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India's Largest Media Company Builds RFID Into New Headquarters

Sun TV Network is monitoring some 10,000 assets, 75,000 recording media and more than 200 vehicles.
By Bob Violino
Aug 06, 2012Sun TV Network has grown into becoming India's largest television network, with 33 news and entertainment channels, as well as 45 FM radio stations broadcast in several Indian languages. The company also operates five print-media publications, in addition to a film production and marketing entity.

When Sun TV was planning its new headquarters in the city of Chennai—construction of the 11-story facility began during the first quarter of 2010—company officials envisioned employing radio frequency identification technology to track a variety of assets within the building, as well as vehicles moving into and out of the facility's parking garage. They had researched RFID for several years, and had determined it provided a significant advantage over bar codes and other technologies, since RFID does not require physical contact or line-of-sight between readers and tags.

When Sun TV planned its new 11-story headquarters in Chennai, officials envisioned employing RFID to track a variety of assets within the building, as well as vehicles moving into and out of the facility's parking garage.
Sun TV had made huge investments in expensive technical assets, including broadcasting equipment, editing systems and high-quality cameras and accessories—all told, the firm owns approximately 10,000 assets, valued at roughly $100 million. In addition to monitoring the whereabouts of equipment moving through various departments and subsidiaries within the building, and to and from external locations, the company sought to keep tabs on how the assets were being used.

In addition, Sun TV wanted to accelerate its ability to search for and retrieve digital content. It maintains a growing library of more than 75,000 recording media, says S. Kannan, the CTO of holding company Sun Group of Companies, and being able to search the library for specific content and physically retrieve the media is critical for its business. Sun TV had used a manual process, based on Microsoft Excel spreadsheets, to track the locations of particular media, but this approach was too slow for its needs. At the same time, the firm wanted to be able to secure access to its digital media, control their movement within designated zones and track their whereabouts at all times.

Finally, Sun TV was looking to secure and streamline the movements of more than 200 vehicles that travel into and out of its parking facility daily. The company wanted to prevent unauthorized vehicles from entering its premises, and to automate the authorization of vehicles to access designated parking zones.
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