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Customer Story

Sky Realizes Real-Time, Error-Free Data Replication with Precisely

Transformation is nothing new to Sky New Zealand. For over 30 years, the company has invested in new technology to deliver more choice and a better viewing experience to its customers. Starting as a satellite pay TV provider, Sky later added streaming entertainment and sports services and, more recently, broadband internet service. Behind the scenes, Sky is also in transformation mode — digital transformation, that is.

The company is modernizing its approach to information technology, consolidating toolsets across the enterprise and moving functions like data analytics to the cloud. The company selected Snowflake for its new data warehouse but faced a challenge: how to get data ready for analysis and into the Snowflake in the cloud. Like many companies, Sky’s ability to derive business insights from its data was hampered by silos. Business systems such as billing, subscriber management, financial management, and the chart of accounts all run on the IBM i platform and Db2, and each has its own file structure. Consumption data from set-top boxes and the streaming platform were in their own silos as well.

Over the years, Sky had developed bespoke extract, transform, and load (ETL) tools to bridge the silos, but they were inflexible, slow to run — typically from four to ten hours — and prone to error if there were any network issues. If anyone wanted to look at different data sets, IT would have to rebuild the ETL tool, a slow and painful process. With the move to Snowflake and the cloud, the company needed an entirely new way to move data.

“We needed a tool that would not only take the data out of the IBM i systems and push it into Snowflake but also, if possible, do that in near real time without us having to build anything,” said Quintin McKenzie, Head of Corporate Core at Sky New Zealand. Other challenges further complicated the effort, including the short timeframe for implementing a solution and the complexity of working with a high-availability architecture.

Read how Sky New Zealand tackled modernizing its approach to information technology, by consolidating toolsets across the enterprise and moving functions like data analytics to the cloud.