KUHF is Houston’s Public Radio news station. KUHF News is the trusted source for international, national, regional and local coverage from the KUHF Newsroom, NPR, the BBC, and American Public Media. As other media outlets narrow their scope and reduce local coverage, KUHF expands the breadth of local news and gives voice to multiple perspectives.
Although KUHF is unique in the Houston market, it does share with other radio stations the challenges associated with 24x7 operations. KUHF cannot tolerate downtime – that’s why the radio station depends upon SNC for computer support.
“The most important thing about our relationship with SNC is their immediate responsiveness and dependability. Those things are key,” said Debra Fraser, Station Manager, KUHF. “We have our own IT team for our office network, but SNC takes care of our broadcast network. That’s the most critical part of our operation. When something goes wrong, it’s a matter of the radio station being on or off. It’s incredibly critical what they do for us.”
So why would an organization outsource its most vital function?
“We decided that this part of our work was so important that we needed outside help. Our internal IT team actually recommended SNC when we had an emergency breakdown about a year ago,” Fraser said. “SNC’s dependability is just amazing. They’ve come out in the middle of the night. They do remote work 24x7, but they’ve shown up at our facility at all hours to fix problems.”
SNC has also taken steps to streamline and improve the reliability of KUHF’s systems. When SNC first began working with KUHF, the broadcast network was what Fraser describes as a “rat’s nest.” SNC’s first task was to do a literal cleanup.
“It had become operator-specific – only a couple of people knew what was where. What if those people got hit by a bus? We worry a lot about the bus rule,” said Fraser. “SNC made it completely understandable so that anyone in engineering or IT can walk in and use it. They’ve also created meticulous documentation on all of the work they’ve done. Our staff members say they couldn’t do without them.
“And that’s the other thing – their communication skills are very strong. They can speak well in layman’s terms, and make a news reporter or DJ feel comfortable about something technical. On top of being incredibly efficient and dependable, they’re just really good people. That is huge. You don’t find all those things in one company very often.”