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Making an asset out of archive

by Adrian Pennington on Oct 1, 2014

The advent of multi-platform delivery and the shift to predominantly file-based delivery has rendered many traditional broadcast Digital / Media Asset Management (D/MAM) systems no longer fit for purpose. Ten years ago, DAM was primarily about maintaining control and access to digital assets.

Now, the requirements of DAMs has grown as media management processes become increasingly complex. “Our view is that DAM as a concept is broken,” says Jon Folland, CEO and co-founder, Nativ.

The advent of more business to consumer facing technologies, such as cloud and mobile, are further contributing to the obsolescence of traditional D/MAM systems. Traditional broadcast MAMs tend to be monolithic, on-premise and siloed.

“Broadcasters have eco-systems of file-based workflows which require integrating and maintaining to ensure they are operating at their most efficient,” says Ximena Araneda, VP, Video Workflows, Vizrt. “There comes a point when having too many islands and therefore integrations and connectors makes a system too complicated.”

Folland argues that broadcasters typically require large and risky integration projects and indeed many of these projects are prone to failure due to a lack of clarification of requirements “Often workflow is treated as a very separate concern,” he says. “This is another example of how software solutions are too siloed in the increasingly complex multi-platform world.”

Is it possible or even desirable then for clients to have a one-size fits all MAM platform? Not according to Folland. “MAM requires so many functions and features and so many different use cases from different user types that user interfaces become compromised and one ends up with a one size fits all experience,” he says.

“For applications like special events and new channels, we see requirements for smaller systems that can do everything needed in a production,” says Araneda.

“Our customers want to rely on fewer vendors who can collaborate in a better way to provide the best integrated systems available. The main point is to make sure that the system is scalable.”

Nativ prefers to talk about Media Logistics Platforms as the stage beyond MAM. MLPs, it says, provide a broad range of pluggable services in the cloud with multi-tenanting and reporting. User interfaces can be customised on a per user basis if required, using simple HTML5 technologies.

New MAM approaches such as Nativ’s MLP are intended to drastically lower operating costs by removing manual tasks and running workflows on scalable, commodity IT.

“In many cases, operating costs can be more than halved when switching from manual processes or taking on the risk of big integration projects,” claims Folland.

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