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Whatever You Do, Don’t Become an Accidental Software Programmer!

Find out how enterprise class software platforms can help transform your business operations

By Bruce Devlin | 09/23/14

Whoever said that running a media facility was easy needs carting off to the madhouse! Remaining price and quality competitive in today’s marketplace requires the physical agility of Usain Bolt, the insight of Gary Kasparov and the staying power of Red Rum all rolled into one:

Those media facilities that were amongst the first to spot the tremendous technical, operational and business opportunities offered by file-based workflows have benefitted from this revolutionary environment for some time. But it’s not as simple as making that decision to adopt file-based workflows and then retiring to your yacht in the Caribbean.

No. As the whole area of file-based workflows evolves, media facilities need to keep at the forefront of this new technology. But willingness to embrace these new technologies is not sufficient on its own. For without insight, you can (quite accidentally) end up becoming a software programmer rather than a media facility.

Enterprise-class file-based workflows – make the right decisions early 

What do I mean by this – running your company, you buy products that you believe will make your life easier and your business more profitable. Your plan is that these new products will provide flexibility and versatility in your business operations. You’ve seen products that allow you to design all the logic for your custom workflow and this seems perfect.

But just hang on a second! What’s your business about? Are you a software designer using software tools to deliver a workflow, OR, are you a media engineer using a workflow to deliver a result?

All too often we see valuable media engineers plugging away with workflow design software trying to get it to work for them. The alleged capital software saving is often wiped out by the man hours spent figuring out the logic of the workflow engine.

So, what are the alternatives?

  • You can buy the right tool for the job that has the right check boxes on its integrated GUI.
  • Or alternatively you can use an expert software design service to design the workflow with the sophisticated tools.

What’s more costly – capex or opex? 

So what’s the moral of this story: don’t be an accidental software designer. Don’t accidentally subsidise your capex budgets with opex pain and suffering. At least get a quote for the software service to configure your workflow – this will give you the true cost of the workflow solution.

When you are developing your file-based workflow strategy, don’t just concentrate on your technical needs. As how good are these products and software programmes at accommodating my business needs today? And how good are they at performing cart-wheels and handstands in order to accommodate our business needs as they change in the future.

Transform your business operations 

Enterprise class software platforms can help transform your business operations – hopefully for the better but sometimes for the worse. Time spent planning your strategy could be some of the most valuable time that you ever spend in the life of your media facility.

AmberFin can help you through this planning process. At AmberFin, we hate to see facilities making well-intentioned but flawed investment decisions. We are happy to help you plot a safe course through these new waters and would love to hear about what you are doing.

Featured in: Dalet AmberFin | File-Based Workflows |

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By Bruce Devlin

With 30 years in the industry, Bruce looks after Media Technology for Dalet. An engineer who designed antennas, ASICs, software, algorithms, systems and standards, Bruce is best known for being @MrMXF and you can get his book on Amazon ☺.

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