18 July 2017 User Stories

Elastic Consulting: An Investment for Success at CBC/Radio-Canada

By Daniel Palay

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CBC/Radio-Canada, Canada’s national public broadcaster, is one of Canada's largest cultural institutions. It is Canada’s trusted source of news, information and Canadian entertainment. Deeply rooted in communities all across the country, CBC/Radio-Canada offers diverse content in English, French and eight Indigenous languages.  In 2016, CBC/Radio-Canada redesigned its music offering  —  providing an online music experience for its French and English audiences. These previously existed as separate entities. The resulting Elastic-backed platform was the end product of a combination of internal expertise and work with Elastic’s professional services.

We recently sat down with Martin Delisle, Senior Director of Digital Development - Digital Media at Radio-Canada (the French service of the CBC) and one of the leaders of the team behind the project, to learn more about their work, how the Elastic Stack fits in, and how they utilized Elastic’s Professional Services to help better prepare them for production and beyond.

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What was the rationale behind redesigning the music products?

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The impetus of the project was to allow users to have seamless access to both editorial content and the music experience, which are managed by different teams in Montreal and Toronto, in either official language. Even though icimusique.ca and cbcmusic.ca are separate domains and sites, they have been designed and built by one integrated team with the goal of creating one unified user experience across both domains.

How does the Elastic Stack fit into the project? 

To maximize access and expose Canadians to the breadth of content created by the CBC Music and the ICI Musique teams, Elastic technology is used to provide results to user queries from both sites (wherever the initial query was launched from). A French search term will return results from icimusique.ca and its equivalent from cbcmusic.ca and vice-versa.

Are there any other places where you are utilizing the Elastic Stack?

Elastic also plays a less visible but important role in a module we call the DJ, which fetches songs on the fly, based on attributes and criteria, to create dynamic playlists that are different for every user.

What consulting package did you utilize in the lead up to the project launch?

We invested in the 4-day best practices and architecture offering, which gave the team the confidence that our approach was applying best practices and the solution was designed in a way to support future growth.

How was your overall experience with your Elastic consultant?

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Team members mentioned that they appreciated the way that Saud (our assigned Elastic consultant) explained the ins and outs and the best practices for all of the Elastic Stack. The one-on-one time spent with Saud certainly allowed them to really dive deep into the exact problems we were trying to solve and, in the end, we were able to devise concrete solutions that will help well into the future. 


Do you feel better equipped to proceed with the future of the redesigned offering because of the work you did during your Elastic consulting package?

Yes, the time we spent with our Elastic consultant helped strengthen our knowledge of the Elastic Stack and as such provided reassurance that we are on the right track with regards to our decision to leverage the technology for the project in question. As we look towards the future, the team feels better equipped to make decisions for the project and when not possible, feel confident in discussing options with fellow developers on the project.

Learn more about Elastic’s consulting services.