Mobile shows the way for Golden Village

Singapore's largest cinema operator spends time gathering consumer data to identify new ways to deliver its services, notes CIO Roger Lim.

As Singapore's largest multiplex cinema operator, Golden Village is often associated with bright lights, action and entertainment. But, behind the glamour and glitz lies a robust infrastructure that also supports a bustling e-commerce portal for thousands of moviegoers in the island-state.

Roger Lim, CIO of Golden Village, said in an interview that the company's IT department has evolved beyond "fixing bolts and nuts", to one that focuses on driving true business value and driving new revenue streams for the company.

Roger Lim,
CIO
Golden Village
The key focus is driving business value. Gone are the days where our IT department is classified as 'screwdrivers fixing bolts and nuts'.

Lim said his team now spends significant amount of time gathering consumer data and researching market trends, to help ensure the cinema operator offers the right kind of services for moviegoers.

He added that Golden Village will be looking at ways to tap various mobile platforms as a new channel for delivering services to its customers.

Q. What is Golden Village's top IT priority for the next 12 months?
Lim: The next 12 months for Golden Village is going to be very exciting, especially when we talk about technology. We always pride ourselves on our commitment to the continuous exploration of new and emerging technologies, and how IT can add greater value to moviegoers in Singapore. With this goal and objective resonating amongst the senior management, you can expect us to constantly look at creative ways to improve the cinematic experience for our patrons.

Over the past few years, we've built a strong robust infrastructure and system platform that provided a very important foundation for us to ride on. We can now leverage this to focus on creating business value using IT.

So, for the next 12 months, the key focus is "driving business value". Gone are the days where our IT department is classified as "screwdrivers fixing bolts and nuts". The synergy of the team now comes by providing exciting solutions, driving and leading each revenue stream by enhancing productivity, and creating new business opportunities.

What key IT projects are you working on, or will be working on, over the next 12 months?
One of our IT projects will be conducting standardization work and embarking on a rebranding exercise across all our internal "office-ware" services.

Many may not focus too much on this, but I believe that re-positioning internal services, be it in-house or third-party systems, is as important as the service itself. Think of it as marketing a consumer product to the public. It is essential that all end-users are confident and trust all our own "products and services", and this in turn, will help boost the morale and cohesiveness of our IT department. This will definitely go a long way.

What's GV's key IT challenge and how do you plan to address it?
With all Singapore moviegoers as potentially our customers, one of the main IT challenge will be picking and implementing the right service for them. On top of that, we also need to ensure that doing so must not cause any operational and logistic issues.

This will entail strategic thinking, careful technical architecture design, foresights and of course, understanding consumer behavior. In the past, we did have some developments that did not see fruition eventually, primarily because the consumers' taste buds and appetite changed.

We now spend a fair amount of time gathering consumer data, conducting focus groups and researching market trends. We also perform trials and tests among our regular moviegoers, as well as evaluate the entire implementation after it has been launched.

Which of these developments in the IT industry will most impact your company?
One IT trend will be the development of mobile payment and its content services. There are already a lot of wonderful mobile initiatives in the market, seeking mass adoption. Once a mobile platform has reached its maturity, it will greatly affect and impact the way we deliver our mobile services to the consumers. Golden Village, being an early adopter of Internet commerce, has definitely benefited from its strong Web presence, leading the way consumers purchase their movie tickets today.

Mobile delivery service is the way of the future. Soon, we will see this as part of a very big wave and you can expect us to be part of this exciting ride.

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