Initially hired by Reach to re-platform the Daily Express Digital (newspaper title); A change in strategy (on arrival) meant taking over responsibilities for ‘business as usual’ digital platform management and product development handed-over by the CTO who was leaving.
I set up governance, stakeholder engagement and established a Kanban style workflow (using Jira) to manage a new weekly release cycle as a step-change towards continuous delivery into a high demand fast moving media environment. Scope covered editorial and commercial/ ad-tech design, optimisation and development. Within 1 month of setting up this new operating model we were able to clear down more issues than were being raised each week. This released capacity to eat into the back-log.
During my tenure we delivered 2019 election features, commercial/ad-tech features and GDPR compliance. SaaS customer engagement platforms included a custom built CMS/website, Gigya (identity, access, consent management), Odin 360 (audience monetisation) and Emarsys CEP (marketing engagement platform).
Media and Telco
Sky UK is the UK’s largest pay-TV broadcaster with over 11 million customers, currently investing heavily in leveraging customer insight and personalisation capability.
I initially led a project to deliver personalised customer recommendations (products and services) via contact centres across the UK through an agent desk-top application, using customer intelligence derived from propensity modelling applications integrated across an extensive data-mart landscape. I led the development of a minimum viable product, for deployment into call centres, to deliver benefits to the business sooner than expected. More information on this project can be found on this link. I went on to manage the delivery of campaign reporting solutions (EM, DM, Mobile/Push, OBTM),
During the last four months I worked with senior stakeholders (up to C-level) on the strategy and business case development for a centralised digital asset management (DAM) solution for multi-departmental, international deployment (UK, Italy, Germany), which is now in plans for future investment.
Virgin Media, a major competitor to Sky, hired me as an interim Customer Experience Manager with responsibilities for optimising and enhancing CX / digital journeys. The issue that needed resolution was the increasing and crippling costs of call-centres both in the UK and offshore. These costs were a function of the number of customer service calls being handled and the time taken to resolve each type of call by call-centre operatives. Virgin Media had identified a digital self service opportunity to reduce inbound and outbound calls and established a ‘call-reduction programme’ to achieve this. I worked closely with the call-centres and analytics team to analyse customer journeys and identify the gaps and challenges. I worked with designers, developers and analysts to redesign the journeys to make calls-to-action and self service features being more clearly marked, more compelling and easy to use. Working with the analytics team I measured the self service improvements and correlated the changes back call-reductions to confirm that required ROI was being achieved. Methods included A/B testing, MVT methods and using Adobe Experience Cloud – Data Workbench to track web and call-centre journeys.
I was retained by Sony Corporation Entertainment Europe to provide project management on the development and integration of the new website for Sony’s flagship games product, the Playstation.
A new Customer Experience (CX) design for the Playsation website was federated across both new and legacy architecturess. There were complex integrations into core / legacy platforms including the Playstation Store and the Product Catalogue. THe business driver behind the project was based on improvements to online performance and moving to a new op-ex model. The EBIT benefits came from replatforming onto Amazon Web Services. Te read more about the technicalities of this cloud migration please link to my portfolio summary on cloud migration projects.
The new Playstation website was built onto the Adobe CMS which was one of a new generation of content management platforms that provided responsive web features. The site was designed to entice customers to view the latest Sony Playstation products and encourage customers to purchase physical hardware (games consoles and related equipment) and games software (either shrink wrapped or downloadable). More information about this and similar projects that I have delivered can be found on my showcase under Responsive Websites.
The Transformation of Public Service Broadcast
I have great memories of working at the BBC, where I was initially brought in to project manage the test, launch of the iMP (interactive Media Player). I was then offered PM responsibility the BBC’s TV+. These projects paved the way for the iPlayer. The iMP was a large scale public trial (30,000) providing down-load catch-up TV over the internet to participants. The TV+ initiative comprised setting up new content-streaming channels, delivery of a new more dynamic website for BBC2 (bbc.co.uk/bbctwo), launching a set of interactive games and applications and streamed clips to mobile. I managed the design, build and delivery of the BBC’s first generation interactive games Dr Who and Spooks, and the factual and learning interactive web applications Shakespeare, Egypt and Parenting VOD.
I had direct responsibility for project managing the Integration and Test work streams on the iPlayer programme. Scope included strategy, planning, team recruitment, to selection and acquisition (and deployment) of tools and environments, establishing controls and governance. Leading two teams of six domain experts, each managed by a team leader and working closely with the management team, legal and finance and providing commercial expertise on procurement, contracts and SLAs and negotiations with key suppliers on the iPlayer programme.
Commercial TV and Video On Demand
I was responsible for design, build, test, delivery and launch of the new VOD services for FiveTV. Launched in competion with the iPlayer on the public internet and delivered content to BT Vision. Working with the Directors and Heads of Departments, to prioritise and manage the technical, business and operational change workstreams before this new on-demand-service which offered ad-funded and free streamed content and PPV downloads.
The service successfully launched on the public internet in June 08 (demand.five.tv) and on BT Vision in September 08.This strategically important commercial venture affected all parts of the business. Scope included significant changes to operational and business processes from commissioning, scheduling, rights and legal, through to finance, marketing, sales and IT teams. Provided supplier management services and worked closely with internal teams on website design (IA/UX), build, integration and testing new technology, workflow and services.
Digital Satellite Broadcast
BskyB moved quickly to respond to the BBC and other terrestrial broadcasters in the VoD and catch-up market. In this new digital paradigm, broadcasters became ‘media business’ who were ‘content owners’. The ‘broadcast schedule’ that was once at the centre TV businesses now shared that space with the ‘rights management’ system that held the rules for content availability across all digital channels. I was employed by SOPHOI to provide project management services and rights management expertise to BSkyB.
Key features of this project:
- Engaged on BskyB’s rights management programme, working on client site with their internal teams and other SOPHOI representatives.
- Scope was to re-architect back office services and processes with an enterprise-wide rights management solution (iPLS) at its heart, fully integrated with their channel management system (Pilat), media asset management, materials and resource planning and finance.
- Responsible for requirements capture, business process analysis (As-IS and To-Be), product development, deployment, configuration, integration.