By Stephen Schindler, head of Digital Media and Media Information Services, Tata Consultancy Services (TCS)

In today’s fast-changing multimedia environment, the explosion of information sources and the rapidly growing number of distribution channels of varying importance present significant challenges to anyone, such as broadcasters or publishers, who makes a living from producing, compiling, syndicating or otherwise monetizing media content.

The amount and the diversity of content and information that needs to be sifted and sorted, combined with the massive growth in variations of products that need to be produced from the same core content and the shortening time-to-air windows, create a critical need for greater efficiency on the production floor of media companies.

The combination of increased efficiency requirements — and new information gathering and distributing mechanisms characterized by ultra-fast and self-managed digital networks — forces organizations to rethink two key areas of operation:

  • Separation of factory-floor activities that don‘t affect how clients see products from the activities that drive innovation and change the way products and brands appear in front of a company’s target audience.
  • Better leveraging of companies’ internal and cross-departmental-crowd know-how through effective collaboration platforms.

Both items belong together. Today’s production floors in media organizations are often still characterized by spaghetti-like organized piles of applications and multiple screens on desktops. Highly proprietary technologies stacked on top of each other based on spontaneous production needs create information silos and in-transparency, not to mention the management difficulty of the technology and the training and hand-holding needs of users. By liberating a media company’s production staff from technical and application overhead, more energy can be put into its actual products and innovation. If this comes with additional
functionality to collaborate and share as easily as people can on the social networks they use in their private lives, then an organization is able to really transform the way it works and build the foundation for a renewed focus on innovation.

If such collaboration infrastructure is based on IT products such as Microsoft SharePoint, rather than multiple and often bespoke industry-specific products, then the technical staff and management will benefit from it. The CIO or CTO will be able to significantly reduce the amount of systems to be managed and will be able to more rapidly respond to user and business requirements without having to go down a completely custom-made development path. Both will benefit from the R&D investments of large IT players such as IBM, Microsoft and others rather than the development budgets of industry-specific vendors that have to fund
themselves from a fairly small industry.

TCS, with its Editorial Collaboration Platform approach, allows organizations to make that transition with certainty, based on its relationship with technology platform providers such as Microsoft, its unique combination of industry domain experts, and its broad and long term IT services background.