Kinepolis Group is a fast-growing entertainment company with an expanding international footprint. It operates 56 cinemas across Belgium, the Netherlands, France, Spain, Luxembourg, Switzerland and Poland, as well as 55 cinemas in Canada and the United States. Kinepolis is also a pioneer in the industry. It opened the world’s first megaplex cinema in Brussels (25 screens) and the world’s largest (at the time) cinema in Madrid (9,200 seats).
“Our mission is to provide customers with the ‘ultimate movie experience,’” said Bjorn Van Reet, CIO at Kinepolis Group. “Our challenge is staying ahead of the competition.”
Van Reet said staying ahead of the competition requires continual innovation, and continual innovation requires a thorough understanding of customers.
“Every decision we make revolves around the customer experience, which means the IT systems supporting their experience must be backed up and available. Legacy backup wasn’t meeting that criteria. Over time we had acquired several solutions, so backup had become decentralized, complicated and unreliable.”
One of the most important IT systems supporting the customer experience is a data warehouse that delivers business intelligence (BI). It’s called Microsoft Power BI, and it analyzes information to help Kinepolis make better business decisions. Additional systems support ticketing, concessions and the company’s website containing content about films, showtimes and upcoming events.
“Any company taking itself seriously knows that IT systems impacting the customer experience should be backed up reliably so they’re always available,” Van Reet said. “If they’re not available and customers are impacted, your brand will be perceived negatively, and customers will drop off. They’ll choose your competitor instead.”
Kinepolis replaced legacy backup with Veeam® Availability Suite™. Veeam helps the company deliver the ultimate movie experience by centralizing and simplifying backup of the IT systems supporting customer experience and innovation. Veeam protects the data warehouse providing analytics that guide all business decisions and helps the IT team resolve issues proactively before they escalate and impact the business.
“One of the reasons we can entertain 40 million customers each year is because Veeam protects the IT systems that keep our cinemas going strong,” Van Reet said.
Veeam backs up 2 TB across 400 virtual machines in two data centers to Nutanix. Van Reet said Veeam is among the IT team’s favorite solutions because it’s efficient and effective.
“The power of Veeam is knowing backup is fast, secure and reliable,” he said. “Veeam inspired us from day one because we were finally able to centralize backup, giving us a comprehensive, real-time view of our data for the first time. Data is so important to our company, so knowing Veeam protects our data warehouse lets us sleep at night.”
Van Reet said some of the most important data is generated by Power BI. It helps the company improve the pre- and post-movie experience for customers. Veeam also protects the IT systems supporting individual customer experiences including ticketing, concession sales and website content. And, Veeam provides advanced monitoring, reporting and capacity planning so the IT team can identify issues and resolve them before the customer experience—and ultimately the business—are impacted.
“Veeam sends email reports each morning letting us know our backups completed successfully,” Van Reet said. “It also helps us predict capacity and trends so we can avoid downtime that might impact our cinemas. Veeam is the expert in data protection.”
Kinepolis Group is a Belgium-based cinema chain with 111 multiplexes worldwide. Established in 1997 and headquartered in Ghent, Kinepolis employs 4,600 people who are committed to giving customers— approximately 40 million each year— an unforgettable movie experience.
Giving customers an unforgettable movie experience requires Kinepolis to stay ahead of the competition, which requires continual innovation. Every innovative decision Kinepolis makes is based on customer experience, which means the IT systems supporting customer experience must be backed up and available. Legacy backup wasn’t meeting that criteria. Over time the company had acquired several solutions, so backup had become decentralized, complicated and unreliable.