The challenges of today´s economic climate have engendered the financial industry to regroup and reorganize. The most creative companies are learning to consolidate operations while continuing to serve an international marketplace.
In late 2008, Japanese investment bank Nomura, which has a reputation for making bold moves, purchased the assets of Lehman Brothers in the United Kingdom. With a newly increased staff and several disparate properties situated throughout London´s financial district, Nomura opted to more effectively integrate their newly acquired resources by leasing a 500,000 square-foot glass and steel building next to the River Thames, not far from St. Paul´s Cathedral.
To provide an environment conducive to doing business in a fast paced, highly competitive industry, a $190 million renovation of the building was undertaken, with a cornerstone of the renovation being a massive state-of-the-art audio/video broadcast production facility.
"The financial markets have been becoming increasingly video savvy," observes Neil Anderson of systems integrator NMR. "They´re incorporating their own in-house AV departments and creating, intranet systems, networks for traders on the trading floor, disseminating analyst interviews and more." And the new Nomura facility would exemplify all of that.
"Modern banking organizations rely heavily on strong internal communications to ensure that their businesses run efficiently," explains Mark Johnson, Director of Mark Johnson Consultants, designers of new Nomura HQ´s AV systems. "This is especially important in trading environments where the dealers are given daily market and trend analysis to ensure effective trading operations. These briefings need to reach a wide range of audiences, so they are distributed across every available communications platform - audio conference, video conference, IPTV, webcast and broadcast. As such, the Nomura AV Team needed a media production and distribution platform to serve their wide range of internal clients."
Johnson says Nomura´s AV team expressed a strong preference for software-based solutions and the flexibility they offer over traditional hardware platforms. "Extensive product research lead us to the ToolsOnAir suite of applications," he says. "The first product to catch our attention was the just:live graphics system. We discovered it provided all of the capabilities they needed - name straps, video play-in, etc. in a scalable format. This allowed us to triple Nomura´s live graphics capabilities and drive up the production standards."
In fact, much of ToolsOnAir´s product line turned out to be an ideal solution to Nomura´s unique set of challenges. "It´s a very ambitious installation," says NMR´s Anderson. "The infrastructure includes ten HD tapeless cameras positioned in various areas. They´re conducting interviews from the trading floor, and daily video interviews with analysts from their meeting rooms. Feeds from those cameras are recorded live using ToolsOnAir´s just:in, basic editing is done and graphics are created and overlaid using just:live and CompositionBuilder."
The facility also includes a 200-seat auditorium, is equipped with four broadcast cameras to capture major events. ToolsOnAir´s just:in multi and LiveCut provided an innovative and ideal solution for capturing separate recordings from the individual cameras and easing the final editing process. "This setup enabled the editors to drop all of the camera feeds onto the timeline in Final Cut Pro, with all the vision mixer cut points pre-marked, and the sources perfectly co-timed," says Johnson. "The result was a massive reduction in editing time and subsequent improvements in production quality."
Overall the ToolsOnAir solution has created a whole new paradigm for Nomura, says Anderson. "It has completely and radically altered their existing workflow in ways they simply hadn´t imagined. Not only is their entire workflow automated, they´ve got far greater control, better quality, and can run with far fewer people. And they´re able to react with total spontaneity in the event of breaking news. The turnaround between recording and delivering the material is much, much quicker."
"The facility is entirely HD, it´s entirely tapeless, it´s entirely Apple, and it´s entirely run by ToolsOnAir," concludes Anderson. "ToolsOnAir is really the glue that holds it all together and makes the difference between a clunky manual process and a highly integrated automated system."