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Welcome to the Open Workflow Network

Highslide JSToolsOnAir, Vidispine, Object Matrix and Archiware today announce the formation of the “Open Workflow Network?, a group that has come together to address the challenge of accelerating the movement of the broadcast industry towards open, interoperable, cost-effective solutions.

The last five years has seen a shift in broadcast technology moving from proprietary and largely closed hardware platforms to more open, generic, and often software- and IT-based solutions. It is evident that the mindset in the broadcast world is changing, driven by the need to deliver to new channels and devices on almost weekly basis, facilitate much greater interactions between audiences and content creators, and generally to be able to respond in an effective way to the constantly changing modern climate. This unrelenting pace of change is forcing broadcasters to seek out more cost-effective, innovative technology and workflow solutions, and the smaller companies from which they tend to originate. The founding companies, including ToolsOnAir, Vidispine, Archiware and Object Matrix have gained a vast amount of experience in the process of listening to their customers, understanding their challenges and subsequently developing IT based workflows that address those challenges. Previously working in isolation the founding companies have come together to also ensure that their products integrate seamlessly, providing end-to-end solutions that offer customers workflow choices that are not currently available. ToolsOnAir left the ‘channel in a proprietary box’ movement behind some years ago by ensuring its solutions can be deployed using commodity Apple hardware and out of the box video cards to deliver ingest, playout and real-time graphics. This new model is proving extremely successful with over 300 channels around the world choosing the solution. In co-operation with workflow solutions architects from Mediasmiths and the Vidispine Backbone offering they will shortly introduce an end to end workflow solution including a brand new, high end scalable Media Asset Management module. “As new players such as print organizations, in-house TV channels or niche channels of established TV networks are entering the market solutions that are easy and fast to deploy are needed? explained Gilbert Leb, VP Sales of ToolsOnAir. “The frantic pace required to deploy new channels means that the traditional approach and traditional technologies just don’t work?. Object Matrix’s belief is that your data and workflows belong to you, not to your suppliers. Object Matrix provides highly secure near line archive solutions that are not tied to proprietary platforms or formats. The team at Object Matrix designed MatrixStore, its flagship product, with collaboration and open technologies at its core. Unlike many of the major storage vendors it provides an open API that does not require partners to pay for expensive partnership programs with restrictive licenses. "When we set up the Workflow Innovation Group with Mediasmiths and Vidispine the aim was to listen to end users and build a list of the key workflow challenges that they face, now and in the future. The formation of the Open Workflow Network, enables vendors to co-operate and collaborate in order to fulfil the requirements set out by those challenges." said Nicholas Pearce, co-founder Object Matrix. Archiware’s flagship backup and archive application, PresSTORE P4, is also hardware and OS agnostic and can be deployed on any infrastructure from a Mac Mini to hosted server farms. Archiware has committed to providing a solution that is less costly, more flexible and a lot easier to install and operate than traditional data management software ever has been. Archiware is backing this commitment it with a fast reacting team providing a personal touch, providing its community with all of the resources required to get the very best out of their solution. Partners like NMR have historically offered IT based post-production and broadcast solutions to their customers and also “See a growing demand from new customers outside our traditional market? as Neil Anderson, Managing Director of NMR commented after this year’s Broadcast Video Expo (BVE) trade show in London. Erik Åhlin with his team at Vidispine brings in a next generation media asset management backbone. It includes all the major functions that a MAM should do but exposed as robust and well-documented APIs for others to utilize and innovate on top of. "We really believe it´s time to change the perception on what a MAM is, how quickly it can be deployed, and how it is core to file-based workflows. This group of companies is well suited lead the charge towards the next generation of solutions". Steve Sharman, CTO and co-founder of media technology services company Mediasmiths welcomes the formation of the Open Workflow Network. “We share the vision of effecting workflow change and transforming the way content is made through the use of innovative, open technology solutions. This new commitment to pushing the open agenda and partnership by our friends in the OWN can only be good news for the industry. We’re looking forward to working with them on new offerings to meet the needs of our clients?, he commented. The idea of the Open Workflow Network is to give customers an alternative to the current offerings, many of which force ‘their’ workflows on to customers. With broadcasters needing to integrate Social Media, Second Screen and parallel transaction services, launch new services and take costs out of their operations, a new approach is needed. The Open Workflow Network is spearheading that approach.

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