BBC Technology Corporate


Formation Of BBC Technology Ltd

In July 2000 the BBC announced it was to form the wholly owned subsidiary BBC Technology, who were to be responsible for the design, delivery and refurbishment of all BBC technical needs. The short term plan was to ensure transparency of competitive tendering for work and the long term plan obviously was to be the ability to raise cash for the corporation by selling off the company to an outside buyer. Approximately 1300 core technical staff would be transferred.

(see original announcement below)

In 2002 the BBC announced another division was to be created, BBC Broadcast, who were to be responsible for the supply of continuous output of all BBC Television programmes to BBC Transmission.

..more to go here.

BBC Plans Commercial Wing

Thursday, 6 July, 2000, 19:45 GMT 20:45 UK

The BBC has announced plans to create a new commercial wing in a shake-up of the corporation's structure aimed at raising up to £200m over six years. The formation of BBC Technology Ltd, which aims to raise extra funds by providing technological expertise for other broadcasters, is expected to result in at least 200 job losses. Like BBC Resources before it, the new trading arm will be a wholly-owned subsidiary company, but will operate at arm's length from the corporation providing broadcast, IT, online and communication services at competitive prices.

Its 1,300 staff will also offer services like internet broadcasting, consultancy and project management to other companies. The division will absorb some of the responsibilities of BBC Resources and many of its staff. BBC Resources, which has been reviewed over the past two months, will now concentrate on studios, outside broadcasts, post production and design work.

Commercial revenue

The move is intended to help the BBC to meet the government's target of making savings and increasing revenue to find £1.1 billion by 2006, set in February alongside the new licence fee settlement. Director General Greg told staff the plans on Thursday, and said: "The aim was to find more money to put into programmes and services. "The changes contribute to that objective by generating more commercial revenue, increasing efficiency and reducing the money spent on overheads. BBC Technology Ltd has an exciting range of services to offer to a growing market. And a smaller more focused BBC Resources Ltd is better placed to realise its full potential while keeping craft skills at the heart of the BBC."

The BBC's marketing wing, BBC Worldwide, has successfully raised commercial cash through selling programmes abroad and sales of videos and books. Culture Secretary Chris Smith will have to give formal approval to the new company, due to launch in October. Some other sections of Resources will be transferred to other BBC divisions in the next nine months. They include the Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland Resources sections, which will pass to the respective national controllers from April, reflecting "the spirit of devolution with real power and responsibility moving out of London". Changes within BBC Resources will involve cost savings which the BBC says will mean "streamlining the structure and reducing headcount", and discussions with unions will begin soon.

Job losses

Head of Resources Margaret Salmon said that with a tighter focus and significant organisational changes "I am confident we will become a cash contributor to the BBC, having retained a prominent role in sustaining craft skills for the industry". The Davies Panel review of BBC funding last August had called for most of BBC Resources, then valued at £200m, to be sold off. Ms Salmon said around 200 job losses, predominantly in London and Manchester, are expected in the near future, and added that there could be some other impact on jobs over time. Gerry Morrissey of the broadcasting union Bectu said Thursday's announcement was a better result than the privatisation of BBC Resources outlined by the Davies Panel. "We're hoping that these job losses can be achieved by natural wastage," he said. "But if they don't go down that road of voluntary redundancy and natural wastage we will obviously be renewing our position on this." He said there are concerns about the status of pension schemes and terms of employment for staff transferred to BBC Technical.

BBC’s Original Announcement

The Ann Wilson Fiasco

BBC Forum from the Mail on Sunday 27th November 2005

From The Register:               Sacked for misusing hospitality

Her previous experience:     Catalogue Of Convictions

BBC Technology Sell Off

Eventually the sell off occurred and good old BBCT was sold to:  Siemens

Sell Off

BBC Technology Sell Off

Friday, 1 October, 2004 UK

BBC Appoints Siemens Business Services To Provide Technology Framework Contract For Next Decade

The BBC has announced today that it has completed the procurement for a 10-year Technology Framework Contract (TFC) with Siemens Business Services worth almost £2bn. As part of the landmark deal, Siemens Business Services has acquired BBC Technology Ltd, a commercial subsidiary of the BBC. Led by Tom White, Managing Director, Siemens Business Services, BBC Technology will be renamed Siemens Business Services Media Holdings Ltd.

The BBC has received approval for the sale from the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and approval from the BBC Governors for both the procurement and the sale. The two-part deal covering both contract and acquisition - the first of its kind in the media industry - means Siemens Business Services will work closely with BBC Technology Direction, the department responsible for the BBC's technology strategy and development, to deliver the BBC's technology services across the whole corporation for the next 10 years. The BBC expects to save around £30m per annum over the life of the contract.

John Smith, Chief Operating Officer, BBC, commented: "This deal marries both our legendary broadcasting experience in making great programmes with the resource and expertise of a global IT player - ensuring the BBC can achieve its Building Public Value vision to secure our digital future. "The value and substantial savings created from the sale of BBC Technology and this procurement of our technology services is a significant step for us in ensuring the BBC is fit for the future and continues to create innovative programmes."

As part of the deal, Siemens Business Services will also provide the skills, expertise and investment to support the BBC's technology vision. This vision aims to put creative tools on desktop computers in the BBC by the end of the decade, enabling a revolutionary approach to programme making in a digital Britain.

John Varney, Chief Technology Officer, BBC, said: "The deal with Siemens Business Services is significant for the BBC as we enter a new phase in the way we work and operate. Technology is vital to the BBC's future and in ensuring we build public value in everything we do. We look forward to developing our relationship with Siemens Business Services to meet our technology vision over the next decade. "

Notes to Editors

This procurement of the technology services contract and the sale of BBC Technology followed an EU procurement process and approvals by the BBC's Executive Board, BBC Board of Governors, the Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport and clearance by the European Commission in accordance with the EC Merger Regulation.

About BBC Technology

Founded in March 2001, BBC Technology provides products and services for the BBC, other broadcasters, platform owners, content owners and government organisations. Drawing on eight decades of pioneering technical expertise and innovation for the BBC, BBC Technology helps organisations create, manage and distribute content more effectively across multiple platforms. BBC Technology's products and services include: the award-winning Colledia™ product portfolio which creates a tape free broadcast environment, media communications, internet solutions and consulting services.

About BBC Technology Direction

BBC Technology Direction is responsible for the BBC's technology strategy and delivering best technology practice across the BBC to create and deliver the technical innovations that make the BBC a world leading broadcaster. The division is led by John Varney, Chief Technology Officer, BBC, and supported by a Head of Technology for each division in the BBC.

About Siemens

Siemens is a global innovator in the information, communications and media industries. The company has 415,000 people working to develop leading edge products, design and install sophisticated systems and projects, and tailor a wide range of services for media and technology companies worldwide.

Its world-leading research and development programmes are crucial to maintaining its 150 year heritage of new inventions and its ability to keep customers in 190 countries at the leading edge of communications technology.

In an age of converging voice, data, video and media technology, Siemens is committed to driving technology convergence to the benefit of the client's business. Siemens Business Services is leading the bid on behalf of the Siemens Information & Communications group, which generated revenues of €22bn globally in 2003. Siemens is bringing together Siemens Information and Communications Networks, Siemens Information and Communications Mobile and a team of partners.

BBC’s Original Announcement



BBC Engineering Division

Engineering is the fabric of how the BBC  gets programme material in and out of any premises and often the design, project management and fit out of those premises.
Engineers are everywhere. Most, but not all, were in the BBC Engineering Division which became was absorbed into BBCT. However it lives on thanks to the intrepit work of a few. See here: BBC Eng Info