IBM Exec: Company Helped Mediacorp Overcome Challenging Digital Transformation

IBM helped Singapore media company Mediacorp overcome a challenging digital transformation and set up a new production system using Aspera Orchestrator software, according to Steve Pollini, VP of technology solutions at IBM-owned Aspera.

The project was completed earlier this year and helped Mediacorp transition from “what was essentially a manual operation to a fully automated broadcast operation,” he said Oct. 11, during the webinar “How Mediacorp Automate their Entire Broadcast Operations with Aspera.”

Mediacorp used IBM Hybrid Cloud solutions as part of the move to what he said was a new 800,000-square-foot media center in Singapore. In announcing the completion of the project in a news release, IBM said in September that the Mediacorp broadcast operations team “can now more quickly, seamlessly and efficiently deliver video and audio content to consumers across different platforms, including new mobile apps, interactive televisions and other connected devices.”

The integration partners had to figure out how to “tie together 20 completely separate technology solutions that were all necessary to … create a working system” for Mediacorp, Pollini said Oct. 11.

“At the same time, over years and literally decades,” Mediacorp’s “legacy siloes evolved and we wanted to help [it] integrate these while improving the overall processes, not only for the individuals [inside] the departments involved but across the entire operation,” he explained.

In addition, across the media and entertainment sector, “the time-to-air requirements are becoming more demanding all the time and the evolving trends, including over the top [OTT], are putting increasing pressures on the broadcasters to be able to get their content ingested, prepared and ready for distribution,” he said.

He added: “At the same time, a lot of organizations,” including Mediacorp, must leverage “not only their off-premise assets, but they need cloud solutions as well that are fully integrated and work together as one harmonious system.”

Mediacorp’s new production system is using IBM Aspera Orchestrator, part of the Aspera platform, to manage video and audio for more than 35 Mediacorp brands, including seven television and 11 radio stations as well as newer OTT distribution systems that deliver content through Internet-based systems, according to IBM. Mediacorp previously used different systems for handling video from more than 20 different internal and external vendor systems, IBM said in its September announcement.

Orchestrator “now provides a common, streamlined solution for Mediacorp to collect, manage and distribute video across all systems, including on-premises systems and public clouds,” according to IBM, which added: “Orchestrator helps manage more than 200 workflows and automatically handles parts of the process, such as encoding video for different formats, to help reduce manual tasks and speed time to market.” Aspera Faspex and Aspera Shares “quickly and reliably transfer files between internal sources, global sites and external vendors,” IBM said.

Many Aspera customers are also using Orchestrator to “simplify workflows with a smaller operation” than Mediacorp, Pollini noted on the webinar.