Streaming Companies Provide the Power of their Platform to Any Content Provider

Streaming companies enable any digital entertainment producer to use branded, customized “copy” of the streaming platform to reach their audience, and potentially growth, exposure into new markets.

  • Direct competition with Google’s YouTube.
  • Microsoft to stretch SharePoint’s abilities re: video streaming, Video on Demand, and Broadcast Live, as well as it’s user licensing model, it could be another tool for entrepreneurs to offer any content creator a “Digital Entertainment Portal”.

Any content provider of digital media entertainment:

  • Broadcast Television Channels – e.g. CBS, NBC, SyFy
  • Independent digital media producers, e.g. currently using channels to reach a large audience, e.g. YouTube

The streaming company can create a portal wizard to buildcopy a streaming portal template.  The digital media producer uses web app widgets, similar to Microsoft SharePoint sites, to customize their portal to their digital media video / assets.  The Streaming “Portal” provider, as part of their service, handles the monetary transactions for customer subscriptions, or other business models supported.  In addition, the bandwidth load from streaming would be handled by the Streaming “Portal Provider”, a major benefit, leveraging the companies’ Content Delivery Network (CDN).

Anyone could apply for a partnership with the streaming company, and once approved, may use the tools provided by the streaming partner to spawn a new platform site around the customer  / producer’s content.

This new revenue stream of streaming companies platforms, such as Netflix and Amazon Instant, may be vastly multiplied using a “Partner Portal” model.

 

G.E. Plans Big Entry into IoT, Providing Analytics and Predictive Rules

G.E. Plans App Store for Gears of Industry

The investment of $500 million annually signals the importance of the so-called Internet of Things to the future of manufacturing.

G.E. expects revenue of $6 billion from software in 2015, a 50 percent increase in one year. Much of this is from a pattern-finding system called Predix.  G.E. calls its new service the Predix Cloud, and hopes it will be used by both customers and competitors, along with independent software developers. “We can take sensor data from anybody, though it’s optimized for our own products,” Mr. Ruh said.

[Competitive solutions from IBM, Microsoft, and Google] raises the stakes for G.E. “It’s a whole new competition for them,” said Yefim Natis, a senior analyst with Gartner. “To run businesses in a modern way you have to be analytic and predictive.”

G.E. is running the Predix Cloud on a combination of G.E. computers, the vast computing resources of Amazon Web Services, and a few [local] providers, like China Telecom.

China, along with countries like Germany, [are] sensitive about moving its data offshore, or even holding information on computers in the United States.  
The practice of “Ring fencing”  data exists in dozens of jurisdictions globally.  Ring fencing of data may be a legal and/or regulatory issue, that may inhibit the global growth of cloud services moving forward.

Source: G.E. Plans App Store for Gears of Industry

Verizon Poised to offer the Digital Media Food Chain: Content Creation to Distribution

The service, which Verizon only refers to as OTT, or over-the-top, named because it will be available to anyone with an Internet connection, as opposed to a television subscription, is the company’s big growth engine for the future. So far, the company has been mum on the details.

The telecom company is readying a mobile and online video service for launch in late summer, and a top exec says there’s nothing like it.

Verizon continues to line up video content from partners as well as through acquisitions, such as AOL.

Source: Verizon mulls mobile video that doesn’t eat into your data cap – CNET

Abundant Content: Selecting Your Movie / TV Show is Burdensome

Although content is still ‘King’, the side effect of Streaming Services aggressively rolling out content makes the connection between the ‘ideal’ content and consumer burdensome to initiate.

Streaming Services create a ‘funnel’ to get ‘ideal’ content to the consumer through the use of custom carousels and search.

5 minutes max, I stroll around the Streamers’ carousels for random movies or TV shows that catch my interest.  If I don’t find anything worthy to commit my time, I bounce to another streaming service, and repeat the process.

The problem is compounded when you add broadcast Content Channels: ABC, CBS, Comedy Central, HBO, SyFy,  USA, etc, in addition to Streamers like Amazon Instant and Netflix.

The cost of making a decision of which Movie/TV episode to watch comes down to a basic Microeconomic theory.

In order for the consumer to make an accurate assessment of Opportunity Cost, one has to consider ~ALL available options.

Therefore, the cost of making a decision is inefficient, and most importantly inaccurate due to the amount of Video On Demand, (VOD) repositories available to the consumer.

Opportunities to Curtail Consumer Search Time:

  • On demand chat with a Genre Aficionado, video or text chat, 24/7, an employee of the Streaming Service, or central service contracted to the Service.
  • More robust search that has the capacity to drill down on metadata.  E.g. Filter: N stars rating; Sort: ‘added’ date,
  • Add Closed Captioning  to Search metadata
  • Add object and facial recognition index of objects to Search; Open and Play media at time code. E.g. Nike Sneakers
  • ‘Mad Libs’ style secondary search; fill in fields such as leading actor or actress, director of photography, etc.
  • Inbox – recommendations ‘people’ have sent you, manual and automated messages.  Queue up Search results to notify you once per week.  User may send a message with a link to a movie.
  • Cross Video On Demand (VOD) libraries Searching.  Industry Standards derived and implemented.

Cloud Storage and DAM Solutions: Don’t Reign in the Beast

Are you trying to apply metadata on individual files or en masse, attempting to make the vast  growth of cloud storage usage manageable, meaningful storage?

Best practices leverage a consistent hierarchy, an Information Architecture in which to store and retrieve information, excellent.

Beyond that, capabilities computer science has documented and used time and time again, checksum algorithms. Used frequently after a file transfer to verify the file you requested is the file you received.  Most / All Enterprise DAM solutions use some type of technology to ‘allow’ the enforcement of unique assets [upon upload].  In cloud storage and photo solutions targeted toward the individual, consumer side, the feature does not appear to be up ‘close and personal’ to the user experience, thus building a huge expanse of duplicate data (documents, photos, music, etc.).  Another feature, a database [primary] key has been used for decades to identify that a record of data is unique.

Our family sharing alone has thousands and thousands of photos and music. The names of the files could be different for many of the same digital assets.  Sometimes file names are the same, but the metadata between the same files is not unique, but provides value. Tools for ‘merging’ metadata, DAM tools have value to help manage digital assets.

Cloud storage usage is growing exponentially, and metadata alone won’t help rope in the beast. Maybe ADHOC or periodic indexing of files [e.g. by #checksum algorithm] could take on the task of identifying duplicate assets?  Duplicate  assets could be viewed by the user in an exception report?  Less boring, upon upload, ‘on the fly’ let the user know the asset is already in storage, and show a two column diff. of the metadata.

It’s a pain for me, and quite possibly many cloud storage users.  As more people jump on cloud storage, this feature should be front and center to help users grow into their new virtual warehouse.

The industry of cloud storage most likely believes for the common consumer, storage is ‘cheap’, just provide more.  At some stage, the cloud providers may look to DAM tools as the cost of managing a users’ storage rises.  Tools like:

  • duplicate digital assets, files. Use exception reporting to identify the duplicates, and enable [bulk] corrective action, and/or upon upload, duplicate ‘error/warning’ message.
  • Dynamic metadata tagging upon [bulk] upload using object recognition.  Correlating and cataloging one or more [type] objects in a picture using defined Information Architecture.  In addition, leveraging facial recognition for updates to metadata tagging.
    • e.g. “beach” objects: sand, ocean; [Ian Roseman] surfing;
  • Brief questionnaires may enable the user to ‘smartly’ ingest the digital assets; e.g. ‘themes’ of current upload; e.g. a family, or relationship tree to  extend facial recognition correlations.
    • e.g. themes – summer; party; New Year’s Eve
    • e.g. relationship tree – office / work
  • Pan Information Architecture (IA) spanning multiple cloud storage [silos]. e.g. for Photos, spanning [shared] ‘albums’
  • Publically published / shared components of an IA;  e.g. Legal documents;  standards and reuse

Project Change Management, Microsoft Solutions

Project Facilitators, Managers, and Stakeholders, please read on…

If you’ve been charged with managing project changes, there are many Microsoft solutions that may be used by a wide array of users with varying degrees of technical experience.

  1.  Word

When the project team members are not comfortable with “technology”, MS Word may be as adventurous as you can get.

Your stakeholders believe each of your change requests have their own story to tell,  and the story should be told in MS Word.  Each of the Change Requests (CR) contain the ‘story’ of the item as well as an appended comments for each of your meetings’ notes.

The solution is a beast to manage if the product/process is used for more than a month, i.e. in an ongoing basis.  Details of the CRs can easily fall by the wayside, as well as prone to human error for the evolving descriptions and historical audit trail in the comments section.

NOTE: Free form text, excluding organizing data into Word tables.

2. Excel

MS Excel is a step up from Word, but is still susceptible to similar issues.  On the positive side, tables have the ability to be sorted, and filtered.  The content/tables may be exported into an email, MS Word doc, etc.  Both MS Word and MS Excel alone do share an additional issue, Change Requests (CR) are not version controlled at the record level.  Both Excel and Word files can be imported into a document management system, e.g. SharePoint, and the docs will have a check in/out audit.  Adding/Changing text on new/existing CRs becomes problematic, and prone to errors, and inconsistent audit of comments.

3. Project

Send them a PDF of the Project Plan.  Companies have few licenses of MS Project, and sharing a project plan with the team is most likely done by exporting the Project Plan to PDF.   When reviewing / updating the project plan in real time with the team (e.g. SMEs, Stakeholders), they collectively see the effect of adding tasks, updating duration, and dependencies.   Itemizing tasks of the team, and grouped by parent activities will help the team stay ‘on task’. The non-PMs do not need access to the Project Plan for edits; this is performed 1:1 or in a team setting with the PM facilitating.

4.  SharePoint

SharePoint is a document and workflow management system among other things.   ‘Out of the box’ capabilities enable users to track a project, Gantt charts to task management, most everything needed to manage a project, including N number of personalized views of the project data,.  The SharePoint platform, out of the box, seems to cater to the laymen as well as the technical savvy.

5. Team Foundation Server (TFS)

TFS covers the entire application lifecycle, part of which enables the team to track their backlog items.  Backlog items may be correlated to other ‘objects’, such as test cases.  All aspects of the project such as development,  builds, unit test case execution, task tracking, and backlog items reside in TFS.  For the tech laymen, i.e. business sponsor, little knowledge transfer is required for using the solution for backlog management.

6. Office Access

Yes, I’ve seen a UI on top of an Access database to manage change.  Actually, I’ve built one way over a decade ago.  It’s a lot of maintenance, just like any solution built from scratch.  With so many options out there, this would not be my first choice.

Click here for an extensive list of project management solutions.

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