Microsoft Expands Its Global Presence in the Broadcast and Film Industries With New Customer Deployments and Partner Solutions

LAS VEGAS — April 24, 2006 — Today at NAB2006, Microsoft Corp. announced a new customer in the broadcast industry has deployed Microsoft® Connected Services Framework to enable the streamlining of internal systems and better exploitation of its global assets and distribution services. In addition, Microsoft has reinforced its commitment to its partner ecosystem in the broadcast and film industries with companies such as OmniBus Systems, North Plains Systems Corp. and Infosys Technologies Ltd. that have built or are integrating new solutions based on Microsoft Connected Services Framework and other Microsoft technologies. The new customer and the partner services and solutions follow Microsoft’s announcement with Accenture and Avanade last week that Singapore-based broadcasting giant MediaCorp Pte Ltd. has adopted Microsoft Connected Services Framework as a key component in its integrated broadcast system.

“The current transition from analog to digital content is driving a tremendous change in the way broadcast and film industries produce and manage content. New revenue opportunities arise with the multiple distribution opportunities for digital content such as through the Internet and on mobile devices,” said Maria Martinez, corporate vice president of the Communications Sector at Microsoft. “To help broadcasters and other multimedia content producers capitalize on these new opportunities, Microsoft provides the platform that is necessary to create a seamless and collaborative digital workflow environment, as well as the solutions and services to effectively manage digital assets throughout the broadcast production life cycle.”

BBC Worldwide Ltd. is working on a digital strategy that will enable the streamlining of internal systems and better exploitation of its global assets and distribution services. As part of this strategy, the broadcaster is deploying Connected Services Framework as the unifying platform that links disparate systems and islands of content currently stored in multiple archives and formats. The initiative will also provide a companywide view of all content and distribution channels. In addition to being cost-effective and quick to deploy, Microsoft Connected Services Framework is scalable, enabling a phased rollout while still allowing usual services to customers to be maintained. The first phase of the project is planned to be completed in April 2006 and will involve the integration of three disparate product catalogs.

In addition to building customer momentum in the broadcast and film industries, Microsoft continues to expand its partner network. At the Microsoft booth at NAB2006, the Media & Entertainment Group and many of its partners will be showcasing new solutions based on Connected Services Framework and other Microsoft technologies through demonstrations or sessions at the Digital Media Theater. Microsoft partners include these:

  • OmniBus Systems’ iTX, a software-only playout suite of applications, is basing its workflow on Connected Services Framework.  iTX dramatically reduces broadcasters’ capital costs associated with producing and distributing branded channels.  iTX, designed to operate on standard IT hardware, provides SD, HD, live and Windows Media® streaming solutions that replace the functionalities previously supplied by video servers, master control, video effects hardware, logo inserters and character generators.

  • North Plains TeleScope provides the central media management engine for applications such as video on demand, broadcast automation, video publishing to the Web and data-mining archiving. North Plains is the first digital asset management supplier to provide Web Parts for access to a content management solution through Microsoft SharePoint® Portal Server.

  • Infosys Technologies has developed its digital asset management and intellectual property management solutions using Microsoft Connected Services Framework and Microsoft Windows Media Digital Rights Management. The solutions enable media companies to better manage media assets and metadata so they can effectively exploit content archives and monetize media assets across media platforms.

“Since the launch of Connected Services Framework at NAB2005, we’ve made significant strides evangelizing the promise that Microsoft technologies hold for the broadcast and film industries,” Martinez said. “Our focus is on solving today’s real problems and preparing for tomorrow’s opportunities by providing an infrastructure that supports business goals and extends the value of existing and future technology and IT investments.”

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