We are now several years into the digital revolution in content production. Yet, tape is still a fact of life for many, and for others, the overhead of wrestling with FTP, digital format conversions and file archiving is just as problematic. It is easier to create digital workflow islands, individual departments or companies than to link those islands together. Further, many digital asset management implementations have proved expensive and time-consuming, and some do not deliver at all.
Tata Communications' Mosaic provides a collaborative platform for content production and distribution. (See Figure 1.) It allows users to share content and data securely, delivering workflows that link production sites, improving productivity and reducing the cost of media creation.
The cloud service allows users to deploy asset management services rapidly because much of the difficult integration work has already been done to build the platform. Content companies can pay for what they use, aligning cost with other delivery costs instead of capex, and avoid embarking on the distraction of a challenging IT project.
What powers Mosaic?
The platform is built on a hybrid model that delivers the key benefits of cloud computing — flexible capacity and lower costs due to economies of scale from sharing resources — with control over content. At the system's core is the data — metadata and business process data — that is truly in the cloud. To ensure security and performance, the content itself is held in local data centers that could be on the user's site if desired.
One of the key principles behind the development of Mosaic is open architecture. Media production relies on a plethora of specialist tools and applications. While the platform includes integration with the likes of Avid and Apple Final Cut, there will always be another app on the list. Consequently, it is intended to be straightforward to link new tools.
The platform's foundation is workflow; managing and improving business processes is how the service delivers compelling benefits. However, it is not just a blank canvas. Out-of-the-box, sample workflows, which can be purchased as individual modules, include:
- Review and Approve — review work in progress and tag it with time-coded comments.
- Content Vault — online media-specialized archiving for primary storage or disaster recovery.
- Content Monetization — editing, transcoding and publishing operations.
- Metadata Enhancement — creating descriptive metadata to improve searchability. Mosaic facilitates the outsourcing and offshoring of these tasks.
- Languaging — subtitling/closed captioning, particularly managing complex processes involving independents and freelancers.
Many companies are already working across multiple sites and countries, and therefore must address security and performance problems. Mosaic allows them to link different departments and technologies used in the media production process and facilitate collaboration through an “outside-in” service design. Both top- and bottom-line metrics are influenced by an organization's ability to manage its partners, suppliers and customers better. With Mosaic, organizations can quickly and securely share, manage and distribute media.
Steve Russell is head of product and commercial for Mosaic at Tata Communications.