Opinion: Trying to integrate a fragmented industry

Avid Connect event at NAB 2016
Jeff Rosica, Avid
June 1st 2016 at 2:16PM : By

Jeff Rosica, SVP, chief sales and marketing officer at Avid, believes the company's MediaCentral Platform offers a way forward

What Avid and its extended family of customers and partners have achieved with Avid Everywhere over the past three years has been nothing short of a revolution in the media industry. It began as a concept and is now the industry’s most open, integrated, and comprehensive media platform. We see it making a real difference to our customers’ businesses and livelihoods in every corner of the world.

Developments to the MediaCentral Platform have allowed us to move toward a world where everything is connected. We believe the platform is much more open, integrated, and flexible than anything else at NAB. And the overwhelming response tells us it’s working: over 32,000 MediaCentral Platform users (a 54% increase since this time last year), 400% growth in subscriptions, 200,000 first product line registrations, and around 2,100 asset management installations.

During the opening session of the third annual Avid Connect event just before NAB (pictured top), Avid chairman, president, and CEO Louis Hernandez, Jr. revealed our latest innovations and revolutionary announcements to a sell-out crowd of over 1,200 - a record attendance for the event - and ushered in the next phase of Avid Everywhere. We also heard from media organisations and developers who shared the stories of their business transformations with the Avid MediaCentral Platform, and talked about what the unprecedented openness and integration of the platform has allowed them to achieve.

Fragmented technology is a major challenge in the industry, and our customers are wasting valuable time and financial resources on integration efforts


Changing with the times

Like the industry, it’s essential we change with the times, and at this year’s NAB, Avid unveiled a revolutionary new product family, NEXIS, that was a big talking point of the show. We believe the future is a fully virtualised collaborative system that connects people around an integrated shared storage platform. Everyone told us that generic, off-the-shelf storage options just don’t cut it for professionals and facilities, so we started working on an innovative new storage platform.

Avid NEXIS is the world’s first and only software-defined storage platform specifically designed for media, enabling fully virtualised storage for all media environments. The NEXIS intelligent software system does some powerful things, like offering a real-time, scalable set of definable/resizable workspaces, and a solid protection scheme. “Intelligent” also means it’s a media-aware, next-generation file system with pre-integrated hardware – which, unlike generic storage and third-party software, means it’s purpose built and tested to work as a cohesive system.

Faced with increasing competition for a share of consumers’ wallets and viewership, broadcasters must build their brands and embrace new technologies to stand out from the crowd. Avid’s new graphics production toolsets are now fully part of the platform and deliver rich video and graphics capabilities, integrated 4K workflows, and powerful broadcast enhancements for news and sports production. NBC Olympics will benefit from these powerful solutions with the announcement of their ninth partnership with Avid to provide content creation and media management workflows for their production of the Games taking place in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil this year.

Setting the IP standard

This year, we’ve seen an emerging trend of large-scale media organisations moving away from purpose-built technologies like SDI and coaxial cabling to transport the large payloads of professional audio and video data. Instead, they’re passing these signals over standard IP networks, and an eventual industry-wide adoption will transition the industry to format-agnostic infrastructure while easing the migration to emerging image formats, including UHD and HDR.

To future proof our customers’ workflows, we’ve extended the MediaCentral Platform to support emerging open technology standards for the delivery of professional audio and video streams over standard IP networks. By integrating file-based workflows with live signal-based workflows, Avid aims to complete the digitization of the entire media value chain, enabling innovate new workflows while unlocking new levels of agility and efficiency.

Future updates to the platform will enable Avid customers to orchestrate automated content flows that span all facets of media content creation and distribution, incorporating Avid tools and infrastructure as well as partner solutions from its growing ecosystem.

Platform for everyone

Fragmented technology is a major challenge in the industry, and our customers are wasting valuable time and financial resources on integration efforts. Broadcast and media organisations currently face a highly fragmented vendor landscape, and many are spending up to 25 percent of their IT budgets on integrating disparate systems.

Through the openness of the Avid MediaCentral Platform, we’re bringing together the industry’s best solution developers to make media workflow integration easier for customers. We’ve expanded the Avid Connectivity Partner Program to arm developers with the services and resources they need to create platform-compatible solutions even more easily, and the response has been overwhelming.

At Avid, we’re continuing to build a fully open, global ecosystem where everyone works together, not only with Avid products, but for every product in the workflow – creation, audio, video, management, storage and distribution – as part of one cohesive process.