M&E Daily

Sony NMS: Successful Digital Supply Chains Scale as You Grow

When it comes to a media organization’s digital supply chain, scalability is one of the keys to success, according to Kunal Shah, VP of software engineering and architecture at Sony New Media Solutions.

A successful digital supply chain will not only meet demands, but scale as you grow — keeping pace with increased distribution volumes, delivery deadlines and satisfying the requirements of all the different streaming platforms, all while ensuring content is securely stored and readily accessible, as the Sony division learned firsthand during its own journey to the cloud.

Sony has “been able to massively scale our digital supply chain by leveraging cloud technologies and meeting the clients’ needs,” Shah said during a May 27 presentation at the Hollywood Innovation and Transformation Summit (HITS) Live event.

There are various challenges and opportunities that media companies face when it comes to their supply chains, and “the first challenge that we see is [the] ever- evolving landscape,” he said during the presentation “Turbo Charge Your Digital Supply Chain to Scale.”

During the session, he explained how the Sony division transformed its platform using cloud technologies, allowing it to quickly adapt to evolving market demands, and also discussed what the company discovered throughout its journey and the path forward.

Media organizations are experiencing “tremendous growth in… end users,” according to Shah, adding that, as a result, “there is more demand for custom experiences.”

What is “very critical” for the core supply chain business and clients is “how we can be efficiently operating” and, at the same time, be scalable, he said. Cost control is “definitely something we need to keep in mind,” he noted.

Another major challenge facing the industry, “across the board,” is the fact that “we have different standards” – or a lack of standards, he said.

It made complete sense for the Sony division to move to the cloud, he said, referring to it as a “natural progression.” One “key factor [was] our ability to monitor and do some analytics,” he said, pointing to the significance of machine learning also. However, the ability to gain “dynamic scaling was one of the biggest reasons” to shift to the cloud, he told viewers.

While making that journey to the cloud, Sony “made a conscious decision that we will go slow and we will try to think fast because we want to stay ahead of the curve,” he told viewers, explaining it was important to “evaluate our designs and make meaningful progress.” That was “why the path we chose is we started with the lift and shift and we completed our entire migration,” he said, adding the company then entered the “phase of redesign/refactor, where we refactored a bunch of legacy code as well as started… some of our services and then finally we are in this phase where we are starting to be cloud native.”

Meanwhile, “one of the things that we firmly believe in terms of scalability” is that being cloud native “can not be a goal – it has to be like a journey because you need to constantly evaluate the needs and the demands,” he said.

He went on to tell viewers: “At this point, we have been in [the] cloud for about three years and we have been able to massively scale and successfully meet all our demands, as well as requests for our clients and, at the same time, we have provided some recommendations which would help everyone in the supply chain.”

However, noting how short the presentation was, he conceded he was “barely scratching the surface” on this subject.

Click here for the presentation slide deck.

The May 27 HITS Live event tackled the quickly shifting IT needs of studios, networks and media service providers, along with how M&E vendors are stepping up to meet those needs. The all-live, virtual, global conference allowed for real-time Q&A, one-on-one chats with other attendees, and more.

HITS Live was presented by Microsoft Azure, with sponsorship by RSG Media, Signiant, Tape Ark, Whip Media Group, Zendesk, Eluvio, Sony, Avanade, 5th Kind, Tamr, EIDR and the Trusted Partner Network (TPN). The event is produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) and the Hollywood IT Society (HITS), in association with the Content Delivery & Security Association (CDSA) and the Smart Content Council.

For more information, click here.