Arts Centre Melbourne

A virtuoso performance of video streaming

Client: Melbourne Arts Centre

Industry: Entertainment

Solution: Global IP Network, Infrastructure

Location: Australia


Project

In August 2015, Arts Centre Melbourne hosted an event that involved a corporate client streaming video of events on-site to its customers worldwide. However, the streaming service failed for nearly a day and a half and no workarounds were available, damaging Arts Centre Melbourne’s reputation. Arts Centre Melbourne turned to NTT ICT to deliver a reliable, high quality streaming service

Challenges

  • Achieve 99.5% availability
  • Ensure low latency
  • Complete implementation in about one month, ahead of customer event

Solutions

  • Uncontended 100Mbps fibre link into Arts Centre Melbourne
  • Direct connection to the NTT Communications Global IP Network, a Global Tier 1 IP backbone
  • Scalable to 1Gbps
  • Implementation services

Benefits

  • Achieved near 100% availability
  • Recorded latency of about 3 milliseconds
  • Identified an additional AUD$70,000 worth of revenue opportunities
  • Successfully delivered an event for client that needed a minimum 50Mbps streaming connection
  • Established a progressive partnership

Arts Centre Melbourne is a Melbourne landmark and Australia’s busiest performing arts centre. In 2015, the Arts Centre Melbourne staged more than 4,000 performances and events to more than 2.7 million people. The centre employs about 300 permanent workers and up to 600 casual workers depending on the season. 


Challenges: Provide value to sponsors, customers and partners through video streaming services

“As well as focusing on performing arts shows here at the venue, we also involve ourselves heavily in the community through events and activities,” says Tobias Strube, Director, IT Services, Arts Centre Melbourne. The ability to screen events to external audiences through video streaming is critical to Arts Centre Melbourne and is addressed through the centre’s digital strategy. “We have been providing this opportunity to our partners, sponsors and customers for more than 18 months now,” explains Strube. In August 2015, Arts Centre Melbourne hosted an event that involved a corporate client streaming video of events on-site to its customers worldwide. However, the streaming service failed for nearly a day and a half and no workarounds were available, damaging Arts Centre Melbourne’s reputation. 

Arts Centre Melbourne’s information technology team worked quickly to implement a new, reliable internet service that could meet its corporate, artistic and business requirements. Arts Centre Melbourne then executed a robust procurement process that involved developing a detailed list of requirements. The organisation’s criteria incorporated price, reliability, availability, support and flexibility in ramping the capacity of the internet connection up or down based on demand.
“We required 99.5 percent uptime and wanted to maintain an extremely low latency to give customers a seamless experience when viewing live broadcasts on the internet,” says Strube.

Because the project was considered to be important to Arts Centre Melbourne’s reputation, Strube and the Information Technology Operations Manager collaborated with the Chief Operating Officer on the evaluation process. “Myself and the Operations Manager obtained proposals from NTT Communications and two other potential suppliers, and invested a lot of time in understanding the technical components of the project,” says Strube. “We then put a recommendation paper together for the Chief Operating Officer (COO), who asked a series of detailed questions to ensure that we achieved the right outcome.” Arts Centre Melbourne also tested the live stream of a show from one of its theatres to check throughputs and service quality. 

ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE’S CRITERIA INCORPORATED. PRICE, RELIABILITY, AVAILABILITY, SUPPORT AND FLEXIBILITY IN RAMPING THE CAPACITY OF THE INTERNET CONNECTION UP OR DOWN BASED ON DEMAND.


Solution: Performance, reliability, uptime and customer experience drive supplier selection

The evaluation process was completed over four weeks and the Chief Operating Officer signed off on the move to NTT Communications in September 2015. “We were extremely comfortable that NTT Communications could deliver the performance, reliability, uptime and the end customer experience we needed, and meet our requirements around latency and packet loss,” says Strube. “They met our requirements for dedicated bandwidth to support streaming at a price that was acceptable. They could also implement the service in the timeframe we required.”

“In addition, from a business perspective, NTT Communications was prepared to work with us as a partner that could realise the strategic opportunities presented by streaming and Internet services,” Strube adds.  Arts Centre Melbourne has signed up for an uncontented 100Mbps internet fibre link into its premises that connects directly to the NTT Communications Global IP Network, a Global Tier 1 IP backbone. The link can be increased to 1Gbps if required.  

A booking from a large client lent urgency to the implementation. “The client had stated in its contract that it needed a 50Mbps streaming connection and its booking was for 5 October 2015,” says Strube. “So we had a tight timeframe to complete the project.” Arts Centre Melbourne’s infrastructure team worked very closely with the NTT team and account manager to complete the implementation ahead of the client’s arrival.

ARTS CENTRE MELBOURNE HAS SIGNED UP FOR AN UNCONTESTED 100MBPS INTERNET FIBRE LINK INTO ITS PREMISES THAT CONNECTS DIRECTLY TO THE NTT COMMUNICATIONS GLOBAL IP NETWORK

 


Future Benefits: Happy customers and near-100% availability

“The 5 October client event was highly visible within the organisation,” says Strube. “I was asking close to every hour on the day how things were going! Our COO, the Head of our Celebration Events Team and other organisational leaders were also paying close attention.”

We met all our performance metrics when it came to streaming and the customer at the end of the event was very happy with what was provided.” 

Arts Centre Melbourne also streams live events to nearby Federation Square. Since October 2015, the organisation has successfully streamed Christmas celebrations, morning melodies and Salvation Army charity services to the tourism precinct. “We have not had an outage since we moved to the NTT Communications service, so uptime has been about 100 percent,” says Strube. “In addition, latency has been as low as three milliseconds.”

The new streaming service - in particular the ability to scale up to 1Gbps - potentially opens up new revenue opportunities for Arts Centre Melbourne. “We’ve identified an additional AUD$70,000 worth of revenue for the organisation by being able to provide these types of events,” says Strube. “More and more customers are expecting to be able to stream events back to other locations.”

WE HAVE NOT HAD AN OUTAGE SINCE WE MOVED TO THE NTT COMMUNICATIONS SERVICE, SO UPTIME HAS BEEN ABOUT 100 PERCENT

“We pride ourselves on having great audio and visual technical team members within the organisation, and what was previously limiting us was bandwidth,” he adds. “Having that dedicated link means we can compete with some of the large convention centres for new revenue opportunities.

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