Beam me down Scotty… I’ve had enough of “the enterprise” IBC 2012

Beam me down Scotty… I’ve had enough of “the enterprise” IBC 2012

Was “enterprise” the most overused word at IBC this year? As part of my ongoing analysis of media management and solutions I met with over 20 mam and mam related technology vendors this year at IBC. Every operation, process and technology is now part of an organisation’s media management; whether you have “a mam” or not. The range of media management aspirations is now wider than ever; right across the business in fact; throughout the enterprise.

From acquisition and programme making, through post and packaging to distribution, ad sales and sponsorship; good media management is pivotal to future success. Whether that’s feeding existing audiences more cost effectively or trying to win new audiences in new places.

So did IBC make things any clearer about more efficient and cost effective media management? For me enterprise was certainly this year’s most used and abused word…

I lost count of the number of “enterprise ready” vendors, with their “cloudy” value propositions. Ready to “revolutionise every area of my business; end to end; through greater efficiency, flexibility and scalability, using metadata and BPM blah blah”. Few vendors actually asked what I did, where my area of concern was. Or where improved media management or improved workflow and media logistics would actually help. No they just ploughed on, often with their backs to me fumbling with their UI’s, certain that their enterprise mam solution was ready for anything.

IBC is still predominantly a technology lead show. Perhaps this is why many found it hard to find anything “new” at IBC this year. Optimal media management requires a very carefully balanced view of media planning and operations combined with the supporting technology. Very few technologies can stand alone now. The quality of software integration and perhaps more importantly, systems implementation and long term support are now fundamental too. Ask any broadcaster.

In fairness to vendors though. Many broadcasters and media companies, challenged by the current turmoil in their business models and the tantalising opportunities in multiscreen, find it equally challenging to define their own mam requirements. Many broadcasters struggle to define their own enterprise right now; where does it start; where does it stop.

Whilst the promised efficiencies in media management to reduce costs for linear television are still eluding many, the techonomics of multiscreen are truly wide open. Better media management is certainly part of the answer for any enterprise big or small. We are certainly not yet at the er “the final frontier”. All right I’ll stop now.

So what is the enterprise? Aside from its technological (enterprise ready) and organisational (across the business) meanings, enterprise also means: an adventure or quest. Often in to the unknown… “Go boldly…” but tread carefully folks.

First published in TVB Europe