Case Study Primedia Broadcasting

Primedia Broadcasting looks to Ascent for Database Consulting and Management Services

Client Case Studies

Primedia Broadcasting outsources Database Administration and Consulting Services to Expert Database Infrastructure Company Ascent Technology.

Primedia Broadcasting owns and operates four of South Africa’s most popular and premium radio brands: 947, KFM, 702 and CapeTalk, as well as boasting one of the most highly respected independent news brands in South Africa, EyeWitness News (EWN). The company is also the home of Lead SA, a call to South Africans to be the change that they want to see, it operates the anonymous tip-off service Crime Line (in conjunction with the South African Police Services) and has a talent management business called PrimeTalent.

The company has transformed itself from an analogue business into a digital organisation. It has achieved this by embracing various forms of social media as business tools, enabling genuine two-way communication with its listeners, and describes itself as a multi-platform content creator and publisher.

This means that the company operates as a true 24/7 business, which in turn requires a Strong and Effective Database Environment. Jaco Sadie, Head of Technology for Primedia Broadcasting, points out that the organisation had, for some time, struggled to retain Specialist Database Administrator Skills (DBAs).

“There seemed to be more churn than usual within these skills, likely due to the fact that our Microsoft SQL Server footprint was not big enough to keep them fully occupied at all times. Instead of continuing to hire new DBAs, only to lose them a short time later, we chose to adopt a new approach,” he says.

“We instead began looking for a partner to assist us with our Database Environment. A very specific type of partner was required here, as our environment contains a mix of Database Technologies. Although Microsoft SQL Server is our core Database Technology Platform, we also make use of others, like MySQL and MongoDB, to name a few.”

He says that the chosen partner needed to not only be able to assist with the various Database Technologies in use, but since Primedia Broadcasting is a 24/7 business, it would also need to provide genuine ‘follow the sun’ support. Following a recommendation it received from Security and Infrastructure Consultants BUI, Primedia Broadcasting entered into discussions with Ascent Technology.

“Since our Database Technology Environment is mixed, we required a partner with Heterogeneous Database Skills. Ascent’s understanding of Complex Mixed Database Technology Environments, and the fact that it is more than capable of providing us with the skills required to manage such environments, meant that it was a good fit for our needs,” states Sadie.

He adds that engaging with a reputable and consistent partner like Ascent means that Primedia Broadcasting is able to retain the High Availability it requires for operations, while at the same time reducing the costs associated and challenges associated with the constant churn of DBA skills. The partnership with Ascent has also improved the Performance and Scalability of its Database Environment.

According to Ascent Technology MD, Johan Lamberts, the company is pleased to have Primedia Broadcasting as a client.

“This engagement is ideally suited to the work we do. Primedia Broadcasting is a business that utilises cutting edge technology, something that dovetails perfectly with our company’s advanced skills and expertise.

“We anticipate a long and successful relationship with Primedia Broadcasting as we move forward,” he adds.

Sadie points out that the company is currently undergoing a major Modernisation and Consolidation exercise. The first part of this project involved transitioning the organisation’s Systems Infrastructure to a Hybrid Cloud model, with BUI assisting Primedia Broadcasting to move to the Microsoft Azure Platform.

“We are now looking to complement the cutting edge systems that are in place by also Modernising and Consolidating our existing Database Platform Environment in the Azure Platform. Ascent has experience in this area which we will tap into.”

“With this project we will be continuing our focus on further transforming from on-premises Systems to Infrastructure as a Service and Platform as a Service,” concludes Sadie.

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