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Apr 03, 2020
Why newsroom production has to adapt NOW to the new normal
With the COVID-19 virus making deep - and perhaps permanent - changes to our everyday reality, there’s more pressure than ever to produce and deliver moment-by-moment updates. This comes at exactly the time when many “conventional” newsrooms and studios are out of action for health and safety reasons.

News moves from Hub to Home

Dalet OneCut can be used - without limitations - in the field and at home. Its proxy editing capabilities mean working with lightweight files and lower bandwidth requirements, allowing journalists to work almost anywhere - even on a mobile phone connection.

Fierce competition for viewers along with a rapidly changing multiplatform environment has put newsrooms under immense stress.

In the space of just a few weeks, news broadcasters have had to discard a lifetime’s worth of practices and hard-earned experience as anchors and reporters are dispatched to their homes where they continue to broadcast, but not always with the same technical finesse as viewers are accustomed to. And yet viewers are adaptable and readily accepting this vastly more ad-hoc content, while still appreciating high quality production where it’s possible.

At the same time, as experienced broadcast practitioners deal with the fastest and most dramatic changes of their lifetimes, video is being distributed on more platforms, to more devices, in more places than ever.

 

Viewers rely on traditional broadcasters

Despite all of this, viewers still rely on traditional broadcasters. Even though social media is encroaching, when it comes to news, the world turns to familiar faces and channels. In fact, according to the Edelman Special Trust Barometer Report on COVID-19 (March 2020), the most relied-on source of information is mainstream news organizations: the major news outlets are relied on nearly twice as much as global health organizations (like WHO) or national health organizations (like the CDC). 54% of young people rely on social media and 56% on mainstream media, while people ages 55+ rate mainstream media as nearly three times more reliable than social.  

In the face of the new, socially-distanced reality, broadcasters have little choice but to rapidly pivot towards remote workflows, not just because this is an emergency, but because this could easily become the new normal.

 

News moves from Hub to Home

Until recently, the big challenge blocking a viable in-the-field or remote editing workflow was the costly and somewhat limiting infrastructure that was needed for even the most basic working system. Dedicated hardware, additional layers of security for accessing the central storage hub, and the difficulty of navigating VPNs limited broadcasters’ ability and willingness to deploy and scale at will. Vital collaboration between users was poor or lacking completely.

To address these challenges, Dalet Galaxy five supports cloud-based workflows, using “intermediate media” to reduce performance issues and leverage cloud-based infrastructure to scale. Working in the cloud this way also reduces security issues as there is no need for a VPN or any VDI-like connection or a direct connection to the main content hub. This approach, which minimises overheads and keeps costs low, is immediately attractive to broadcasters and media companies, while giving editors and journalists a much better experience in the field and when working from home.

 

Proxy editing enables a seamless remote editing experience, from home or the field

Dalet OneCut, which is typically used in the newsroom to package stories, can be used - without limitations - in the field and at home. Its proxy editing capabilities mean working with lightweight files and lower bandwidth requirements, allowing journalists to work almost anywhere - even on a mobile phone connection. Because Dalet OneCut is a component of the Dalet Galaxy five platform, journalists can connect to the production hub and securely access assets, archives and resources. It's almost the same experience as working inside the newsroom. Journalists can pick up story assignments, retrieve assets and mix with local content, assemble packages and submit for distribution. Dalet’s smart caching protocol and secure connections to content hubs, archive systems and servers offer a friction-free exchange of resources and assets to keep the news content and stories flowing fast from anywhere.

Remote Editing Workflows

Journalists can mix the content from the central hub with their local content (media on a laptop or desktop). It’s a simple search and retrieve process - users don’t even need to know where the content lives. Reporters can share EDLs with colleagues and the production center, which is particularly important when sending a story back to the main news hub for finalization or developing a storyline for collaboration with colleagues. It’s fast, efficient and easy-to-do. And when the package is finished, Dalet Galaxy five offers a clever way of downloading and uploading only the media that is needed for the project edit-and-render, so the system is never bogged down.

 

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Mainstream news production operations have, for decades, been typically on an enterprise scale with technology and equipment that can’t easily be moved out of the building and into the field. But remote working - and even presenting - is today’s reality. The world can work efficiently anywhere.

The benefits of this type of workflow are many - too many to list in our blog. If you have additional requirements, please contact us. We are here to help in any way we can!

 

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This gives us tremendous flexibility with regards to feeding channels and distribution outlets, including our new BFM Lyon channel.” NextRadioTV’s digital transformation with Dalet has enabled the group to launch new initiatives like the ultra-targeted regional station BFM Lyon quickly, while keeping in line with the brand’s content strategy across multiple locations. With a reputation for always being the first to broadcast breaking news, the Dalet tools help NextRadioTV verify, editorialize and broadcast content before any other media outlet. “Launching BFM Lyon, the second regional channel after BFM Paris under Altice France, marks a major step in our network expansion strategy. Thanks to the advanced collaboration framework and powerful connectivity, Dalet Galaxy has helped broaden our reach while accelerating a digital transformation that allows us to continue to scale with ease,” adds Antoine Robelin. A single Dalet Galaxy MAM, orchestration and editorial platform powers NextRadioTV's massive multi-channel, multi-format and multi-output programming, from news and sports to long-form and radio programs, allowing individual teams to manage collaboratively everything from content ingest, editing, graphics and playout, to multi-platform distribution and archives. Johann Zemmour, General Manager EMEA-APAC, Dalet comments, “The agility of Dalet Galaxy is very important for NextRadioTV’s product-oriented production approach, in which they use a studio to produce a show and decide later where and when that program content will appear on TV, radio and digital. Dalet Galaxy allows them to use their resources independently of their channels, enabling NextRadioTV to leverage a wide range of content for new channels as well as manage distribution across their many platforms in an incredibly efficient manner.” Dalet systems have supported BFMTV programming throughout their entire history, from a small newsroom of 50 people to what is today several hundreds of simultaneous users and advanced workflows covering all production and playout operations. Serving all operations across multiple locations, the Dalet Galaxy systems facilitates immediate content sharing across all departments, supporting desktop editing for fast turnaround news and sports via Dalet OneCut, and advanced packages crafted on Adobe Premiere Pro CC brought seamlessly into the collaborative workflow via Dalet Xtend. &lt;iframe width="660" height="415" src="https://www.youtube.com/embed/F_PXyJtOchs" frameborder="0" allow="accelerometer; autoplay; encrypted-media; gyroscope; picture-in-picture" allowfullscreen&gt;&lt;/iframe&gt; About NextRadioTV NextRadioTV is an independent multimedia company. Its business focuses on five areas – general news, sports, the economy, high-tech and factual entertainment – available on television, radio and digital media. The Group has recognized know-how and expertise in managing innovative audiovisual projects. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organisations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximising the value of assets. Based on an agile foundation, Dalet offers rich collaborative tools empowering end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, post-production, archives and enterprise content management, radio, education, governments and institutions. Dalet platforms are scalable and modular. They offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical functions of small to large media operations - such as planning, workflow orchestration, ingest, cataloguing, editing, chat &amp; notifications, transcoding, play out automation, multi-platform distribution and analytics. In July 2019, Dalet announced the acquisition of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform business. An acceleration of the company’s mission, the move brings tremendous value to existing Dalet and Ooyala customers, opening vast opportunities for OTT &amp; digital distribution. Dalet solutions and services are used around the world at hundreds of content producers and distributors, including public broadcasters (BBC, CBC, France TV, RAI, TV2 Denmark, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, SBS Australia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, MBC Dubai, Mediacorp, Fox Sports Australia, Turner Asia, Mediaset, Orange, Charter Spectrum, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), sporting organisations (National Rugby League, FIVB, LFP) and government organisations (UK Parliament, NATO, United Nations, Veterans Affairs, NASA). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
New Dalet Cube NG Brings Advanced Broadcast Graphics to Dalet Unified News Operations
Dalet, a leading provider of solutions and services for broadcasters and content professionals, announced today the release of its next generation platform for news graphics and workflows, Dalet CubeNG. Fully integrated across the Dalet Unified News Operations solution powered by Dalet Galaxy five, the state-of-the-art, full-featured Dalet CubeNG graphics platform leverages the industry-leading Brainstorm real-time graphics engine to deliver superior 2D and 3D branding and visuals. Suited for both on-air and file-based graphics creation, the Dalet CubeNG unified approach enables news broadcasters to easily create dynamic branding and up-level visual storytelling across traditional, digital and social channels. “Great graphics play a key role in impactful storytelling and deepening viewer engagement. The expansive capabilities of Dalet CubeNG powered by the Brainstorm graphics engine is a significant upgrade for what our Dalet Galaxy five news customers can achieve in terms of creating riveting visual narratives across all distribution channels,” comments Kevin Savina, Director of Product Strategy, Dalet. A major upgrade to the existing Dalet Cube graphics platform, Dalet CubeNG offers a redesigned, highly scalable architecture and modern web-based UI. The embedded, high-performance Brainstorm real-time 3D graphics engine significantly expands on-air and file-based graphics capabilities with its support for 4K and user-defined options, added primitives for building 2D and 3D graphics, support for Unicode fonts and languages, and outstanding transition logic. Noted news broadcasters that rely on the Brainstorm real-time graphics engine include CNBC, NHK, RAI, RTHK, RTVE, TVN and many others. “Brainstorm’s real-time graphics engine has proven its power, flexibility and reliability in hundreds of installations all over the world,” says David Alexander, Brainstorm’s Commercial Director. “And we are now very excited with this new opportunity, forging a long-term relationship with Dalet by working together to provide news broadcasters with state-of-the-art features and a very versatile toolset with the Brainstorm engine at the core of Dalet CubeNG. The ease, speed and flexibility of content creation offered by the new Dalet CubeNG, which are well recognised hallmarks of Brainstorm’s graphics engine, empower broadcasters with greater capabilities to better engage with their audiences and enhance the viewer experience with more visually attractive graphics and improved storytelling.” Feature highlights of the new Dalet CubeNG include: Advanced Materials and Objects – Thanks to the Brainstorm graphics engine, Dalet CubeNG supports a wide range of objects including spheres, curves and arrows with extensive control over parameters. It also includes a particle generator for creating visual effects such as fire, smoke, rain and more, and other special objects that can be dynamically linked to external data parameters. Font and Text Management – Dalet CubeNG offers full control over 2D and 3D text including size, texture, shading and mapping. It also includes support for Unicode fonts and a wide range of languages including Arabic, Chinese, Cyrillic, Japanese, Korean and Thai. Format and Resolution Independent – Dalet CubeNG is resolution independent and supports HD, 2K, 4K, 8K, UHD and beyond, as well as digital and social graphics formats and workflows. Tweet to Graphics – No story is complete until it’s been posted on social; the moment users transform a tweet into a graphic, that graphic becomes an object within Dalet that journalists can either schedule in a production rundown or play out on-air with the news package. Ease-of-Use – Dalet CubeNG features simple-to-use tools and tight integration with Dalet Galaxy five that facilitate the adoption of graphics creation and use across the newsroom. Fully integrated with Dalet Galaxy five, Dalet CubeNG gives news broadcasters a complete solution for building impactful graphics to enhance a news story. Thanks to this native connection, changes to graphics can be made on playback, with advanced support for updating behavior and conditions. Users can add CG elements into the video project for either playout or burn-in, and graphics will trigger automatically at playout wherever the journalists placed CGs on the timeline. With total control of graphics playout with the on-air video operator, news teams can better allocate resources and improve operations all around. Dalet Galaxy five tracks every graphic object, allowing graphic designers, journalists, producers and other staff to search on any and every graphic element, making it easier than ever to repurpose graphics and objects, keeping a broadcaster’s brand consistent across all distribution outlets while maintaining efficiency. For more information on Dalet CubeNG and other Dalet solutions, please visit www.dalet.com/cube. Better Together - Join us for a Very Special Dalet Pulse Event! This IBC2019, the Dalet Pulse media innovation summit will expand its platform to include Ooyala. Celebrating the joining of two great media teams and technologies, the Dalet Pulse theme this year, Better Together, will give attendees a chance to learn about the extended product portfolio and how it helps leading media organizations develop agile content supply chains, deliver unique content experiences to multi-platform audiences, and increase revenues with Dalet solutions and partner technologies. It’s also a unique opportunity to meet the expanded team. Thursday, 12 September Pompstation, Amsterdam Keynote: 17:30 - 19:00 Party: 19:00 - 22:00 Register now via www.dalet.com/events/dalet-pulse-ibc-2019 Book a Private Briefing to Learn More About Dalet Take the opportunity to have a private demonstration or workflow consultation with a Dalet expert to learn how the latest products and solutions can help you better create, manage and distribute content. Book a meeting via https://www.dalet.com/events/ibc-show-2019 Press can contact Alex Molina at alex@zazilmediagroup.com to schedule a media briefing. About Brainstorm Brainstorm is a 25-year-old specialist company dedicated to providing industry-leading real-time 3D graphics and virtual set solutions for broadcast, feature film production and corporate presentations. Brainstorm has more than 2,500 installations worldwide since its foundation in 1993, including many of the world’s leading broadcasters plus numerous smaller and regional stations. For more information visit brainstorm3d.com. About Dalet Digital Media Systems Dalet solutions and services enable media organisations to create, manage and distribute content faster and more efficiently, fully maximising the value of assets. Based on an agile foundation, Dalet offers rich collaborative tools empowering end-to-end workflows for news, sports, program preparation, post-production, archives and enterprise content management, radio, education, governments and institutions. Dalet platforms are scalable and modular. They offer targeted applications with key capabilities to address critical functions of small to large media operations - such as planning, workflow orchestration, ingest, cataloguing, editing, chat &amp; notifications, transcoding, play out automation, multi-platform distribution and analytics. In July 2019, Dalet announced the acquisition of the Ooyala Flex Media Platform business. An acceleration of the company’s mission, the move brings tremendous value to existing Dalet and Ooyala customers, opening vast opportunities for OTT &amp; digital distribution. Dalet solutions and services are used around the world at hundreds of content producers and distributors, including public broadcasters (BBC, CBC, France TV, RAI, TV2 Denmark, RFI, Russia Today, RT Malaysia, SBS Australia, VOA), commercial networks and operators (Canal+, FOX, MBC Dubai, Mediacorp, Fox Sports Australia, Turner Asia, Mediaset, Orange, Charter Spectrum, Warner Bros, Sirius XM Radio), sporting organisations (National Rugby League, FIVB, LFP) and government organisations (UK Parliament, NATO, United Nations, Veterans Affairs, NASA). Dalet is traded on the NYSE-EURONEXT stock exchange (Eurolist C): ISIN: FR0011026749, Bloomberg DLT:FP, Reuters: DALE.PA. Dalet® is a registered trademark of Dalet Digital Media Systems. All other products and trademarks mentioned herein belong to their respective owners.
Remote editing is here - FEED Magazine issue 15
For our first stop in London partnering with AWS and Adobe, we focused on the need to create content in a fast paced environment with continuously, new format to deal with and new outlets to serve. Craving for more engaging content when they want and were they want, consumers lead the dance and create new needs and new challenges to tackle. Interesting in learning more? FEED Magazine here during the event led our final panel and summarize the key takeaways of the event just for you in a dedicated article. Read the full article Learn more about Dalet Remote Editing
Shared Storage for Media Workflows… Part 1
In part one of this article, Dalet Director of Marketing Ben Davenport lists and explains the key concepts to master when selecting storage for media workflows. Part two, authored by Quantum Senior Product Marketing Manager Janet Lafleur, focuses on storage technologies and usages. The first time I edited any media, I did it with a razor and some sticky tape. It wasn&rsquo;t a complicated edit &ndash; I was stitching together audio recordings of two movements of a Mozart piano concerto. It also wasn&rsquo;t that long ago and I confess that every subsequent occasion I used a DAW (Digital Audio Workstation). I&rsquo;m guessing that there aren&rsquo;t many (or possibly any) readers of this blog that remember splicing video tape together (that died off with helical-scan) but there are probably a fair few who have, in the past, performed a linear edit with two or more tape machines and a switcher. Today, however, most media operations (even down to media consumption) are non-linear; this presents some interesting challenges when storing, and possibly more importantly, recalling media. To understand why this is so challenging, we first need to think about the elements of the media itself and then the way in which these elements are accessed. Media Elements The biggest element, both in terms of complex and data, is video. High Definition (HD) video, for example, will pass &ldquo;uncompressed&rdquo; down a serial digital interface (SDI) cable at 1.5Gbps. Storing and moving content at these data rates is impractical for most media facilities, so we compress the signal by removing psychovisually, spatially, and often temporally redundant elements. Most compressions schemes will ensure that decompressing or decoding the file requires less processing cycles that the compression process. However, it is inevitable that some cycles are necessary and, as video playback has a critical temporal element, it will always be necessary to &ldquo;read ahead&rdquo; in a video file and buffer at the playback client. Where temporally redundant components are also removed, such as in a MPEG LongGOP compression scheme like Sony XDCAM HD, the buffering requirements are significantly increased as the client will need to read all the temporal references, typically a minimum of one second of video, or 1Gb of data. When compared to video, the data rate of audio and ancillary data (captions, etc.) is small enough that often it is stored &ldquo;uncompressed&rdquo; and therefore requires less in the way of CPU cycles ahead of playback &ndash; this does, however, introduce some challenges for storage in the way that audio samples and ancillary data are accessed. Media Access Files containing video, even when compressed, are big - 50Mbps is about as low a bit rate as most media organizations will go. On its own, that might sound well within the capabilities of even consumer devices &ndash; typically a 7200rpm hard disk would have a &ldquo;disk-to-buffer&rdquo; transfer rate of around 1Gbps, but this is not the whole story. 50Mbps is the video bit rate &ndash; audio and ancillary data results in an additional 8-16Mbps Many operations will run &ldquo;as fast as possible&rdquo; - although processing cycles are often the restricting factor here, but even a playback or review process will likely include &ldquo;off-speed&rdquo; playback up to 8 or 16 times faster than real-time &ndash; the latter requiring over 1Gbps Many operations will utilize multiple streams of video Sufficient bandwidth is therefore the first requirement for media operations, but this is not the only thing to consider. If we take a simple example of a user reviewing a piece of long-form material, a documentary for instance, in a typical manual QC of checking the beginning, middle and end of the media. As the media is loaded into the playback client, the start of the file(s) will be read from storage and, more than likely, buffered into memory. The user&rsquo;s actions here are fairly predictable, and therefore developing and optimizing a storage system with deterministic behavior in this scenario is highly achievable. However, the user then jumps to a pseudo-random point in the middle of the program; at this point the playback client needs to do a number of things. First, it is likely that the player will need to read the header (or footer) of the file(s) to find the location of the video/audio/ancillary data samples that the user has chosen &ndash; a small, contained read operation where any form, if buffering, is probably undesirable. The player will then read the media elements themselves, but these too are read operations of varying sizes: Video: If a &ldquo;LongGOP&rdquo; encoded file, potentially up to twice the duration of the &ldquo;GOP&rdquo; &ndash; in XDCAM HD, 1 sec ~6MB Audio: A minimum of a video frames-worth of samples ~6KB Ancillary data: Dependent on what is stored, but considering captions and picture descriptions ~6B Architecting a storage system that ensures that these reads of significantly different orders happen quickly and efficiently to provide the user with a responsive and deterministic way for dozens of clients often accessing the exact same file(s) requires significant expertise and testing. Check back tomorrow for part two of &ldquo;Shared Storage for Media Workflows,&rdquo; where Janet Lafleur looks at how storage can be designed and architected to respond to these demands!
Dalet @ Broadcast Asia 2015
As we look forward to another exciting show at BCA 2015, it&rsquo;s a good opportunity to reflect on the media and entertainment industry in the Asia-Pacific region. There are a few things that always stand out when working in Asia. First is the wide availability and rapid adoption of the latest consumer technology. In M&amp;E, this has driven the requirement to deliver to more and more platforms. While multi-version workflows were always core to many projects in the region, especially where content is distributed in so many languages across a wide geography, this expansion to support multiple platforms has added a further dimension and really brought home the value and return on investment that well designed and deployed MAM-driven workflows can bring to an organizations. MAM-driven workflows such as the Dalet Galaxy-based solutions that have been and are currently being deployed at big-name broadcasters, content owners and content distributors across the whole region. Of course, implementing a MAM and a MAM-driven workflow can represent a big change for the large number of media industry professionals here in Asia. Ensuring that we manage that change as we implement systems is just as important as the deployment of the technology itself. In recognition of this, Dalet has continued to expand our project management and training teams in the region, ensuring that all the support you need before, during and after installing projects is ready and available whenever you need it. Indeed, the team has grown so big, we&rsquo;re moving to a new office &ndash; look out for a change of address soon. If you&rsquo;ll be at BroadcastAsia next week, we&rsquo;d love to see you. We&rsquo;ll be exhibiting in booth 5A5-12 and invite you to schedule a one-on-one meeting with a Dalet media workflow expert. And if you haven&rsquo;t done so already, be sure to register for BCA today! Hope to see you there.
How to bring standards to your organisation
Back in the 1990s, I was told of an old maxim: "If you can't win the market place, win the standard." I thought that this was a cynical approach to standardisation until we looked through some examples of different markets where there are a small number of dominant players (e.g., CPUs for desktop PCs, GPU cards, tablet / smartphone OS) versus markets where there is enforced cooperation (Wi-Fi devices, network cabling, telephone equipment, USB connectivity). So, how does this affect technology in the media industry, and how can you use the power of standards in your organisation? It seems that the media technology industry hasn't made its mind up about what's best. We have come from a history that is strong in standardisation (SDI, colour spaces, sampling grids, etc.), and this has created a TV and film environment where the interchange of live or streaming content works quite well, although maybe not as cheaply and cleanly as we would like. When the material is offline or file-based, there are many more options. Some of them are single-vendor dominant (like QuickTime), some are standards-led (like MXF), some are open source (Ogg, Theora) and others are proprietary (LXF, FLV). Over any long timeframe, commercial strength beats technical strength. This guiding principal should help explain the dynamics of some of the choices made by organisations. Over the last 10 years, we have seen QuickTime chosen as an interchange format where short-term "I want it working and I want it now" decisions have been dominant. In other scenarios – as in the case of "I am generating thousands of assets a month and I want to still use them in six years time when Apple decides that wearables are more important than tablets" – MXF is often the standard of choice. Looking into the future, we can see that there are a number of disruptive technologies that could impact decision-making and dramatically change the economics of the media supply chain: IP transport (instead of SDI) High Dynamic Range (HDR) video 4k (or higher) resolution video Wide colour space video HEVC encoding for distribution High / mixed frame rate production Time Labelling as a replacement for timecode Specifications for managing workflows Some of these are clearly cooperative markets where long-term commercial reality will be a major force in the final outcome (e.g., IP transport). Other technologies could go either way – you could imagine a dominant camera manufacturer “winning” the high / mixed frame rate production world with a sexy new sensor. Actually, I don't think this will happen because we are up against the laws of physics, but you never know – there are lots of clever people out there! This leads us to the question of how you might get your organisation ahead of the game in these or other new technology areas. In some ways being active in a new standard is quite simple – you just need to take part. This can be costly unless you focus on the right technology and standards body for your organisation. You can participate directly or hire a consultant to do this speciality work for you. Listening, learning and getting the inside track on new technology is simply a matter of turning up and taking notes. Guiding the standards and exerting influence requires a contributor who is skilled in the technology as well as the arts of politics and process. For this reason, there are a number of consultants who specialise in this tricky but commercially important area of our business. Once you know “who” will participate, you also need to know “where” and “how.” Different standards organisations have different specialties. The ITU will work on the underlying definition of colour primaries for Ultra High Definition, SMPTE will define how those media files are carried and transported, and MPEG will define how they are used during encoding for final delivery. Figuring our which standards body is best suited for the economic interests of your organisation requires a clear understanding of you organisation’s economics and some vision about how exerting influence will improve those economics. Although a fun topic, it's a little outside today's scope! So how do you bring standards to your organisation? Step 1: join in and listen Step 2: determine whether or not exerting influence is to your advantage Step 3: actively contribute Step 4: sit back and enjoy the fruits of your labour For more on the topic, don't forget to listen to our webinars! Coming soon, I'll be talking about Business Process Management and standards – and why they matter. Until the next one...