Damian Swaffield signs off from TVNZ

Damian Swaffield signs off from TVNZ

Search on for GM technology at state owned television station.

Damian Swaffield has resigned as TVNZ general manager technology, a position he held for two and a half years. TVNZ is launching an international search for his replacement. David Bennett, planning and improvement manager at TVNZ, will be interim GM technology until Swaffield’s replacement is appointed. Swaffield’s resignation takes effect today, Friday, September 25.

Swaffield, who joined TVNZ from Sky City, and before that, was at KPMG, will go back to consultancy work. He says he has achieved the project he was asked to do at TVNZ and put a “really talented team” in place.

The August 2009 cover story of CIO New Zealand discusses how his role requires a fine balance between traditional ICT and hi-tech online and digital channels.

He says the job involves keeping pace with a massively transforming media landscape; along with the changes in consumer focus, understanding of consumer behaviour and trends in media consumption.

He says much of his work involves playing with “funky technology” within the video space and that TVNZ aims to provide video content to people in an appropriate form and appropriate time frame.

TVNZ has around 1603 screens, and is included in the companies just outside the MIS100, the publication that documents the largest IT user organisations in New Zealand.

In an interview for the current MIS100, Swaffield stated that cost efficiency and the need to do more with less are key points of focus for TVNZ going forward. ICT tools and systems deliver the resources, skills and support for the appropriate levels of governance and intellectual thinking a digital media organisation like TVNZ relies upon, he says Swaffield.

ICT-enabled strategies are at the core of TVNZ’s vision to “inspire New Zealanders on every screen”, he says. Technologies that assist with the acquisition, management and re-purposing of content to different channels and screens will continue to create commercial and public value and are seen as business critical.

Swaffield says broadcast and IT-based technologies sit at the heart of the media revolution, both in emerging business channels such as online, video on demand and IPTV, as well as in the core of video processing for linear TV. IT systems are needed to manage and store content as well as deliver it to audiences.

ICT operational and project budgets are lower in 2009, and ICT staff levels have decreased by more than 10 per cent as part of TVNZ’s overall response to the recession However ICT at TVNZ continues to implement business, supporting projects such as digital transformation of the content value chain with workflow driven digital asset management systems to replace manual tape-based business processes; a transformation of the advertising sales business through replacement systems and technology, and continued investment in the online (web site) products.

Swaffield says systems that automate content management and re-purpose content for different broadcasting platforms can be relatively expensive, but deliver substantial benefits to an organisation rapidly transforming to a digital media company from a traditional broadcast business model.

Customer management in support of a direct relationship with the media consumer and improved business reporting and analytics are also in the spotlight this year. Also planned is investment in networking technologies to support the move to a digital workflow; storage, virtualisation and further investment in wireless technologies designed to deliver greater flexibility and cost efficiencies throughout the organisation – particularly the areas of news and outside broadcast.

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