationship with IBM and IBM Business Partner Tata Consultancy Services to make the company more efficient by building in real-time business monitoring capabilities and an improved customer self-service portal. Perangur concludes that the choice was a good one. “IBM’s product maturity and expertise was the right fit for Tata Sky in helping us communicate our vision to our subscribers.


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Products and services used

IBM products and services that were used in this case study.

Software:
WebSphere Message Broker, WebSphere Application Server, WebSphere Process Server

Service:
Software Services for WebSphere

Legal Information

© Copyright IBM Corporation 2009 IBM Corporation 1 New Orchard Rd. Armonk, NY 10504 U.S.A. Produced in the United States of America January 2009 All Rights Reserved IBM, the IBM logo, ibm.com, and WebSphere are trademarks or registered trademarks of International Business Machines Corporation in the United States, other countries, or both. If these and other IBM trademarked terms are marked on their first occurrence in this information with a trademark symbol (® or ™), these symbols indicate U.S. registered or common law trademarks owned by IBM at the time this information was published. Such trademarks may also be registered or common law trademarks in other countries. A current list of IBM trademarks is available on the Web at “Copyright and trademark information” at ibm.com/legal/copytrade.shtml . Other company, product or service names may be trademarks or service marks of others. This case study illustrates how one IBM customer uses IBM products. There is no guarantee of comparable results. References in this publication to IBM products or services do not imply that IBM intends to make them available in all countries in which IBM operates. ODC03101-USEN-00