Presto |Drupal Integration

Foxtel Presto was Australia's first major video-on-demand service.

Technocrat were invited to refactor and extend the entire Presto Web App using Drupal.

The project required extensive integration with video delivery platforms and disparate, separately controlled, systems. This major exercise required a sophisticated project delivery methodology and cutting edge backend, front-end and UX expertise.

The outcome was a highly interactive and world class user experience, leveraging the very latest technologies.


The Challenge

The first Foxtel Presto webapp was a pioneer in its space. As with many pioneers, the first version had a number of issues and limitations. The main opportunities for improvement lay in content additions and maintenance, plus avoidable churn problems with the signup process.

The key challenge for Technocrat was to refactor the Webapp into Drupal, plus extend functionality and simplify the sign-up process, all within the many constraints of the back-end API architecture.

The Work

Working closely with the Foxtel Presto team, Technocrat performed a full UX and visual design update across the platform - integrating new branding, and streamlining the sign-up flow. User testing was utilised to validate the new design.

Following this, the technical capability of the system was extended to integrate TV shows. This involved:

  • Additional processing of complex business logic across multiple API's,
  • Managing different user states and entitlements across the system, and
  • Integration with third party social applications.

Finally, the content discovery mechanisms were updated to facilitate user discovery of film and TV content. New meta data structures and entitlement systems were put in place to allow users to:

  • Sign up to different viewing packages and to display user's preferences, and
  • Provide watch history functionality.

All of this was conducted under extreme time pressure.

Prestofull image

The Results

The rebranded and refactored Presto Movie system re-launched on the 15th of November 2014 - with the additional TV work being launched on the 12th of January 2015.

The new system had a completely transformed performance and associated results. Sign-up churn due to technical issues were almost completely eliminated, and all requested functionality was implemented with limited user interruption.

Success was further indicated by Technocrat being further engaged by Foxtel on numerous subsequent projects to extend and improve the service.

Drupal Success

The clear winner on the project was the successful use and porting of the system to Drupal. This resulted in many significant benefits for Foxtel and users, including:

Time To Market: As a result of the use of Drupal, there has been a significant decrease in the time it takes to publish new content - in particular: campaign sites and extended media information. This has resulted in solid client satisfaction due to significantly improved turnaround times, and lead to an equal reduction in cost.

Improved Website Owner Experience: The website owner's experience has been dramatically improved because they can easily integrate promotional content into their web app, where this wasn't possible previously. They also have the ability to change copy text throughout the site, which in the past required full code releases and developer resourcing. The flexibility that Drupal gives them is extremely valuable in this respect.

Personalisation: Users see stats such as how much of a particular programme they have left, whether they are entitled to content, what's in their watchlist, and their account settings etc. This is largely achieved using an AngularJS front-end speaking to Drupal endpoints, and the non-Drupal Presto API.

Drupal's open, modular framework: The underlying architecture of the site makes use of many standard, free and publically available drupal modules; notably: panels / ctools / page_manager, context, authcache, workbench / workbench_moderation, services, and features.