It’s not unusual that our customers are dealing with over hundreds of different partners and content providers, such as studios, post-production facilities and distributors. We optimise those workflows.

All of them have different needs and goals, depending on their position in the value chain and the type of content they deliver. Managing all the workflows with all content providers poses a series of operational challenges.

Before the digitization era, the processes were manually operated, with physical workflows of videotapes (and hard-drives, a bit later). It required a lot of man-hours to manage the heavy processes of labelling, classifying, and archiving. Going digital improved some of this but brought other challenges. When the industry began exchanging assets over the Internet, new issues rose such as low bandwidth and asset security. Digitization also brought complexity of video formats. Video processing vendors multiplied and, with them, the transcoding possibilities. Therefore, post-production facilities made their own choices regarding the type of files they will deliver.

Today, the challenge for a broadcaster is to receive the right content at the right time, in the right format, in a totally secured way. On top of all this come the general challenges of digitization faced by the broadcasting industry as a whole. We’ve talked a little more in depth about these challenges in a previous blog post,  Four key insights for broadcasters to tackle the challenges of digitization.

These challenges can be overcome by connecting all the stakeholders to one coherent digital ecosystem solution.

Creating an ecosystem consists of implementing interconnections and rules between the different stakeholders in order to offer a solution for all the challenges that have been identified. In a broadcaster’s ecosystem, we’re looking for a solution that will provide an interface, to send and receive media assets, that relies on a reliable and efficient network infrastructure. To protect those valuable files, the network must be private, at best, or highly secure at least.

Regarding the file formats to be received by the broadcaster, there are several possibilities. The broadcaster can set up automated transcoding processes upon receipt of the assets. According to the origin of the file, the ecosystem solution will automatically perform the requested processing in order to adapt the file to the broadcaster’s needs. Another solution consists in establishing a common file standard: the broadcaster will demand specific formats only and all the content-providers need to agree and adapt.

Automation doesn’t necessarily mean the end of human intervention. There will still be tasks such as quality check, that can’t be automated. And the workflows themselves need to be designed by experts that know the general picture of the ecosystem and that are able to answer these questions: what is best for me, the broadcaster? How can I get the best from my content providers?

This is what an ecosystem and the technical solution on which it relies are here for: helping those companies that take part of the entire content value chain to do their job as best as they can.