Village Roadshow leverages cloud capabilities as it gears up for summer blockbusters

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Image: Village Roadshow

Village Roadshow expects more than five million moviegoers to return to the cinemas during this summer’s blockbuster release period.

Ahead of the rush, the company worked with Amazon Web Services (AWS) to shift its customer-facing web applications to the cloud, automate its contact centre operations, and introduce a new mobile cinema app.

According to the entertainment company, it migrated 17 on-premise customer-facing ticketing websites to AWS, to ensure its websites could automatically scale during large-scale film events.

At the same time, using Amazon Connect, Village Roadshow leveraged Amazon Polly to automatically record movie showtimes for the company’s contact centre, which resulted in reducing customers’ wait times and freeing up to 30 employee hours per week from having to manually record sessions.

“Customers constantly expect improved entertainment experiences, and with AWS, we can give them exactly that as we enter the post-COVID summer rush,” Village Roadshow CTO Michael Fagan said.

“The cloud’s scalability and agility enable us to innovate new ways of bringing people back together in our cinemas now that lockdowns and social distancing measures are easing. We’re planning to use more advanced AWS capabilities, like data analytics services, to better predict customer traffic, optimise staffing, and personalise service offerings to our customers. This all makes for an even better entertainment offering.”

A “living ticket” feature using Amazon Rational Database Service has also been developed on the cinema app, so that it’s synchronised to all events in the cinemas, including live data about movie session times, countdowns to when the film begins, advertisements and movie trailers, and alerts people when the cinema opens.

Using the feature, moviegoers can also order food and beverage available at the candy bar via the app, which they can then collect from the candy bar or fully automated food pick-up lockers before entering the cinema, the company added. To date, the feature has been rolled out to selected cinemas in Victoria.

“This gives cinema goers better control over their movie experience, including food, beverage, and seating options,” Village Cinemas said.

Elsewhere, Canva has pinned its ability to support enterprises with new design tools on its initial decision to leverage AWS for Canva for Enterprises. It’s also the same cloud platform for Canva’s free and Pro versions.

“We’ve recently launched innovative new features around presentations and video, which led to increased requirements for computational power and storage. We would never have been able to scale this solution without AWS,” Canva head of infrastructure Jim Tyrrell touted.

Looking ahead, Canva plans to introduce new video editing capabilities, such as a background remover for online videos, to Canva for Enterprise.

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