Microsoft Enables Broadcasters to Bridge Business and Content Production Processes With Connected Services Framework

AMSTERDAM, Netherlands — Sept. 9, 2005 — Today at IBC2005, the International Broadcasters Convention, Microsoft Corp. announced it is extending the unique capabilities of Microsoft® Connected Services Framework for the broadcast and film industries to integrate with business processes, such as scheduling and rights management systems, and dynamically interact with production processes. Along with industry-leading business application providers RightsLine, ScheduALL and Xytech Systems, Microsoft will demonstrate an enhanced workflow at IBC2005, showcasing an end-to-end content management scenario with business management applications collaborating with content creation processes. This demonstration exemplifies a new level of integration between business systems and production processes, highlighting the significant potential for efficiencies and cost savings with a service-oriented architecture (SOA) enabled through Connected Services Framework.

“Reaching beyond integration of digital production systems and applications, our demonstration of Connected Services Framework at IBC2005 offers a compelling view of the capabilities for business applications — such as scheduling and rights management systems — to interact with the content production processes,” said Maria Martinez, corporate vice president for the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “With Connected Services Framework, broadcasters and film studios can attain a fluid, automated exchange of data among otherwise disconnected applications, ultimately increasing productivity across the organization.”

The integration of business applications through Connected Services Framework is achieved using a new Media Order Adapter developed with ScheduALL, Xytech Systems and Technicolor, New Media. The adapter provides a common integration point for business systems and allows project work orders to be generated in industry-recognized software applications such as ScheduALL and Xytech Systems and executed by Connected Services Framework. Providing the dynamic connectivity between the necessary systems, Connected Services Framework automates the workflow, notifying and interacting with session participants, whether they are production systems such as transcoding services, Digital Asset Management (DAM) systems and editing tools or human participants needed to generate media assets, provide edits or review content for approval. The exchange of data through Connected Services Framework is bidirectional, allowing business systems not only to deliver work order parameters, but also to monitor the progress and health of projects, helping ensure that tasks are completed and budgets are maintained in real time.

Microsoft’s collaboration with RightsLine adds an end-to-end content management framework that enables both content and service providers to track, manage and allocate usage permissions and capture royalty obligations. The complex and increasingly time-sensitive workflows of today’s content and service providers are able to leverage the event-driven messaging model of the Connected Services Framework to “plug-in” RightsLine’s patented business rights management software to help ensure that content rights and royalties are contractually available and accurately accounted for. With a published application programming interface (API) to deploy RightsLine’s Rights Management System using Microsoft’s Connected Services Framework, broadcasters, studios and other content providers can reduce content and services time to market, reduce liability and maximize the utilization of their content portfolios.

Accenture Analysis Offers Compelling Business Case for Digital Transformation

Accenture, a primary systems integration partner for Microsoft and the Connected Services Framework, recently conducted analysis that looks at the issues and opportunities associated with new digital technologies and how they are transforming production techniques and capabilities for broadcast and film companies.

Based on an in-depth study conducted with a major television broadcaster, the analysis shows that transforming a broadcaster’s technology, processes and human performance can typically save 9 percent of annual production spend.

Accenture’s business case underscores the value and opportunity available to broadcasters and film companies through implementation of a service-oriented architecture, which is becoming a driving force of change in other industries.

Using their collective industry expertise, Accenture and Microsoft are collaborating to help broadcasters and film companies extend the value of existing technology resources, and reap the benefits of SOA with the Microsoft Connected Services Framework at the core.

“The Connected Services Framework offers broadcast and film companies a sophisticated and competitive way to create, manage and deploy content over multiple channels,” said Dave Brown, a partner in Accenture’s Media & Entertainment practice. “Simply by connecting together digital islands, the potential impact for the business in terms of improved performance and new market opportunities is irresistible.”

About Microsoft Connected Services Framework

Microsoft Connected Services Framework is an integrated, server-based software solution for building and managing services using a service-oriented architecture.

For media and entertainment organizations, Connected Services Framework provides an SOA to manage how disparate applications work together to help companies streamline the creation, management and delivery of content.

For telecommunications operators and service providers, 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.

Connected Services Framework can simplify how content owners and operators work together to deliver fresh new content to a broad audience of consumers. With 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 can generate additional revenue streams through new services and content.

More information about Connected Services Framework for media and entertainment companies 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.

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