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VSN brings media automation to new level

Nicholas Morgan, sales director, APAC, VSN, tells APB how the company is helping media companies manage their assets in a more efficient and cost-saving manner.

How does VSN perceive the Asia-Pacific region and industry trends in general?
Nicholas Morgan: We are seeing a shift in the market towards over-the-top (OTT), on-demand and IP-based delivery platforms. This trend will only continue and traditional broadcast platforms will come under pressure to adapt. Of course, this change takes time, both in terms of media companies re-inventing their business models and vendors supplying the technology platforms to support them. The more ‘progressive’ broadcast customers I’ve spoken to have already decided on an all-OTT future, and some are already using a digital-first strategy to attract and build their core audience.

The big question is: How do they get there without undue impact on their business? I think the successful technology companies of the future will be the ones that give customers the advanced technology platform options they require, together with commercial flexibility that helps them achieve these business goals. This new technology landscape is heavily influenced by VSN’s customers, some of whom are responsible for driving market trends.

How is VSN addressing these evolving market trends?
Morgan: VSN continues to support and develop its traditional control room automation offerings but has, to some degree, shifted its focus towards the emerging business models and technologies that will support the fast-evolving media landscape.

To achieve this, there are some core technologies that are required to realise this landscape. These include cloud-based software, efficient and adaptive media streaming, IP-focused solutions, effective management of legacy content for long-tail revenue generation and remote collaboration for widely dispersed production teams. Likewise, some other high-end technologies recently applied to the broadcast and media sector are also making their way into the industry, such as artificial intelligence (AI). At VSN, we have already started to apply this exciting technology to media management, cataloguing and automatic metadata detection.

So it’s clear that managing media in a highly efficient and intelligent way becomes paramount to driving productivity and cost savings. As such, VSN has focused very heavily on its VSNEXPLORER MAM and PAM solution development, and creating a platform that interconnects all the components that make up a fully cloud-based infrastructure that can be easily deployed anywhere, and scaled to meet business demand.

What else can VSN do to help the industry achieve these goals?
Morgan: To achieve these new business goals, as many processes as possible must be automated — not just to reduce human error but also to support humans in making them more effective at managing and creating content. Here is where some of our most recent advances, such as the AI integrations I mentioned earlier, come into play. In essence, they allow users to automate much more of the production effort and in a ‘smarter’ way, getting rid of the mundane repetitive daily tasks, to put focus instead on what really matters, that is, the creation and production of compelling media.

You can also see that media companies are starting to explore the power of digital and big data; they want to see better measurement of their production operations and technology investments. In this regard, VSN can offer solutions that perfectly meet these demands, such as our VSNExplorer business intelligence (BI) module. This tool tracks production processes and provides productivity and efficiency through business analytics and reports, to help customers make better business decisions and to understand where they need to improve and/or invest/divest.

What can we expect to see from VSN at IBC2018?
Morgan: IBC is also a big show for VSN APAC, and we expect to see a lot of traffic by our booth where we are demonstrating exciting new developments, such as our latest MOS Media Bus in HTML5 for NRCS systems, called VSNExplorer plug-in, or the brand-new Web version of our traffic and scheduling software, VSNCrea TV, which is making its industry debut at this show.

Moreover, this year we’ll also bring to IBC the AI integrations for VSNExplorer MAM and PAM that we debuted at the NAB Show earlier this year. We’ve seen high demand from our customers requesting more information and AI demonstrations since then, so interest in this area has been unexpectedly high. In APAC particularly, I recognise that North Asia customers are quickly looking to embrace the production enhancements that AI has to offer. So, hopefully, we have the opportunity to showcase the potential that AI can extract from our MAM platform for media management, cataloguing and automatic metadata detection.

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