Cobweb switch on mobile communications for leading TV
ALL3MEDIA, one of the UK's largest independent TV production
groups and the power behind some of the UK’s most popular TV
programmes including Richard & Judy, Midsummer Murders, Formula
1, Fifth Gear and Hollyoaks, has turned to Cobweb Solutions for an
outsourced IT solution to manage its communication and messaging
Following the deployment of Cobweb’s Microsoft Hosted Exchange
service, production teams within the ALL3MEDIA group can now access
email, diary and address books whether they are in the
office or on location anywhere around the globe.
All3Media Video Case Study
AL3MEDIA is headquartered in London and currently has over 1000
employees throughout the group.
The company has doubled its turnover and size since its inception
in 2003 through a combination of acquisition and strong organic
Today, the companies that make up the ALL3MEDIA Group in the UK
include Assembly TV, Bentley Productions, Chrysalis TV, Cactus TV,
Lion Television, Mersey Television and NorthOne Television.
Overseas operations include IdtV in the Netherlands, South
Pacific Pictures in New Zealand and Lion Television in the USA. The
company also has a distribution arm, ALL3MEDIA International.
As a fast growing international company, ALL3MEDIA relies
heavily on electronic communications to stay in synch across its
operations. With much of the company growth coming through
acquisition ALL3MEDIA needed a messaging and communication system
that was able to be quickly delivered to new companies as they were
The solution had to ensure efficient communication and
collaboration between the head office, international
operations and regional group companies, and be robust and flexible
enough to support their expansion plans.
Prior to the implementation of Cobweb’s Microsoft Hosted
Exchange service, ALL3MEDIA used Chrysalis TV’s legacy
GroupWise messaging system. However, following the
acquisition it soon became apparent that it did not meet the
expectations and the working needs of the expanding group.
ALL3MEDIA quickly ruled out implementing its own internal
Microsoft Exchange system and employing an in-house IT
specialist, due to the significant
expenditure this would incur.
What ALL3MEDIA most wanted was a single scalable, flexible and
secure company-wide communication system. It also wanted to avoid
the IT headache of integrating different disparate systems each
time it acquired a new production company.
IT director of ALL3MEDIA, Damien Frost commented, “Email is a
business critical application for ALL3MEDIA but I knew from the
start that I would not have the time to deal with the daily hassles
and threats from spam, viruses, system failures and backups.
Security of our systems is a top priority and I wanted to ensure
that the solution we put in place would provide comprehensive
As our company grows, so do the number of email accounts
required and with that comes the problem of spam. Cobweb’s
Microsoft Hosted Exchange service, which includes Symantec.cloud
AntiSpam service, provided us with the level of protection we
wanted. In my view, email management and all that comes with it is
something best outsourced and dealt with by a dedicated and
experienced IT partner.”
A key requirement for ALL3MEDIA was a mobile working solution
that would provide its production teams, who are frequently on
remote locations, the ability to keep in regular contact and share
information with colleagues back in the office. After reviewing the
available options ALL3MEDIA made the decision to move off the
legacy Novell GroupWise system, and source a hosted communications
and messaging solution that could meet the complete needs of the
business, including accommodating mobile working.
Within three months, instead of the expected twelve ALL3MEDIA
had entirely switched its messaging and mobile working requirements
to Cobweb Solutions. At the time of implementation just over 300
email users were setup and this has now risen to over 450.
Damien Frost comments, “ALL3MEDIA has grown rapidly over the
last two years. With Cobweb’s managed service in place, we can
deliver a cost-effective solution to the newly
acquired companies and production teams as and when needed.”
Cobweb’s predictable monthly pay per user model allows ALL3MEDIA
to set up temporary offices for any number of staff, irrespective
of location, and when the programme has been completed the
additional users can be removed.
This approach allows the Formula 1 production team, a NorthOne
Television production, to stay in email contact with the main
office in the UK, using mobile devices such as BlackBerry's when
covering races. Damien Frost adds, “This has created massive cost
savings, as it is far cheaper to send emails than it is to make
international phone calls from mobiles back to the UK. It has also
enabled us to avoid expensive dial up costs from laptops.”
Michael Frisby, Business Development Director concludes, “At
Cobweb we recognise that the nature of the TV production industry
requires an incredibly flexible mobile communications and messaging
solution. Cobweb’s Microsoft Hosted Exchange service provides
ALL3MEDIA with the security and functionality required to meet
their business needs, with the added guarantee that any email
problems will be dealt with quickly and efficiently, with no
disruption to their business.”
With day-to-day email management and mobile working taken care
of, Damien Frost is now able to aid in the development of business
strategies for future acquisitions and concentrate on
looking after the more strategic aspectsof ALL3MEDIA’s IT
network and infrastructure.
The Channel 5 motoring show 'Fifth Gear'