Microsoft Delivers Power of Connected Services Framework to Broadcast and Film Industries

REDMOND, Wash. — April 5, 2005 — Microsoft Corp. today announced it is extending the Microsoft® Connected Services Framework to organizations in the broadcast and film industries. The Connected Services Framework, an integrated, server-based software solution, enables broadcast companies and film studios to streamline the creation, management and delivery of digital content. The product has gained broad industry support because Microsoft is collaborating with leading companies such as Avid Technology Inc., North Plains Systems Corp., OmniBus Systems, Panasonic and Telestream Inc. to offer a comprehensive solution with Connected Services Framework at the core.

“The Microsoft Connected Services Framework is already generating tremendous excitement among customers and partners in the film and broadcast industries,” said Maria Martinez, corporate vice president for the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “To maintain a competitive edge in this era of transformation, broadcasters and film studios must embrace innovative technology to improve operational efficiency, reduce costs, and generate new revenue opportunities. With the Connected Services Framework and the combined efforts of our industry partners, Microsoft offers a compelling solution that enables companies to foster innovation and collaboration, enhance internal operations and easily adapt to growth and change.”

Solution Sets New Standard for Integration Efficiency

The Microsoft Connected Services Framework, which was introduced to the telecommunications industry in February 2005, sets a new standard for Web services-based interoperability. The solution employs a service-oriented architecture (SOA) approach to deliver an interoperable, manageable and scalable infrastructure of shared services such as digital asset management and content distribution processes. Built on proven Microsoft technologies and using industry standards such as Extensible Markup Language (XML), Simple Object Access Protocol (SOAP) and Web Services Description Language (WSDL), the Connected Services Framework enables customers to extend their existing technology investments and build a connected system that allows digital assets to move seamlessly across platforms and applications.

“In the broadcast and film industries there has been a historic split between operations and IT infrastructures, but as the migration to digital content accelerates, it is critical to create unified, efficient methods for developing, managing and delivering content,” said Joshua Duhl, director of research for the Content Management and Retrieval Solutions service at IDC. “To be more agile and adaptive, broadcast companies and film studios want a software-based solution, one that plugs into existing infrastructures, enables connected workflow capabilities and facilitates delivery of enterprisewide shared services in a cost-effective manner.”

For broadcasters and film studios, the Microsoft Connected Services Framework offers several key benefits:

Reduced overhead costs and shortened production cycles. Customers can reduce manual processes and improve organizational productivity by connecting key production systems. In addition, the Connected Services Framework can help shorten production cycles and increase flexibility by enabling dynamic workflows that support nonlinear creative and production processes.

Increase the value of existing technology investments. The Connected Services Framework enables customers to implement an interoperable, manageable and scalable service-oriented architecture SOA of shared media services across the business and production environment, extending the value of their existing infrastructure.

Improved communications and increase the flow of information across organizational boundaries. Creation of a news or feature story requires a high degree of input from various producers, writers, audio and video specialists, as well as external experts. The Connected Services Framework facilitates a collaborative environment that helps increase workflow efficiency, and enhance internal and external communications.

Provide real-time insight into production and business support performance. By connecting business and data management systems, the Microsoft solution provides business intelligence to enable better decision-making at critical project checkpoints, reduce cost overruns, and ultimately result in increased profits.

Generate new revenue opportunities. The Connected Services Framework enables companies to build and grow a profitable business by providing a rich collaborative environment for the production and delivery of digital content across multiple channels and devices.

“The key to the modern broadcast operation is workflow and effective business integration,” said Ian Fletcher, founder and CTO of Omnibus Systems. “The Connected Services Framework enables the industry to deploy systems that link individual companies providing specialist services, such as Omnibus, within a fully integrated environment. Omnibus is committed to integrating with the Connected Services Framework and making extensive use of the product within future releases of its OPUS Content Management suite of applications.”

“As the media production landscape has expanded beyond content creation to include content management and distribution, our 17 years of film, video and broadcast experience has taught us that customers can achieve the greatest ROI when they deploy technologies that streamline and enhance their workflow,” said David Schleifer, vice president of Avid Broadcast and Workgroups. “The enterprisewide, service-oriented architecture of the Microsoft Connected Services Framework offers great value to any media production environment by facilitating greater access between users, applications and processes. As a result, customers who use the Microsoft Connected Service Framework with Avid’s workgroup solutions and third-party products can operate more efficiently through better integration across disparate digital production, workflow and distribution systems.”

Microsoft Worldwide Media & Entertainment Group at NAB2005

Microsoft will present an integrated, end-to-end product demonstration of the Connected Services Framework with leading broadcast industry partners at the 2005 National Association of Broadcasters Convention in Las Vegas, April 18–21 at the LVCC Microsoft booth, South Hall SL332.

About Microsoft Connected Services Framework

The Microsoft Connected Services Framework is an integrated, server-based software solution for building and managing services using a service-oriented architecture (SOA). For media and entertainment organizations, the Connected Services Framework provides a service-oriented infrastructure to manage how disparate applications work together to help companies streamline the creation, management and delivery of content.

For telecommunications operators and service providers, the Connected Services Framework allows them to aggregate, provision and manage converged communications services for their subscribers across multiple networks and a range of device types. The Connected Services Framework can simplify how content owners and operators work together to deliver fresh new content to a broad audience of consumers. With the Connected Services Framework, companies across the content and service delivery value chain can reduce the cost and time of integration, get more from their existing infrastructure and generate additional revenue streams through new services and content.

Those interested in learning more can visit the Microsoft Connected Services Framework for Media and Entertainment Web site or the Connected Services Framework for service providers Web site..

About Microsoft’s Worldwide Media & Entertainment Group

The Microsoft Worldwide Media & Entertainment Group is a vertical organization within Microsoft that helps media and entertainment companies implement tailored enterprise solutions to meet the industry’s unique business and IT needs. Innovative Microsoft technologies enable tier-one service and solution providers to deliver integrated enterprise solutions that help media and entertainment companies increase their efficiency and effectiveness and enhance the consumer experience. More information can be found at /

About Microsoft

Founded in 1975, Microsoft (Nasdaq “MSFT”) is the worldwide leader in software, services and solutions that help people and businesses realize their full potential. Microsoft is a registered trademark of Microsoft Corp. in the United States and/or other countries. The names of actual companies and products mentioned herein may be the trademarks of their respective owners.

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