Tape Media

Hollywood analysts examine past successes and predict box office sell outs.

Tape Media provide statistical reports to filmmakers to help guarantee a box office sell out. Their reports are based on historical data of recent movies, and intricate details of their financial performance. Their historical data was archived in Excel Spreadsheets, scribbled in filing cabinets, and stored in their analysts memories. Tape had spent two years trying to build a central resource for all their data, to make reporting faster and easier for their analysts.

Tape Media in Numbers

THE COMPANY

Staff: 15
Customers: 230
Turnover: £2.4m

20,000

TV programmes, tracked & available for analysis and reporting

100

Countries represented by customer networks

1 day

To create the first basic version of the software up, running, and fully working

Expensive alternatives

Tape Media had embarked on slow and costly development cycles with SalesForce, Microsoft Dynamics, and SugarCRM, each time trying to adapt the system to their own needs. As consultancy fees and additional license fees were added, after months of investment, the project costs with each vendor grew to three or fours times the original estimate.

Spiralling costs hadn’t got them any closer to a solution, however. With each new vendor, promises were made and broken, and as development went on, new ideas and requirements for the software proved impossible to integrate.

Spiralling costs hadn’t got them any closer to a solution, however. With each new vendor, promises were made and broken, and as development went on, new ideas and requirements for the software proved impossible to inte- grate.

Iterative development

Ben Philpott, the Project Leader, described the problem of adapting software to requirements that evolve. “Each time we started building a system, we put together our heads to list all our requirements. We had consultants work with us to think things through, and try to predict the future, and made sure we included everything we’d learnt from the previous attempt.”

“What we realised is that regardless of the work we put in

upfront, as the software took shape, it would give us new ideas for how it could work better, or we’d discover things we’d missed at the start”.

Tape Media knew that they were coming up with great ideas for their software, and didn’t want to ignore them, just because of the prescriptive development approach. They wanted to be able to try ideas out and iterate new features as they came up with them.

Flexible solution

Against a backdrop of frustration with three vendors, Tape Media were cautious about agileBase, so they put us to the test.

“We had a webinar with an agileGuide, and he built what we needed in front of our eyes. It was brilliant to watch our ideas come to life in front of our eyes. Within two hours, we achieved 90% of what we were trying to do and achieved more than we’d managed in two years with a traditional development approach.”

Over the following week, Tape Media continued to work closely with an agileGuide to refine the system. As users and staff provided more feedback, new features were built.

“The system we arrived at was built around the way we wanted to work. We could automatically create customised reports, and had all our data in one place for the first time. Better still, we know that when we need changes in the future, they’ll be easy to implement.”

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