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How media supply chain solutions are making microservices available in the cloud

An SDVI guest blog from Emotion Systems

Whether you’re booking a holiday or buying clothes, at some point you’ll have had to choose between off-the-shelf and customised products. There are pros and cons to both options, from the convenience of the package holiday to the fit of a tailored suit, and suppliers from just about every sector have spent decades trying to combine the benefits of both into one proposition. Most attempts have failed.

In the broadcast world we started out with a number of on-prem devices from all sorts of different suppliers, and we spent years figuring out how to integrate these different devices to create a solution that was just right for your specific needs. On the plus side, this approach means that each individual device is perfectly suited to your purpose. The downside is that today’s perfect solution may not be ideal for tomorrow’s workflows, and it can take years to pay for all those black boxes sitting in your MCR. So, your production workflows end up having to be designed around your technology rather than the other way around. Nevertheless, this “traditional model” served the industry well for years and it’s how many of today’s leading technology suppliers, including Emotion Systems, established ourselves. But, with the introduction of more complex workflows and an increasing number of channels and platforms, these solutions needed to evolve and become more flexible to meet the changing industry needs.

So, along came virtualization and the cloud, and to make it all work, innovative media supply chain optimization from SDVI. Now, you can automate and orchestrate your entire workflow in the cloud, pay for just what you use with OPEX instead of CAPEX, scale up and down at will and change it all at the drop of a hat (or at least relatively easily). But the challenge in moving your supply chain to the cloud is that you have to be able to replicate ALL the tools you might use in your production and distribution workflows in the cloud. While some operations can be provided via open-source software (like transcoding with FFmpeg), other tools are not as easy to source or develop, and media supply chain solutions often rely on partnerships with microservice companies to satisfy the full content supply chain.

Emotion Systems is one of these microservice specialists; we provide a limited set of services spectacularly well. Specifically, our file-based audio microservices make it easier to comply with loudness, accessibility and localisation requirements and prepare multiple versions of your content for broadcast and online delivery, movie distribution and localisation. There aren’t many providers in this space and the services we offer aren’t easily replicated. But, as unique and in-demand as our products may be, it doesn’t make sense to provide our tools as standalone cloud software because they’re used when the audio has already been mastered together with the video content. Our workflows are intrinsically linked with the broader content supply chain and are too data-heavy for us to virtualise as independent services. It makes much more sense to offer our products as part of a media supply chain solution in the cloud, in a similar way to how we integrate with on-prem solutions.

This is what makes companies like Emotion Systems and SDVI perfect partners – rather than trying to combine benefits that are mutually exclusive (like mass provision and tailored experiences) our solutions complement each other. Each product provides a valuable and necessary benefit to the other and both are improved through association with each other.

We’ve also adapted our products to suit this new model. We’ve worked with SDVI to fully integrate our toolsets so we’re able to offer the same services that we provide on prem in the cloud through their Rally media supply chain platform. We’ve moved to a per-minute billing structure and created Rally presets that satisfy the most frequently requested services, and we’re currently extending our API to make it even easier to specify workflows on the fly. We’re definitely one step closer to cracking the perfect combination of broad service and specialist service providers – watch this space.

Learn more about Emotion Systems.

Learn more about the SDVI Application Services Market.

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