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Universal and Personalized Enhanced Search

Updated: Jan 11

TELUS is always looking for ways to improve customer experience. They wanted their subscribers to have an easy way of finding the content they are after, whether it's on-demand, live TV, or OTT providers like Netflix. It was hard work searching for content using a TV controller, and TELUS's current search solution used decade-old technology.

The Challenge

Their goal is to provide a single search system and interface that will allow users to discover content across native services and OTT providers like Netflix and Amazon Prime. This solution requires a sophisticated metadata ingestion process that normalizes disparate data types while learning continuously from user input for recommendations to predict what the subscriber might like to watch. Additionally, this solution would need to be seamlessly integrated with their existing MediaKind Mediaroom middleware service.

The Solution

Leveraging its expertise in pay TV middleware, operations, automation, and metadata, Encore proposed a fully automated search backend that would automatically ingest pay TV live and on-demand metadata as well as metadata from OTT content providers. In addition to this metadata, this backend would ingest weighting data (including ratings and consumption data) and business rules to allow for the continuous learning and tuning that would provide customers with the best search recommendation at that time. This system would also allow the targeted promotion and weighting for specific content to align with marketing campaigns and other promotions. This backend was front-ended by a high-performance open-source search system (Elastic Search) to ensure seamless scalability, performance, and availability. Finally, a custom user interface and search application were built and integrated with TELUS' Optik pay TV service. The entire solution is built with a "carrier class" design focus that TELUS customers have come to know and expect. High performance, high quality, high availability. The same attributes apply and leverage automation and operational insights to ensure the minimal load on TELUS operations teams from an operational perspective.

The Results

The Enhanced Search solution services millions of search and content discovery requests providing customers with a comprehensive set of weighted search recommendations for TELUS Optik content and their OTT partners. The solution allows customers to seamlessly discover, select, and view content in the TELUS Optik domain and enable customers to effortlessly navigate from the Optik domain into OTT applications (Netflix, Amazon, Hayu, and TouTV) and back again. As one TELUS executive described it – "A transformative experience."

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