Thinking TV Broadcast workflow18 March 2011
“When we talk about systems today we are no longer just talking about broadcast technical equipment, we are looking at enterprise connectivity. We have IT and telco skills alongside traditional broadcast quality issues, which multiplies the complexity of every task. On top of that there are the semantic issues: we may use the same words but not mean the same thing. It all tends to lead towards blown budgets and project failure.”James Doddington, CTO of consultancy Three Media Associates recently gave me that snapshot of the challenge facing us. He highlights just a few of the serious issues facing the media industry today.We can no longer regard broadcast as a special case, an industry which makes its own rules. We have to take a business view, which means understanding not just how to use and re-use content but how much it costs us and the ways in which we should refine our processes.As James said, we have to consider enterprise connectivity, which means not just aligning our systems with business administration but providing the interconnections to join it up. Emilion López Zapata, CTO of Tedial, told me “people say ‘I have MAM’, but if you do not have enterprise management and business process management, what do you have – you have a database.”The W word – workflow – has been used and abused by us for more than a decade. We are probably all convinced that future projects will use file-based infrastructures rather than realtime video and audio connectivity. Servers are at the heart of all we do. And at least we will never be faced with another video tape format war.This new venture aims to focus on the latest thinking and activity in file-based infrastructures and business process workflow. Each month there will be a look at a project or two, and news on products and solutions.For each issue we will be inviting someone from the industry to contribute a “jargon busting” essay. These will not be learned lectures but the personal views of someone at the sharp end of the business. Starting us off is John Pallett of Telestream, answering the most fundamental question of all: what is workflow?So, welcome to The Workflow Files. If you have comments or questions, or want to start a debate on any topic we cover, please feel free to contact me, Dick Hobbs, at email@example.com.