Walt Disney Company Systems Study

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1 Walt Disney Company Systems Study Heather Spielvogel Samantha Rosario Megan Savage 10/12/12 Our team will be doing a system study on the world-renowned Walt Disney Company. The corporation, known to most as Disney, is headquartered in Burbank,

2 CA and was founded in 1923 by brothers, Walt and Roy Disney. After working for an animation company in Kansas City, Walt Disney and one of his friends, Ub Iwerks, joined forces and started Laugh- O- Gram studios together in Kansas City, where they created many fairy tales and fables. When Laugh- O- Gram was forced into bankruptcy, Disney went off to Hollywood, CA to establish himself as a successful cinematographer along with his brother, Roy. It was in Hollywood where they created the world- famous Mickey Mouse, Donald Duck, Pluto, Goofy and the Three Little Pigs, which received an Oscar. As success grew, more award winning animations were created such as Pinocchio, Lady and the Tramp, Cinderella and much more. Walt Disney purchased 43 acres of land in central FL in 1965, one year before his untimely death. With that land, Roy made it a point to start what his brother wanted to do with the land, create the Walt Disney World Resort. Roy took a major part in the production of the park which opened in 1971 with major success. In later years, the Disney empire greatly expanded with new parks opened in Paris, Tokyo, and Hong Kong. In 1998 the Disney Magic was built, the first ship in the Disney Cruise Line. Today, there is an estimated 115 million people who visit the Disney attractions annually. With all this success and fortune earned, the Disney Company is one of the world s largest entertainment conglomerates, consistently being ranked in America s top 50 corporations. Our team wanted to do our study on this particular corporation because we thought it would be quite interesting to gain as much knowledge and have some fun doing it on a brand that we grew up with. Throughout this study we will be discussing the information flow, business processes, and IT- infrastructure of the Disney Corporation.

3 A business process is an assembly of structured tasks that results in a specific service or product for consumers. There are three main parts of business processes; Management Processes, Operational Processes, and Supporting Processes. The first part of the business process is management processes. Management processes are the processes that govern the operation of a system. The second part of the business process is operational processes. Operational processes establish the core business and create the primary value stream. The primary parts of operational processes are sales, purchasing, advertising, marketing, and manufacturing. The third and final part is the supporting process, which support the operation processes. These Supporting processes include accounting, recruitment, and customer services. These processes are often depicted using flow charts. Below are two business process flow charts. The first flow chart represents a standard business process. The second flow chart represents the current Walt Disney Company s business process. (

4 (http ://bpmve.blogspot.com/2009/12/was-sent-article-on-early-walt-disney.html) As you can see the Walt Disney Company uses an unconventional business process, which is common for such large corporations. The Walt Disney Company has been using this process since the 1940 s and has seen nothing but success in numbers. Upon further research I have found that there has been no recent change in

5 the business research of this company. A company s objective or mission statement is a large part of the business process as well. According to The Walt Disney Company, their objective is: to be one of the world's leading producers and providers of entertainment and information, using its portfolio of brands to differentiate its content, services and consumer products. The company's primary financial goals are to maximize earnings and cash flow, and to allocate capital toward growth initiatives that will drive long-term shareholder value. The data infrastructure of Disney has changed immensely from the Starwave startup web page in ESPN.com and ABCnew.com were added in 1995, and today the company uses Hadoop to manage all of their information. Essentially, Hadoop is an open-software framework that supports data. It was derived from Google s MapReduce and Google File System. Hadoop was integrated into Disney s systems in 2009 under the direction of Matt Estes, the director of data architecture at Disney. Estes believed that information can provide a competitive edge and that Hadoop and related technologies will propel Disney forward. Disney decided to first choose Hadoop as a technology to augment and scale their relation database problems, and then to use Hadoop as a cloud platform. Hadoop was chosen because it would be the most beneficial for Disney. They are a multi-tenant company, serving ABCnews.com and ESPN.com, with about 700 nodes and 4 level taxonomy. Disney also has shared and segmented services. An example of segmented service is the ESPN Fantasy Football League and Dancing with the Stars. They also have shared and segmented data. Hadoop can control and store all of the data and information Disney needs it to. Disney also has a lot of internet

6 business, with their three businesses and hundreds of lines of business. Before the integration of Hadoop, Disney s Relational Database Management System is displayed in the image below. Data went from the transactional stage to the operational stage, where it could come and go external to the company. Then from that point on, data would go to the analytical stage, into a giant data warehouse and then it could be accessed by humans in the company. This system had advantages and many disadvantages including lack of flexibility, growing costs and network saturation. In 2009 when Disney integrated Hadoop as a technology into their system, their system worked as below.

7 As displayed, Hadoop relayed information between the Operational and Analytical stages, which receives information from the ingest in the transactional stage and sends information back to the present in the transactional stage. This setup was always meant to be temporary, until the bugs in the system were worked out. In 2010, Disney systems evolutionized once again and Hadoop was added to the system as a data service as follows:

8 Hadoop ran the information through the transactional, operational and analytical stages, while Disney created its own cloud, the Disney Cloud services Platform. Disney decided to use cloud computing in 2011 to gain competitive edge in the market, and to lower the cost. There are currently some issues at Disney occurring with the people employed operate the new Hadoop system and the Disney Cloud Services Platform. The employees either know the data, but not the write language, or vice versa. Also, there is a lack of parallel data processing experience. To improve this, Disney needs to hire data savvy people that speak the same language. They also either need to train their current employees in parallel data processing, or hire new employees who already have experience in parallel data processing.

9 Works Cited Brown, Ross. Disney Company Process 19 Dec < "Disney Company (American Corporation)." Encyclopedia Britannica Online. Encyclopedia Britannica, n.d. Web. 17 Oct "Disney History." Home. N.p., n.d. Web. 17 Oct < thewaltdisneycompany.com/about-disney/disney-history> Estes, Matt. "Advancing Disney s Data Infrastructure with Hadoop." Advancing Disney s Data Infrastructure with Hadoop. Orlando. 16 Oct Speech.

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