o w software platform, called Mio, which could be in-
stalled on-premise, used in a cloud configuration,
or even be packaged as a managed service.
Nativ partnered with the likes of Adobe, Amazon Web Services, and a host of encoder companies, such as Ateme, Elemental, and Harmonic.
Nativ also partnered with other workflow companies such as Aspera and Telestream.
The approach Nativ took was to use cloud-based
solutions to replace traditional media asset management systems (MAMs) with a multi-platform
approach that emphasized data continuity alongside automation of content preparation for each
By replacing the MAM as the central repository,
and by focusing instead on the bigger picture of
creation to consumption, the approach Nativ took
was one that allowed its cloud-based Mio offering
to be multi-tenant as well as multi-platform.
Still, in keeping with the tried-and-true MAM
approach, Mio centralized assets and data, at
least logically. What this means is that the information about the assets would be centralized,
even if the assets were stored in various accessible locations.
Offering a browser-based workflow design
tool allowed users to streamline and cluster
their work orders, for both file-based transcoding pipelines and live content ingest.
Designing a Workflow
To properly design a workflow, regardless of
which workflow management tools you choose
to use, there are five key steps the industry as a
whole agrees on.
First, the workflow needs to be defined. In
much the same way that you would design a da-
tabase table structure, linking the tables of seem-
ingly disparate data together with a visual design
tool, some workflow automation companies offer
object-based workflow design software to greatly
speed up this process.
Second, as part of the design based on the definition, a number of nodes or processing steps
need to be identified in sequential order. In simple terms, think of these as additional features
or functionalities that are processed only when
preceding steps are completed.
Third, as a way to move assets through the sequence, a handoff between each pair of nodes
needs to be identified. This could be as simple
as FTP’ing the asset to another watch folder, or
as complex as duplicating the asset for delivery
into multiple watch folders.
While these transitional points could be considered processing steps, most workflow tools
see them simply as pre- or post-processing steps,
depending on which side of the node they occur
in a particular workflow.
Interestingly, this space has now been automated by companies whose focus was on large file
transfers. Companies like Aspera (now owned by
IBM), or Signiant offer file acceleration transfers.
Aspera even has a workflow designer for its Orchestrator product (Figure 1), which automates
portions of the transfer between locations.
“[F]iles can be directed, processed and redirected with easy-to-define rules based on an
organization’s workflows and using existing IT
infrastructure,” the company states on its Orchestrator page. “[Orchestrator] integrates seamlessly with third-party plug-ins and ensures that
each processing step is accurately performed.”
Signiant has worked with media companies,
such as Discovery, to create acceleration and
automation at the very first step in the delivery
process: ingesting content from a large number
Discovery has created a Producer’s Portal as
a way to streamline content submission services