Bigtree Entertainment is India’s leading ticketing, information and analysis solution provider established in 1999 and owner of the online ticketing portal, BookMyShow.com - India’s first online entertainment ticketing portal which offers ticketing services for cinemas, plays, concerts and live events such as the Indian Premier League.
Bookmyshow is one of the top three e-commerce websites in the country. The Bookmyshow app is the largest transacted m-commerce app in the country. The company is spread across the matrix of motion picture distribution and exhibition with a dedicated team of over 300 people and serves over 150 locations.
Bigtree Runs BookMyShow.com on Netmagic’s Infrastructure
Technology @ Bigtree
The company started with providing solutions to automate ticketing to cinemas and multiplexes. The next level of growth for the company was going online and providing online solutions. "The first online system that we provided was to FAME Adlabs - something like what BookMyShow does today. PVR was on a quota based solution at that time," explains Viraj Patel, Vice President - Technology at Bigtree.
For the launch of BookMyShow, the company moved to a dedicated server co-located at Netmagic's Data Center facility. The site was independently running on one server, one firewall and one network switch. "We kept adding servers and today host over 50 servers in 3 racks, co-located at Netmagic," says Viraj Patel. The server racks also host multiple firewalls and load balancers.
The BookMyShow online solution is a portal with over 40 applications working in tandem. "Each service runs a separate application - payment processing, SMS alert system, analytical application data mining, etc.," explains Viraj Patel. The segregation into different applications makes it modular and thus easier to troubleshoot and fix when things go wrong. Resiliency is built into the system from the development stage itself.
Challenges Facing Bigtree,And How They Were Addressed
Bigtree was very good in the business of setting up and running technology from the backend standpoint, but lacked what it took to run and scale the infrastructure underlying and the consumer frontend.
"We have been a company that can be practically compared as a start-up. In 2007 we had a small setup of 3 developers - a time when we celebrated 1000 tickets a day," reminisces Viraj Patel. The growth has been tremendous from then. Today, the company does an average of 35,000 transactions and over 95,000 tickets a day!
The challenge that faces Bigtree with such growth in transactions and business is the pressure that gets enforced on the underlying infrastructure. Robustness and efficiency of the infrastructure that runs such huge transactions is key to Bigtree.
Managing and monitoring of the infrastructure was another challenge that daunted Bigtree. With the IT team focusing on the core that runs the business, the maintenance, management and monitoring of the infrastructure that runs the website had to be managed by someone external.
Given the state of affairs at Bigtree, IT deployment and investments in IT was not a concern. Viraj Patel deliberates, "the challenge was not IT investments or costs primarily, it was about meeting our growing needs, monitoring and management of IT infrastructure as well as technical know-how and people issue."
Expansion is always on high focus at Bigtree. The company’s focus now will be on spreading into smaller towns since most of the current business comes from the top 4 metros. The growth from class 2-3 towns is phenomenal due to proliferation of the mobile phone. BookMyShow does 35% of its transactions on mobile - the highest in the country. Technology and the underlying infrastructure that runs the business is always on a mode of expansion and needs a strong partner to manage, maintain, scale and help optimize without having to significantly increase costs.
Netmagic’s relationship and partnership forged during the early stages of Bigtree’s launch, helped them build a robust and resilient infrastructure.
Today all servers are co-located at Netmagic’s Data Center facility. Internet leased line and bandwidth, complete managed services, SQL Licencing, product and project management are taken care by Netmagic.
- Colocation full rack
- SQL Licensing
- Bandwidth Services
- Firewall and Load Balancing Solution
- Network Switches
- Managed Services
- InfraManage and InfraMonitor
Why Did Bigtreechoose Netmagic?
Choosing the right provider is key, and here, the partner’s clear understanding of the client needs is critical to providing the right solution, and delivering the desired results and benefits.
A key reason which prompted Bigtree to choose Netmagic as their technology partner was the provider’s ability to respond to customer needs quickly. "Handling of issues and technological strategies is a big advantage that we derive from Netmagic. For instance, when we were scaling up, one of the issues was how to run applications on multiple servers. Netmagic helped us with the load balancing solution," says Viraj Patel.
What impressed Bigtree was the knowledge base of Netmagic’s technical and business teams as well as their ability to understand the criticality of their client’s business. "Expert solutions are always available with Netmagic, and this gives us the confidence that if we ever land up in trouble,they will help us" says Viraj Patel.
According to Bigtree, the wow factor in their dealing with Netmagic was the commitment level they have shown – right from the highest level, and down to the last link. "Response time from support teams, solutioning teams and senior management at Netmagic has been a wow factor. Support and responsiveness from Netmagic has been prompt and highly involving," says Viraj Patel.
Committed SLAs, reliable infrastructure, speedy delivery of projects, mutual business understanding, committed delivery of infrastructure,and the trust factor between the two companies were conducive for the longitivity of the partnership.
A key advantage received from the infrastructure setup provided by Netmagic is the availability of all infrastructure needs - agility is key to the business at Bigtree and this is clearly a plus.
Bigtree is able to have a fully resilient and robust IT setup and now are planning a managed DR setup. In an organization where key skills are focused at developing customer-centric busines applications and running of the business, having a partner who is as committed to their business is a desired benefit that Bigtree enjoys today.
One of the key benefits that Bigtree derived was the ability to manage their technology obsolesce risk by being able to quickly upgrade their older systems to newer, state-of-the-art infrastructure provided at Netmagic’s datacenter facility.
Bigtree is all set to meet the challenges of the market, grow and acquire more customers in India with the robust and scalable infrastructure that they have architected, in partnership with Netmagic.
Within Bigtree, the technology team is now set to focus their efforts towards enhancing the user experience, deliver better applications and services toreach out to customers better, faster and more efficiently. The company is all out to take advantage of the market potential.