BluHorn Brings Collaboration to Media Buying and Planning

Transforming traditional media buying with real-time worksheets and immersive chat.

At a Glance

  • PubNub powers multi-user chat and synchronized worksheets.

  • BluHorn decreases time to market for new collaborative, real-time features.

  • SourceFuse delivers BluHorn 92% reduction in response time and 8% TCO reduction per month for BluHorn platform.

BluHorn Brings Collaboration to Media Buying and Planning

"Real-time collaborative capabilities and particularly transactional chat really changes the game. It brings everyone together and gives them the information they need, when they need it, at any one moment. It helps even our smallest customers on a massive scale."

- Wes Benwick, VP Technology and Software Architect at BluHorn

BluHorn is a web-based media buying and planning platform that brings all the media planning and buying programs into a single platform and adds
. Collaborative by design, BluHorn’s platform includes multi-user synchronized worksheets, real-time chat, a marketplace, and a host of integrations to empower buyers and planners to work better together. SourceFuse builds custom, full-scale web and mobile SaaS products, and has deployed over 1000 apps and cloud solutions since their founding in 2005. BluHorn, with SourceFuse, set out to transform the media buying and planning process and create a powerful, collaborative all-in-one platform.


BluHorn’s largest challenge from a UX and features perspective was keeping users within the app by delivering new features to keep them from going out of product. Users were saving data, but weren’t sharing and collaborating with one another. For example, instead of staying within the platform, users were relying on traditional spreadsheets that lacked collaboration and  creating email-heavy communication chains.
When we looked at our previous process, it’s email-driven, it was a nightmare. It’s cumbersome. And not giving users the ability to work out of multiple tabs and windows limits visibility and analysis.
To transform the media buying process, BluHorn needed backend technology to allow them to formulate and quickly ship new real-time features to keep their users “in-app.” And to deliver this highly-interactive, collaborative application at scale, BluHorn needed to ensure that their infrastructure under the hood could handle both a data-intensive and high user count at scale.

The Need for Real-time

Real-time collaborative capabilities and transactional chat really changes the game. It brings everyone together and gives them the information they need, when they need it, at any one moment. It helps even our smallest customers on a massive scale.
PubNub is the real-time layer that brings all the different users and systems together in a fast, reliable synchronized system. Because PubNub is extensible and use-case agnostic by design, SourceFuse was able to implement PubNub to power real-time chat, system updates, and collaborative spreadsheet synchronization all through a single real-time service provider, rather than having to utilize 3rd party services to power each.
While there are competitors in the space, they are still operating through traditional lenses, and not solving issues that collaborative teams are facing. Much less taking strides to connect those with media inventory, media buyers, and media rating companies. We want to change that.


A major feature in BluHorn is real-time chat to connect buyers, planners, vendors, and clients. To bolster the chat application, and deliver a social media timeline-type feature, the chat app also streams important alerts and custom pieces of information, and creates a bot-like chat integration as well.
We’d looked at some 3rd party chat tools, that offered widget-like plugins to put onto our platform, but in studying them, it seemed like we’d end up with more limitations and more cost.
Unlike other chat service providers, which only solve a piece of chat, and don’t provide the flexibility to build custom chat features, PubNub allowed BluHorn and SourceFuse to custom-tailor the chat app exactly how they wanted.
We wanted to meld social media timeline-type functionality with real-time chat, and I couldn’t find a single chat provider that allowed me to do that. PubNub gave us complete control to allow us to connect both our users, and allow our system to act as almost a bot, inserting different text and multi-media in place. It’s flexible and extensible.
And given PubNub’s flexibility in powering chat applications, BluHorn can approach their chat roadmap with confidence, both from a new chat feature and a compliance standpoint.
Since PubNub could take care of the more complex parts of delivering chat functionality - synchronization, distribution, security - it worked out perfectly. We control our data, and PubNub handles all the transaction of it. And I am thrilled with where we are with chat today.

Looking Forward

PubNub has provided a reliable and secure real-time layer for BluHorn that has allowed them to operate more efficiently and create multi-user collaborative features. BluHorn and SourceFuse continue to push customer-requested features in 2-week agile sprints, and PubNub’s extensible and flexible platform lets them stay on that aggressive feature-release schedule.
The quality of service of the PubNub Data Stream Network and developer support provided by their team is second to none. We’ve been able to collaborate with their solution architects and come up with innovative solutions to solving our customer problems in record time. Kabir Chandoke COO of SourceFuse