Microsoft in Media & Entertainment
Microsoft in Media & Entertainment: Driving Business Transformation Media and entertainment companies today face unprecedented opportunities in the markets they serve. Advertising, broadcasting, film, music, and publishing companies may employ different business models and pursue different goals, but share several critical concerns. The rapid, continuing shift from analog to digital creation, management, and distribution of content has opened many doors, but presents new challenges as well. For instance, consumers want personalized content, which is tailored to their specific interests and lifestyles. They want to receive that content on their preferred devices—televisions, computers, mobile phones, and portable digital players—and they want to be able to view the content anytime, anywhere. In addition, consumers are looking for an exciting, enriching experience, and they want the ability to easily distribute and share content they themselves create. At the same time, markets are more fragmented than ever. Consumers can choose from many different content sources and media channels. Organizations that create and distribute content are challenged with delivering that content to the right audience in the most effective manner. And, whatever media companies do, they must protect their digital assets and intellectual property, and safeguard content and communications from unauthorized access. In order to profitably pursue compelling opportunities in providing content and services to diversified consumer markets, media and entertainment companies need to adjust their business management systems and practices to: • Create, manage, and distribute digital content in the most efficient way possible, and derive more value from that content. • Deliver the outstanding, memorable media experience consumers desire—on all the devices and in all the channels that people use. • Optimize and realign their business infrastructure, including financial, order management, scheduling, customer relationship management, and supply chain management, to respond to specific business needs, and to closely connect their business management systems with those involved in content creation and distribution.
Realigning the Technological Infrastructure for Business Results The transformation of the media and entertainment industry and the introduction of a new, digital supply chain make powerful software platforms and solutions essential to the success of a media business. Microsoft is fully committed to the long-term success of media and entertainment companies, understands the challenges they face, and offers solutions to support them in attaining their objectives.
Working in concert with the industry’s broadest partner network, Microsoft delivers a wide range of solutions that address key aspects of the media and entertainment business and content value chain. Microsoft’s offerings support the entire content lifecycle and help companies create, manage, and distribute digital content. Unique among technology suppliers to the media and entertainment industry, Microsoft also provides the business systems and IT infrastructure that media and entertainment companies need. Those IT and business systems integrate with the specialized solutions that support content-related processes, so companies can fine-tune all of their software systems to reflect the way they do business. The result is an environment that allows companies to realize substantial returns from their investments in software, hardware, skills, and business processes. Microsoft delivers value to media and entertainment businesses in several key areas: • Innovation: Microsoft delivers media solutions such as Microsoft® Interactive Media Manager, Microsoft Silverlight™, Microsoft VC-1 Encoder, and Microsoft Parallel Encoder, that enable media and entertainment companies to innovate and streamline the production and management processes of digital content. • Monetization: New channels, such as the Web 2.0, IPTV, online gaming, HD-DVD, and mobile and online applications, provide avenues to offer outstanding consumer experiences and engaging new services that can generate additional revenue. • Integration: Once digital content production, management, and distribution systems are connected to a company’s business systems, users can enjoy maximum productivity and efficiency, with full visibility and easy access to business functions and information. • Collaboration: Extensive collaborative capabilities reach across the entire business-technology infrastructure, increasing the effectiveness of individuals and teams and enhancing the value of supply chain relationships. • Intelligence: Solid business intelligence and analytics allow business managers to make sound decisions, drive business performance, and ensure compliance with regulatory mandates and quality standards. • Partnership: With a robust consulting services organization and relationships with the industry’s leading technology providers, Microsoft enables media and entertainment companies to realize rapid returns on their technology investments.
Solutions for the Creation, Management, and Distribution of Content Spanning the entire lifecycle of content and reaching deep into the infrastructure of a business, Microsoft and its partners empower media and entertainment companies with solutions that make content-related processes more productive and faster, resulting in richer, more powerful consumer experiences.
Get Connected: Bridging the Gap Between Content Production and Business Management
Microsoft Silverlight: Delivering Media-Rich Experiences for Mac, Windows, and Other Devices As Web-delivered media becomes more popular and competitive, there is increasing need for higher-quality Web experiences that can be delivered at a consistently lower cost and in multiple browsers on the Windows platform, on Macintosh computers, and on other devices. To address these challenges, Microsoft offers Microsoft Silverlight, a new cross-browser, cross-platform client technology that helps companies deliver media-enabled applications and experiences on the Web with the proven benefits of Windows Media and SMPTE VC-1. Using existing skills and technology, Silverlight bridges the gap between Web and Windows development with consistency, while offering the flexibility of supporting Web standards. And, based on customer demand, Microsoft Silverlight will offer native support for rights management, giving content providers new ways to deliver compelling media experiences with peace of mind.
Microsoft Expression® Studio: Create Engaging User Experiences The quality of the user experience is a significant factor in media companies’ ability to create a competitive distinction and build brand loyalty. Microsoft Expression Studio helps companies create compelling applications and deliver superior user experiences. Expression Studio gives designers an endto-end tools platform that enhances collaboration with developers in the delivery of next-generation user experiences for the Web, Windows Vista™ applications, and beyond. Expression Studio includes Expression Web for developing standards-based Web sites; Expression Blend for creating rich interactive experiences for Windows; Expression Design for designing visual elements for Web and Windows; and Expression Media, which provides digital asset management, hardware-accelerated encoding, and template-driven publishing for the Web with Expression Media Encoder.
Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003: High-Performance Computing to Take Content to Market Efficiently Rushing to deliver content into markets quickly and efficiently, media businesses need to optimize the performance of their technology, and accomplish more with tools and systems they already own. Integrating seamlessly with existing Windows infrastructure, Windows Compute Cluster Server 2003 facilitates a security-enhanced and affordable high-performance computing solution. With Windows Compute Cluster Server, media companies can have multiple servers in a server farm simultaneously supporting processes of animation, rendering, encoding, and parallel coding, and can optimize both offline and real-time encoding by running parallel processes.
Windows Media: Optimized Content for all Channels Microsoft Windows Media (WM) is a family of components that support the creation, distribution, and consumption of media across a broad range of scenarios. The primary components of WM are its audio and video codecs. Over nearly a decade of research and development, Microsoft has created a superior set of compression algorithms that provide the highest quality using the smallest amount of bandwidth. These codecs have been designed to scale from resolutions appropriate for portable devices all the way up to theater screens. In spring of 2006, the Emmy® Award-winning codec known as Windows Media Video 9 was officially standardized by the Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE) as “VC-1.” Creation of VC-1 video (formerly known as WMV9), Windows Media Audio, and WMA Pro content is performed through a wide range of tools that support the codecs and the Windows Media format container—a versatile envelope that supports a variety of streaming and download scenarios. It is also closely integrated with Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM), which can securely encrypt the WM package to support various business models.
Microsoft Interactive Media Manager: An Innovative Digital Content Management and Collaboration Solution Microsoft Interactive Media Manager helps companies connect the disparate systems currently used in creating, managing, and delivering content. Built on Microsoft Office SharePoint® Server 2007, Interactive Media Manager facilitates a streamlined, collaborative environment for managing, storing, searching, and repurposing digital content, including video, images, and audio files. Removing needless boundaries between internal departments and business partners, Interactive Media Manager helps companies speed the processes and control the operational costs of content production. Interactive Media Manager can connect to most existing digital asset management solutions and fully supports digital rights management. The solution’s business intelligence and analytical capabilities can link to the corresponding functionality in Microsoft Dynamics™, and even legacy CRM systems, to provide a holistic and detailed view of business performance and direction.
Windows Media Center: Making Content More Immediate, Exciting, and Valuable Windows Media Center in the Windows Vista operating system is designed to deliver an optimal consumer experience. A key component of Windows Vista Home Premium and Windows Vista Ultimate editions, Windows Media Center offers a highly intuitive user interface with easy navigation that makes all media files on the computer directly accessible for a consumer. Windows Media Center is optimized for high-definition and wide-screen displays, and, even better, supports digital cable service by means of a digital cable tuner, making the computer the single, preferred point of consumption for all types of media and content.
Windows Media Digital Rights Management: Protecting Content Anywhere Windows Media Digital Rights Management (DRM) helps media and entertainment companies maintain full control and protection of their valuable content and intellectual property. Windows Media DRM is a well-proven platform to protect and securely deliver all types of content, and helps companies minimize the risk to content as they realize new business models. Windows Media DRM can effectively safeguard content in channels such as direct and indirect license acquisition, subscription and rental services, or video-on-demand.
• More productive team collaboration, by integrating Microsoft Office SharePoint Server 2007 or Windows SharePoint Services • Accelerated, effective workflows built on Windows Workflow Foundation and connected to Interactive Media Manager • Increased ability to provide content and services to consumers and businesses over the Web, by extending business systems with Microsoft Commerce Server 2007 • Effective business performance management and enhanced ability to respond to shifting market trends by using Microsoft Office PerformancePoint™ Server 2007 and Microsoft business intelligence tools
Microsoft PlayReady: Next-Generation Media Experiences on Mobile Networks
Building an IT Infrastructure to Support Growth and Change
Microsoft PlayReady™ technology is an innovative multimedia content access technology optimized to meet the needs of mobile operators and handset manufacturers for digital entertainment and commerce. Supporting multiple content types and flexible rights, Microsoft PlayReady enables operators to provide a range of new services tailored toward growing consumer interest in mobile digital media. Microsoft PlayReady technology enables a broad spectrum of business models such as subscription, rental,
Media and entertainment companies require a completely dependable, flexible IT infrastructure that scales to accommodate business growth and can support changing business needs. Microsoft provides this infrastructure as well as the means to shape it to the specific operating conditions of media businesses. Microsoft partners help to further customize and extend the IT infrastructure for complex requirements. Key elements of the infrastructure can include:
pay-per-view, preview and super-distribution, which can be applied to many digital content types and a wide range of audio and video formats. Microsoft PlayReady enhancements make it easier for consumers to move their content between their devices, giving them a new level of freedom with their digital content. Microsoft PlayReady is fully compatible with Windows Media DRM 10, allowing mobile devices that support Microsoft PlayReady to access content using Windows Media DRM.
Streamlining Business Systems to Meet Organizational Goals
• Extensible, reliable, centralized storage management with Microsoft Windows Unified Data Storage Server 2003 • Consistent, policy-based management of desktops with Microsoft Systems Management Server 2003 • Cost-effective, simplified management of infrastructure and directories with Active Directory® and Microsoft Operations Manager 2005 • Empowered, highly productive development environment with Microsoft Visual Studio® 2005 and a vast portfolio of programming tools • Stringent, customizable security for files and applications with Microsoft Windows Rights Management Services and other technologies • Reliable, efficient management of servers and applications, identity and access management, and cost-effective server virtualization with Microsoft Windows Server® 2003 R2 operating system • Optimal scalability, dependability, and virtualization with Microsoft Windows Server 2003 R2 Datacenter Edition.
One challenge many media and entertainment companies face is disparate business systems that are not integrated with each other and that don’t connect to the systems involved in creating, managing, and distributing content. For tasks such as managing orders, allocating and scheduling time and resources, performing financial forecasting, or acting on sales opportunities, employees often need to access information residing in a variety of systems and spend much time negotiating different applications. Using service-oriented architectures (SOA) facilitated by Microsoft BizTalk® Server 2006 and other Microsoft technologies and solutions, such as Microsoft Connected Services Framework, companies can integrate all of their disparate systems—including proprietary and legacy applications— and operate with enhanced productivity.
By integrating their systems, media companies can ensure that business processes align behind the goals of producing and delivering content as efficiently and profitably as possible. The opportunities and advantages of this integration include: • More accurate and efficient financial management and forecasting, based on pertinent information from all systems in the organization • Streamlined management of all business concerns, including distribution, customer and partner relationships, and sales and
Capitalize on the Compelling Business and Technological Opportunity
marketing, by connecting Microsoft Dynamics business management solutions with content creation and management systems
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Underscoring its commitment to the media and entertainment industry, Microsoft has built a network of partners, many of them industry-leading system integrators and independent software vendors, to help media and entertainment companies implement the technology and extend it for their specific business situations. In addition, the Microsoft Consulting Services organization is available to help businesses plan their technology roadmap and prepare implementation strategies, ensuring that business software can scale to growth and adapt to change in markets and the industry.
Microsoft provides the innovative, targeted solutions that enable media and entertainment organizations to create, manage, and distribute content; align technology fully with business objectives; and create a solid, flexible IT infrastructure that supports long-term growth through change. For more information on how Microsoft can help you transform your business, visit www.microsoft.com/media or contact your local sales representative.