In this ESG On Location Video, ESG's Bob Laliberte interviews Doug Crawford of Warner Bros. Entertainment at HPE Discover 2018, held in Las Vegas.
Read the related ESG Blog: In Conversation with Warner Bros. Entertainment's Doug Crawford at HPE Discover 2018
Announcer: The following is an ESG On Location video.
Doug: One of the things we try to do is have enabling infrastructure from an IT perspective for all the production companies that we have, and one of the things that we initiated back in the early 2000s was looking for innovative companies and one of them was Aruba. And as it turns out we were, like, the first client they ever had and we introduced that infrastructure into the lot and the ranch in Burbank in the early 2000s and have evolved that relationship and leveraged their technology ever since.
Bob: So that's great. So you eventually...you actually evolved as Aruba has evolved. You've been able to continuously deploy Aruba technology.
Bob: Maybe talk a little bit about how you're using Aruba today.
Doug: Good. So traditional model 10 years ago, more than 10 years ago, 15 but now we're looking at innovative ways to enhance the tour experience so that we can use some of their newer technology. So that we can target a message or video as people are going past a certain stage and we know where they are and when to transmit that information. We're doing it for a lot of mobility applications for the production companies. When they need something from wardrobe they don't have to traditionally go back to wardrobe. They can communicate WiFi enablement so that they can order, talk to people through voice. So it increases the efficiencies for the production companies, especially on all the stages on the lot.
Bob: Excellent, that sounds great. So it sounds like location-based services, being able to asset tracking, things like that are able to...
Doug: That's a big deal.
Bob: All enabled by the Wi-Fi network that you have there. That sounds great. How are you looking...moving forward, what are you looking to get from Aruba? How are you looking to leverage Aruba for the next phase of what you do at Warner Bros.?
Doug: I think two things. One, the technology itself but I think just as importantly, as we are getting involved with more of the true client applications and enabling them more from a mobility perspective, we're also looking at working very hard on what are the management tools that we have? So that when a production company and independent is on the lot and they're experiencing an issue, could be application, it could be the network, it could be their device. So I think two things. One, continuing to involve with Aruba in terms of their capabilities and partnering with our divisions to enhance that, but at the same time making sure as people become more and more dependent on this technology that we have the tools to proactively monitor and to react quickly if there's a problem.
Bob: Yeah, that's really important. Right? So it's not...you know there's always going to be problems. Something's gonna come up but the ability to respond to that problem quickly...
Doug: Mitigate it.
Bob: Mitigate it, isolate it...
Doug: It's a big deal.
Bob: ...rectify it...big deal. Absolutely and are you using Aruba Central...
Bob: ...at this point? Excellent and how's that been from a management perspective going from...it sounds like you've moved from an on-premise management to a Cloud management solution. Maybe talk just a few minutes about how that transition went and how the team worked through that transition from on-prem to Cloud.
Doug: We're evolving a little bit faster because, to be fair, we've been with Aruba longer, but the transition was fine and I think the most important thing is...because we have vendor partners that we source many of our management responsibilities to, day-to-day operations, and we had to make sure that they were enabled so they knew how to use the tools. And they were properly trained and certified on them, and there hasn't been a problem so far with those partners.
Bob: Excellent. That's great. Anything else you'd like to add around where you see the future of WiFi going and how you're going to enable your customers to better take advantage of the technologies Aruba's offering?
Doug: Yeah, good question. I think that the most important thing is as IT executives continuing to work with our clients to understand their business plans, if you know your business partners well and you understand what their needs are gonna be, you're gonna think through what are the type of technologies we have today or what we need. And that's where we then go and partner with our vendors, a strategic partner like Aruba, right, and be able to match those up so that our clients see us as being supportive and proactive. At the same time we're sharing, I think, valuable information for product development and that for our vendors. So it's a two-way street. So I think in the future, more and more mobility is gonna be the key and ubiquity. And we have to make sure that we have that to our clients in Burbank and also world wide.