How to choose a Media Supply Chain Platform that is best suited for you
PFT Blog Team | 23 Aug 2022

How to choose a Media Supply Chain Platform that is best suited for you
How to choose a Media Supply Chain Platform that is best suited for you Click To Tweet

By Aditya Jha, Vice President - Product Management and Strategic Partnerships, Prime Focus Technologies.

Where media Supply Chains are concerned, there is no one-size-fits-all. While the industry is heading towards standardization, and the guardrails for the media Supply Chain are established, each content enterprise has its specific requirements, be it media formats, media operations, workflows, or metadata.

Added to this, managing multiple sites, chasing multiple vendors, tracking deadlines, and delivering various outputs, and you start appreciating the complexity content enterprises must deal with each day. The push for cost efficiencies without compromising on the scale, agility, flexibility, business continuity, only adds to complexity.

Content enterprises, therefore, must be diligent when selecting a media Supply Chain platform that best suits their needs. Here are ten factors to consider:

  • Does it model an end-to-end business process that includes metadata-driven workflows from content production through acquisition, preparation to fulfillment?
  • What degree of automation will it bring to the Supply Chain?
  • Can it orchestrate workflows across on-prem and the Cloud?
  • Can it connect partner ecosystems and cascade changing business priorities across connected systems to plan?
  • Does it have natively connected tools to run the Supply Chain processes like manual QC, localization, compliance, and others?
  • How adept is it in Cloud and AI/ML technologies to improve Supply Chain scalability, agility, quality, and sustainability?
  • Does it help analyze and continuously improve the Supply Chain parameters on TAT, SLA, usage, and cost?
  • How secure is it against malefic access and misuse?
  • Can it avoid a single point of failure and keep the Supply Chain running in the event of a risk?
  • Are you missing hidden costs while budgeting for implementation? Or are you losing sight of overall costs to only capture the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO)?

Supply Chain technology should solve the above in a deeper and more meaningful way, so efficiencies are multiplied rather than bringing improvements in silos.

1. From managing assets to managing business processes

It is worthwhile first to differentiate between MAM systems and Supply Chain systems. Typically, MAM enables enterprises to organize their content better, collaborate for reviews, perform ad-hoc media exchange, and integrate with 3 rd party tools for adjacent use cases like editing. However, a Supply Chain technology builds on top of a native MAM, taking it multiple notches higher to manage business processes by connecting an ecosystem of vendors, suppliers, 3rd party infrastructure, and systems.

2. Automation - Assets, work orders, and tasks in one system

A Supply Chain technology should bring in robust work order and task management capabilities; to orchestrate sourcing, tracking, and deliveries of both content and metadata most optimally and efficiently. To achieve this, the Supply Chain system needs to be integrated with scheduling systems and Cloud/on-premises infrastructure (e.g., auto QC, transcode) to drive automated work orders.

3. Ability to straddle between On-Prem and Cloud

It should be able to manage content and infrastructure in the Cloud and/or on-premises. It is essential to the end user for the content to be available in the library, irrespective of where it is stored. The workflows should also be able to run on the infrastructure deployed on-premises or on the Cloud.

4. Connecting the enterprise with the partner ecosystem

The Supply Chain technology should be able to connect multiple vendors and suppliers and exchange content and metadata securely. If required, it should be able to automatically transmit priorities and status updates to 3rd party partners and enterprise systems so that forecasting and planning across the Supply Chain are aligned. Any delays or priority changes add additional complexity to cascade these changes through the Supply Chain. Hence it is wise to cascade changes in business priority to supplier priority across the Supply Chain.

5. Connected tools

It should provide native connected tools such as player, editor, subtitle, and compliance tools so that enterprises do not have to incur the additional or hidden cost of licensing and integrating with external tools for basic Supply Chain operations. A Supply Chain system with inbuilt tooling reduces unnecessary transfers, avoids costly integrations, and aligns with the principles of the MovieLabs2030 Vision of “application coming to the media.

6. From ‘AI here and there’ to ‘AI Everywhere’

A modern Supply Chain technology should implement AI holistically and go beyond just generating deep metadata. AI interventions should be across the Supply Chain, automate or aid human intervention to bring a synergetic uplift to Supply Chain efficiencies. With AI Everywhere, we believe you should have the ability to:

  • Create revenue faster with the same content
  • Search & find content to distribute and monetize faster
  • Prepare content faster and more efficiently
  • Re-use / monetize unused content
  • Reduce costs at scale across the Supply chain

7. Data-driven, Scalable and Sustainable

The Supply Chain should leverage AI, Multi-Cloud, and metadata-driven workflows to help achieve aggressive turnaround times and SLAs. Innovations such as bursting to the Cloud and auto-scaling are critical since they help right-size infrastructure, eliminate waste, and make the Supply Chains more responsive and sustainable. In addition, it should track consumption at an atomic transaction level and provide a rich analytical tool for enterprises to analyze and improve Supply Chain effectiveness.

8. Secure

Access to the Supply Chain should be secure and based on Zero–Trust Security Models. Explicit verification should be the norm — multi-factor authentication, authorization, location, and others. The principle of least privileged access should be followed using adaptive, configurable admin policies and just-in-time access constructs. The system should start from the point of assuming breach as part of the design and implement end-to-end encryption, watermarking, audit, and analytics to detect and prevent threats.

9. Business Continuity

Business continuity is of primary importance and must be solved for application and location availability. A Supply Chain platform should solve location DR through mechanisms like self-healing and auto- switching workflows to alternate delivery locations in case of a disaster.

10. Look beyond TCO

Finally, enterprises should look beyond TCO, which is just the tip of the iceberg. TCO does not factor costs involved in keeping the Supply Chain lights on. Hidden costs include deploying, maintaining, augmenting, and integrating the Supply Chain system with other 3 rd party tools. Hence enterprises should look at the Total Cost of Operations (TCOP) to factor in hidden costs over and above the TCO.

The table below highlights key features of CLEAR® Media Supply Chain and how they compare to other platforms in the industry.

Interact blog

* The comparison is based on information available in the public domain generalized across multiple details and is representational. Feature-to-feature variation might exist for specific products.

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