Hungama is the largest aggregator, developer, publisher and distributor of Bollywood and South Asian content in the world, with licensed worldwide exclusive digital rights to millions of music and video titles. It powers close to 75% (circle dependent) of all mobile entertainment content in India, and serves content to consumers in 47 countries across Mobile, Internet, IPTV, DTH services and Applications, and has more than 150 partners across the world.
Mumbai-based Hungama Digital Media Entertainment (Hungama) is a complete digital entertainment, mobile services and promo marketing entity – proclaimed to be Asia’s largest in the industry.
The flagship brand of Hungama on the consumer side is the Hungama music app and Hungama.com - an online music store that offers DRM (digital rights management)-free audio or video music at INR 10 a piece. The music app is seeing very fast install base – 6 million plus already since March of 2013 with great ado
Hungama Tunes in to Netmagic's Data Center Infra for Business Transformation
The Indian Media and Entertainment (M&E) industry, a USD 16 Billion (or approx. 92,000 crore) market according to analyst reports, is dominated by conventional media segments such as television, print and radio. New media, video and music, animation, etc. pose to be strong growth areas owing to benefits of digitization. The alignment of entertainment, IT and telecommunication is positively affecting the M&E industry. Proliferation of advanced media devices over the last 10 years has facilitated the access of content on variety of media platforms.
Global music industry being plagued by piracy issues has been showing slow growth over the last few years. Recovery of the industry is being led by Mobile music and licensed digital distribution. Consumers are using their mobile devices as a medium of entertainment – play games, listen to music, etc – increasing importance of Value Added Services (VAS).
IT Is The Backbone At Hungama
IT that runs service offerings at Hungama is at the heart of the company.
Most applications are developed in-house, and run on infrastructure that started out with just 2 servers growing to a few hundreds today. All applications work over multiple OS and plethora of screens which cater to Indian and international audiences.
Applications that cater to international audience are hosted on a cloud model with multiple mirroring in different regions that optimizes page loading and delivery of content. Most servers are hosted on InternetData Centers in India in accordance to TRAI (Telecom Regulatory Authority of India) regulations since the company caters to telecom players.
Challenges Facing Hungama
In the telecom industry, operators spend about INR 100 to acquire a new customer. To recoup this spend on customer acquisition this customer needed to be on the network for at least 3 months. Hungama being a part of the same ecosystem faced the same challenge - RoI of cost of acquiring new customers was being affected due to constant churn.
After realizing that this cost of acquiring customers is continually going to increase, Hungama decided to focus their attention to customer retention.
This required improving IT infrastructure so that page loading is faster (reduce latency), and downtime is substantially minimized (improve availability).
As Amit Vora, CTO at Hungama puts it, "To retain customers, we needed to send them back with a delightful experience. This meant that the services provided to them are on active-state – always available, always ready content. The direct impact of this business ideology translates into infrastructure management. We had to ensure that services offered through Web, WAP or mobile applications happens with minimal delay, the applications and websites are never down."
"My requirement was very simple we wanted the SLA to be 99.99%. The requirement was for best-in-class policies to be implemented within Hungama," says Amit Vora.
What Did Hungama Do To Address These Challenges?
At the time of changing strategies - from customer acquisition to customer retention - Hungama was hosted at Netmagic’s Data Centers. This was basic hosting of servers - no storage or auto-scaling or 24x7 monitoring was opted for.
The technology team led by Amit Vora met with Netmagic's management team led by CEO, Sharad Sanghi. The idea was to move from basic server hosting into SLA-driven services and comprehensive reporting system or any requirements.
"Brainstorming and laying out of technology policies that would fuel the next level of transformation within Hungama took 3 months and the focus of the exercise was to build redundancy, robustness and efficiency into the technology infrastructure that powers the business," says Amit Vora.
The policy charting was very technical and intensive. Hungama laid out technology architecture to ensure that there was never a single point of failure.
"We have hundreds of services that are being delivered to customers in India and world over. Over 3 months we carved out roadmap for each of these services from the perspective of redundancy, robustness and efficiency," adds Amit Vora.
All hosting including bandwidth and storage are done at Netmagic Data Centers. After the 3-month period, Hungama opted for cloud solution to run some key services. Hungama also opted for Netmagic’s 24x7 Infrastructure monitoring and management solution to determine and address issues if and when they arise.
Another key aspect that came out of the brainstorming exercise was to implement an incident and alert management system. The alert system ensures that immediate attention is being raised depending on the criticality of the issue.
- Data Center Services - Burstable Internet Bandwidth, Power Circuit, SQL Server, Windows Server, Domain name, Colocation Half Rack, Colocation Full Rack, Managed Hosted and dedicated switch, Dedicated Firewall Service
- Cloud - SimpliStor: SimpliSAN Storage, SimpliCompute, SimpliNet: Virtual Firewall Large Instance, SimpliCloud
- Infrastructure Management Services- InfraManage
Why Did Hungama Close On Netmagic Solutions To Become Their Technology Partner?
"A company looking to outsource their infrastructure is doing so for a few reasons. These are (a) lack of adequate resource to engineer the entire infrastructure internally, (b) strategic reason of not wanting to develop and retain talent internally, (c) availability of subject matter experts (SME) with solution providers,"says Amit Vora.
A key reason for Netmagic to be chosen to run the Hungama business was the Turn-Around Time (TAT) that the solution provider has been able to manage over the last many years of running technology for them.
Customer intimacy and accessibility to technical and business resources at Netmagic was one of the reasons for stickiness to the solution provider. "We have a long lasting relationship with Netmagic. We have access to their senior architects, technology experts and database experts. The senior management, including the CEO, is always available to discuss issues and innovations that we might need addressed at any point in time," explains Amit Vora.
"The wow-factor in dealing with Netmagic has been their commitment to us as a customer. The senior management at Netmagic including CEO, Sharad Sanghi is involved and committed," exclaims Amit Vora with delight.
Hungama delivers services efficiently (faster page loading - reduced latency, and almost nil down time - substantially improved availability) to their viewers and corporate customers.
Turn-Around Time (TAT) for delivering services to their customers has drastically improved. "Business agility is of prime importance for us. Thus responding faster to our customers, and launching new services faster and more efficiently becomes key," says Amit Vora.
Today Infrastructure piece that runs the Hungama business has transformed into SLA driven services with robust reporting system for any requirements. An incident management system and alert system ensures speedy reporting of any issues and 24x7 support services from Netmagic ensures quick addressable of all issues.
In partnership with Netmagic, Hungama has been able to lay out best-in-class IT processes that address all aspects of IT infrastructure. Hungama has been able to implement a robust system to ensure that there is never a single point of failure. This helped imbibe redundancy and robustness into their IT infrastructure.
"We have been able to support our customers better and able to make a difference to their business,"claims Amit Vora.
Today, Hungama runs an efficient, robust, secure Data Center from Netmagic’s facility that is monitored and managed by experts at Netmagic. Hungama can now launch services to their customers – both consumer business as well as their B2B side - faster and more efficiently. Cloud solution ensures that their international viewers and customers are able to take advantage of faster downloads and page views.
"Customer delight is the best result of the exercise, and that is key to our business that we have been able to achieve," ends Amit Vora.