By Joe Tan
In a rapidly evolving landscape where technology and entertainment intersect, global mass media and entertainment powerhouse Lionsgate has embarked on a transformational journey by embracing the power of cloud technology to revamp its media supply chain. This initiative, guided by Gray Ainsworth, Executive Vice-President of Technical Operations & Delivery for Lionsgate, has not only enhanced operational efficiency but also revitalised the studio’s approach to content distribution, collaboration, and sales enablement.
The decision to explore cloud technology was not arbitrary, but rather driven by a strategic vision, as Ainsworth told APB+, “One of our main objectives to migrate to the cloud is sales enablement and faster time-to-market. We aimed to create a better partner experience and achieve greater operational efficiency while building for the future.”
However, the path to this transformation was not without its challenges. With an extensive library boasting over 17,000 titles, a collection amassed through numerous acquisitions and deals, the studio was confronted with the formidable task of consolidating and cleaning up its diverse collection.
Ainsworth emphasised, “To achieve an automated and streamlined supply chain, it was critical that we have visibility and confidence in our library.” This process, he highlighted, was the cornerstone of Lionsgate’s transformation.
As with any transformative endeavour, challenges loomed large. The issues of scalability, security, and maximising return-on-investment (ROI) cast their shadows as Lionsgate delved into cloud migration. “Through careful planning, open communication, and strategic decision-making, we were able to navigate these challenges successfully,” Ainsworth said.
The consolidation and cleanup of Lionsgate’s vast library revealed hidden treasures that were previously obscured, as Ainsworth elaborated, “This newfound knowledge enabled our sales team to maximise ROI on existing titles, significantly enhancing our sales enablement strategy. Without this process, those titles would just be collecting dust in our library because no one knew they were there.”
Furthermore, the transformation ushered in a paradigm shift in title hierarchy and management. The integration of Ateliere Creative Technologies, a cloud-native media supply chain solution, streamlined these processes. Ainsworth pointed out that this integration, facilitated by an event bridge, ensured seamless synchronisation and eliminated version discrepancies.
The result? An automated, efficient system that superseded the previous manual cleanup efforts.
He continued, “In addition, because some of our content was held by Lionsgate and some was held by partners, the state of the library was a disparate, unorganised environment for everyone. By migrating our content to the cloud, and also centralising it for more efficient collaboration, we not only increased our operational efficiency but also improved our relationships with service providers. Now, they can access our ‘clean’ titles, leading to more effective collaborations.”
At the heart of this transformation lies the collaborative partnership between Lionsgate and Ateliere, with the solution provided by Ateliere proving instrumental in Lionsgate’s journey. Ainsworth emphasised the significance of Ateliere’s no-code environment, which allowed the focus to remain squarely on content organisation and cloud migration, rather than getting bogged down in complex coding tasks.
However, the true essence of this partnership extended beyond software capabilities, as he explained, “They were willing to develop alongside us, adapting their tool based on our feedback and real-world challenges. This partnership allowed us to implement changes swiftly and remain agile in our decision-making.”
The integration facilitated by AWS Eventbridge — a serverless, fully managed and scalable event bus that enables integrations between AWS services — serving as the connective tissue between various systems, was another breakthrough. The smooth operation of this integration within a mere few weeks speaks volumes about the meticulous planning and the collaborative spirit of both teams. This integration streamlined processes, fostering operational efficiency that is now at the core of Lionsgate’s operations.
This partnership set Lionsgate on a trajectory towards future success, marked by optimised distribution supply chains, resource maximisation, and improved title management.
As Lionsgate continues to capitalise on its newfound efficiency and innovation, it stands as a beacon of how embracing cloud technology can help media companies unlock new potential, streamline processes, and collectively, transform the media and entertainment industry.