News Production & Post

Signiant to manage NBC Universal workflow

2 April 2007

NBC Universal has standardised on the Signiant Digital Media Distribution Management Suite to power its digital media distribution strategy. The Signiant software should help NBC Universal manage, secure, automate and accelerate its entire digital media workflow, writes Andy Stout.

NBC Universal’s recent transition from an analogue to an all-digital file-based workflow, combined with the challenges of moving very large HD files and the need to deliver media content to alternative distribution outlets such as internet portals, made finding a robust solution for digital media distribution a corporate imperative. The limited point solutions previously used to transfer files between all of NBC Universal’s divisions could no longer meet the demands of its new distribution models.

NBC Universal chose Signiant as it was the only integrated solution able to provide a comprehensive set of functionalities to address the needs of its digital media workflows as Rab Mukraj NBC Universal’s director of distributed media management explained.

“We decided that digital media distribution management is not something we could piece together from parts of other technologies,” he said. “Thanks to Signiant’s unique open and integrated technology, we were able to rapidly deploy a solution that fits seamlessly with our existing infrastructure to enhance, automate and extend our every day operations. No other solution offered the same ease of use combined with such extensive functionality.”

The power and flexibility of Signiant’s solutions has enabled NBC Universal to address its corporate-wide distribution needs, including the dissemination of news content to affiliates, the ingest of user-generated material, the upload/download of television content to reviewers around the world, the movement of movie content from studios to and from post production facilities, and the delivery of finished content to networks and online portals.

By using the Signiant Digital Media Distribution Management Suite, the digital content teams at NBC Universal are now able to securely route, schedule, and prioritise the flow of their digital media across the organisation. Many of the complex workflow tasks that are critical to how NBC Universal operates have been automated. With just a few mouse clicks, users can create customised production workflows, templates and job scheduling models, and quickly set up automated policy management parameters with the knowledge that their assets are protected from in-transit piracy and corruption.

“Transitioning to digital production and distribution process makes our business more competitive. In order to monetise new opportunities and effectively manage the new file-based workflows, we required an enterprise-capable digital media distribution management solution. We selected Signiant for its revolutionary combination of capabilities, especially in management, security, automation and acceleration. Our implementation of Signiant convinced us that it alone was a platform we could quickly deploy across our ecosystem and rely upon in the future to manage the movement of our critical business assets,” commented Darren Feher, CTO of NBC Universal’s Digital Media Division.

As a result, NBC Universal is already reporting measurable returns on investment including productivity benefits, with reduced time-to-air for news, TV and film, and significant cost savings with a drastic reduction in expenses previously associated with physical content distribution.

“NBC Universal’s commitment to Signiant’s technology is a testament to its pioneering efforts in multiple distribution outlets,” commented Robert Browne, Signiant’s founder and vice president of business development. “We are looking forward to the next phase of its deployment to include NBC Universal’s extended network of media partners.”

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