As one of the world’s largest international TV and broadband company, Liberty Global is constantly looking for ways to deliver cutting-edge entertainment services to meet growing customer expectations
Delivering the Entertainment Platform of the Future for Liberty Global
The latest chapter in Liberty Global’s innovation journey focused on aggregating all TV channels, movies and series to deliver on the promise of ‘any content, any device, anywhere, anytime’.
Liberty Global turned to longstanding partner EPAM for its integrated consulting, design and engineering capabilities to build this next-generation entertainment platform – known as Horizon 4. Using RDK-V, EPAM helped Liberty Global roll out a set-top box (STB) with 4K Ultra HD picture quality and a voice-controlled remote, combined with the innovative Liberty Global ‘GO’ mobile app, across seven European markets. Liberty Global’s customers gave the new viewing platform the highest NPS scores and praised the new features like the personalized viewing recommendations, cross-platform continuation of programs and the simplicity of the new interface.
- One-off projects for each country and brand were difficult and costly to scale
- Entertainment platforms were siloed
- Inability to provide personalized content at any location and any time
- Synchronized streaming was unavailable between devices
Liberty Global and EPAM partnered to develop the new Horizon 4 platform. To enable customers to jump between devices, a cloud-based ‘one platform’ strategy was needed, which included:
- A STB with 4K Ultra HD picture quality that provided access to linear TV, Replay, Video on Demand content, as well as applications like Netflix and YouTube
- An enhanced version of the ‘GO’ mobile app, developed by EPAM a few years prior, allowing customers to watch content on-the-go and download content to a local device
- A new remote for the STB with voice recognition capabilities, developed by EPAM’s innovation team, to offer an easier and more intuitive way of accessing features and content
To make these components work together to deliver a seamless 360° viewing experience, Liberty Global needed a single back-office system to support the core technologies and functionality, triggering a re-architecture of its core platforms, including:
- A design system creating an efficient way for both Liberty Global and external design agencies to deliver fully interoperable assets for the video platforms
- A shift from Waterfall to a modern, fast and effective SAFe Agile development process for faster releases
- A microservices architecture providing one “back office” for any device
- A data lake utilizing artificial intelligence and machine learning to better inform decisions around product design, customer satisfaction and potential new revenue sources
- An environment ripe for self-disruption, continuous innovation and optimization by instituting rapid design, build, test and deploy programs
Since Horizon’s 4’s launch, Liberty Global has achieved the following results:
- More than three million consumers are using the Horizon GO app. In the Netherlands, Horizon GO is the third most downloaded video app after Netflix and YouTube.
- There have been over 300,000 deployments of Horizon 4 on the STB.
- Horizon 4 received the highest NPS score to-date for a product launched by Liberty Global.
- Liberty Global saw the lowest video attrition in the company’s history since Q1 2018, as more and more customers have enjoyed the cross-channel viewing experience.
From the start of their partnership together in 2012, EPAM has been Liberty Global’s partner for innovation, helping Liberty Global’s Horizon platform become a definitive market-leading solution. Since their collaboration began, Liberty Global has awarded EPAM with the following accolades:
- 2012 Global Vendor Award for Innovation and Breakthrough
- 2014 Global Vendor Award for Best Product and Service Quality
- 2016 Global Vendor Award for Innovation and Breakthrough
- 2017 Global Appathon: Best IoT Solution
- 2017 Global Vendor Award for Innovation and Breakthrough
- 2019 Global Vendor Award for Best Product and Service Quality