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15/02/2017

PROVYS Turns Virtual Poland Into Reality

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Wirtualna Polska (Virtual Poland, in English), the leading Polish news and information portal, have recently decided to expand into television and have commissioned Provys to assist them with the management of their broadcast workflows.

In 1995, four young IT enthusiasts at the Gdansk University of Technology, met thanks to the internet, and realised that they shared a vision that would quickly lead to establishing an information portal with the name: Wirtualna Polska (WP). Initially, it was available on the servers of the Centre of New Technologies, and later, in 1998, it was moved to www.wp.pl, which is still its current address.

At first, WP operated as a catalogue of web sites but was later modified into a web portal offering a number of complex services such as informative services (news, sport), access to free email accounts, web hosting, search engine, a large collection of free and legal Polish mp3s, and an instant messaging service. WP quickly grew to be the sixth largest Polish web portal and is famous for being the pioneer of new internet services in Poland.

In 2016, WP obtained a broadcasting licence for a digital terrestrial channel "Telewizja WP" and were on the air on 2 December 2016, ably assisted by the software solutions developed by Provys. Readers of this magazine will appreciate that entry into the new territory of television broadcasting is no easy matter on account of totally different workflows, processes, time management issues, reliability, continuity, new technical skills, training of new staff (some of whom were just hired) and the associated stress that goes with all of these.

Principal reasons for choosing Provys included not only the power of the software to control the processes, but the potential for growth in new directions, a factor which was high on the priority list of the directors. This power enabled the directors to feel confident about starting a new channel with only seven users of Provys, but knowing for certain that future growth was already within existing capacities, the application having already been proved in many western broadcast stations.

The activities of these users currently include programme planning, content preparation, advertisement scheduling, and last but not least, licence management with reporting usage of rights to the financial system. Each of the activities defines its own need for Provys interfacing with the whole of the rest of the related systems. These systems include: Vowos – a Polish domestic automation solution which receives detailed programme schedules to control all the playout equipment; Microsoft Dynamics – an enterprise financial software which collects information about all used licences to depreciate the corresponding assets; Cinegy – used as a media asset management tool which obtains a unique ID for each material from Provys and returns "tech-info" to become a part of the content metadata set; and systems of an external media agency which receive available time slots for sale and return break material to be imported and assigned to detailed programme schedules. There are many other areas asking for proper workflow management that is virtually on hand in Provys.

"Being a large internet portal, WP is actually a media house with great potential to start its own television content production. This kind of activity needs good resource management and capacity planning, both being strong assets of the Provys solution," said Tomas Rendl, Consultant of Provys, who commissioned the system in Warsaw, and Tomas continues: "And today, the future looks bright as the new reality for virtual Poland is that their highly successful Wirtualna Polska continues to rank in popularity, competing against the big names with which, we are all familiar."

Author: Martin Junek.

www.provys.com

This article is also available to read at BFV online here, page 44.

(JP/LM)
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