19 May 2020

Media Case: Dutch CORE - NPO Digital Transformation

By: Manola van Diest

How we helped 11 public broadcasters and NPO tailor a spot-on rights management system on Salesforce


Every day we see them pass by: the entertaining programmes, (drama) series and documentaries of Dutch public broadcasting companies and the NPO. But actually, we never think about what it takes to effectively manage the enormous variety of media content.

And that is the mission of the in 2017 founded company called Dutch CORE. Dutch CORE is responsible for the rights management of the 11 Dutch public broadcasting companies, NPO and the (international) exploitation of their programmes. The cooperation ensures that its members can effectively manage all rights related to programmes so that exploitation, distribution, programming and sales are optimally supported.

We now work more pleasantly, more efficiently, we are compliant, while at the same time generating more sales."
- Michael Spendel, Managing Director Dutch CORE

Previously, each of the broadcasting companies and NPO organized the management and exploitation of programmes for themselves. With Dutch CORE, a transformation has been set in motion in which the offering of programmes is bundled and the parties jointly carry out the rights management.

A precondition for this transformation was a robust, user-friendly digital platform, in which transparency and collaboration are central. To reach this, Salesforce Sales Cloud was acquired. But in a unique way, with a tailor made design and a whole new way of deploying the technology.

Why Salesforce? And how did Dutch CORE manage to customize the Sales Cloud solution? We asked Michael Spendel, Managing Director at Dutch CORE.

What were the requirements for the new technology?

"If you want to successfully collaborate with many parties in one joint system, this requires a lot of the technology concerned. Certainly in our industry where real time insights, compliance, privacy and accuracy are crucial. Every broadcaster has its own secured environment, while they also are able to exchange information in crucial areas.

We wanted to set up a rights management system, in which broadcasters can collaborate effectively and easily. So that together they can manage programme rights and everyone has access to relevant information regarding media content.

"The prerequisite for the transformation was a robust, user-friendly digital platform, in which transparency and collaboration are central".

Examples of issues are:

  • When and through which channels has content already been broadcast?
  • Which programmes can be sold internationally?
  • Which titles can still be offered through which channels?
  • What about the rights of authors, musicians, set designers, producers, actors?

All these details must be easy for everyone to accurately edit and consult. We were well prepared and knew exactly which requirements the new technology had to meet. What we needed was a user-friendly solution that was fully cloud-based. A complete solution, in which we could control the processes with simple configurations. Plus, we wanted to be able to integrate with other systems and APIs in the future. And, of course, it had to fit in with the budget, turnaround time and other basic requirements".

"Salesforce seamlessly met our key requirements, understood our needs and knew how to meet them."

Why Salesforce?

"As a public organization, we had to organize a public tender. Several parties made a proposal, but none of them met the requirements. They were either too costly and too complex, or failed to meet our minimum RFP. In search for a suitable supplier, we spoke with other broadcasters. Via a recommendation from the Belgian VRT, we came into contact with Salesforce and that turned out to be a golden tip. Salesforce could meet our requirements, they understood our needs and knew how to translate these into the technology".

Talent Peaks became your implementation partner

"In an extensive preliminary phase, we decided what we wanted to achieve, how we wanted to approach it and what the wishes and requirements of the new system were. The selection of the new system was also an extensive and careful process. It then goes without saying that we also tackle the actual implementation with the same quality.

So we started looking for a party that would help us with the step-by-step analysis of the processes, the translation of our rights and contract management into optimal customer journeys and user stories to be implemented. Through Salesforce, we came into contact with Talent Peaks.

"It's important for a partner to understand the business, speak the same language and to move along with the dynamics within your organization."

That worked very well. Talent Peaks understands our business as a media party, knows which challenges we face and how we can translate them into powerful processes. It is important that an implementation partner speaks the same language and feels the dynamics within the organisation. In addition, it is essential that the partner clearly directs and monitors the process, but at the same time is flexible enough to relax in good time and adapts whenever necessary.

How did you approach the project?

"In the lead time to the project, we clearly mapped out the wishes and needs of all those involved. Quite a job, because we are a cooperation of 12 companies, each with their own system and working method. After choosing the technology, we set up a project team in which Talent Peaks participated as project leader and implementation specialist.

Furthermore, all stakeholders from the broadcasters and NPO were represented in the project team. This way, we were sure that all important aspects were taken into account during the set-up and implementation, and that all parties supported the transformation. We prioritized accuracy and a supporting base over speed. And yet the project was delivered entirely according to plan, within time and budget and all requirements were achieved".

" We prioritized accuracy and a stakeholder supporting base over speed and yet the go-live was on schedule, within time and budget with all requirements achieved.”

How about the results?

"Together, we've found a unique way of using Salesforce technology, which is completely custom made to our needs. With optimal workflows, tailored to our processes and terminology. So that the employees of the broadcasters and NPO can register contracts easily, accurate and error-free. We also developed dashboards that provide clear insights into rights, status, opportunities, open actions and other relevant data.

We now work with 12 companies in one single system on the Salesforce platform. Each company has its own secured environment, but users can easily and real time exchange and view relevant data on the platform. For each title it is clear who owns the intellectual property and who is entitled to what compensation. It is transparent which titles and broadcasting rights are available, and which can be sold to third parties. We now work more pleasantly, more efficiently, we are compliant, and at the same time we generate more turnover!"

How do you ensure sustainable impact?

"That’s a vital question, since many digital transformation projects tend to collapse over time. That's what we wanted to prevent. At the start of the project, we hired a new employee in the person of Bastiaan Toering. He is responsible for the coordination and control of our rights management system. This turned out to be a good move. Bastiaan has developed enormously, acquired in no time a wealth of Salesforce knowledge and mastered the system. In addition to coordination, he is also able to optimize and configure the system. As a result, we can continue to make an impact and sustainably support our users with training and onboarding. Talent Peaks now only functions as a remote backup.

Do you have tips for peers who consider digital transformation?

"If I had to highlight three tips, they would mainly concern preparation, involvement and balance."

  1. Preparation is key. Identify goals, requirements and processes so that it is clear what you expect from a supplier and a partner. This way, you can immediately start a level-headed collaboration.
  2. Ensure support. Involve the stakeholders in the project, give them responsibilities and ask them to test and give feedback on a regular basis. This makes everyone feel valued and involved in the end result.
  3. Find balance. Of course tight project planning is important, but as they say: more haste, less speed. Hold the line, but also be flexible and listen to your people. Regularly evaluate whether things are still on track and everyone is still on board. And don't be afraid to adjust or once in a while unleash the reins for a bit.

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