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The R&D and product development landscape: Codemill

Neil Anderson, CRO, Codemill, discusses the challenge of hiring software developers who understand essentials like SMPTE, and how the company is looking at Generative AI by working with AI/ML specialists.

What impact has the pandemic and its continuing aftereffects had on the company’s approach to R&D and product development?

The pandemic highlighted an urgent need for more connected workflows. Media companies could no longer operate with cumbersome processes, or have content siloed on-prem and in the cloud. A hybrid-cloud MAM system connects everything together and allows for seamless integration of tools and infrastructure, so this has been a key focus for Codemill’s R&D. Our Cantemo MAM development integrates workflows at every step – from ingest, through to content and metadata management, ready for media distribution. By linking these islands of content, optimising asset metadata, and developing new media processing tools, like Accurate.Video, we can ensure that teams are collaborating more effectively wherever they are based.

What are the biggest challenges you are facing in R&D and product development/deployment in the current landscape? 

As both a digital services consultancy and independent software developer, we need to balance Codemill’s available human resources, based on customer demand for our UX services and custom software development, versus developing our product suite. Hiring software developers who understand essentials like SMPTE timecode for example, can also be challenging in what is a highly competitive job market.

As on-premise hardware goes end-of-life, or legacy software goes out-of-support, we’re seeing continued migration to hybrid public cloud deployments, sometimes self-hosted, sometimes partner-hosted, which is where our Cantemo MAM software fits well. Our customers also want to provide their users with elegant and intuitive web browser-based applications, and they want to consolidate and standardise workflows across regions and between teams, which is where our Accurate Player SDK and Accurate.Video fit in. The need for remote, hybrid working looks set to stay, so a consistent user experience with modern, fit-for-purpose tools, regardless of location is key for global collaboration.

 Where do you see the most opportune areas for innovation in your area of the market, and what tech/solutions will drive that development? 

We’re looking at ways to use Generative AI, to speed up traditionally manual and mundane tasks in Media Asset Management. These include automatically generating a content synopsis from an audio transcript, extracted using Automatic Speech Recognition.

We’re also partnering with specialist AI/ML providers like Vionlabs, that speed-up ad-break technical operations, by automatically identifying and ranking suitable ad-break locations in feature film and episodic content, across many different genres. Users of our Accurate.Video Validate ad-break workspace will really appreciate the time saved and accuracy this new integration provides.

What are you working on currently that excites you as a product team, and what can we expect to see at IBC 2023?

Codemill is always looking at ways to make our cloud-native products more lightweight and efficient, in terms of computational resources, as well as easier partner integration, so we’ll have an exciting new initiative to announce at IBC.

At IBC, we’re previewing our Cantemo MAM V6 release. It features a completely refreshed User Interface, improved UX and integration with Accurate Player, for advanced video, multi-channel audio and subtitle format playback. Customers managing multiple languages (dubs and subs), for content localisation will really benefit from this forthcoming update.