Dalet helps manage The Weather Channel’s assets

Philip Grossman

NORCROSS, GA.—Through The Weather Channel, weather.com, Weather Underground, Intellicast.com, and third-party publishing partners, The Weather Channel provides with the world’s best weather forecasts, content and data. We connect through television, online, mobile and tablets. Through WSI (Weather Services International) and Weather Central, the company delivers superior professional weather services for the media, aviation, marine and energy sectors.

In the summer of 2012, The Weather Channel began researching a replacement for its six-year-old asset management system. Our goal was to implement a system that solved both current and any future issues we might encounter.

We started by examining the overall architecture of our future solution. As we had seen the merging of broadcast and information technology worlds in many areas, we knew the system we sought would have to follow the sound architectural principals of both. The new system would also have to adopt a service-oriented architecture, which would allow us to turn what had been “point” solutions in the past into reusable services.

With the architectural construct determined, we searched for our core production service and eventually selected Dalet’s Digital Media Asset Management (MAM) system.

In addition to providing basic media asset management functionality, our core service also needed to provide production control room playback capabilities. The Dalet system fulfilled both these needs.

We produce 16 to 18 hours of live television daily and need a system such as Dalet which can integrate asset management functionality with playout control. Our production teams are tightly integrated and hence, we chose the Dalet system to further enhance our model. In addition, we deliver hundreds of clips to weather. com and third-party partner sites, leveraging the economies of scale that the Dalet platform can deliver.

Throughout the requirements-gathering, development and implementation processes, we interacted with our internal users, including producers, editors, directors and our long form and marketing teams. With each meeting, we discovered new ways in which the new platform would be able to provide solutions that the teams had been looking. And in many cases these requirements were something that could be configured in the Dalet system without the need for custom development.

The whole process from establishing our requirements to installation, configuration and rollout took just six months and we experienced far fewer issues than many other large-scale enterprise projects that I’ve been involved in during my career of 20 years.

The Weather Channel now has a flexible platform with Dalet and Sony at the heart that will allow us on a quarterly basis to build and modify capabilities based on our users and the ever-changing business of media and the weather.

By providing key capabilities such as ingest, editing and storage, the underlying Dalet MAM platform has unified our workflow from production through post and on to playout and archiving operations. It also integrates with other essential systems, including Sony Media Backbone Conductor and Aspera Faspex, thus linking the entire production and distribution chain.

Philip Grossman is the senior director of content acquisition and management at The Weather Channel. He may be contacted atphilip.grossman@weather.com.

For additional information, contact Dalet Digital Media Systems at 212-269- 6700 or visitwww.dalet.com.