How BlackBerry devices are helping GMTV keep up to the minute in a fast-moving world
GMTV, owned by ITV (75%) and Disney (25%), is the UK’s biggest breakfast broadcaster, attracting an average daily audience of six million viewers. Launched in 1993, the programme airs between 6.00am and 9.25am, 365 days a year. GMTV currently employs 300 people, 14 of whom are correspondents.
GMTV staff, both correspondents and sales executives, spend a large proportion of their time out of the office. For the outside broadcast teams it is important to be able to access "on-air" times (telling them exactly when they will go live) without having to constantly phone in to find out.
In addition, Geoff Wright, GMTV's chief engineer, is responsible for 1,100 transmitters in the UK during GMTV’s airtime, and needed an effective way of receiving updates on them.
The sales team also required a solution to keep them in touch with e-mail and company information while travelling to different prospects without having to carry a laptop.
Historically, GMTV relied on paging, and more recently SMS, to contact employees away from base who could then access e-mail via Outlook Web Access. However, this still meant they had to find somewhere to access the internet from, which was not always practical.
GMTV reviewed different options to facilitate mobile office working, and opted for the BlackBerry from Orange, primarily as it provided the most cost-effective solution to mobile working, but also due to ease of use and installation.
A total of 28 staff are now equipped with BlackBerries from Orange, including 10 of the 14 correspondents. GMTV plans to increase the number of BlackBerries to 45 over the next couple of months.
BlackBerry Wireless Handheld
Orange offers the BlackBerry Wireless Handheld as part of its extensive mobile device portfolio. Getting started requires a simple installation of a BlackBerry Enterprise Server at the customer site, which enables secure mobile access over Orange’s GPRS network.
- GMTV is the longest live daily television production on ITV. With BlackBerry from Orange, the correspondents can ensure they can continue to be productive during free slots in their schedule
- The running order of the programme often changes to reflect world events, particularly on busy news days. Now correspondents out in the field get up-to-the-minute information on when the studio is coming to them live. The software in the BlackBerry automatically updates information every 30 seconds
- The sales team is able to receive e-mail and company information while on the go
- The chief engineer can now receive a status report on any of the 1,100 transmitters that need to be monitored during the programme
GMTV is looking into other uses of the BlackBerry, including:
- access to various wire services such as PA and Reuters to ensure reporters are aware of all breaking news stories
- access to a simple interface enabling viewing of the programme’s script
- remote capabilities for server administration
- video streaming capabilities for broadcasting.
“The BlackBerry from Orange is simple and easy to use. This, coupled with the physical size and weight, makes it an ideal handheld device. The technology and underlying security have been very stable and reliable to date. It works - which is not always the case with other devices.”
Geoff Wright, chief engineer, GMTV
“Up-to-date receipt of information is vital in the media broadcasting industry. Mobile technology can deliver this through a variety of different ways. Orange offers a range of extensive bespoke solutions and partners with the best in breed to offer third-party solutions. The BlackBerry solution is very popular and easy to set up and use, providing a good match to GMTV’s mobile working requirements.”
Shaun Orpen, marketing director for business solutions, Orange
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