Changing the Media Asset Management paradigm

On-premise and API open platform helping large scale companies to manage and control all their media content, regardless of their industry or size. (creative, educational, broadcast, production, post production)

Like who? Orange, Master Image Programmes, CNES, Pathé Films, ELEPHANT, Arte Studio, INA Formation, Mediawan Thematics, The Guardian, Disney, Nike, BNP Paribas, Deutsche Bank, BBC Worldwide, Newsday, The Boston Globe, NASA, Endemol Shine Australia…

Last case studies

Portal™ Revolutionising Education for INA

France’s National Audiovisual Institute (INA) has integrated Cantemo Portal™ as part of its training offering. The Media Asset Management solution is an important part of its new approach to audiovisual education.

INA is a major player, offering training for audiovisual and digital professionals. INA delivers a large catalogue of programmes both for students studying for a BTS (French technical diploma) or a Masters, as well as for professionals. The organisation trains more than 3,000 people every year.

The audiovisual industry is going through a period of rapid change. This includes the digitisation of media, democratisation of production tools with a multitude of different delivery formats and types. In this digital age, and with so many different formats, media companies have to adopt new models for managing media.

New Training RequirementsMedia Asset Management solutions have become a necessity for the industry to tap into these new developments, whether that is during post-production, production, digital archiving, or delivery.

In this new paradigm, it has also become necessary for audiovisual training to evolve in order to respond to current market needs. INA has always worked to adapt its training programmes to be up-to-date. Therefore, it was looking for a modern and efficient Media Asset Management solution to enable it to cover all the aspects associated with this topic.

Christophe Martin de Montagu, Education Manager, audiovisual technology subsidiary, who is also responsible for academic partnerships at INA, explains: “INA needs to offer its students the opportunity to train using the latest Media Asset Management tools, which are being used in the professional world, in order to ensure it is delivering expert training on both the job and associated technology.”

Renewing the educational approach with PortalHaving reviewed its requirements and the available solutions, INA chose Portal™ for its modularity and flexibility. This means Portal can evolve according to specific requirements and can be used in a range of different environments. That made it particularly adept to the very unique needs of INA. Portal was developed by the Swedish company, Cantemo, which is represented in France by IVORY.

New ambitionsCTM Solutions was tasked with the initial development phase, including integrating Portal into the existing infrastructure and training those responsible for education within INA. Using a virtualisation platform under Linux and housed within the INA infrastructure, offered not only great security but also ease of adaption. This means items and integrations can be removed and re-installed as needed.

Pierre Le Berrigaud, Commercial Director, CTM Solutions, added: "Portal is both flexible and intuitive, meaning we are able to use it to cover a number of different educational aspects. It is able to cater for users in different professions as well as being just as adept for developers as other users.”

Following integration and various test phases, Portal has been integrated into the Audiovisual Technology subsidiary of INA. Portal forms a core part of the training programme, with students able to familiarise themselves with Media Asset Management using Portal, which is integrated with an Avid storage environment.

Having witnesses initial success with this project, INA has decided to extend the use of Portal within the INA.

“We are particularly satisfied with the collaboration with CTM Solutions. Their expertise with Portal was extremely valuable, both for the advice given on the choice of technology, as well as their support once the solution was in place. We now intend to deploy Portal for a number of other of our training courses, for example those aimed at editors, journalists, archivists, and technicians, etc. We have acquired additional licences to enable us to expand our usage.” Christophe Martin de Montagu

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Feedback on the modernization of the post-production resources for the ELEPHANT group aiming to transform their operations

In 2016, the ELEPHANT Group moved its head office and took advantage of this opportunity to strengthen and secure its existing infrastructure for programs production, speed up the dematerialization process and facilitate collaborative work and mobility for its editorial teams.
ELEPHANT, founded in 1999 by Emmanuel Chain and Thierry Bizot, is one of the main independent French audio-visual production groups. The company, through its various subsidiaries, specializes in the creation of original high added value formats for television networks and digital media. Its catalogue includes more than 1,500 hours of shows, reports, documentaries and fiction.
In 2016, ELEPHANT wished to bring all of its entities together in one place. The Group took advantage of this opportunity to set up a new program production infrastructure, adapted to the currently known and future needs for each subsidiary.
Unifying a multi-headed organization’s practices The Group’s subsidiaries have used heterogeneous human and technical post-production resources so far, from dailies acquisition to PADs (ready to air) delivery. Each entity having its own operating methods built on the fly, a media storage strategy for production and “silo” archiving as well as various creative tools. The ELEPHANT Group wanted to take advantage of this move to develop best practices common to all entities and set up processes that guarantee a serene continued development with controlled costs. This new organization had to meet clearly identified needs:
  • Strengthen and secure the means of programs production and delivery
  • Speed up dematerialization
  • Unify working methods and competency for all entities
  • Create conditions propitious for collaborative work
  • Limit time-consuming, anxiety-inducing manual tasks with no added value
Audit and Mapping of Internal Post-Production ResourcesThe Group’s executive management asked IVORY, a consulting company specializing in the media industry, to support it in defining a plan for its internal manufacturing resources and its legacy archiving strategy.
After initially mapping its personnel and auditing technical resources and post-production methods for each entity, IVORY then accompanied ELEPHANT in the implementation phase of the project: collecting employees’ needs, drafting the practical and technical specifications, and assisting with the formal consultation process.
A New Model for Program ProductionThe study allowed them to identify a potential axis for streamlining methods, specifically with the digital delivery and ingest challenges, as well as with the storage system via the strengthening of nearline storage. Following a public tender procedure comprised of 5 separate lots, three structuring technological pillars were selected to meet the functional and technical requirements:
  • MatrixStore®, a hybrid private cloud platform based on object storage technology
  • Root6 ContentAgent®, a powerful workflow, ingest and transcoding engine
  • Cantemo Portal ™, a Media Asset Management (MAM)
These technological components had to integrate with the Avid® environment already in operation: The Production Asset Management (PAM) solution Avid MediaCentral I Production Management and the associated storage Avid NEXIS.
Julien Chambaud, Technical Director, ELEPHANT, explains that « post-production at ELEPHANT has become more complex over the years. We were looking for a particularly secure, integrated and scalable solution for all of the subsidiaries, which would match with their own business requirements as well as their specific work timetables. This device had to be platform-independent and integrate with a multitude of tools already used internally. »
Transforming Legacy ArchivingFaced with the constant growth of new programs and new screens usage, the current archiving system, mainly based on a mix of production storage and LTO libraries, no longer made it possible to manage such volumes efficiently. It is in this context that MatrixStore, a hybrid media-oriented private cloud developed by the British company Object Matrix, was chosen to become the keystone of the new framework. This pioneering object storage solution, integrating AI and business APIs, is known to be particularly secure, integrated, and scalable.
Used as secure “parking” storage, MatrixStore is used as host for all the dailies from shoots and the “masters” of programs. This content is preserved and instantly accessible on MatrixStore before being automatically copied at an opportune time to a deep LTO archive. Ongoing projects can easily be put on hold, kept on MatrixStore and quickly and simply brought back to production storage, thus relieving bottlenecks and optimizing the production costs of each program.
Thanks to the applications and integrations offered by MatrixStore, low-value, manual daily management tasks have given way to increased interoperability with all of the Group’s existing systems. ELEPHANT also uses Move2, an application developed by Object Matrix, to directly interface with the LTO library. Moves to the cold archive are triggered by rules based on time or editorial metadata. It also allows transfers directly to S3-compatible public clouds.
Facilitate Access to the Media and Streamline PracticesBy adding Cantemo Portal, the Media Asset Management tool developed by the Swedish publisher Cantemo™, to its device, the Group selected an elegant, intuitive and powerful solution.
Cantemo Portal ™ acts as the display of its legacy archive to access stored media wherever they are, as well as their numerous associated assets from any workstation. The essential open architecture of Cantemo Portal ™ is highly customizable and allows integration into any workflow type.
The various contributors in the program production line now have instant access to the media depending on access rights defined upstream. The system, tailored to each entity, makes it easy to find a legacy item and automate its restoration to production storage. The intuitiveness of this tool and its interface in HTML native interface make it easily accessible to non-tech-savvy users offering productions maximum autonomy.
Automate Acquisition and Delivery WorkflowsIn the current context of digitalisation and the proliferation of video formats to be processed and delivered, the ELEPHANT Group has also transformed its existing architecture to optimize and secure the acquisition of its content and the delivery of its programs. The technological choice fell on ContentAgent, a powerful leading platform in terms of acquisition, technical task orchestration and transcoding developed by British publisher Root6 (a subsidiary of Vecima Networks Inc.).
A member of the Avid Alliance Partner Program, ContentAgent is finely integrated into the Avid MediaCentral I Production Management post-production environment used by a large number of subsidiaries. The system manages automated ingest according to rules related to sources and digitised PADs production according to each client’s profile.
Julien Gachot, IVORY CEO, explains that « Thanks to a perfect understanding of business needs and environment in which its employees work, ELEPHANT has been able to set up a technical framework and an organization favourable to creation. The editorial team can now devote more time to programs quality rather than to maintenance actions. Operational efficiency is therefore improved without compromising the artistic quality of the works and programs. »
Laurence Dutour, Deputy General Director, ELEPHANT Group, concludes “our ambition with the moving project was undoubtedly to allow a profound transformation of our usages and allow us to much more serenely grasp the evolutions of our industry and the expectations of our customers and partners. We are extremely satisfied with the expert support of IVORY as well as the expertise and advice of our technological integrators CTM Solutions and Eliote. We now have a unified, more efficient, flexible, secure and decisively forward-looking structure. »
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OPTV uses a secure Digital Content Governance platform, MatrixStore from Object Matrix.

Managing a Rising Deluge of Content for OPTVCharged with acquiring and storing digital media content for Orange Content Division, Orange Prestations TV (OPTV), a subsidiary of Orange, was faced with an ever-growing library of content to manage. The on-demand content alone amounts to more than 10,000 titles. Add to that content for the group’s dedicated broadcast channels for movies and TV series, OCS and OCS Go, it was no wonder that OPTV was looking for a better way to manage and store all of that.

The project, managed by CTM Solutions, was aimed at importing, organising, managing, and putting at OPTV’s disposal all the necessary files for the broadcast and promotion of films and programmes, whilst ensuring a secure and intelligent storage for all of those elements. It needed to manage the masters, trailers, XML techniques, the subtitling files, and the associated promotional material.

A rising Deluge of ContentUltimately, as with all content, the most important thing is being able to maximise value. With a growing catalogue of assets, it was becoming increasingly challenging for OPTV to find the right content and therefore distribute it to the right channels at the right time. Of course, sheer volumes also meant the archive system needed replacing with one that would be scalable and therefore able to grow as OPTV continues to add to the asset library.

Keeping that content secure was key, with a vast amount of high profile content. Ensuring it couldn’t be accessed by anyone other than those with appropriate rights, especially before transmission, was important, whilst ensuring the correct people could easily access the content needed. At the same time, OPTV was looking to automate workflows as much as possible, such as automatic delivery to service providers, to make those processes much more efficient, saving valuable time and reducing any risk of error. It was equally important for the OPTV team to maintain operational autonomy for managing the group’s catalogue and archive.

A Winning CombinationCTM Solutions brought in two solutions to respond to this: a Media Asset Management solution, Cantemo Portal ™ and a secure Digital Content Governance platform, MatrixStore from Object Matrix. Both solutions are flexible and easily integrate with third party solutions and systems, making them not only great for the job at hand, but also able to work together, and with the rest of OPTV’s workflow, seamlessly.

“We were looking for a powerful solution, that would be future proof in terms of accessing content, could scale in line with our business needs, with good processing power, that is simple to deploy, and which we could use autonomously. With more than 30,000 assets to manage, security was also at the heart of our decision. We chose the combination of Cantemo and Object Matrix and we have entrusted the integration to CTM Solutions.” Eric Grapinet, Technical Director, OPTV

A Phased ApproachThe first phase of the project was about meeting a number of initial demands mentioned above to improve the management, discoverability of assets, and automation of workflows. Lapins Bleus Conseil was tasked with integrating Portal into OPTV’s existing infrastructure. Having thoroughly evaluated the way in which OPTV needed the system to work, it was able to create a number of custom workflows within Portal and a customized dashboard. This included a very specific workflow for content ingest and customised navigation tools. OPTV had a number of complex task sequences, which Lapins Bleus Conseil was able to reduce to a simple click. By also integrating share-IT from the software company Automate-IT, Portal has been seamlessly integrated with Adobe Photoshop CC, making it easy for the creative editors to collaborate within Portal.

With those custom workflows in place, Portal drastically improved OPTV’s workflow, making assets much more easily discoverable and workflows more efficient. However, after several months, it became apparent that the existing LTO-based archiving infrastructure was not able to meet OPTV’s current and future demands. Having evaluated the needs of the users and the various options, OPTV decided to migrate to a secure object-based storage system. MatrixStore from Object Matrix was chosen and CTM handled the integration with Portal.

“We now have a large range of options and flexibility to efficiently handle up to two thousand new programmes every year, thanks to the integration and control possibilities using Portal and MatrixStore APIs. We can easily edit files within Portal, add additional metadata and interrogate metadata using the MatrixStore APIs. We are now equipped to support rapid international growth of content consumption.” Eric Grapinet, Technical Director, OPTV

Once the migration was completed and operational at the new Orange Gardens campus, OPTV implemented a business continuity platform installing a second MatrixStore petabyte cluster, situated in a remote data centre and operated by Orange. MatrixStore native replication functionality enables this to be done automatically.

“We have been working with OPTV for the past three years, and are proud to be continuing to help it build a solid technical infrastructure to better serve its clients’ needs. The combination of Portal and Object Matrix, combined with a number of custom integrations will ensure not only more efficient workflows, but also a future proof and scalable system for OPTV.” Pierre le Berrigaud, Commercial Director, CTM Solutions.

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