CUSTOMER CASE STUDY
Happy IT leads to ‘Happy Feet’ with assyst
A dynamic, expanding film production company implements assyst by Axios Systems during the creation of major releases in Australia
Dr. D Studios
Country Industry Dr. D Studios is a new digital production studio created by Academy Award-winning producers George Miller and Doug Mitchell in conjunction with the Omnilab Media Group in 2008. Dr. D Studios has created blockbuster films such as Happy Feet and other children’s productions such as Erky Perky and Larry the Lawnmower. The studio is currently working on producing Happy Feet 2 and Fury Road, the fourth Mad Max film. At the end of 2009, Dr. D Studios had 15 IT staff, which is set to grow to 35 by mid 2010. The additional staff will be in data operations, data rendering (frame construction for animation), as well as 2nd and 3rd line support. The staff will accommodate the ramp up of production for both Happy Feet 2 and Fury Road. The group currently looks after over 10 million AUD worth of assets, including complex production equipment and technology for animation and filming across multiple facilities. a cost-effective, locally administered system to allow visibility of various departments within the business.
1500+ processors/6000 cores in Dr D. Studios’ render farm 300TB + usable disk storage 500+ kW of storage power (equivalent to 8333 x 60 watt light bulbs) Over 10 million AUD in assets across multiple facilities Academy Award Winner - Best Animated Feature Film of the Year Two major new film releases currently in production (over 100 million AUD each)
The Strategy - Implement a costeffective software solution to provide control and visibility of all assets
Russ Burnett had worked with Service Desk tools in his previous positions and found the decision to implement assyst from Axios Systems very simple, stating “the assyst solution, coupled with Axios’ services, stand on their own.” During this process of toolset selection, Mr Burnett analyzed the products from Altiris (Symantec), Frontrange (Heat), LANDesk’s Enterprise Suite, BMC’s Remedy product, and ManageEngine’s ServiceDesk Plus. Following a thorough analysis and rating of each solution, Burnett discounted the other products on the market for a range of reasons including customizations not being held on upgrade, a lack of ITSM focus (which meant the product not being functionally rich enough to satisfy Dr. D’s requirements, including reporting), implementations looked to be cumbersome, a lack of adequate local support and poor, non-customizable interfaces.
Develop a system internally, with low external resources required Support a growing business, heavily reliant on IT Prove the organization’s value to Omnilab Media Group
The Challenge - Demonstrate the value of the business to Omnilab Group, and the value which IT delivers
Mr Russ Burnett, Director of Service Delivery for Dr. D Studios, required a software solution to manage the organization’s procurement, implement services and maintain control of the company’s technology assets. Dr. D Studios began as a joint venture between Kennedy-Miller Mitchell Films and Omnilab Media Group in March of 2008. Kennedy-Miller Mitchell Films is an Australian film production company founded in 1973, which created cinema classics such as Babe, Dead Calm and The Witches of Eastwick. Omnilab Media Group is Australia’s largest film services company and comprises of 14 media companies under one banner, all servicing various aspects of the industry. Dr. D Studios did not have a software solution in place previously to manage their incident logging or IT assets as they were a new studio stemming from these production companies, with the IT&E platform for shared services being a pilot venture at this stage. When the new organization began to pursue an IT Service Management (ITSM) solution, their main requirements were to have the ability to track expensive assets and software in multiple locations, and gain an idea of the true value of these, plus an increased need for tighter controls in regards to purchasing and visibility for decisionmaking processes. Dr. D Studios also needed to demonstrate the value they delivered to Omnilab Media Group through reporting and service management. Being a new organization, Dr. D had to prove their worth. Rapidly expanding, it required
assyst from Axios Systems was seen to be a
Implement a software solution for control and visibility of various businesses and their assets
Key Benefits / Results
Decision support capabilities and the use of assyst have resulted in 340,000 AUD saving 5% man-hour saving (50,000 AUD per annum across the workforce) Modeling and Forecasting capabilities save 130,000 AUD per annum Increased visibility of assets and data Reduction in downtime yielding a saving of 20,000 AUD per annum
fully integrated ITSM solution, which was highly configurable, without the need to worry about difficult upgrades (due to configurations flowing to the next version seamlessly). The assyst Process Designer, which offers graphical, drag and drop capability with views of the processes, made mapping new processes simple. Reporting was extensive with the use of Crystal Reports and the report library, and the ability to track Service Levels, which was integral to Dr. D Studios requirements, was found to be easily implemented. The Axios Systems team in Australia were very responsive to the initial enquiry, providing a clear product overview and a thorough initial demonstration. The staff were also knowledgeable of the solutions’ full capabilities and the local market.
05 10 CS Dr D US v1.0
Dr. D Studios
CUSTOMER CASE STUDY
Burnett continues “I feel that Axios’ implementation services were key – there are other “capable” products that often fail to meet customer expectations because they can’t get the implementation right or the consultants constantly have to come back, draining the ROI promises made at the outset.” The entire implementation took the organization only 12 weeks to complete. This included all assyst administration training, workshops, building processes and operator training, as well as the testing and golive of the system in February 2008. Dr. D Studios also chose to implement assystNET, Axios’ web-based selfservice portal, which they considered a ‘must have’ for an organization that was spread across many different locations. All ITIL processes are available out-of-the-box with assyst, giving organizations, such as Dr. D Studios, the flexibility to implement the relevant processes as, and when, required. Burnett continues, “We considered implementing Incident Management on its own initially, but then decided to include the launch of Problem and Change Management concurrently, due to the inherent processlinking, and the fact that we were a small team and a young company that was building processes and procedures from the ground up.” The implementation team focused on scenarios that were based upon what they envisaged their IT department should be capable of doing in the future. They took into account the swift evolution of the growing organization, including multiple film productions pending, and the number of new employees, both in IT and within the company in general, that would be coming on board in early 2010. Mr Burnett was primarily trained as the company administrator for assyst and had full control over the process design. The process, he says, was underpinned by general service principles and the vision of Dr. D Studios, while keeping in mind the production of Happy Feet 2 and its associated infrastructure and staffing plans. Mr Burnett also appointed a primary assyst Administrator to help execute the build, test and implementation plans. The system administrator was also responsible for the hosting platform. The 1st and 2nd line IT support staff and the systems engineering staff were all trained as assyst operators in line with the organization’s service principles and overall vision. An estimated reduction in downtime per annum, based upon what the organization expects would have been the result without the use of assyst, and other supporting technologies, has also yielded a saving of 20,000 AUD per annum. This is derived from overall efficiency gains through utilizing the Process Designer, which links to Changes, and the Impact Explorer, which shows a graphical view of item relationships within assyst. This saving is based upon an estimated 2 hours per user saved each year, which would have been spent manually tracking the impact of the user, or users, being ‘out of action’. Mr Burnett claims this is effectively “downtime control”. Total savings stemming from the modeling and forecasting capabilities within assyst are around 130,000 AUD per annum. These gains are primarily related to cash flow controls, smart purchasing decisions and limiting liabilities in other areas of the business through rapid decision support. The largest return on investment to date has been yielded from single-project decision support capabilities, utilizing assyst. This involved the ability to make tactical and strategic decisions, with the use of well documented reports for budgeting, planning and progress tracking, asset tracking and analysis, and vendor/supplier management. The Studio pre-purchased technologies required for production of the major films, and leased these to the Omnilab Group for a period of 12 months, repurchasing the assets following this exercise at their depreciated value, with assyst making it possible to closely manage these expensive assets.
The Future for Dr. D Studios
As the Studio grows, the use of assyst is set to expand. Looking forward, Dr. D Studios’ use of assyst will also encompass customizing assystNET for end-users in various teams and departments across the organization. The fields and logos will change depending upon the department or team utilizing the system.
assyst will also be integrated with the
primary technology vendors supplying Dr. D Studios, for the purpose of carrying through procurement details in regards to assets, such as model numbers, serial numbers and warranty details. These assets will then be assettagged from purchase and assigned the correct data, saving valuable time inputting these details. The Facilities team will also utilize
assyst, with all facilities requests
Why assyst from Axios Systems?
Mr Burnett says that assyst had appeal due to its flexibility to accommodate complex business and service relationships between Dr. D Studios and various production and location film units, clients and suppliers/service providers. assyst also had the scalability to accommodate multiple facilities and teams. It was easy to integrate assyst with various systems including automation, deployment, monitoring, procurement and accounting.
being logged via the internal Service Desk at Dr. D Studios, creating a ‘one-stop shop’ for users, allowing better co-ordination of IT and facility resources and aiding the prioritization for additions, moves and changes, thus giving the organization greater visibility of non-IT assets (such as desks, chairs etc).
Dr. D Studios therefore foresee further savings from the use of assyst as the organization expands, and takes on further large scale productions in the future.
Benefits – Dancing to a perfect tune with assyst
Since the assyst software was implemented, Dr. D Studios has seen some remarkable savings and a rapid return on investment. Mr Burnett stated that 78% of incidents are now being logged with the Service Desk via assystNET, which saves the team valuable time and reduces the need for employing extra resources for incident logging. Between the time of implementation and June 2009, a period of 18 months, the studio estimated a 5% man-hour saving through increased efficiency and productivity, resulting in a saving of approximately 50,000 AUD per annum.
“The assyst product and Axios’ implementation services allowed us to launch an ITSM platform that we can fully manage ourselves to adapt and grow with the business. assyst provides us with the service management and analytical capabilities we need to demonstrate our value to the business.” Russ Burnett Director of Service Delivery Dr. D Studios
Mr Burnett felt that assyst’s decision support capabilities were supported by well documented DB schema and Crystal Reports, which was essential for budget planning, progress and asset tracking and analysis, as well as vendor/supplier management. Burnett concludes, “The ability to use internal resources to continually adapt the product as our needs change was vital for this continually evolving business.”
Axios Systems in Media
Axios has been providing ITSM solutions to the media industry for more than 20 years. assyst, is a fully integrated, out-of-thebox solution, available in onpremise and SaaS models, which helps organizations optimize IT infrastructure efficiency, reduce overheads and lower the total cost of IT ownership. Our main focus on helping companies deliver top line value has been particularly well demonstrated in the media and communications sector with customers including Swisscom, Gulf News, and Verlagsgruppe Weltbild, among others.