Digistor Media Maze Runners

This is an edited version of an article that appeared in Content+Technology Volume 15 Issue 2 March-April 2016 and is republished by permission. The interview with Digistor managing director Andrew Mooney was conducted at Digistor by Content+Technology editor Phil Sandberg.

Media in the Cloud, Storage & DAM

With the dwindling of in-house resources, the rise of outsourcing and the growing demands of delivery channels, technology is more of a labyrinth than ever before. To help guide media companies through this maze, Digistor has launched a new consultation service.

A Consulting Partnership with Customers

According to Digistor Managing Director, Andrew Mooney, the new service is part of the company's push to offer not only integrated solutions, but to also enter into a consulting partnership with its customers.

"It's about us being able to offer services to help our customers work their way through the technology maze"
Andrew Mooney, Digistor

"It's about us being able to offer services to help our customers work their way through the technology maze," says Mooney, "because they're faced with production, post-production and storage and distribution challenges and they need to do things faster and more cost effectively and they're not necessarily sure what technology they need to use.

"That's where we come in in terms of our consulting services. We can go and talk to them about what they're doing currently, what they want to do in the future, what's coming down the track that they may not necessarily be aware of, and what sort of direction or workflows they need to start looking at in order to improve their efficiencies and enable them to deliver whatever they need to deliver – now and in the future.

"Initially, it is about having a conversation about what they need to do within their business. It's becoming more about the actual workflow as opposed to saying 'Oh, I want to buy 'X'. I need to transcode this piece of media.' You may need to transcode the media, but you may also need an asset management system so you can track it, so you can archive it, so you can deliver it, so you can automate all that. "So, it's really about expanding the conversation so that we're covering the whole pipeline, because if you're going in there purely to just talk about transcoding, then you may not necessarily be addressing their needs because you're not asking those other questions."

"The need to take such an holistic approach arises from the seismic shifts in the industry"

The Digistor Managing Director says the need to take such an holistic approach arises from the seismic shifts in the industry over recent years.

"There's an accelerating move to file based workflows and pipelines," says Andrew Mooney. "All of that means that there is a huge increase in digitised material. It's an explosion of digital content.

"People are unsure how to develop and control those workflows and volumes of media. They're making it up on the fly. They've evolved over time from one edit suite and then they've added another one and another one, so there are things that work but they're not coherent workflows and they're not controllable. So, they go out of control which effects productivity and quality.

IP Transmission, Automation, 8K and Collaboration in the Cloud

"There's a move to IP transmission, so rather than communicating things on tape or drives or from one place, it's all moving to IP. People don't really know how to exploit that and how that integrates into their pipelines and workflows.

"Then there's automation, removing manual intervention. Budgets are not getting bigger but demand is increasing while timelines are decreasing, so you not only have to produce a TV show, you have to produce snippets that are online and online immediately. You have to put it on the website and you have to Tweet it and you have to put it on Facebook. So the production cycle is shorter for a broader range of material in different formats and there's a demand for higher productivity without compromising quality. There's also a demand for higher resolution which is increasing storage requirements. Everyone's switched to HD but now they have to consider 2k and 4k and 8k and whether their infrastructure and pipelines are in place to support these emerging formats and how they can futureproof.

"We are increasingly having discussions about managing production in collaborative environments"

"We are increasingly having discussions about managing production in collaborative environments. It used to be people just working by themselves on little islands but now the workflow has been changed into interdependent graphics or editing or producers and they all need to collaborate and use the same materials.

"Some of that's outsourced as well, so it's not necessarily within the same facility. They're outsourcing parts of a particular project based on where the skills are. If someone's has the appropriate skills on the other side of Australia or the other side of the world to do particular tasks, higher quality, faster, or cheaper, then customers will outsource it to them and get them and then bring it back into their project. Cloud-based collaboration and editing is really becoming a big part of it."

While these changes have been playing out for a number of years now and there are a myriad of solutions available, Mooney says there are still problems and misunderstanding on the implementation side.

Asset Management Not Well Adopted

"I think the asset management side of it hasn't been very well adopted," he says. "People have tried to make do with what they've got, but I think it's getting to a pain-point now where they're realising they're almost coming to a grinding halt because it's so much media to manage.

"They are sitting on all this content which they could quite easily reuse or re-purpose and actually monetise"

"Up until 12 months ago, people were not in the asset management mindset, but now we are starting to make significant inroads and people are getting their head around it. They are sitting on all this content which they could quite easily reuse or re-purpose and actually monetise. So, we're having more and more conversations around media asset management and what efficiencies can be introduced into their workflow or pipeline.

Most Appropriate Solution

"The good thing is, at Digistor, we represent a number of different vendors, so while the vendors are always going to push their own agenda, we can really sit down and analyse what requirements are, work out what the customer would like to do and suggest the most appropriate solution. It's unbiased advice on what's going to work best for them."

If you would like Digistor to help navigate the "Digital Media Maze" don't hesitate to contact us.