Workflow Automation is the ability to trigger and complete actions based on state, status, metadata or other critical criteria, explains David Schleifer, COO, Primestream

Complexity can be a double-edged sword.

On the one hand it is how we accomplish great things.

On the other hand, workflows that are complex are often prone to error. The challenges facing broadcasters have always been in balancing more and more complexity in the process of delivering creative product against the staffing and infrastructure requirements needed to get the job done.

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David Schleifer, COO, Primestream

People are good at taking on and completing complex tasks.

We add process, we add people, we add technology, we check, we double check and we get the job done.

In many cases we document the workflow so we can refer back to it and then create detailed training around it so that we can bring in new people down the road.

Repeated tasks are often where mistakes are made - either someone new does something just a little differently, or in the process of repetition, something is overlooked or mistakes are made.

As is often the case, technology is now ready to offer a solution to this problem.

Workflow Automation gives the broadcaster a way to codify the workflow and to relieve the user from repetitive or difficult tasks along the way.

We define Workflow Automation as the ability to trigger and complete actions based on state, status, metadata, user action, location or other critical criteria.

If every broadcaster had the same complex workflow and wanted the same result it would be simple for manufacturers to build systems that solved those customer requirements, but more and more we find that each broadcaster is defining their own path to success.

A customer’s workflow may be at the core of how they are differentiating themselves and defining their competitive advantages.

The systems that were designed 10 or so years ago were very good at taking what were at the time difficult tasks, like sharing high resolution video and getting to air on time, and making them reliable.

Today, those tasks can be accomplished with off-the-shelf hardware or best in class products from different vendors.

The solution that ties it all together needs to assist the user along the way to eliminate the tedious tasks and reduce the complexity of the required workflow, and to do so by following the pre-defined set of rules needed to integrate tasks, third party products, requirements and more.

The goal is ultimately to increase reliability and release creativity.

While content creators need to be able to manage technical facilities and requirements, their primary goals are around the creative process of creating the deliverables. Creating great content and supplying it in the required formats with a workflow that supports a viable costs structure.

That is where Workflow Automation excels. It can push the often-complex technology into the background, allowing great products to be created in a cost effective and repeatable process.