Microsoft showcases solutions for media industry at IBC

AMSTERDAM: At the 2010 International Broadcasting Conference (IBC)in Amsterdam, Microsoft is showcasing innovations for the media industry with new media solution frameworks, new efficiencies created through use of cloud services and its new digital marketing strategy.

Microsoft MD for the media and entertainment business in the communications sector Gabriele Di Piazza says, “At Microsoft, we look to turn what is possible into what is real by delivering the next generation of productivity, entertainment and communications experiences across all the screens in our lives. It’s exciting to see how our customers and partners are utilizing Microsoft technologies and solutions to realize innovations for their digital supply chain.”
Media Solution Frameworks Shorten Time to Value: Microsoft announced that several companies have deployed its products and technologies based on solution frameworks developed for the media and entertainment industry, enabling key business functions, such as digital content management, editorial collaboration, mobile journalism, business intelligence and business partner relationship management.

Companies using Microsoft Solution Framework for Editorial Collaboration include the following:

•For its 2,400 journalists, The Associated Press (AP) designed a newsroom system based on Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 and Microsoft Word 2010 to replace its previous text processing and content management system. AP journalists and editors will use Microsoft Word to author content, and will use an editorial system based on SharePoint Server 2010 to manage resources and share the content. With this solution, the AP expects to improve productivity, facilitate newsroom collaboration and simplify software development by taking advantage of Microsoft’s business productivity platform.

•Gannett, publisher of more than 80 newspapers including USA Today, is using Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010 for its ContentOne editorial planning portal to improve content development, sharing and information gathering across its global network.

•Based on the Microsoft Solution Framework for Editorial Collaboration, Conciety AG developed the IQon Media Solution Framework, which provides broadcasters, publishers and news agencies with a platform to optimize communication and collaboration workflows to enable end-to-end content production, post production and delivery. Conciety also developed an application for Windows Phone 7 to enable journalists to find content and post stories while reporting in the field. 
Produce, Share and Manage Content in One Solution: Media and broadcasters have also turned to Microsoft in order to modernize their digital content management systems by lowering the cost of implementation and achieving better total cost of ownership:
•Television format creator and distributor Endemol has made it easier and faster for its employees to access and find media assets within the company’s large catalog by upgrading to the latest version of Dalet Enterprise, a digital asset management (DAM) system based on Microsoft .NET Framework and running on Microsoft SQL Server, and integrating it with Microsoft SharePoint Server 2010.
•Rive, the public Spanish radio and television broadcast company, has also moved its content management systems to Microsoft SQL Server using the Dam system, designed to facilitate highly efficient and collaborative workflows for news, sports, program preparation and archives.

•David Systems is unveilling a new solution for radio and TV stations that provides cloud-based content storage and content processing services based on Windows Azure, the Microsoft cloud computing platform, and integrates seamlessly with Microsoft Office system to support tri-media collaboration between journalists and editors.

Cloud Services: The cloud is rapidly changing the nature of the computing and IT landscape and is transforming the way Microsoft’s media and entertainment partners do business. Microsoft is experiencing strong momentum for the adoption of its Windows Azure platform following last year’s customer wins from major industry players, including Tribune and the AP.

Tribune developed its content repository using Windows Azure to dynamically generate newspaper-like layouts based on a reader’s selected content quickly. The deployment of Windows Azure for the AP enabled the company to scale up without impacting other operations and to easily and securely make large amounts of internal content available externally.

In addition, during Fifa World Cup 2010, Spanish commercial television channel Telecinco delivered all of the live matches of the Spanish National Team using a full-screen Silverlight player, which allowed viewers to interact throughsocial networks, based on the Windows Azure platform.

Digital marketing strategies : To further address the growing needs of the media and entertainment industry, Microsoft developed a digital marketing strategy, which is a new approach to better help companies drive online revenue generation around key industry trends, such as online video, adaptive websites and social media. The strategy focuses on enabling media companies to better monetize their relationships with their audiences.

Through the use of SharePoint Server 2010, Fast, Silverlight and Internet Information Services (IIS) Smooth Streaming, and by utilising the Microsoft Advertising network and properties, media and entertainment companies have the opportunity to reach the consumer across multiple platforms and channels and to maximise the opportunity to monetize content.

Content owners and broadcasters are looking for full control and flexibility to deliver premium media experiences to consumers across devices, so they can get the content they want, when and how they want it. Silverlight and IIS Media Services are key components in helping partners reach consumers across multiple platforms to monetize their content, offering a complete media delivery platform.

At IBC, Microsoft announced that next month it will release IIS Media Services 4.0, a free add-on for Windows Server, which enables cost-effective media delivery for enterprises and media and entertainment companies. Key new features include sub-two-second low-latency streaming, transmuxing between H.264 file formats and integrated transcoding through Microsoft Expression Encoder 4. Microsoft will also show technology demonstrations of Silverlight Enhanced Movies, surround sound in Silverlight and live 3-D 1080p Internet broadcasting using IIS Smooth Streaming and Silverlight technologies.

For example, during Fifa World Cup 2010, Rai Net, the Internet company of the Italian public broadcaster Rai, utilised Silverlight Rough Cut Editor and IIS Smooth Streaming to deliver live and on-demand high-definition streaming from the event on its Rai Sport and portals. By using Silverlight Rough Cut Editor, RAI was able to quickly edit the live game and publish for its catch-up TV service.

Film Flex is also utilising this strategy to manage audience experiences, making it easier for consumers to find and enjoy film clips and content.

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