Modular architecture for better services and strategies
Yle, Finland’s national public service broadcasting company, is an internationally acknowledged digital innovator.
Operating four television channels, six radio stations, and a portfolio of digital platforms, their strategic outlook has embraced change.
The nimble approach has led to awards and recognition, being well prepared for the future, and, above all, being a relevant source of news, culture and entertainment for a nation of active customers.
Since 2009, Reaktor has been a collaborator in making all this happen as Yle’s strategic partner in digitalization.
The fundamentals for success in modern digital media:
- A technical ecosystem based on microservices in both public and private cloud, flexible and ready to scale
- Lightning speed development of customer facing services and internal tools
- AI and data capabilities for high relevancy, through personalization and content recommendation
The first has been essential for achieving the second and third, in more ways than is obvious: Microservices architecture has become the foundation for innovation driven strategy, easy and efficient development, and organizational improvement.
A consistent long term perspective, free of silos
The benefits of microservices are vast. Commonly known ones include back end automation, smaller codebases, speed, simplicity, scalability, and flexibility.
In the long run, however, modular architecture provides something even more significant: As content consumption keeps changing, Yle has acquired the ability to develop new services at the speed of digital evolution.
Core APIs (20+) function as the backbone of all user facing services, distributing articles and images, streaming content, metadata, user login and profile information, and social media data and metrics. Any individual API can be plugged in across the product portfolio, making content and capabilities quick to deploy and repurpose.
In addition to fulfilling its rudimentary tasks, the modular back end has changed how Yle designs and develops. Tech has become an enabler for a full cycle of new thinking.
Services are designed and deployed as one process: Conceptual and UX design blend into front end development and system architecture, all influencing one another. The result and cumulative benefit is a more creative and efficient way of working and making decisions, big and small.
Case in numbers
3 billionmonthly requests
Digital products of high quality and importance
Yle’s most prestigious and strategic services include yle.fi, the Areena streaming service, the personalized and award winning NewsWatch app, and tools that help journalists work better throughout the process of creating and co-creating content (and staying up to date on its performance).
Improvements, even dramatic ones, take place constantly and quickly.
When the company’s main site was created, for example, a full beta was up and running in two days. A month later, the site went live.
Having all content and data available as services through APIs opens new doors for third party collaboration, too. Like the integration of Yle’s news content to Finnair’s in-flight entertainment system, which went from idea to reality in two weeks.
One of our most inspiring clients
Over the years, Reaktor’s partnership with Yle has included everything from designing real time visualizations for election results to experimenting with new personalized listening experiences for digital radio. Recently, we helped with a concept that combines interactive graphics with 360°video.
Our client’s courage and ability to grasp and conceive new concepts and technologies makes them an incredible partner to work with. We admire the clear focus and passion in pushing digital media forward and can’t wait for what comes next.
Recently, our Lead Designer Timo Helenius has begun immersing himself in designing the next version of yle.fi, while an extensive strategic analysis is being carried out for Yle’s board of directors.