Treating media workflows as supply chains is a commercial revolution, not a technological one, says SDVI Corporation Chief Product Officer Simon Eldridge.

It’s becoming more and more common for media companies to consider what they do in the context of a supply chain – essentially receiving raw material (the content), then processing, assembling and packaging it for distribution to consumers, much like any manufacturing facility.

Simon eldridge

Simon Eldridge

Wikipedia states: ‘a supply chain is a system of organisations, people, activities, information, and resources involved in moving a product or service from supplier to customer.’

Supply chain thinking is certainly not a new concept, but when applied to media facilities, the opportunities for gains are compelling. At the heart of any good supply chain strategy is the notion of optimisation and reduction in waste, and both are key to media supply chains – but efficiently managing your supply chain and ensuring those goals are met can be a daunting challenge.

Despite the vast range of technologies available to your organisation, applying a supply chain strategy to your operation is less about the technology itself than it is about realising the commercial benefits of the supply chain. Virtualisation, containerisation, microservices, and cloud all play a part as enablers, but they are not the reason to adopt such an approach.

What’s more important is, can you measure and optimise your supply chain efficiency? Can you launch new services faster to generate revenue sooner? Do you know what the cost of preparing media is? Can you be profitable launching a particular service based on the predicted costs? Can you prioritise your most commercially valuable workloads profitably?

In public or private cloud, or on-premise, SDVI Rally virtualises your media supply chain, using tools and infrastructure that you specify, including any that you already own. By provisioning the resources required to meet demand, Rally ensures infrastructure is optimally utilised, tracking and reporting the cost of every process, providing infrastructure planning visibility and making it possible to accurately allocate cost.

One customer using Rally recently told us that their ability to launch new services faster has a direct impact on their revenue. For every month they spent launching a new network using traditional methods, they missed out on $2M of revenue. Put another way, launching that service three months earlier would have resulted in an additional $6M of revenue.

Another customer recently moved their media supply chain to Rally for file delivery and validation from content producers. As part of that migration from tape delivery and manual verification, to a completely automated, file-based, cloud-resident supply chain, the cost to process each program was reduced by 55%. And in addition to those savings, they now have the agility to modify their supply chain programmatically, prioritising on commercial value, without heavily over-provisioned infrastructure.

Treating media workflows as supply chains is a commercial revolution, not a technological one. By utilising the latest technology to achieve your commercial goals, supply chain thinking can change your business for the better.