Part 1 discusses Digital Media revolution, the challenges resulting from the boon of digital offerings, as well as what companies need to consider when trying to come up with the "next killer application." Click here to read.

Vendor Solutions
Complexities of these workflows can easily set the stage for inefficient, siloed, disparate and non-collaborative processes. By exploring architectures such as SOA using web services and effective governance rules, companies are now looking at eliminating workflow silos and bringing disparate systems and processes together in a collaborative environment. Companies are additionally reducing manual intervention by using SOA-based point solutions to automate processes around content management, scheduling, monitoring and delivery.

This column has highlighted the huge market potential for SIs and product vendors that can help narrow the gap that exists due to the siloed, disparate and proprietary technologies that constitute any workflow today. This has led to many vendors and SIs to adopt SOA and web services to provide point solutions or integration services designed to address the pain points mentioned in this column. Products and services crafted to erase these pain points center around providing storage, content management, traffic management, scheduling, monitoring, contract management and integration services among other functions necessary for a robust workflow.

Companies such as Microsoft, IBM, HP and EMC provide options for collaboration and integration platforms. Microsoft has evolved its SharePoint platform to create the Interactive Media Manager to foster workflow integration and collaboration. IBM's SOA-based Media Hub framework and Digital Media Center focus on the storage, collaboration and integration aspect of workflows. HP has married its domain expertise in the Communications, Media & Entertainment space across its professional services and product groups to provide point solutions as well as system integration through a holistic approach. EMC Documentum leveraged with EMC storage solutions is also focused on content management, storage and collaboration.

SIs such as Accenture, HP, TCS, Infosys, HCL, IBM Global Services, EMC Consulting and IT Services and Cognizant have started building domain expertise to start tackling integration issues. Through numerous deployments, these SIs have been building best practices for integrating disparate technologies.

Apart from these vendors, there are many others that focus on providing media asset management solutions, storage products and other point solutions that enable the tracking, scheduling and monitoring of the delivery of content.

The Bottom Line
The Digital Media revolution has created an unprecedented opportunity for traditional media companies as well as New Media companies to exploit the potential of the digital age, to launch innovative products and services and to satiate the never-ending demand for anytime, anywhere, any-device on-demand content. But with these opportunities come challenges.

The vendor community has stepped up to the plate to meet these challenges. By harnessing domain expertise and available technology to create solutions that are supportive of changing and emerging business models, vendors are helping customers in creating the infrastructure and best practices that will enable companies to deploy their Digital Media initiatives faster, cheaper and more productively.

Digitization coupled with SOA and web services have created a landscape that puts customers in a situation in which they have never been before: They now have choices. Companies need not be shackled by proprietary systems and suffer integration headaches anymore. The market today offers products and services that have been built over a period of time through careful understanding of the pain points customers face. The only real limitation today is on the customer's end. It is imperative for companies to do their homework and chose products and service that best meet their needs and not invest in technology for technology's sake.

With infrastructure and technology finally available to support the huge end-user demand for digital content, it's time to accelerate the Digital Media revolution and deliver on the promise!

Mukul Krishna is global director, Digital Media Practice, at Frost & Sullivan. Visit www.frost.com for more information.

 

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