Microsoft Communications Server
                                             Customer Solution Case Study




            ...
“Microsoft kept pace                       Situation                                         subscribers by fostering ongo...
“Content owners                                                                                 retail broadband service,”...
Most VSNL divisions rallied behind the
project, including network planning, IT
support, customer care, content            ...
fewer people, less hand-offs and                  market for content services. This includes
consequently more efficiency,...
For More Information                                    Microsoft Communications Sector
For more information about Microso...
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Microsoft India - VSNL Case Study

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VSNL is a major global communication services provider offering a portfolio of next-generation Carrier and Enterprise solutions, including Voice, Mobile, Data and Ethernet. Looking to attract more broadband subscribers in India and boost current consumption, VSNL partnered with various content providers to launch a PC Video on Demand (VOD) service utilizing Microsoft solutions as its preferred platform. The service delivers live video streaming, static content (ring tones, wallpapers) and dynamic DRM-based content (movies) for its Indian customers on a pay-per-view basis. By implementing Microsoft® .NET Framework version 3.0, VSNL has achieved higher operational efficiency, better content management, and enhanced customer targeting while delivering services faster and with lower development costs.

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Microsoft India - VSNL Case Study

  1. 1. Microsoft Communications Server Customer Solution Case Study Telco Speeds Up and Cuts Costs on its PC Video on Demand Service Overview “Microsoft came to us with good credentials in this Country or Region: India Industry: Telecommunications space, and they had a technology roadmap which was very similar to ours. The solutions were either readily Customer Profile With 5000 employees in 93 countries, available or could be found quickly.” VSNL is an India-based global Mukul Sood, VP Content and Applications, VSNL telecommunications company with a portfolio of services including voice, bandwidth, Ethernet and fixed data connectivity. VSNL is a major global communication services provider offering a portfolio of next-generation Carrier and Enterprise solutions, Business Situation To grow its broadband subscription and including Voice, Mobile, Data and Ethernet. Looking to attract more boost consumption, VSNL sought to deploy broadband subscribers in India and boost current consumption, a PC Video On Demand (PC VOD) service to deliver high-quality, secure multimedia VSNL partnered with various content providers to launch a PC Video content to its subscribers. on Demand (VOD) service utilizing Microsoft solutions as its Solution preferred platform. The service delivers live video streaming, static VSNL selected a range of solutions content (ring tones, wallpapers) and dynamic DRM-based content including Microsoft® .NET Framework version 3.0, Windows Server® 2003 R2, (movies) for its Indian customers on a pay-per-view basis. By Microsoft SQL Server™ 2005 and implementing Microsoft® .NET Framework version 3.0, VSNL has Microsoft® BizTalk® Server 2004 for its PC VOD service in India. achieved higher operational efficiency, better content management, and enhanced customer targeting while delivering services faster Benefits  Better Content Management and with lower development costs.  Lower Costs, Greater Efficiency  Higher Visibility, Positive Branding  Secure Digital Rights Management  Better Customer Segmentation
  2. 2. “Microsoft kept pace Situation subscribers by fostering ongoing interaction Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited (VSNL), a part and relationships. While the overall strategy with our quest for better of the Tata Group, is a leading international sounded viable, it was not without its market opportunities by telecommunications company based in India, challenges. with operations in over 39 countries. “When we started out, Indian content was not continuous interaction available in an Internet ready format. The as well as offering pilots The company is one of the world’s largest business model of who to sell to, how to sell, carriers of international voice and submarine at what price, size of the market opportunity, for some of their newer bandwidth, and a leading provider of Indian and so on, was unclear,” remarks Sood. He technologies like the private leased circuits. It also offers IP MPLS adds that VSNL was then an unknown entity VPN, Internet access, hosting, mobile in the Indian entertainment industry and that Connected Services signaling and several other IP services, plus a most content vendors did not see the Framework.” range of retail services including high-speed benefits of an Internet play, and offered less- broadband, dial-up Internet, Wi-Fi, and than-attractive terms. “There was also the Internet telephony under the Tata Indicom question of distrust amongst content owners Mukul Sood, VP Content and Applications, brand. when it came to Internet distribution,” says VSNL Sood. “We had to find the right digital rights A leading Internet company in India, VSNL is management (DRM) technologies that were always seeking new opportunities and acceptable to the content owners.” business drivers to expand its retail product portfolio. Initially, its goal was to boost Convincing the various stakeholders that consumption levels for broadband their strategy with the PC VOD service was bandwidth. Says Mukul Sood, Vice President, viable was equally challenging. “It took us Content and Applications, VSNL, “We wanted some time to convince people of our to provide our subscribers with broadband business model and our requirements. We applications that enhanced the value of their commissioned studios to reformat movies high-speed connections. In this context, rich- suitable for Internet delivery, hired lawyers media delivery such as video streaming was who were familiar with the Indian and an important aspect of the overall strategy.” International IPR laws, and briefed our finance teams about the applicable taxes,” The strategy VSNL adopted was to first says Sood. differentiate between its Internet connectivity services from the competition by providing Ultimately, VSNL had to address all these broadband-ready content. This would both concerns and convince stakeholders that showcase broadband as a superior product to they could deliver not only great content but a dial-up connectivity, and generate viable long-term business. “It was clear that incremental revenues through content we required an array of technologies to fulfill purchase. Secondly, VSNL would encourage the promise of PC VOD in India. We needed a subscribers to purchase this content to boost customized solution that would create a incremental revenues per user. Finally, more superior end user experience while providing compelling “sticky” content such as content partners an online mechanism to educational, entertainment and devotional upload their product and profit from it.” elements would be offered to retain
  3. 3. “Content owners retail broadband service,” says Sood. “Almost everything related to content had to be distrusted the net as a created from zero. We even had to educate means of delivery. We the network planning people on the requirements from a content delivery/ had to find the right management perspective. While Microsoft DRM suppliers – had the building blocks in terms of technology, we knew we had to customize vendors who were Solution them extensively to accomplish our acceptable to the When searching for the appropriate objectives.” technologies, VSNL decided from the start content owners.” not to develop a solution in-house. “Much of Sood adds that when Microsoft Consulting what we were trying to achieve was not Services (MCS) convinced VSNL they were available as a single off-the-shelf solution,” able to fulfill these specific needs, the Mukul Sood, VP Content and Applications, remarks Sood. “We recognized that we had to company knew it had made the right VSNL bring several distinct technologies together to decision, and MCS has been a close make the entire experience seamless, and technology partner ever since. “The team still offer the PC VOD service flexibility to grow helped us maximize our investments in when required.” technology. In fact, the second phase is being delivered by MCS,” he notes. Initially, VSNL explored a variety of platform technologies. “There were several options but MCS led the engagement with VSNL, bringing we opted for Microsoft because they had a in trusted partners to give end to end technology roadmap similar to ours,” says accountability, and partnering in retail Sood. “Microsoft came to us with good content management technology plans for credentials in this space. They were willing to VSNL. In the process, MCS was able to be a ‘partner’ and worked with us very leverage its global expertise on complex closely, both in developing the ideas and in technology issues whilst ensuring on-time execution. The technology solution to most of delivery, within budget. our problems was either readily available or could be found quickly.” Targets were set regarding the width & depth of content VSNL believed it could provide Even so, VSNL recognized that the final through the new service. “We explored the solution would require extensive many types of services we could offer and the customization to meet their very specific depth or comprehensiveness of each service, requirements. In the first phase, VSNL in terms of video or audio content,” says worked with AG Technologies, and later, with Sood. The company started small, stabilized system integrators Tata Consultancy Services things and determined that it would be better (TCS) and Tech Mahindra Ltd (TM) to develop to build the service in phases. Since the and customize specific modules. vision kept expanding with newer ideas and service layers, VSNL set shorter, more “At the time, we had a static HTML site with realistic timeframes for each development. vanilla functionality as the gateway to our
  4. 4. Most VSNL divisions rallied behind the project, including network planning, IT support, customer care, content Benefits management, Web design, revenue VSNL believes that working with a leading (Assurance and Vendor Settlements), edge Microsoft platform has opened new budgeting, and legal departments (contracts). market opportunities for the company. The PC VOD service not only delivers a superior The final Microsoft solution integrated several end user experience but also provides VSNL enterprise grade core products and delivered with a credible platform to evolve its service a high-end ecommerce-enabled broadband in the future. Combined with better content portal for consumers. The solution was based management, improved customer on Microsoft® Commerce Server 2002, segmentation, and a secure DRM solution, Microsoft® Content Management Server the PC VOD service offers a highly efficient 2002 and Microsoft® .NET Framework and cost effective solution for VSNL version 3.0. These were deployed on subscribers and content partners. Windows Server® 2003 R2, Microsoft® SQL Server™ 2005 and Microsoft® BizTalk® Server 2004, to offer a scalable and future-proof solution. To ensure high availability at all times, Microsoft® Operations Manager (MOM) Better Content Management (now updated to Microsoft® System Center Moving from a static portal to a dynamic Operations Manager 2007) was deployed in interface, the PC VOD service has been a conjunction with Premier Support Services boon to VSNL subscribers and its own from Microsoft Consultancy Services. administration of the service. Says Sood, “From a consumer’s point of view, this has The VSNL PC VOD service featured distinct been a good deployment. It allows us to modules to serve each stakeholder: content present our PC VOD service in a far friendlier management and user administration for manner – better navigation, better control VSNL; content publishing and acquisition for over individual catalogues, and better refresh content partners; and content catalogs and rates.” billing mechanisms for subscribers. Phase one was completed and launched in October, Lower Costs, Greater Efficiency 2005. To facilitate fast uptake, VSNL chose The seamless integration of separate to bill subscribers’ rental charges for any Microsoft technologies into a single whole content purchased and waive data transfer has boosted VSNL operational efficiency for fees. the PC VOD service. The higher efficiency allows staff to better manage the entire This PC VOD service is an industry first in content life cycle; ingestion, encoding, DRM, India with an online catalog of over 600,000 cataloging, management, and meta-data. content assets. “Thanks to our collaboration “We can reduce turnaround times, reduce with Microsoft, the service has a high degree costs, ensure better security and better of acceptance with both customers and manage the content. This has resulted in vendors,” notes Sood.
  5. 5. fewer people, less hand-offs and market for content services. This includes consequently more efficiency,” notes Sood. providing content capabilities by offering a ‘white label’ solution to other service Higher Visibility, Positive Branding providers anywhere in the world. “This has As a pioneer in launching India’s first PC VOD spurred new opportunities to use content as service, VSNL has cemented its position as a a business driver for VSNL,” says Sood. forward-looking industry leader in the Internet space. The high customer satisfaction from He notes that with globalization come new subscribers and content partners has helped challenges such as global rights VSNL retain its competitive edge in the management, licensing, taxes, and content broadband connectivity and services market. delivery networks, among others. “We will continue to build, adapt and add many new Secure Digital Rights Management features to our content management The success of a high-end consumer focused platform to meet these challenges. portal is undoubtedly the content and Fortunately, Microsoft as our technology applications. VSNL recognized the partner has kept pace with our quest for importance of securing copyright protection better market opportunities through in its enhanced partnerships with content continuous interaction and pilots for some of providers across the globe. Working with their newer technologies.” MCS, Windows Media® DRM 9 Series was implemented on all digital assets on the site. Additionally, Windows Media DRM was extended to the live stream of devotional content captured from cameras deployed in religious temples. Better Customer Segmentation Flexibility in determining what and how content is made available to subscribers is a key technology advantage of the PC VOD service. “We can today differentiate between different customer profiles, locations and requirements. Hence there are more market opportunities available to us. In the content business, licensing is all important and service providers have to be able to restrict their offerings to the licensed terms. The [Microsoft] platform is an important gateway for us,” adds Sood. New Global Opportunities Success with the PC VOD service has prompted VSNL to look at a larger global
  6. 6. For More Information Microsoft Communications Sector For more information about Microsoft Microsoft Communications Sector delivers products and services, call the Microsoft integrated, adaptable, comprehensive Sales Information Center at (800) solutions built on innovative software. These 426-9400. In Canada, call the Microsoft solutions help communications service Canada Information Centre at (877) providers develop, deploy, and evolve 568-2495. Customers who are deaf or customized and differentiated offerings that hard-of-hearing can reach Microsoft text enhance the user experience. telephone (TTY/TDD) services at (800) 892-5234 in the United States or (905) For more information about Microsoft 568-9641 in Canada. Outside the 50 solutions for the Communications Sector, go United States and Canada, please contact to: your local Microsoft subsidiary. To access www.microsoft.com/serviceproviders information using the World Wide Web, go to: www.microsoft.com For more information about Tata Consultancy Ltd products and services, visit the Web site at: www.tcs.com For more information about Tech Mahindra products and services, visit the Web site at www.techmahindra.com For more information about Videsh Sanchar Nigam Limited products and services, visit the Web site at: www.vsnl.in Software and Services  Technology  Microsoft Server Product Portfolio - Microsoft .NET Framework version − Microsoft Content Management Server 3.0 2002 − Microsoft Commerce Server 2002  Services − Windows Server 2003 R2 - Microsoft Consulting Services − Microsoft SQL Server 2005 - Microsoft Services Premier Support − Microsoft BizTalk Server 2004 − Microsoft Operations Manager Partners  Tech Mahindra Ltd  Tata Consultancy Ltd MICROSOFT MAKES NO WARRANTIES, EXPRESS OR IMPLIED, IN THIS SUMMARY. Document published May 2007

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