Applied Technology: The Process of Building a Connected Enterprise and Digital Ecosystem

Today’s consumer is an evolved creature - one that has grown up with digital television, internet, tablets and smart phones. Not only do they have a variety of choices, they also enjoy the convenience of consumption when they want it, the way they want it. This consumer behavior change is increasing faster than ever before, forcing the entire content value chain and its players to transform themselves digitally.

In order to stay relevant in this rapid-paced, global realm, and meet the increase in demand, volume and speed, the entire Media and Entertainment industry from studios to broadcasters to post production houses and more, must take everything digital.

Volume, discovery, platforms, devices, 4K, direct to consumer/over-the-top, engagement, speed, new monetization are all digital challenges that Media and Entertainment industry is faced with. There is a need to become hyper digital to face these digital next realities.

Analyzing Your Organization’s Needs

Building a connected enterprise and a digital ecosystem is key to managing the business of content. Be it revenue growth or expansion in margins, Media Asset Management (MAM) systems cannot function in isolation anymore. Media and Entertainment companies need enterprise-wide software to manage content-led business activities across departments globally and deal with big data challenges.

Similar to other sectors, Media and Entertainment companies need one software, that is rich in applications to handle workflow orchestration across enterprise, supply chain and partner ecosystems. Rather than having multiple disparate systems, functioning in silos, that offers no single point of truth, organizations need to embrace an ERP solution, an ERP system that is tailored to suit the needs of the M&E industry. 

The first step to determining what Media ERP Suite is right for you is to do an organizational audit of the applications your company uses as a whole.From document management to on-set dailies to publicity/marketing stills to distribution and new media publishing, how many systems is the company using across all the individual departments? And are they really working for you? And what is the operating cost of all those individual systems working in silos?

Given that any systemic change of this scale will be a massive effort, especially dealing with legacy systems and inter-departmental politics, organizations need to rise above and solve for things that do matter – faster time to market, lower total cost of ownership and increased operations efficiencies to name a few. That way, content enterprises focus on their core role – simply create better content.

From user rights and licenses to storage subscriptions and more, these digital costs can be extreme. Prime Focus Technologies (PFT) has developed a Media ERP Suite called CLEAR to digitize content and manage all of the respective operations under one hybrid cloud software. By virtualizing these processes, you reduce overall cost, increase efficiencies, provide more business agility and contribute to net new revenue by allowing creators to focus their efforts towards make better content, rather than the business behind managing it.

The Prime Focus Technologies Media ERP Suite, called CLEAR, can digitize content and manage all of the respective operations under one hybrid cloud software.

The Prime Focus Technologies Media ERP Suite, called CLEAR, can digitize content and manage all of the respective operations under one hybrid cloud software.

Knowing Your Limits – Time and Space

Media and entertainment companies have reached a critical point in which they must quickly adapt to digitize content.

With more digital content being created and moved around, a lot of entertainment companies are now reaching their technical limits. They have the digital content, but they don’t have the adequate IT infrastructure to handle this velocity. Also, in this new era, content loses its value the longer it takes to get to market. Content owners today have to embrace Cloud to deal with the volume and speed for servicing their content demand to the growing number of digital outlets globally, including Netflix, hulu and other OTT platforms. This trend and demand is only going to increase as new platforms continue to emerge. And companies need to do be able to service that demand with lowest total cost of delivery. Who would have thought Netflix would account for more than a third of all internet traffic in the US. Who would have thought once used as a distribution channel will become competition to the broadcasters in the US. These are digital next realities.

PFT’s CLEAR Media ERP Suite allows companies to store data locally, but manage processes in the cloud. By hosting application on the Cloud, costs and time are reduced since there is no metadata duplication through various business departments. In the end, this allows companies to distribute broadcast quality content to the post house and to the editors, seamlessly through the entire content supply chain, as well as directly to the consumer. CLEAR Operations Cloud, part of Media ERP Suite with over 400 preset robots smartly prepares, packages and delivers content to both linear and non-linear platforms. Time is of the essence. Hence getting the content to the consumer when they want it is key.

Where Is Your Audience and Where Are They Going?

With a myriad of content available for consumption, content owners are struggling to capture the attention of fickle digital consumers. In just one minute the internet processes more than 204 million emails, 3.3 million Facebook posts, 4 million Google searches, and a whopping 50 billion WhatsApp messages. Other social media sites are simultaneously active, 342 thousand tweets and 1.4 million minutes voice calls in skype, not to mention other Internet activities like blog posts and photo uploads in the same single minute. (Source: VTC Center for Learning & Teaching). This is a digital next reality. M&E companies have massive amounts of content but how can they get the consumer who is surrounded with content choose what they want the consumer to see. With a digital enterprise that has detailed, multi-layer smart metadata, content owners can tap into the DEE (Discovery, Engagement & Experience).

With smart metadata, consumers can find content, but what makes them stick? That depends on how engaging and interactive the platform is. M&E companies need to think like digital traditionalists. By offering immersive viewing experience, smart tagging consumers become addicted and will want to keep coming back. PFT’s Digital Sports Junction integrates data with content to offer immersive OTT experience.

The Internet has become so large and fast that it is becoming difficult for content providers to have their products found. Solving that dilemma requires a sophisticated software solution.

The Internet has become so large and fast that it is becoming difficult for content providers to have their products found. Solving that dilemma requires a sophisticated software solution.

In looking at the future of media consumption, one cannot leave 4K out of the discussion. Any digital enterprise needs to be able to look ahead and plan for the influx of 4K content, which further increases storage needs. Not many companies are dealing with 4K content currently. However people demand quality. It is not too far away that 4K will be a norm – similar to HD now. It took a while for the world to move from SD to HD. Adopting Cloud to manage delivery of 4K content is a smart way of managing operations. But what about current HD content? How do companies monetize that? There is a need for up conversion. PFT’s CLEAR Operations Cloud provides 4K support including a 4K up conversion module by leveraging the Academy Award winning Lowry image processing libraries. This is supported by GPU Cloud Computing infrastructure.

Removing the Red Tape

Distribution in particular has become increasingly complex in the hyper digital world. More outlets, A-VoD, S-VoD and T-VoD across the globe, have acutely driven the need for business to be more connected with content operations. One of the ways a digital ecosystem can help alleviate the complexities in distribution is through a cloud-based rights & sales order systems. PFT has included rights management as part of its CLEAR Distribution Cloud for a completely integrated solution that helps process/service orders and offers governance around rights regime. With this integration, content owners can ensure the timely and appropriate distribution of content to their respective platforms.

By embracing new technology and IT models that streamline and simplify time consuming and costly day-to-day activities, Prime Focus Technologies has helped companies including Disney, Warner Bros., Lionsgate, CBS Television Studios, 20th Century Fox Television Studios, Relativity Media, Legendary Pictures, Showtime, The Associated Press, HOOQ and A&E TV Network stay relevant and meet these changing demands.

When building out a connected enterprise and digital ecosystem, maximize the reach and efforts of this system across all divisions within a company. Through one cohesive ecosystem, PFT has helped businesses cut costs by 30%, while gaining 40% efficiencies and time saving. Who couldn’t use more time in their day?

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