UK and South African sign new TV co-production
The UK and South Africa have signed a new television agreement which will strengthen ties within the broadcast industries, encourage the sharing of knowledge and ideas and drive economic growth through television co-production.
The terms of the agreement, which builds on the existing Film Co-production Treaty, were negotiated by the Department for Culture, Media and Sport (DCMS) and the BFI, with the Department for Arts and Culture for the Republic of South Africa.
Ed Vaizey, Culture Minister said: “British television production is a tremendous success story, but we need to make sure the UK remains well placed to take advantage of the opportunities that come through international collaboration. This new agreement enhances our already strong relationship with South Africa and will help television production companies in both countries realise the benefits that come with co-production.”
Television co-productions that qualify under the terms of the Treaty will be able to access the benefits of national status in each country. In South Africa these include a higher rate production rebate, while in the UK qualifying television co-productions will be able to access the UK’s High-End Television Tax Relief, the Animation Television Tax Relief or the Children’s Television Tax Relief.
UK/South Africa feature films that have qualified under the existing Co-production Treaty include The Salvation (director Kristian Levring, starring Mads Mikkelsen and Eva Green), Africa United (director Debs Paterson and starring Eriya Ndayambaje and Roger Jean Nsengiyumva), Tiger House (director Thomas Daley and starring Kaya Scodelario and Dougray Scott) and Dredd 3D (director Pete Travis and starring Karl Urban and Olivia Thirlby).
Amanda Nevill, BFI CEO said: “The UK’s TV production sector is stronger than ever and its quality, creativity and originality is admired all over the world. The inclusion of television in the existing, successful film Co-production Treaty represents exciting new opportunities for growth and collaboration between the UK and South Africa and will be of great mutual benefit to both countries.”
GfK and VMware: Innovating together on hybrid cloud
GfK has been the global leader in data and analytics for more than 85 years, supplying its clients with optimised decision inputs.
In its capacity as a strategic and technical partner, VMware has been walking GfK along its digital transformation path for over a decade.
“We are a demanding and singularly dynamic customer, which is why a close partnership with VMware is integral to the success of everyone involved,” said Joerg Hesselink, Global Head of Infrastructure, GfK IT Services.
Four years ago, the Nuremberg-based researcher expanded its on-premises infrastructure by introducing VMware vRealize Automation. In doing so, it laid a solid foundation, resulting in a self-service hybrid-cloud environment.
By expanding on the basis of VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management, GfK has given itself a secure infrastructure and reliable operations by efficiently operating processes, policies, people and tools in both private and public cloud environments.
One important step for GfK involved migrating from multiple cloud providers to just a single one. The team chose VMware.
“VMware is the market leader for on-premises virtualisation and hybrid-cloud solutions, so it was only logical to tackle the next project for the future together,” says Hesselink.
Migration to the VMware-based environment was integrated into existing hardware simply and smoothly in April 2020. Going forward, GfK’s new hybrid cloud model will establish a harmonised core system complete with VMware Cloud on AWS, VMware Cloud Foundation with vRealize Cloud Management and a volume rising from an initial 500 VMs to a total of 4,000 VMs.
“We are modernising, protecting and scaling our applications with the world’s leading hybrid cloud solution: VMware Cloud on AWS, following VMware on Google Cloud Platform,” adds Hesselink.
The hybrid cloud-based infrastructure also empowers GfK to respond to new and future projects with astonishing agility: Resources can now be shifted quickly and easily from the private to the public cloud – without modifying the nature of interaction with the environment.
The gfknewron project is a good example – the company’s latest AI-powered product is based exclusively on public cloud technology. The consistency guaranteed by VMware Cloud on AWS eases the burden on both regular staff and the IT team. Better still, since the teams are already familiar with the VMware environment, the learning curve for upskilling is short.
One very important factor for the GfK was that VMware Cloud on AWS constituted an investment in future-proof technology that will stay relevant.
“The new cloud-based infrastructure comprising VMware Cloud on AWS and VMware Cloud Foundation forges a successful link between on-premises and cloud-based solutions,” says Hesselink. “That in turn enables GfK to efficiently develop its own modern applications and solutions.
“In market research, everything is data-driven. So, we need the best technological basis to efficiently process large volumes of data and consistently distill them into logical insights that genuinely benefit the client.
“We transform data and information into actionable knowledge that serves as a sustainable driver of business growth. VMware Cloud on AWS is an investment in a platform that helps us be well prepared for whatever the future may hold.”