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28 TVBEurope Media Asset Management

Salford Quays: The recent 'glitch' in the BBC's collaborative production system, where up to 30 edit seats were affected by a crash in central storage, serves as a reminder of just how badly behaved entirely locally-based MAM systems can be


A productive way to separate the metaphorical wood from the trees in MAM- land remains to consider the extent to which projects (and products) exhibit the following characteristics: are they production-leaning; distribution-leaning; content-manipulation related, or some combination of all of these? Columnist Mark Hilltakes us on an insider view through the current MAM landscape

IT CONTINUES to be as difficult as ever to find a single MAM system that is proficient at all key parameters; production, distribution and content-manipulation. A MAM system having its roots in deep documentation of content for archiving is unlikely to have equal strength in marshalling content for distribution and delivery to TV linear playout and/or video-on-demand (VoD) outlets. Most organisations now accept that adopting a more tactical/functional/workgroup approach to MAM, leading to the inevitable deployment of multiple MAM systems, is the way forward. This emphasises the increasing expectation that any one MAM system should be able to readily interoperate with those other systems adjacent to it.

Much has been written about Service Orientated Architecture (SOA) and its applicability to MAM. Many MAM suppliers have opened their systems to some degree to facilitate their easier interconnection. Traditional 'rack and stack'

many customers to take on this task in-house. Customers however remain

wary of MAM projects becoming heavily dependent on inherently complex IT integrations, which can easily tie themselves into a long-winded

A trend featuring in the backdrop to last year's NAB was one of increasing consolidation in our industry. The last 18 months has seen a number of mergers and acquisitions in the Media Asset Management (MAM) manufacturer arena, with Miranda taking OmniBus; Evertz acquiring Pharos; and Orad purchasing a majority stake in IBIS. These acquisitions should be viewed largely as evidence of companies looking to fill gaps in their product lines rather than as any sort of statement that MAM is set to explode in some new and stand-alone direction. Just further evidence, in fact, of how indispensible MAM functionality has become to the operation of essential tools of the modern TV production and broadcasting trade. Mark Hill

Customers continue to turn to MAM suppliers and expect this as a strength, regardless of which part of the content value chain other aspects of the product may be pitched. Here, a high degree of self- configurability by the user

Traditional 'rack and stack' industry systems integrators have yet to show significant appetite for providing the software 'glue' between MAM and other IT- heavy production and broadcast systems

industry systems integrators have yet to show significant appetite for providing the software 'glue' between MAM and other IT-heavy production and broadcast systems, leaving

and expensive knot. They should continue to be so. Common to all areas of

today's application of MAM is the automation of business processes and workflows.

remains a frequent demand, as customers seek freedom from expensive after-sales support contracts and suppliers seek competitive advantage through proving that system

functionality really can be tailored (configured) to beneficial effect without recourse to coding by their own developers. Some useful advances have been made here, with more to come as MAM products continue to mature.

Everybody is special Bespoke coding in MAM systems continues to be a troublesome issue for all parties and one best avoided where alternatives exist. Customers across the industry will naturally tend to regard their requirements set for MAM as unique and their businesses as unique. Of course they all are, in so far as drawing a line on a piece of paper creates something unique; but to what extent does such uniqueness have a (business) value when compared April 2012

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