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A+E Networks EMEA Deploys SDVI Rally Platform

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SDVI has announced that A+E Networks EMEA has deployed the Rally media supply chain management platform to modernise its operations and move its media supply chain to the cloud.

The Rally platform is enabling a transformation of the A+E Networks EMEA content supply chain, leveraging metadata and the power of the cloud to automate and streamline workflows for long-form content sourcing, processing, localisation, enrichment, storage, and distribution.

The media supply chain at A+E Networks EMEA handles 27 linear feeds and 60 VOD platforms, with content in 24 languages. In November 2023, A+E Networks EMEA took Rally — and integrations with in-house scheduling and management systems — live to handle all incoming content from production companies, distributors, and acquisition parties. Workflows for content going out to distribution partners and platforms are slated for this summer.

"Rally is enabling us to shift from siloed operations to an integrated cloud-based supply chain with which we're realising the increased flexibility, speed, and control we need to support our EMEA operations," said Jan-Hendrik Hein, Vice President of Media Operations at A+E Networks EMEA. "Data-driven automated workflows have already allowed us to reduce repetitive manual tasks significantly and free up skilled operators to focus on where they can add even greater value. As content comes in from suppliers, for example, we've reduced the manual touches across the workflow from 16 to just four."

With automation of the ingest workflow, content that arrives in the evening from the U.S. can be processed overnight and ready for operators in the morning, accelerating the workflow by six to 10 hours. Content from A+E Networks in the U.S., where the supply chain has been under Rally management since 2020, arrives with extensive metadata that allows content to be matched up automatically to placeholders in the workflow and sent through validation and QC processes before a human operator begins work.

In addition to enabling greater automation, Rally has centralised data management and improved visibility across these operations. As a result, various departments can now access up-to-date information, eliminating extensive email communication, time-consuming spreadsheet management, or duplication of common tasks.

Supply chain visibility and reporting allow the finance team to determine how many minutes of content have been processed by Rally itself or by third-party applications, such as transcoding and QC, and how much was spent on a show, or even on a specific asset. The compliance team enjoys more direct access to content via Rally and now can view and approve assets without waiting for the technical team to deliver them. And the programming acquisitions team can see when content has gone through extra transcoding or extra QC steps and reconcile additional costs according to contracts with third-party distributors.

The Rally platform gives engineers at A+E Networks EMEA the ability to build essential workflow capabilities themselves, taking ownership of the media supply chain rather than relying on suppliers to align with the company's technology roadmap.

"Our aim is always to work with products and partners that help us with the purpose of our technology and operations teams – Care of Content," said Matt Westrup, CTO for A+E Networks EMEA. "As we modernise our estate, bringing our supply chain into a cloud-native, SaaS platform is a key part of unlocking greater transparency, flexibility, and simplicity and to connect across our technology and partners. With Rally we are achieving that, meaning we can be more data-driven, more automated, and ultimately deliver time back to our talented teams to do what they do best. We were ambitious in the desire to transform our supply chain and we are now confidently looking forward to bringing the rest of that supply chain into Rally over the next few months.

"This project is a great example of what a media organisation can achieve when it embraces a real transformation of its supply chain," said Larry Kaplan, President and CEO at SDVI. "Using Rally to help modernise its supply chain, A+E Networks EMEA already has realised efficiencies that enable the company to respond more quickly to distribution opportunities. It will be exciting to see the end-to-end Rally implementation go live this summer and the efficiencies it brings A+E Networks EMEA in producing and preparing content for international linear broadcast channels and partners."

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