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Ooh!media transform billboard digitisation with AWS

oOh!media’s journey from on-premise legacy to native cloud has been achieved in a relatively short time thanks to committed leadership, agile implementation and skillful teamwork.

oOh!media is the biggest player in the ANZ Out of Home market, with 45,000 screens, around 20% of them digital, at 30,000 locations across Australia and New Zealand. The future of the sector lies firmly with digital assets, so from as early as 2012, the company set out to exploit this trend, however, you can’t manage digital assets with traditional infrastructure says Andy McQuarrie, who joined the company as Chief Technical Officer in 2017.

McQuarrie has 20 years’ experience in IT including 12 years leading infrastructure and software engineering teams at Sky – his mission at oOh! was to map out and execute not only the company’s IT journey but a root and branch business transformation.

"We decided that we would embark on the journey to build a next generation public space media platform and run it on AWS.” ~ Andy McQuarrie, CTO, oOh!media

Moving to cloud

The journey has basically seen oOh! migrate from its traditional on-premise back office systems to a cloud native platform built in house. It was an ambitious step. “Late in 2016 we decided that we would embark on the journey to build next generation of public space media AdTech platform and run it on AWS”.

Two years later, after a huge effort on the part of Andy McQuarrie and his team, the network had been re-architected, the most sophisticated Palo Alto firewalls put in place, and legacy back office systems migrated to a cloud native platform hosted in AWS.

Rather than a big bang migration, though, McQuarrie opted for the Strangler pattern documented by Martin Fowler, whereby the new systems are introduced around the edges of the old, progressively replacing them until the legacy systems are decommissioned.

Doing it this way, he says, made for a smoother introduction and allowed his team to develop an intuitive user interface. 

Read more of oOh!’s cloud journey in the Gigabit issue: Truly unmissable digital transformation.