PPL is a UK-based, music licensing company which licenses recorded music for broadcast, online and public performance use, on behalf of thousands of record companies and performers worldwide.

Background

PPL implemented Oracle E-Business Suite in 2006. As a major global music licensing provider, PPL collects royalties on behalf of thousands of its members every year. Oracle E-Business Suite was selected to support PPL’s increasingly complex business model, the range of tariffs it provides and its need for a world class CRM.

The Business Challenge

PPL had always hosted its Oracle E-Business Suite with a major, tier one Oracle hosting provider. They supplied a managed service, which included all DBA activities, patching, upgrades, back-ups and first-line product support, but the service was slow, inflexible and costly.

This hosting provider was a large, global organisation, with international teams and long-established, lengthy processes. PPL found that any system changes or upgrades took months to be agreed and even longer to be delivered. There was no visibility when it came to pricing models, which made getting quotes for additional storage a slow and painful process.

PPL had grown frustrated with the time it was taking to manage the different delivery teams, which were located all over the world. They even found it difficult to engage their own service manager, who was also based abroad. PPL was eager to work with a smaller, more agile supplier that could provide a faster, more flexible service. It also required a UK-based service manager and local consultants who could offer pro-active, personal support. Keen, simultaneously, to lower its admin costs and maximize returns for its members, PPL was looking for a hosting provider that could deliver all this at a reduced rate.

Solution

After a short procurement process PPL selected Claremont for our personal approach, agility, speed, state-of-the-art hosting infrastructure and overall quality of service.

We listened and understood PPL’s concerns and shaped a simple, but cost-effective proposal that would offer PPL the same hardware, architecture and functionality that it had currently – after all there was no problem with the existing implementation – but this time augmented by Claremont’s UK-based, bespoke support services. We picked up the existing Oracle E-Business Suite instance, which was hosted in the United States, and, using our proven migration methodology, moved it seamlessly into Claremont’s own hosting.

This is both a critical and complex system that includes, for example, an Internet-facing implementation of Oracle iStore, which is used by the public to purchase music licenses. It was therefore essential that the migration was successfully completed with minimal downtime.

First we built an exact copy of the current system on Claremont’s servers. Then we set up ongoing synchronisation so that the ‘copy’ was kept up to date continuously. We worked closely with PPL to perform multiple cycles of rigorous testing throughout the migration project – flagging and fixing any issues along the way. While every aspect of the system was tested methodically, particular attention was given to ensuring that all customisations and interfaces operated as required on the new platform.

The transition was managed and delivered by Claremont’s Project Manager using our well-established migration methodology and project governance approach. Upon ‘go-live’ the link from Claremont’s copy database to the old production system was broken. The copy environment was then quickly configured to become the new production instance. After minimal downtime PPL saw the successful completion of a highly detailed, 175 step migration plan. “I had the overriding impression,” said Mark Douglas, PPL’s Chief Technology Officer, “that this has all been a bit of a non-event.”

Claremont are responsive to our needs – we treat them as a partner and the relationship just works. We have a very stable platform and I’m happy to recommend them as a team who you can really trust to look after your applications.

Gemma Gallagher

Head of IT Operations, PPL

Benefits

After a seamless transition project lasting 17 weeks, PPL was up and running with its Oracle E-Business Suite instance hosted and supported by Claremont. The risk free migration, and new and improved service, has afforded PPL the following benefits:

Reduced costs

  • Costs have been halved: PPL estimate a half a million pound saving over three years
  • Claremont’s simple pricing model means extra users can be added with no additional charge
  • The new platform includes additional memory and storage despite the lower costs

Enhanced service

  • Easily accessible, UK-based Service Manager and Oracle E-Business Suite consultants
  • Pro-active support – Claremont’s consultants regularly make suggestions for improvements
  • On-site account meetings tailored to PPL’s needs
  • Meaningful SLAs that are understood and achieved, including SLAs for availability and incident resolution

Flexibility

  • No forced upgrades
  • Changes can be made to the service and the system as the business needs evolve

After working with Claremont for two years and having seen our service management approach in action, Mark Douglas, said: “You have to kiss an awful lot of frogs to find a service provider as good as Claremont”. Almost three years into the deal now, Gemma Gallagher, Head of IT Operations echoes the original decision for the move and the reason behind this ongoing relationship:

You have to kiss an awful lot of frogs to find a service provider as good as Claremont

Mark Douglas

Chief Technology Officer, PPL

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