“The channel is an essential route to market for Dell Technologies”

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Spotlight on Media and Entertainment | ChannelDrive.in

There is major transformation happening in the global Media and Entertainment segment and channel partners stand to gain from this by becoming catalysts for bringing this change and enabling transformation.

With its diversified range of products and solutions – Dell Technologies is ideally poised to drive profitability and deeper customer engagement for its channel partner ecosystem.

On the sidelines of the recently held BroadcastAsia 2019 in Singapore – Charles Sevior, CTO, Unstructured Data Solutions, APJ and Greater China Region, Dell Technologies speaks with Zia Askari from ChannelDrive.in  about the company’s core focus areas and its future plans.

What are the key technology priorities for Dell Technologies when it comes to targeting the media and entertainment segment? Where are the growth opportunities in this space and how is Dell positioned to target those opportunities?

We are seeing a substantial growth in Media & Entertainment (M&E) business. This is primarily in the areas of Content Creation and Content Distribution. The main driver for this growth is the increased investment from global streaming content providers, such as Netflix, Hulu, Amazon, Apple and others.

A report from MoffettNathanson in 2017 highlighted the growth in original content investment coming, especially from non-traditional media companies, and we have seen the effects of this increased investment in our own customer base.

PwC forecasts that total global Media & Entertainment (M&E) revenue will see a 4.3% CAGR from 2018 to 2023, reaching an overall figure of US$2.6tn by the end of the forecast period. During this time, China’s absolute growth is expected to overtake the US for the first time.

When it comes to the M&E segment, Dell’s priorities are focused around enabling media organizations to efficiently create, manage and deliver content by simplifying their data environments and streamlining technology. In M&E, IT infrastructure translates into keeping production schedules on track and delivering a sharper, more vivid picture of the artists’ vision.

To help our customers create, maintain & protect their most valuable digital assets, Dell also provides flexible, reliable, and easy-to-manage storage solutions. With simplified management of storage, media companies can focus on what they do best: create and deliver great media content. Dell Precision workstations and peripherals are also an integral part of any high-performance media toolset.

How can partners work in this segment benefit by associating with Dell Technologies?

Dell Technologies add value to our channel partners – by providing our partners with a comprehensive technology portfolio, ranging from products in storage, servers, compute to security and a world-class partner program.

The channel is an essential route to market for Dell Technologies, representing over 50% of overall business – and growing double digits. Our channel community helps to provide support and customization for each client. For example, we see many of our M&E partners moving towards embedded products. With a new OEM agreement between Dell Technologies and Grass Valley, we now provide a full range of products and services that support many of the world’s most high-profile live events. Customers who purchase the bundled solutions will get a comprehensive system design and support from Grass Valley, and next-level support from Dell Technologies whenever needed.

How can they move up the value chain by focusing towards media and entertainment segment?

Partners need to deploy innovative solutions to differentiate their capabilities in the market. Hence, we have made it our priority to enable and empower our partners. This is why we recently announced the new Dell Technologies Partner Program.

With this program, partners now have the full weight of the Dell Technologies brand behind them. The program provides partners with the competitive advantage of Dell Technologies, enabling them to do more business with transformational solutions.

The evolved program provides simplified engagement for partners to cross-sell and procure products and solutions across the Dell Technologies family of brands. At the same time, we’re supporting our partners with new training and competencies. We’re encouraging our entire partner ecosystem to continue building on their skills and specialties so that together, we can be the go-to-resource for our customers.

Why do production firms need to embrace analytics and AI to capture the audience’s attention?

The M&E industry has seen first-hand the ripple effects that new technology has had on how people consume content. For example, episodes are moving from the traditional 30 minutes to as short as 7 minutes, and streaming is driving choice and flexibility for consumers – and in turn, changing scripts, capture and workflows.

In Asia Pacific (APAC), change is afoot as more production companies embrace analytics and AI, fueled partly by the digital push from governments in the region. A recent report by McKinsey Global Institute notes that APAC countries, such as China, Japan, Singapore, South Korean, India and Malaysia are on their path to AI readiness.

As more countries and businesses realize the difference that AI brings, media companies in this region are starting to harness the power of data to gain visibility into their content assets and match them to specific audience profiles. This contributes to decision-making about the types of programming they should invest in.

AI technologies, such as natural language processing and speech to text, can all help production companies to better categorize and discover content more easily. It does not just stop here. Moving forward, the M&E industry will see even more AI applications, such as the personalization of content to curate video feeds and share recommendations, leverage object recognition for brand impression tracking and enhance video quality through super slow-mo, colorization and noise reduction techniques.

Why do M&E companies need to take note of archive management to turn their existing media assets into valuable productions? What is metadata and why do media organizations need to take note of it?

Metadata refers to data within a digital file, and they are a valuable resource for M&E companies. Some forms of media metadata include: captions and keywords, genre of content, or copyright status.

Regional distributors have a tremendous opportunity to leverage existing assets to provide next-generation media services. The entry of Internet companies such as Netflix and Amazon mean that traditional media companies need to look for innovative ways to maximize the returns of their rich content archives. Creating an active and intelligent media archive enables them to quickly scan, harvest and enrich content metadata using AI services.

The shift from a “frozen” archive — tape libraries and frozen cloud storage that lacks agility and demands a high operating cost — to an intelligent archive using on-premise or hosted scale-out object storage will also allow companies to streamline media workflow and prioritize on creating good content, instead of content storage and management.

Local media and entertainment (M&E) distributors can leverage built-in AI applications within their intelligent content archive to carry out “in-place” metadata harvesting and enrichment to build up a user-referenceable database, thus reducing the amount of time and resources required. The valuable metadata obtained through this process will serve as an important guide for the development of new types of program, including providing the context for desired narratives, thus speeding-up future content production.

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