ScheduALL Streamlines PBS Workflow

ScheduALL helps us manage the live recording, ingest and flattening processes necessary for the creation of files distributed for broadcast, as well as the resources required to perform all those functions.
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by Michael Hunt
Vice President
Enterprise Applications
PBS


ARLINGTON, VA. At the Public Broadcasting System, ScheduALL enterprise resource management software is now responsible for facility management at our media operations center (MOC), an ingest facility that directs the flow of content for PBS and our network operations center (NOC). ScheduALL helps us manage the live recording, ingest and flattening processes necessary for the creation of files distributed for broadcast, as well as the resources required to perform all those functions.

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(l-r) Steve Scheel, senior director of broadcast operations at PBS; Michael Hunt, vice president of enterprise applications for PBS; and Wendy Allen, director of the PBS Media Operations Center. ScheduALL is a critical part of the MOC workflow; it not only reduces reliance on tape-based resources, but also allows us to use content-related data more efficiently. ScheduALL is integrated with program management and scheduling software from Broadview and Microsoft Biztalk to automate processes and improve the accuracy of work planning and execution.

Once content arrives at the MOC for ingest, a request is sent to the ScheduALL system to generate a work order for technical evaluation of that content. As technicians finish the ingest and evaluation processes, they indicate this in ScheduALL, which in turn updates the status of media within the Broadview system. Editing of stored content is managed much the same way, with an edit request in Broadview triggering, via Biztalk, the generation of a new ScheduALL work order that lays out the edit project.

Previously, we managed resources through a combination of paper records, word processing and spreadsheet programs, and various offline electronic methods. Now, ScheduALL automatically creates all of the work orders going into the system—eliminating redundant data entry, improving the accuracy of work order creation, and making the whole scheduling process more efficient.

ScheduALL's Queue Manager identifies the best way to schedule certain work, depending on the rules we established for different workflow modules. As the system generates work orders for new programs or projects, the Queue Manager automatically prioritizes work based on the target airdate.

In addition, all billing for the different types of technical work performed on media is managed in ScheduALL. The software's reporting capability provides a reliable source of information for tracking trends, success and failure of technical evaluations, status of particular projects, and the kinds of services being performed on a regular basis.

LOOKING TO THE FUTURE

Because ScheduALL is aware of the status of media at all times, we're exploring the possibility of using that knowledge to help manage the movement of media files to the right place, and at the right time, for each job.

Our intent is to reduce the volume of media handled across our facility—ingest once and subsequently manage media at the file level. ScheduALL already has facilitated our move in this direction, and we look forward to extending the intelligence of the system to further streamline our handling of media assets.

Michael Hunt has served as vice president of enterprise applications for PBS since 2001. He may be contacted at mhunt@pbs.org.

For additional information, contact ScheduALL at 954-334-5406 or visit www.scheduall.com.