Banijay Benelux Delivers Television Entertainment Faster with Mendix on AWS

Executive Summary

Banijay Benelux is using AWS services to build powerful business applications on Mendix for Private Cloud, a platform from AWS Partner Mendix, a Siemens business. The independent television production company turned to Mendix when it needed to securely migrate to the AWS and adopt an elastic, flexible development environment. Mendix for Private Cloud provided Banijay Benelux’s IT team with the tools necessary to quickly build value-generating business applications using AWS services, such as Amazon Transcribe. Now, Banijay Benelux can streamline business processes, improve productivity, and continue to deliver high-quality content to its viewers.

Searching for an Elastic, Flexible Development Environment

Banijay Benelux is an independent television production company that creates and distributes video content for television channels, broadcasters, and advertisers. Speed and flexibility are critical traits in the fast-paced media and entertainment industry, so the Netherlands-based production house leaned into solutions from Amazon Web Services (AWS) to generate significant business value.

While searching for a cloud-native development environment, Banijay Benelux engaged AWS Partner Mendix and adopted Mendix for Private Cloud. This AWS-powered platform provides a one-click deployment experience for private clouds based on the open-source container orchestration system Kubernetes. With the support of Mendix, Banijay Benelux is quickly building powerful business applications on AWS, improving productivity, and accelerating its speed of innovation.

“Mendix makes it possible for Banijay Benelux to experiment with new techniques on AWS. I could have never done this 5 years ago.”

- Leon Backbier, Information Technology Manager, Banijay Benelux

Adopting Mendix for Private Cloud to Support Television Production

Mendix is a software company that builds solutions to help businesses create value-generating applications. Founded in 2005, it is a global AWS Partner and has helped its customers build and run solutions on AWS since 2015. “We help companies change the way that they develop applications,” says Maarten de Vries, Technology Alliance Program Manager at Mendix. “Using our platform, IT teams can develop much faster and collaborate with the business, which leads to much better applications too.” Mendix offers the Mendix Multi-App Platform Package, a low-code, enterprise-level development environment available in a range of cloud-deployment options, in the AWS Marketplace.

In 2015, Banijay Benelux’s IT team was developing applications with traditional technologies and methods. Applications took a long time to build and, even then, often didn’t meet users’ needs and desires. “I was rethinking my IT department because we couldn’t keep up with the business,” says Leon Backbier, IT Manager at Banijay Benelux. “We knew that we needed to change.” After careful consideration, the production company decided to shift completely to cloud technologies and adopt a low-code development environment from Mendix on AWS.

Banijay Benelux experimented with Mendix for Private Cloud by building an application to share unreleased content with sponsors and other stakeholders so that they could preview it and provide feedback. Previously, the company would mail them physical DVDs, but this was slow and costly. “We wanted to change this process from physical DVDs to a secure digital environment where users can access an encrypted link that will automatically expire,” says Backbier. “Using Mendix for Private Cloud, we met all these requirements, and the previewing application worked.” After building this solution, Banijay Benelux was convinced of the cloud environment’s power and adopted Mendix’s platform.

Building Value-Generating Applications on Mendix for Private Cloud

Banijay Benelux runs 15 applications on Mendix for Private Cloud, each of which is designed to address complex business processes. The highly scalable platform is powered by multiple AWS services, including Amazon Elastic Kubernetes Service (Amazon EKS), a managed container service to run and scale Kubernetes applications in the cloud or on premises. “The power of Mendix’s low-code environment is significant,” says Backbier. “It would take weeks to set up an application framework using traditional programming languages. On Mendix for Private Cloud, I can now build an application framework in just a few clicks using AWS services.” Using Mendix for Private Cloud alongside AWS services has also reduced the burden on Banijay Benelux’s team. The company needs only one technical administrator to run all its application frameworks on AWS.

By building applications on Mendix for Private Cloud, Banijay Benelux has vastly improved business productivity. For example, the company built an application using Amazon Transcribe—a service that automatically converts speech to text—that transcribes raw footage from a production shoot into a written document. Directors can use the generated document to plan scenes, make edits, and inform critical decisions for their television shows. “On AWS, we have reduced our transcribing times from 7 weeks to about 7 hours,” says Backbier. “We use this application every day.” Banijay Benelux also uses AWS services to automate financial workflows, such as processing invoices from 9,000 independent suppliers. This application has significantly reduced labor for its accounting department, which used to process each invoice manually.

Banijay Benelux also built a transcoding engine using AWS Elemental MediaConvert, a file-based video transcoding service with broadcast-grade features. Previously, it needed to physically collect raw material or wait weeks for it to arrive in the mail before transcoding it. Using AWS Elemental MediaConvert, Banijay Benelux can quickly convert raw materials into the correct formats and select the right audio tracks for its content. “On AWS, our content is now delivered directly from our employees’ devices, transcoded in the right format, and prepared for editing,” says Backbier.

On Mendix for Private Cloud, Banijay Benelux can build value-generating applications in weeks and months instead of months and years. The company can change, grow, and scale down as needed on the cloud, without any large upfront investments. In fact, it has reduced its capital expenditures by 70 percent and its operating costs by 30 percent by adopting cloud-native infrastructure on AWS. “Using AWS services and Mendix for Private Cloud, we can constantly adjust our applications to meet our users’ needs,” says Backbier. “That’s the kind of flexibility a company like Banijay Benelux needs.”

“Using AWS services and Mendix for Private Cloud, we can constantly adjust our applications to meet our users’ needs.”

- Leon Backbier, Information Technology Manager, Banijay Benelux

Using AWS-Powered Solutions to Deliver High-Quality Content

Banijay Benelux is continually developing new applications on Mendix for Private Cloud, using new tools to streamline business processes and accelerate its speed of innovation. In the future, it plans to explore artificial intelligence and machine learning solutions on AWS. For example, Banijay Benelux wants to combine viewer ratings with the facial recognition capabilities from Amazon Rekognition, a service that automates image and video analysis with machine learning, to identify which speakers or guests better resonate with the audience for certain topics. “Mendix makes it possible for Banijay Benelux to experiment with new techniques on AWS,” says Backbier. “I could have never done this 5 years ago.”

Using Mendix’s solutions on AWS, Banijay Benelux is equipped to expand its capabilities and deliver high-quality content, even as its industry evolves. “It’s made complex problems simple and helped us to focus more on the business than just the technology,” says Backbier. “I can walk through the office and people are happy again.”

Banijay Benelux

About Banijay Benelux

Banijay Benelux is an independent television production company that develops, creates, and distributes content across genres. Based in the Netherlands, Banijay Benelux hosts eight creative labels and works closely with television channels, broadcasters, advertisers, and social organizations.

About Mendix

Mendix is a software company that provides a cloud-native, low-code environment for application development. Founded in 2005, Mendix is an AWS Partner and an Independent Software Vendor in the AWS Marketplace.

Published July 2022