Digital ad delivery firm Adstream uses Pentaho to add analytics edge

Global digital asset management company Adstream turns to Pentaho’s data integration technology to mount its Adbank platform

Global digital asset management company Adstream has turned to Pentaho’s data integration technology to mount its Adbank platform for advertising workflow, asset management and distribution, away from its previous architecture, which was based on Microsoft Access and Excel.  

Adstream was founded in 2003 to do digital delivery of TV advertising to broadcasters, eliminating tapes. It now delivers adverts to broadcasters and publishers in 116 countries with some 40 offices in 30 countries.

The firm’s cloud-based asset management tool is used by around 5,300 agencies over television outlets, cinema, radio, print and digital content. 

“It’s a real cross-media asset management tool," says Ian Wheal, Adstream's head of strategy.

The company is growing 20% year on year. 

“Historically we've been mainly selling to media agencies and already have most of them as our customers. Thanks to the analytics in Pentaho, we've now been able to sell to the large, international consumer brands, which we're adding to our customer portfolio at a rate of about one a month," says Wheal.

Wheal says one of the biggest trends in advertising is the pressure on CIOs and other C-level executives to get much better “visibility into marketing spend globally”. 

He cites the example of Warner Brothers, an Adstream client that uses its technology to make advertising more efficient and to react more quickly to events. 

Warner Brothers is one customer that will benefit from Pentaho’s geothermic mapping capability so it can see deliveries being made worldwide. Other customers include Proctor & Gamble, Publicis, and Kellogg's.

He testifies that over the last five to 10 years, the need for companies to be more real-time in their marketing campaigns has stoked demand for software and systems to make that more possible. 

“That trend has speeded up in the past 12 to 18 months," says Wheal.

“We’re collecting huge amounts of data every day, and to be able to contextualise that to enable clients to make real business decisions is important. That is where Pentaho has helped”.

Previously, the company was using Excel, Microsoft Access and SQL databases. All billing and financial reporting has been moved from Access and Excel into Pentaho.

Wheal says they looked at QlikTech and Tableau, but Pentaho was the only system that could handle the large data volumes they were dealing with and could provide the analytics on the front end. 

"Also, the fact that it is open-source technology means we can integrate it with other systems," says Wheal.

He says that price was not a primary reason for choosing Pentaho: "We were looking at the overall return on investment (ROI) and particularly the upside it could offer us in terms of helping us win new revenue. We're getting a great ROI. We reckon that in the first six months of using Pentaho, we've paid for the software five times over."

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