Apex and the Finnish Broadcasting Company collaborate

Apex Communications is the Finnish Broadcasting Company’s (YLE) ICT consultant and has been involved in numerous demanding projects. Director Maarit Waskilampi-Kuikka, who is responsible for iCT and production technology at YLE, says that for media companies, change is the permanent state. YLE’s goal is to be both a nationally and internationally respected company renowned for its innovative services.

To reach this goal, the company must keep developing its operations and in many cases, the very apex of this development is with technology services. For this reason, skilled partners are a necessity. With Apex, Waskilampi-Kuikka is particularly pleased with three aspects of service: to begin with, Apex is able to handle extended project families and knows the ins and outs of the broadcasting industry. This, in its part, has secured the successful roll-out of the YLE projects.

“Apex provides us with ICT project management and specialist services. Its consultants have taken part in for example the implementation of competitive biddings for LAN and WLAN solutions, re-organisation of ICT services and upgrading of production-critical broadcast systems,” Waskilampi-Kuikka says.

These projects have been multi-supplier endeavours with a number of participants. Moreover, Apex has provided YLE with technical consultation on application support of broadcast systems and with the shutdown of Notes system applications.

“The role of YLE’s partners in ICT development has grown continuously. We want to focus on our own core competence and its development. Also, our objective is to build ICT services with increased value, with expert partners.”

The other important aspect of collaboration is careful project planning and co-ordination. A successful IT project is created in the planning stage already. During the projects Apex has co-ordinated – both in the planning and implementation stage – the activities of different project members, which in YLE’s case are usually product technology and equipment suppliers, representatives of programming operations and other service partners.

The third key success factor has been successful risk and change management. Waskilampi-Kuikka says that change management plays a critical role in any ICT project.

“ICT projects may well undergo significant changes in the middle of implementation and as a result of technical design becoming more accurate. This is why reliable ICT partners, who know how to apply risk and change management, are key people,” says Waskilampi-Kuikka.

Apex’s input in YLE is visible both in short and long term. Competitive biddings for new services have an effect that reaches over as many as 6–10 years. The results of systems projects carried out are typically visible over the next few years. The controlled shutdown of old systems and transfer of services to new environments has, for its part, an immediate effect on the usability and costs of the systems.