Vincent Balembois, CEO of Evoque Consulting, sees a lot of needs among media and entertainment firms for his company’s services. And to provide them, his team members bring an average 15 years of experience, working for the major studios either as employees, or as part of big consultancies.
The Studio City, Calif.-based company offers a bevy of options to help media and entertainment companies tackle problems, including Consulting, Implementation, Custom Solutions and Maintenance services, all providing a strategic approach to finding just the right solution to the clients’ needs.
Balembois spoke with the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) about how the consulting needs of M&E firms has shifted in recent years, the import of keeping data at the forefront with new solutions, and how cloud-computing and software-as-a-service (SaaS)-based solutions have taken over.
MESA: What was the impetus for Evoque, how did the company come about and what gap(s) in the market was it looking to fill?
Balembois: Evoque was created to provide highly specialized resources to the media and entertainment industry. Our consultants have dealt with the different portions of the M&E processes and understand the industry’s requirements, trends, and solutions. It’s hard for entertainment companies to find consultants who come from their world and have the expertise they need. Evoque fills that gap by being the firm you turn to when you need M&E specialists on your project.
MESA: What are some of the biggest changes Evoque has seen in terms of the technology needs for media and entertainment companies today, and how does Evoque address them?
Balembois: More media companies have shifted toward cloud-computing and SaaS-based solutions. Not only do these solutions provide better data security, but they also offer more immediate and accurate access to information than their offline counterparts. Once the solution is implemented, clients receive around-the-clock support and the added bonus of regular updates to the latest features and analytics that come with their subscription. Evoque has embraced this change and partnered with SaaS companies to help our clients address the new challenges in media and entertainment.
MESA: On the consulting side, what all goes into assessing operations, identifying inefficiencies and developing a plan to help a client improve their system processes and organizations?
Balembois: We believe a solution should be driven by efficient business operations, not system constraints. Too often, a new solution is designed within the constraints of the system it should replace. During our comprehensive client operations assessments we categorize whether client needs are process-driven or system-driven. We then work from that foundation to determine how to adapt system processes to complement the business workflow, not the other way around.
MESA: What are some of Evoque’s favorite use case examples, where companies have made especially good use of Evoque’s services?
Balembois: With the recent acquisition of a global digital distribution company, a large independent film and television distributor ended up with redundant processes and systems that needed to be integrated. The client asked us to conduct an assessment project to review the company’s different systems and meet with various business groups to identify pain points and needs. Based on those inputs, our team formulated a future state system landscape and a list of recommended initiatives aimed at increasing efficiency, accuracy, and availability of crucial business information across the company.
For a group of broadcast channels, our team assessed the processes and system needs related to content and rights management, licensing and distribution. We worked with the business affairs, distribution and finance department to map their operations to an off-the shelf SaaS solution. Using pre-defined scenarios, we built a proof of concept (POC) displaying the client’s imported data. The POC was used to demonstrate the fit of the solution and helped the client make the decision to move forward.
MESA: What’s next for Evoque, what can we look forward to from the company in the future?
Balembois: Evoque is growing at a fast pace. One specific area of growth for Evoque is the implementation of third-party software packages, and especially SaaS-based services, like Salesforce and FilmTrack. We are in the process of broadening the spectrum of industry solutions we specialize in so we can better assist the transformation of our Media and Entertainment clients.