LAS VEGAS, April 12, 2011 /PRNewswire/ -- This week at the 2011 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show, Microsoft Corp. announced the development of a partner ecosystem to lead media and entertainment (M&E) companies to the cloud. This strategic ecosystem enables partners to develop industry-specific solutions based on the Windows Azure platform to give M&E companies a simplified digital supply chain combined with the benefits of cloud computing. Bringing the solutions to life, several M&E partners will demonstrate Windows Azure-based cloud solutions for content, processing, management and delivery at the Microsoft booth SL3812.
Microsoft is committed to developing a robust partner ecosystem on the Windows Azure platform, as well as looking to make many of its media-enabling technologies such as Internet Information Services HD Smooth Streaming available as services on Windows Azure in the near future. These components will supplement technologies already available for media companies on Windows Azure, such as the Microsoft Media Platform Video Editor (formerly known as Silverlight Rough Cut Editor), used most recently by NBC Sports for its online coverage of the 2010 Winter Olympics.
"We believe that the success of Windows Azure in M&E is hinged not only on offering a robust, scalable and open cloud platform, but also offering an excellent partner ecosystem that allows media companies to leverage their critical applications seamlessly between on-premise and the cloud," said Jake Winett,director of Media & Entertainment Industry Solutions, Microsoft Communications Sector. "Through this partner ecosystem, we can bring additional value both to our customers and our partners, and promote innovation at a pace and scale that is rare in the industry."
With the combined strength of the partner ecosystem and the Windows Azure platform, M&E customers benefit from industry-specific applications and scenarios, such as streaming online content, content security or transcoding, without having to deploy servers, build an infrastructure or plan for capacity of demand. This helps M&E companies do the following:
Reduce capital expenditures for new IT infrastructure
Allow innovation and shorten time to market for new digital media services, lowering risk and giving media companies the opportunity to test new services and business models
Better provision resources to focus on their core strengths in media creation and delivery instead of IT
Leverage economies of scale of Microsoft's datacenters and platform investments
Develop and deliver new applications and services on a global scale
In addition, by adopting applications based on the Windows Azure platform, customers are able to support IT environments where they are using a mixed IT environment of on-premise and other private or public cloud platforms.
"We understand that media customers need a hybrid, flexible approach that allows them to access a custom set of offerings and tools specific to their needs," Winett said. "The M&E partners working with Microsoft are able to balance multiple applications within a cloud environment because Windows Azure is a technology-agnostic platform. This makes it easier for companies to create, manage, deliver and monetize media on a wide range of platforms and devices."
There are many partners participating in the ecosystem and delivering Windows Azure-based cloud solutions that span the entire M&E value chain, including digital content management, media business management, and digital marketing and experiences, allowing customers to pick and choose the partners that best meet their unique needs. They include the following:
Cloud-based content processing (encoding and transcoding).Digital Rapids and Origin Digital
Cloud-based content management. Arvato Digital Services, DAVID Systems GmbH, Harris Broadcast Communications, Polycom Video Content Management (formerly Accordent Technologies Inc.), Sitecore and TechPath
Cloud-based content delivery. Aspera Inc., iStreamPlanet Co., MPS Broadband AB and Signiant Inc.
Cloud-based content protection. BuyDRM and Cognizant