Koch Media GmbH
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“Our international locations have been brought much closer together, that is priceless.”
— Jörg Spormann, Senior ICT Manager, Koch Media
KOCH MEDIA HELPS LAUNCH THE DEVELOPMENT OF INNOVATIVE PC AND VIDEO GAMES IN A FUN WAY
The Scopia Videoconferencing Solution is Bringing the Company's Locations Around the World Closer Together
Whether an action blockbuster, an interactive role-playing game, or crazy karaoke fun – computer and video games are growing in popularity among people of all ages. Koch Media Deutschland GmbH, headquartered in Planegg near Munich, benefits from this as well, being one of the most successful distribution companies of digital entertainment software in Europe. In addition to distribution, the international company also develops its own titles for all conventional platforms under the Deep Silver label. Using Avaya's Scopia videoconferencing solution, Koch Media improves international collaboration on game development and in other important areas of business.
In the beginning was Pac Man: a pixelated circle that scurried across the screen and ate little white dots. The mother of all video games is nearly 40 years old now – and it remains truly iconic to this day. However, this classic can barely keep up with current games. Today, millions of people are drawn to the screen by photorealistic characters, extremely vivid landscapes, and realtime interaction. The realistic graphics simplify the immersion in virtual worlds. For example, this allows the depiction of highly detailed medieval cities, utopian landscapes, and racing scenarios that are almost true to life.
As Europe's leading publishing partner in the area of digital entertainment software, Koch Media GmbH markets numerous computer and video games and also develops its own products – the soon to be released action game “Agents of Mayhem,” for instance. “On average, it takes two to three years for an idea to be turned into a marketable product,” says Jörg Spormann, Senior ICT Manager at Koch Media in Planegg near Munich. “Over 800 employees worldwide take care of the development and marketing of our games. Thanks to Avaya's Scopia videoconferencing solution, they can work together today more efficiently than ever before.”
This has become increasingly important. After all, Koch Media has three of its own development studios in the USA, England, and Hamburg, and it must involve not only the 400 employees in those locations but also the numerous external developers around the world. “It used to be that our project managers had to regularly travel halfway around the world in order to check the current development status of a new computer game,” recalls Spormann. “Today, they simply go to the conference room next door.”
- Increasing cost of travel and loss of productivity due to travel time
- Employees in all areas of the business did not have a reliable, real-time way to collaborate
- The need to share extremely large game files between multiple sites
- Intercontinental real-time transmission of high definition video data
- Improved collaboration between worldwide branches
- Process simplification in game development
- Reduced travel expenses
- Simple registration and conducting of videoconferences
- Reliable connection of internal areas to external locations
- Cross-functional use for group-wide communication
- High degree of scalability and mutliple options for gradual expansion
- First-rate support by CMS IT-Consulting
Sharp, Real-time Transmission
The Avaya videoconferencing system Scopia XT 7100 has been installed for a few months. The flagship of the Scopia series has two full-HD video channels and enables the connection of Koch Media studios located around the world at the push of a button. “This enables our designers and project managers to simply and quickly exchange information with game developers on the other end of the line. They are also able to clarify open questions about individual programming by using the screen,” explains the ICT Manager.
Scopia XT 7100 is run using H.265 High Efficiency Video Coding (HEVC), one of the most up-to-date video compression technologies, which enable an interference-free transmission of comprehensive video data in real time. In plain language, this means that developers in the USA can transfer individual game elements in real time and, most importantly, with enormously high resolution to the other side of the Atlantic via a connected console. This enables the Koch Media developers to reliably evaluate the tiniest movements and graphic details such as textures, colors and contours, to provide US colleagues with feedback and to propose improvements. At the same time, the risk of errors is minimized, since all of the participants are always using the same version.
“Avaya's videoconferencing solution provides the exact level of transmission and image quality that we require for direct video conferences in game development,” claims Spormann. Modern games are based on millions of programming lines and usually have at least full-HD resolution. “The size of a game is often 20 to 30 gigabytes. In order to be able to transfer such a quantity of data in real time, an enormously high bandwidth is required, or a codec that compresses the video data accordingly and transfers without a loss of quality,” explains the Koch Media manager.
Scopia easily meets such requirements. This was already demonstrated by the intercontinental test performed by Avaya partner CMS IT-Consulting, which was organized within just a few days. “The video transmission worked so well during the assessment that it caused a literal 'aha moment' on both sides of the Atlantic,” recalls Spormann. In addition to the Avaya technology, the great commitment and enormous competence of the consultants at CMS IT-Consulting also made quite an impression. “The consultants were always available to us as part of the test and the implementation that followed, and they always promptly fulfilled our requirements,” he extols.
So, it is hardly a surprise that the Munich games experts got the job done right in a short time. Within a few months, the three development studios were equipped with their own Scopia room systems. Even the two large external studios in Malta and England, as well as the media company's British location, now have their own Scopia-XT-7100 systems that are reliably connected to the company-wide videoconference network via Avaya Pathfinder.
“Now there is a videoconference virtually every day,” notes Jörg Spormann. And it's paying off thanks to the reduced travel expenses as well as the substantially improved collaboration. The benefits go beyond the game development field, because the Avaya solution's added value quickly became evident throughout the company. “Even other areas like IT, marketing, and management expressed their interest. Moreover, there was a desire for multi-user conferences.” This is why Koch Media quickly expanded its Scopia landscape even further.
Cross-Functional Knowledge Transfer
The Elite 6000 HD multipoint bridge from Avaya lets the media group create the basis for high-quality group videoconferencing with up to ten participants. Regional marketing is among the areas to benefit from this since it allows them to monitor the current development status of a game. The relevant marketing staff can simply join the videoconference of developers and project managers by smartphone or desktop when needed, so they can always keep up to date and be able to plan their marketing campaigns better. “Even in the case of multi-user video conferences, the picture quality with a resolution of up to full-HD 1080p leaves nothing to be desired,” says Spormann.
Thanks to the videoconferences, there is also intensified cross-border knowledge transfer, questions can be more easily clarified on the screen, and empirical values can be effortlessly discussed based on specific examples. From Spormann's perspective, the investment in the Avaya videoconferencing solution has more than paid off based on travel expenses. “Our international locations have been brought much closer together. That is priceless,” he says.
Always in the Picture
“It used to be that our project managers had to regularly travel halfway around the world in order to check the current development status of a new computer game. Today, they simply go to the conference room next door.”
“The video transmission worked so well during the assessment that it caused a literal 'aha moment' on both sides of the Atlantic.”
AT A GLANCE
- Koch Media markets computer and video games, and produces its own games as well. In order to simplify the collaboration between the German company headquarters and international development studios, the Group sought a high-performance videoconferencing solution
- Avaya's Scopia XT 7100 system enables real-time transmission of data-intensive video games. By means of the Elite 5000 HD multipoint bridge and a reliable connection between internal and external locations through Avaya Pathfinder, up to ten people can participate in the videoconferences – no matter where they happen to be
- The videoconferencing solution reduces travel expenses and improves coordination processes as part of game development. Thanks to the Avaya solution, other areas also collaborate between different locations with even greater success
About Koch Media GmbH
Koch Media is a leading producer and marketer of digital entertainment products (software, games, and films). Their own publishing activities, including marketing and distribution, cover all of Europe as well as the USA. The Koch Media Group has over 30 years of experience in the distribution of digital media and was able to position itself as the number one distributor in Europe. There are strategic cooperations with numerous manufacturers of software and games, including Bethesda, Capcom, Disney, Focus Home Interactive, Kaspersky Labs, NC Soft, Sega, Square Enix, Koei Tecmo, and many more. Koch Media, which is headquartered in Planegg near Munich, has approximately 800 employees worldwide and maintains business offices in Germany, Austria, Switzerland, England, France, Italy, Spain, and the USA as well as branches for Scandinavia and the Benelux countries.
More information can be found at www.kochmedia.com
Koch Media is a leading producer and marketer of digital entertainment products (software, games, and films). Their own publishing activities, including marketing and distribution, cover all of Europe as well as the USA. The Koch Media Group has over 30 years of experience in the distribution of digital media and was able to position itself as the number one distributor in Europe.