Firing on All 4 cylinders
Delivering world class experiences at Channel 4
The UK’s Channel 4 has been a beacon of innovation, experimentation and creativity since its launch in 1982. Maintaining that distinction, however, has become increasingly difficult in a market full of OTT players and constant disruption.
Channel 4 knew that a step-change in the pace and agility of its delivery organization would make a difference. The company wanted more flexibility to deal with the demanding peaks and troughs of digital product development, with increased transparency, accountability, quality and speed.
Accenture helped Channel 4 pinpoint the activities most likely to deliver sustained value. Investment and resource only go to areas that will have the biggest impact on the audience and Channel 4’s brand value.
Accenture collaborated with Channel 4's Digital Product team to document and analyse the key value drivers and how they enable the channel's key objectives. The implementation of a multi-variate test capability enabled rapid testing of product MVPs, and enables a "fail fast" mechanism to avoid wastage.
"Before Channel 4, I ran a tech business and it is clear that we must rapidly accelerate our digital capabilities and our mindset."
– ALEX MAHON, Chief Executive, Channel 4
'Speech to production industry, May 16th 2018'
Together, Channel 4 and Accenture set up a Digital Delivery Service (DDS) to consolidate digital delivery for Channel 4’s flagship digital video product, All 4, and the 18 million+ registered users who consume live and on-demand video through it.
The DDS unified people and processes across Channel 4’s Central Services, Dotcom and iOS platforms—bringing rigor to processes, introducing a single set of methodologies and ensuring that knowledge flowed across boundaries. The new, super-charged joint initiative empowered everyone to channel their creativity into the things that mattered.
"The vibrant fusion of people, culture and engineering across the partnership has been the underlying secret to success."
– CHARLOTTE LIGHT, Controller of Systems Delivery, Channel 4
Modern micro-services data architecture enables rapid development of new data services and content syndication with strategic partners.
Cutting-edge HTML5 video player, was custom built to enable cross-browser flexibility and freedom from constrictive commercial player offerings.
Channel 4’s most consumed digital platform enables offline box set and catch-up viewing via 30-day downloads.
With its teams now organized within a single DDS, with a key focus on value that ensures all effort is deployed effectively, Channel 4 can evolve with the speed and innovation required to sustain its leading role in digital broadcasting.
Projects are now scoped, planned and scaled-up in weeks. Tight integration between Product and Delivery teams, focused on value, ensures effort is deployed effectively with speed and innovation.
DDS ensures the path, integrity and wise usage of product data. With an emphasis on exposing detailed agile delivery metrics, it enables rapid feedback and simplifies the decision-making process.
In its first year, the new delivery model drove greater output at lower costs while improving service quality, creating a culture of quality where production performance is owned by the developers.