Global TV tech leader ThinkAnalytics chooses ECS as AWS cloud partner

ThinkAnalytics is the global leader in personalised recommendations and viewer insight for the digital TV industry. Incorporating advanced artificial intelligence and machine learning techniques, the platform helps over 80 video service providers – including BBC, Sky and Vodafone – boost viewer engagement and better meet business KPIs.

The Challenge

The digital TV industry is in a state of flux.  Born in the cloud streaming providers such as Amazon Prime, Netflix and now Disney are challenging the status quo and cloud-based solutions and services are on everyone’s lips. In anticipation of an industry-wide shift to the cloud, ThinkAnalytics introduced a private cloud-hosted option alongside its on-premise solution.

The firm approached ECS for help adding an Amazon Web Services (AWS) based Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) solution. As some of ThinkAnalytics’ cloud-hosted customer deployments would remain within the firm’s current data centre, ECS were tasked with ensuing thatits software solution could be delivered as a cloud-hosted solution from AWS or from its private cloud.

The Solution

The ECS cloud team was engaged to design and implement an operationally efficient, highly secure AWS solution, including the testing, promotion and deployment of code using a route to live approach.

We began with a thorough review of ThinkAnalytics’ customers’ requirements to ensure that we could replicate their applications and any connectivity that was needed. This covered compliance, application design, operation, automation tooling and scripts, as well as security – a key area for video service providers needing to protect their significant investments in premium content such as sports, movies and TV series.

Our work on the design and implementation considered both the day–to-day operations, as well as the need to mitigate risk by creating a carefully designed exit strategy for the IaaS applications.  Following AWS best practice, we have ensured that the solution will remain both highly available and secure. This included implementing Amazon Virtual Private Cloud, which delivers advanced security features such as security groups and network access control lists.

Our cloud team was responsible for setting up all key elements: multiple accounts to establish a route to live; centralised audit and logging, and core foundational services to boost operational efficiency; and environment isolation for development and testing environments.

Our AWS specialists migrated ThinkAnalytics’ platform to AWS using Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (AWS EC2) instances. ThinkAnalytics opted for additional AWS services where there was a very clear business case for doing so – for example, simple storage services, application load balancers, and some RDS Databases.

With the initial engagement now complete, our team will undertake a Well Architected Review over the coming months to ensure an optimal AWS deployment.

The Benefits

Commenting on the engagement with ECS, ThinkAnalytics CTO Peter Docherty says, “The AWS deployment is proving to be a very attractive option for our growing roster of clients across the globe. The ECS team’s cloud expertise, flexibility and the importance they placed on understanding our enterprise business and exceeding our requirements was impressive. The deployment went really smoothly, with no impact on our customers. We now have the capability to quickly recreate environments on demand when we onboard new customers, while also meeting our customers’ requirements around access and data security.”

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