Object Matrix

The Cloud Storage People

Historical partner since a decade, Object Matrix provides media focused object storage software that integrates into existing workflows. Based in Cardiff (UK), it has an impressive track record for providing tightly integrated digital preservation platforms and is trusted by global broadcasters, production, post-production, corporate, telcos, banks and utilities companies to ensure their media assets are available instantly, from anywhere.

Like who? BBC, Orange, France Televisions, BT, HBO, TV Globo, MSG-N, NBC Universal, Fox Sports, Mediawan Thematics, Atlantis, ELEPHANT, Public Sénat, Sony Pictures, Deutsche Bank, Imagina, EDF, & the Miami Heat.

Last case studies

Atlantis Télévision and Object Matrix: State of the Art Asset Management and Archiving

Like many other areas, French television channels have had to show adaptability during the global health crisis. Indeed, they dealt with an audience increase and strong competition from audiovisual platforms. In addition to remote working, those challenges put the technical industry under stress and creativity seems to be the best answer. Creative people met the expectations, but they faced a lack of social contact, which is sometimes their inspiration secret source.

Due to 19-COVID, Atlantis group, the first program producer in Europe, adapted to the circumstances to meet its customers expectations in the television, advertising and film industries.

Until 2016, Atlantis Television was using different storage systems to manage and archive its contents. In accordance with the media industry dematerialization, the post-production company actively looked for a storage solution that could optimize their siloed business islands, avoid manual tasks and really guarantee the durability of their audiovisual content legacy. Following an international best practices study, Atlantis Television met in 2016 with Object Matrix, a British company that pioneered object-based storage and specialists in the media industry.

MatrixStore, the on-premise local, private and hybrid cloud storage platform developed by Object Matrix, is easily integrated with Atlantis Television’s infrastructure to strengthen their content management. In addition to functionalities, the post-production company was looking for a solution that allowed producers and customers to collaborate via an intuitive user interface. Atlantis Television is also using Vision, an Object Matrix application, which allows simple and fast remote process for validation. Producers have self-serve access to their content in a web interface that’s easy to use. Atlantis Television customers appreciate this organisation.

“With Object Matrix we are keeping with the times. Secure media management is guaranteed to our customers thanks to a user-oriented interface. A specific technical individual is not required. And this philosophy suits our group perfectly.” Frédéric Houzelle, Atlantis Group CEO

Today, the Atlantis Television and Object Matrix collaboration offers significant storage capacity to post-production professionals and answers two challenges:

  • The first is the classic use in the creative process; from the rushes acquisition to the programs distribution, with a high level of security and access orchestration both internally and remotely.
  • The second use is when a customer allows us to access and manage its archive legacy to be able to create last-minute news programs.

Atlantis Television always adapts the organization to its customers. In fact, some users continue to work with physical supports and rely on the Atlantis Television expertise to support their digital transformation and modernise their workflows. Thanks to the customers confidence and the quality of the group infrastructures, Object Matrix has integrated perfectly and completes the post production company offer.

Also, the breakthrough of new images (UHD, 2K, 4K) and the evolution of uses and expectations require an increase of storage capacities and accessibility to content (simple searches, remote work, high level of security and safety).

CTM Solutions helped with the implementation and integration of Object Matrix solutions into Atlantis Television's infrastructures. Their product mastery was particularly appreciated by the postproduction company, which also highlights the high quality customer service offered by Object Matrix, represented by IVORY in France and Belgium. A great reactivity thanks to a high-performance and robust equipment.

“Our employees and customers use our storage solution every day, accessible from our creative workstations. We are convinced that object storage solutions are totally adapted to the current needs of the media industry. We are studying the relevance of hybrid cloud to strengthen our business continuity offer and help our customers to optimize their costs and MatrixStore Cloud seduces us.” Léonard Warzocha, Atlantis Television CTO

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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 PortalTM, 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<sup>TM</sup>, to its device, the Group selected an elegant, intuitive and powerful solution.

Cantemo PortalTM 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 PortalTM 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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Planimonteur Offers Remote Post-Production with Object Matrix

Based in Paris, France, Plani Group provides a range of solutions to support media clients through the entire video production process. The scope of services offered includes planning, preparing, filming, producing, distributing and archiving audio-visual projects. Plani Group is comprised of Planipresse, Planimonteur, L’Atelier Plani and Plateau 29TG.

The postproduction arm, Planimonteur, prides itself on offering a full post-production service for audio and video content, as well as a range of additional services, including technical consultancy and storage facilities. OCS (subscription-based TV bouquet operated by Orange), is one of Planimonteur’s prestigious customers for which it produces 800+ on-air promotional trailers monthly.

More than just post-productionWith a vast array of post-production companies in France, all offering similar services, Planimonteur found itself faced with increasing competition and was looking for ways in which it could differentiate itself from the crowd. This is especially true in the context of increasing adoption of hybrid cloud by media companies, the physical implementation of a post-production company is no longer an essential factor.

Planimonteur has therefore been carving out a niche for itself by the way of additional services that benefit its clients. This includes giving each customer a very personalised service and leveraging the synergy with other companies within the group in order to offer a comprehensive service.Ultimately, Planimonteur decided to undertake a major strategic shift and turned to remote post-production capabilities for its clients. This process provides more flexibility and enables easy remote access to the material for multi-site collaboration and simple review & approval processes, and dramatically improves file-based archiving. OCS embraced this innovative approach to post-production.

Setting up a streamlined and secured infrastructureOCS is a group of subscription-based TV channels operated by Orange in France specialising in feature films and popular TV series. The channels are available both on-air and on-demand via multiple platforms, including TVs, computers, mobile devices, tablets, etc.

Planimonteur, tasked with managing on-air promotion for OCS, needed a simple way to manage content and enable fast and easy access for all stakeholders, turned to its trusted service provider VIDELIO Cap’Ciné to design a setup to meet these requirements. MatrixStore developed by Object Matrix was chosen to implement a media focused private cloud platform, consistent with the existing 2.8 Petabytes already in operation at OCS. Built upon digital content governance and object storage technology, MatrixStore is a secure and future-proof solution enabling customers to protect and preserve content throughout its lifespan while ensuring easy access. Object Matrix is represented in France by IVORY.

David Fontaine, CEO, VIDELIO Cap’Ciné, commented: “Planimonteur, as with the other companies within the Plani group, is very forward-thinking and always looking to improve the service it provides to its customers. We were tasked to help make remote post production a reality.”

A dedicated fibre connection links Planimonteur and OCS, while MatrixStore ensures they all have instant access to the files they need hosted on the disk archive. Both at OCS HQ and in an Orange data-center, MatrixStore is used to store all relevant graphics and video material. This infrastructure is connected to Planimonteur, where all the teasers are securely archived. OCS is also able to access and browse archived content from the other sites and leverage the native replication feature offered with MatrixStore.

Using the data asset management tool from Object Matrix, DropSpot, items are tagged with metadata upon ingestion. This makes those assets easily discoverable, regardless of whether it is needed for editing, reviewing, or distributing.

Philippe Morisset, CTO, Planimonteur, commented: “Thanks to the setup with MatrixStore, we can be much more efficient with our workflows, and more importantly help OCS to become more efficient. Ultimately, that shortens the time it takes to get content to the viewer, something which is becoming increasingly important in a fierce competitive landscape.”

Nick Pearce-Tomenius, Sales and Marketing Director, Object Matrix, added: “MatrixStore is about enabling media companies to maximise the value of their content. If content is not discoverable, it essentially has no value. The setup for Planimonteur and OCS is a great example of global collaboration for an efficient workflow.”

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