MAM Moves to the Cloud – IPV has a View

Media asset management is a necessary tool for finding and transferring media materials around or between facilities but it’s not always had the best reputation for delivering value for money. As content becomes stored in the cloud and access is enabling remote collaborative workflows as well as pay as you go business models, the fundamentals of asset management are being reassessed. Is it necessary for example to rewrite MAM software from the ground up in order to work optimally in the cloud? The Broadcast Bridge spoke to Nigel Booth, EVP business development and marketing at IPV.

Broadcast Bridge: Has MAM delivered on its promises?

NB: I would argue that MAM has delivered on its promises in that it is connecting people, places and content. However, from a customer or end users’ perspective, in order for it to continue to deliver and improve going forward, there needs to be an internal champion, or evangelist, who takes ownership of the MAM system and promotes the operational benefits and creative empowerment that it can bring, to ensure buy-in from users across the business. The more planning and structure put in to a MAM system, the better the results will be.

A MAM needs to be more than just a database with a user interface attached. The point where a user can gain a monetary value from a MAM is where it touches other parts of the enterprise and drives interactivity between departments, reducing inefficiencies. We see it as applying mainstream manufacturing principals such as ERP and MRP to the management and curation of media, ensuring that all of the components and resources needed are available in the right place and at the right time.

Broadcast Bridge: How does the Cloud change things?

NB: When we talk about the cloud, it’s important to understand exactly what it means. For example, is it a hosted solution where there is a responsibility on the client to make sure that those services are up and running and being interacted with, or is it a SaaS solution where the manufacturer is actually running those services for the customer? There’s also off-premises and on-premises solutions, but in reality, what we’re seeing more and more of is the evolution of a hybrid approach.

Costs associated with the cloud tend to be ingress and egress, so providers such as AWS or Azure typically make their money in moving content in and out. The beauty of IPV’s hybrid approach, and it’s the area where we’re actually seeing some real benefits, is that proxies can live in the cloud, but the MAM can also talk to localised services for managing the hi-res and the creation of proxies around that.

In essence, the cloud is removing some of the barriers to entry when it comes to MAM, enabling a larger client-base to get access to the associated services like streaming, transcoding and metadata management that a MAM can offer in a cost-effective way.

Broadcast Bridge: Can you simply virtualise a MAM in the cloud and make it a success?

NB: You can virtualise many of your systems on-premises or off-premises as well as in the cloud. But making this a success however depends not just on virtualising hardware but on how the underlying software services have been architected. It’s very difficult to virtualise a large monolithic set of software tools.  IPV has architected the Curator software from the ground up as a series of micro services that all communicate with each other through open APIs ensuring that additional services such as transcode, QC or accelerated file transfer can be “spun up or down” as the need arises, meaning you are only paying for what you use as opposed to having to architect your system for a worst case scenario, typically seen in on premise solutions.

Using a product that has been architected for the cloud means that rather than losing money, significant savings can be realised.

Nigel Booth

Nigel Booth

Broadcast Bridge:  Does MAM have a future?

NB: MAM has a big future as it’s designed to connect people and places to content. Increasingly, people are working remotely and off-premises, and many organisations operate in multiple locations to make use of time zones and localised skillsets, so the only way to effectively connect them all is through an asset management tool.

Today, it’s all about doing things faster, and the first person to air with a story is the one that’s going to make money out of it. This is why it’s so important that people can find and access the content at any time, no matter its location. With the growing need for people to do more for less, use of a MAM is going to continue to get more prolific.

The MAM market will continue to grow. It’s no longer just the large media organisations that are dealing with video content, it’s now pervasive right the way through the corporate and enterprise users of differing sizes. We have a major installation with retailer Home Depot in the US, which it uses to manage a wide range of content including point-of-presence displays, leadership messages, staff training and advertising.

There’s also increasing use of MAM systems to maintain brand values and looks as they provide a clear audit chain when it comes to the review and approval of content, which will open the door to more businesses and organisations.

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