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The Optimization Endgame: Agility That Gives You a Competitive Advantage





The Art of the Possible as Your Competitive Weapon



Imagine you manage infrastructure for a media company, and your boss comes in and says, “We’re looking at signing a licensing deal with 1,000 titles to be made available on a new OTT service on a tight time frame. Can we do it?” Would you have to face your boss and explain that infrastructure is already maxed out, and that you just don’t have the resources or capacity?

Now imagine having no limits and being able to spin around in your chair and deliver a confident “No problem.” Saying “yes” while knowing full well that you don’t have the requisite on-site resources to meet this challenge — and that you don’t need them.

If you’ve adopted a media supply chain management platform to optimize your content preparation and delivery processes, the impossible becomes possible. Using the platform to virtualize and orchestrate compute processes in the cloud, with its unlimited scalability, you can handle the burst associated with a time-sensitive, high-volume project. You can spin up the applications and compute resources needed to prepare content — and meet or beat your deadline for getting content to the distribution partner. You can do more, faster, which means your company can realize revenue more quickly.

In other words, you’ve realized Agility, one of the three pillars of media supply chain optimization along with Efficiency and Intelligence. (Read more about all three pillars in the series intro.)

Accelerating Time to Revenue

In my previous blog, “Accelerate Optimization Using Supply Chain Intelligence,” we talked about how better data can lead to faster decision-making and how predictable costs lead to greater profitability. A media supply chain management platform, such as Rally, brings predictability to your operations by allowing you to know just how much a product or service will cost (money and time) you to deliver.

When you know the resources you’ll need to deploy, you need only decide how, not if, to tackle a new opportunity. You can make choices — spinning up new instances of an application or applying more powerful processors in the cloud — that directly affect the outcome. You can take on new work without fear that it’s going to disrupt the revenue side of your business. All of this comes from having an agile, responsive supply chain infrastructure.

But there is more at stake. Once you’re in a position to make better decisions more quickly, you gain the freedom to experiment. When you’re spinning up a cloud-based endeavor rather than a huge time-consuming capital-intensive project, you can afford to test a new offering. Leveraging virtualized infrastructure to try out new services, you can find success quickly or fail fast without any upfront costs. And when you experiment and succeed, you produce new revenue well ahead of the competition.

Better data leads to faster decisions. Cloud virtualization allows for faster experimentation. The Rally platform enables faster execution. Together, these capabilities accelerate your time to revenue.

The speed at which you can accept, prepare, and monetize content gives your business a competitive advantage. If your organization supplies content to another platform for distribution, you can get your content in front of more eyeballs more quickly. If your business takes content directly to the consumer, you can more quickly evolve your service to address changing market demand and consumer expectations. It’s all about Agility, and that’s the No. 1 benefit of moving your supply chain to the cloud and deploying a cloud-based supply chain management platform. You gain business agility — the speed at which you can take on new work and deliver finished goods — that you simply can’t achieve any other way.

While virtualization of processes in the cloud allows you to take advantage of countless resources, smart application of those resources is vital. You’ve got a massive factory at your disposal, with latent resources ready to help as needed, and you pay only for what you use. You want to manage when those resources are used and when they’re not, and that’s where a media supply chain management platform like Rally helps you do what you couldn’t do before. Automatically deploying the cloud infrastructure and applications needed to get the work done, Rally gives you the agility you need to say “yes” to that next big challenge or opportunity.

Delivering a Differentiated Consumer Experience

When you modernize your supply chain and implement the technology to do that, you transform your infrastructure into a source of competitive advantage. That’s a bold statement, I know.

You gain the agility to move faster than your competitors in responding to new challenges and opportunities. You enjoy better insights into supply chain operations and costs, and you leverage this intelligence to make better decisions than your competitors. You increase efficiency and productivity, thereby freeing up more resources to focus on what matters most: a differentiated customer experience.

Efficiency, elasticity, and cost savings are great, and a modern media supply chain delivers on all those fronts. But what’s proving to be even more valuable is the way that this infrastructure empowers your business to capitalize on the dynamic nature of the media market. It is your secret weapon, if you will, in winning business and connecting with media consumers.

If you’re a content owner, your competitive advantage lies in being able to say “yes” to content deals and deliver content to distribution partners faster than anyone else. (That’s Agility and Intelligence working for you!) If you’re a direct-to-consumer media business, your competitive advantage lies in being able to accept content, run it through your supply chain at high speed, and make it available to consumers in record time. (Efficiency and Agility make that possible!)

In either scenario, your supply chain infrastructure gives you the capacity and agility to offer customers more content, more quickly. You’re able to get your content in front of more viewers — the ultimate aim of any media business.

The consumer experience is a vital consideration in today’s highly competitive media marketplace, where consumers and providers operate in a direct one-to-one relationship, with content effectively supplied through an app. Quality of experience isn’t just about the quality of a broadcast signal anymore. It’s also about how consumers find and access content they want to watch.

By implementing a cloud-based platform to manage your media supply chain, you dramatically reduce the time you need to spend managing infrastructure, allocating resources, or activating software licenses. The platform can handle all of those tasks for you on a job-by-job basis, scaling as necessary to meet any demand fluctuations. As a result, you can free up development resources to focus on higher-value projects and to enhance your customers’ experience of discovering and consuming content.

Optimized supply chain infrastructure allows media companies to enhance this experience using existing resources. This work can’t be 100% additive if it’s going to benefit the business; it has to come from freeing up resources elsewhere in the technical organization.

In this day and age, the ability to reallocate resources this way is not just a pie-in-the-sky goal. It’s a mandate for survival. Media organizations that fail to undertake supply chain modernization simply won’t be able to provide the consumer experience essential to success.


As we have explored throughout this entire blog series, media supply chain modernization boils down to having three things: the Agility to pursue new business opportunities and respond to market dynamics, the Intelligence to make faster, more profitable decisions, and the Efficiency to free up resources for work that sets your business apart from the competition. I hope the series has given you insights into how media supply chain management can improve your overall business.

At SDVI we’re continually innovating with our Rally media supply chain management platform to help companies realize these vital benefits and leverage them to build and reinforce their competitive advantage. If, after reading this series, you have questions or want to learn more about what Rally can do for your supply chain, I hope you’ll get in touch!

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