Sports Asset Management Forum: Asset-Management Hardware Enters New Age

The 2013 Sports Asset Management Forum offered attendees a thought-provoking overview of the future of asset-management hardware in an age when cloud-based services, object-based storage, and applied analytics look to redefine the very nature of hardware-based systems.

“Object-based storage is about scalability and availability,” said Skip Levens, director, media industry marketing, Quantum. “Everyone is dealing with an ever expanding volume of content that is on a petabyte scale, so how do you make it available … so that you can monetize and leverage the content forever?”

According to Shanun Mahoney, America’s Director of Technology & Strategy, NetApp, object-based storage introduces a couple of interesting capabilities that do not exist in the traditional asset-management architecture. Metadata can be separated from the content and be available in different locations along with analytics.

And, he added, companies like Amazon, which have no legacy environment, are changing the equation as well. Amazon’s storage solutions have been embraced by some of the world’s largest companies (and even the CIA) as a means to not only store content but also make it available to consumers.

“No one saw them as an IT company, and they could innovate while large IT companies with legacy environments focus more on risk avoidance than technology innovation,” said Daniels. “And, in the next three or five years, they are going to drive a lot of that innovation.”

Ted Dembicki, Eastern Regional sales manager, SGL, said that a more distributed architecture and workflow is all the rage, requiring multiple copies and subsets of content to be strewn across an entity.

“Our role,” he said, “is to elegantly track the database of each of those instances, create a unique ID, and then begin to track those IDs and report back multiple instances or, when modifications are made, replicate them across all the databases.”

Making this easier, he added, is that it is becoming easier to integrate with systems from other vendors, lessening the need to put a proprietary wrapper around content.

“That makes it simple to go from one system to another,” he said. “There is less requirement to go through the transcoding and encoding process.

And then there is the challenge of understanding the real opportunities related to content by using applied analytics that can look for distinct patterns within a library. That means not only focusing on the capture and logging of content but also the analysis of it.

“You are looking for distinctive patterns while others are looking at the content itself,” said Justin Lindsey, founder of the Center for Applied Analytics (TAAC).

He explained that espionage during WWII did not always require breaking a code but simply seeing patterns that then led to specific actions. For example, messages being sent from one ship to multiple ships implied orders for an action; and a lack of messages meant an action would be taken soon.

Applying those same concepts to sports and other video assets can lead to better monetization and utilization.

“Thinking about the big data sitting there is a terrible place to begin,” he added. “What matters is targeted, applied analytics that can record measurements that can show you how to change.

“Become a signal seeker,” he continued. “Find patterns in the footprints left by customers to create opportunities for advertising.”

Some of those signals can be found in the metadata. Luc Comeau, senior business development manager, Dalet Digital Media Systems, said that automation of metadata via tracking rights, using caption information and other technical information, makes it easier to categorize and repurpose content.

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