7 media, entertainment and gaming companies explain why they went Google

By SADA Says | Cloud Computing Blog

At SADA, we’ve helped numerous media, entertainment and gaming teams leverage Google Cloud to optimize what they do best – connect, create, and communicate. From monetizing new distribution channels to maximizing the value of content to building deeper relationships with audiences, Google Cloud empowers these companies to boldly reimagine their business. Utilizing Google Cloud’s secure global infrastructure, leading data, analytics, and AI capabilities, collaboration and productivity solutions, and expertise in operating planet scale media services, companies are accelerating their digital transformations. Here are 7 of our media, entertainment and gaming customers who explain why they turned to Google Cloud to solve their most complex business challenges:

1. Sony Pictures ImageWorks makes cinematic magic through modern collaboration

To help employees collaborate more efficiently, SPI turned to the Google Workspace set of enterprise applications. “As well as the apps themselves, we liked the fact that the environment is operating system agnostic,” says David Miya, Executive Director of Network Services at SPI. “It doesn’t matter whether you work with Mac, Windows or Linux devices, anyone can access Google’s online productivity and collaboration tools.”

Because Google Workspace is built in the cloud and browser-based, users enjoy maximum flexibility and accessibility across desktop and mobile devices.

“Collaboration and culture were the two drivers behind our decision to go with Google Workspace. We needed a suite of tools that delivered a more consistent communication experience, and better supported our reputation for innovation.”

Mike Ford, SVP of Software Development and Systems Engineering, SPI

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2. FUN-GI

FUN-GI, a game studio, initially developed its flagship title, House Flip, on an off-the-shelf platform and continued using it through the game’s soft launch period. However, FUN-GI found that the platform wasn’t the right fit for their needs. “We didn’t have direct access to the database,” CEO Alfred Fung recalls. “While the platform provided a lot of things on the front end, like the console, it was still just a layer atop AWS.” FUN-GI also found that it was limited to the data analytics and metrics they could acquire, as it didn’t allow them to access the source code. Additionally, at the time, the platform didn’t support versioning, which presented a challenge when FUN-GI needed to deliver multiple versions of server code for game updates.

With House Flip’s global launch on the horizon, FUN-GI knew it needed a more flexible, scalable platform. FUN-GI chose to migrate to Google Cloud Platform (GCP) and host House Flip on Google App Engine. The team was immediately impressed by GCP’s ease of deployment and scaling.

“We went from thousands of players and a lot of issues during soft launch, to a global launch on GCP with 11 million downloads while maintaining excellent data integrity and server performance. We don’t have to worry about scaling; GCP auto-scales. It just works.”

Alfred Fung, CEO, FUN-GI

Now that FUN-GI can access server code, Fung reports they can gather “almost any data we want” and run customized business intelligence analysis. Production is faster now that developers are freed from backend infrastructure maintenance tasks. “A lot of larger companies have DevOps engineers. We’re still small and don’t have the resources to hire those types of engineers, so it’s great that GCP handles all of that for us.”

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3. FlowPlay boosts performance with GCP

Having used servers in a data center for years, FlowPlay had reached a crossroads. The company owned its servers outright, but the equipment was approaching its end of life. Buying new servers didn’t seem prudent in a world that was increasingly cloud-driven, and continuing to rely on physical servers would slow the company’s growth plans. It can take weeks to purchase new servers and get them up and running, while provisioning cloud servers is a 15-minute process.

The company made the decision to migrate to the cloud. After evaluating Microsoft Azure, AWS, and GCP, FlowPlay’s leadership chose GCP for its user friendliness, flexibility, and performance. The company also liked that GCP wouldn’t tie them to a specific server configuration. 

“AWS requires customers to choose a specific server configuration when buying a long-term contract. With GCP, instead of renting a specific server, we buy computing power. This allows us to experiment with servers, drives, configurations, and RAM to optimize performance. We couldn’t have done that as easily with AWS.”

Douglas Pearson, Flowplay’s Co-Founder and CTO

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4. McClatchy leverages Google Workspace to drive real-time news

To thrive in a landscape with 24/7 news cycles and social media, McClatchy, a publishing company that operates 30 daily newspapers, was looking to arm its reporters and editors with tools to not only collaborate in real time, but also to spark a cultural change throughout the organization that aligned with its digital-first mission.

To transform into a cohesive enterprise, the company selected Google Workspace for its availability, flexible pricing, simple and highly secure manageability, and real-time collaboration. 

  • With Google Workspace, McClatchy avoids spending mid-six figures on hardware and software refreshes, and it only pays for what is consumed.
  • With Google Docs, some of McClatchy’s reporters have cut the time spent writing by over 65 percent. Reporters get feedback and edits faster, too.
  • Real-time collaboration enables the news team to post breaking stories as quickly as possible which helps McClatchy’s bottom line, given the importance of site traffic to advertisers.
  • Google Meet has decreased travel expenses and phone bills and has led to more effective collaboration.
  • Due to familiarity with Google Workspace, new employees get up to speed much faster than the previous legacy productivity suite. 

“More students today use Google Workspace, so when they come to work for us after graduation, they don’t need training on the tools. They just start working and collaborating. You can’t put a dollar figure on how valuable that is.”

Terry Geiger, Vice President of Technology Operations, McClatchy

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5. Moviebill handles user engagement spikes with GCP

Moviebill, a startup that specializes in AR experiences, selected GCP because it’s highly reliable, offers pure performance, and can scale instances up and down very quickly. Plus, the Google brand name and its strong reputation for security give Moviebill and its content partners peace of mind.

“With GCP, we’ve served our AR content to massive numbers of users without any outages or performance slowdowns. As the number of users dwindles, we can scale our servers down. We’re only paying for what we use, instead of needing an expensive infrastructure available just for big opening weekend spikes.”

Matthew Shreder, Publisher and Co-founder, Moviebill

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6. TVG Network avoids downtime with GCP

After a brush with downtime in 2016, TVG Network, a U.S.-based online horse racing wagering business and sports-oriented digital cable and satellite network, moved to GCP using Google Kubernetes Engine to automate container management and orchestration.

“We chose GCP because it was the most reliable, cost-effective, and automated cloud solution available. We get better security, strong compliance, and the peace of mind that when the biggest race day rolls around, we won’t have any downtime.”

Tim Morrow, CTO at TVG Network

With GCP, TVG is able to:

  • Maximize revenue by allowing customers to place bets faster and more confidently
  • Scale for major racing events with 80% less IT involvement and up to $500,000 annual savings
  • Improve time to market for new product releases by more than 30x

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7. Digital First Media stays nimbles with Google Workspace

A company which has grown through acquisition, Digital First Media (DFM) has also acquired many systems along the way, including multiple email platforms. Dealing with multiple communications tools was making it tough to integrate new employees and companies into the DFM family. It was also a significant burden on IT to manage multiple platforms.

The DFM IT team evaluated three different platforms for the new corporate email system, ultimately selecting Google Workspace. Factors which went into the decision included Google’s ease of use and collaboration benefits. Google Docs would also be beneficial for collaboration amongst all employees. During employee feedback sessions, the company surmised that roughly 50% of its people were already using Google for personal communications. The decision to go Google was further supplemented by an excellent reference from the State of Colorado, which had recently transitioned to Google Docs.

“Moving everyone to the Google Cloud allows us to be nimble and do acquisitions and onboarding faster and more easily, along with divesting papers when needed. SADA has been an instrumental partner for us, both from technical expertise and change management.”

Bob Kinney, VP of Information Technology, DFM (Western region)

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