Content Management Moves to the Cloud: VSN has a View

Along with almost every other part of the production to delivery chain content management solutions are being reworked in the cloud. What does this mean for broadcasters or large content owners and is such a solution suitable for every client for every occasion? MAM vendors provide their views, starting with Barcelona-based VSN, with replies supplied by Hugo Bastos, Project Management Office Director.

The Broadcast Bridge:  More and more aspects of production and delivery are being moved to cloud networks. Why would you advocate content management to follow suit?

VSN:  The global and basic advantages of cloud networks and infrastructures also apply to content management: less operational issues, better use of resources, less capital expenses, increased mobility and collaboration, flexibility and the opportunity of new business models are just a few of the main advantages that can be used to advocate cloud based content management.

Thus, it could be said that cloud based content management allows for:

  1. Globalisation of the content itself where users can access and submit new content from virtually anywhere in the world.
  2. Flexibility of the content management solution to adapt to different workflows and workloads due to the easy scalability of cloud infrastructure.
  3. Lower the investment needed to create and support a local IT infrastructure.
  4. The creation of new business models like media exchange platforms and media marketplaces.
  5. Full or hybrid (local + on-premise) cloud solutions can also provide an easier implementation for disaster recovery solutions and content replication/security.

The Broadcast Bridge:  Are there any downsides to cloud content management or reasons why this may not necessarily work in every case?

VSN:  Local (on-premise), cloud based, or hybrid (local + cloud) content management should be a project or client based decision. In fact, not all content management projects should or need to be cloud based.

For several specific workflows and customers, an on-premise solution is still the best solution. However, more and more clients and projects currently require access to a content management solution from multiple locations or even having worldwide access, and that should be enough to consider a Cloud or hybrid deployment.

The two main factors that might prevent users adopting cloud content management solutions are: Internet connectivity (lack or lack of quality) and cloud storage price. Unfortunately, for connectivity nobody can offer a solution and the client/project will need to wait until the proper connectivity infrastructure is updated. In order to mitigate the other factor, the cloud storage price, we mostly recommend for hybrid (on-premise + cloud) solutions where the high resolution content is kept at the customer facilities (or a local datacenter), lowering the need and cost of owning a big storage space in the cloud, and in Cloud itself we only keep the low resolution proxy files to allow for content management and workflow process. The two (or more) deployments are managed as one and should be completely transparent for all the users accessing the system from any part of the world. Additionally, when using a hybrid and/or multiple site solution it is easy to allow for content replication (for security and/or performance), as well as disaster recovery scenarios.

Hugo Bastos

Hugo Bastos

The Broadcast Bridge:  Outside of rights: how can an asset management platform help content owners leverage metadata to maximise revenue or open new monetization opportunities?

VSN:  Content owners can leverage metadata and the media asset platforms in several ways depending on what kind of implementation of the media management platform they opt for. Assuming we are talking about a platform implemented to work as a marketplace, metadata has the obvious role of allowing the "client" to search and get content as fast as possible related to what he is asking for.

On a different implementation, metadata can be used to trigger automated (and manual) processes or events where a specific content that has a specific metadata, as soon as it is ingested or detected, is automatically transcoded and published on a specific social media, for example. Other specific metadata can trigger the system to send, for instance, an email or notification to a specific person. Metadata allied to automation opens an unthinkable number of options. All will depend on the project itself and what is needed to be achieved.

The Broadcast Bridge:  What is the best way of assessing return on investment in a MAM solution?

VSN: In one word, time. Time saved (by all the people and groups using the solution) by having a centralised Media Asset Management solution and due to the simplification of the process of ingesting and retrieving content is probably the best way to assess the ROI of any MAM implementation. Moreover, if we add a Business Process Management (BPM) solution for the automation of underlying processes the time saved can be increased even further.

Besides from the time saved, and depending on the MAM implementation, other ROI indicators can be the re-utilisation and monetization of existing content, the visibility of a Business Intelligence module that pulls the data of most successful types of assets, the most well performing operators, among many others.

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