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Future of Broadcasting Industry

Viewers are diverging while platforms are converging. What’s next in the broadcast industry?

Radical transformation has taken place over the last decade in the broadcast industry with technology now delivering content to consumers in a “whatever, whenever and wherever” experience.

The Future is Digital

Over The Top (OTT) is the delivery of film and TV via the internet without requiring users to subscribe to a traditional cable or satellite pay-TV service. OTT is central to the recent major digital disruption of the broadcasting industry. Video is now driving mainstream broadcast strategies and it’s inevitable that the future of broadcasting will be digital.

SVOD players such as Netflix, Amazon, Hulu, etc. are emerging from outside the traditional TV ecosystem and they were the pioneers of innovative business models to engage with consumers through video services.

So what’s Actually Changed?

In the digital era, broadcasting companies should strategically reinvent their offerings to move ahead of the massive shifts happening across the industry. To stay focused and competitive, it is  important to understand how the digital era has changed the key process of the broadcast industry such as consumers, technology, programming and advertising.

1. Consumers

As consumers like to view the content on-the-go and mobile continues to grow, the average consumer is watching 4 more hours of mobile video weekly than they did 4 years ago. The shift is partly because viewers prefer individually tailored content experiences, but also due to the increase in quality content created for smaller screens. Due to higher bandwidth of network and advances in technology, traditional scheduled TV watching is no longer the norm. Instead, OTT video accessible anytime and anywhere is now the mainstream. Viewers are diverging while platforms are converging. That creates challenges for the industry as it looks for new ways to meet consumer interests.

2. Technology

People are watching more television, consuming more videos, but the key divergence has been the viewing experience, which has expanded to multiple screens. As screens get both smaller and larger, the consumer experience is key to survival. As OTT rises, it’s no wonder that smart TV and connected TV video streaming devices continue to lure audiences back into the living room.

The impact of pay TV providers is broadband, which continues to provide higher profits than video. Broadband home growth driven by OTT gains, is helping to offset the higher programming costs and the decline in video revenue caused by cord-cutting. Mobile data traffic is increasing everywhere due to rising amounts of videos and users. In the future, broadband and wireless will continue to influence the content bundle with faster data speeds, lower device costs and more connected screens.

As Virtual Reality ( VR ) technology moves into the consumer space, the industry is extremely interested in its potential impact on storytelling, audiences and revenue. Media companies such as Paramount Pictures and Disney have applied marketing campaigns creating interactive forms of media. Content produced for VR permit the audience to view the entire environment in every scene, creating an interactive viewing experience. Live events and games will help pave the way for VR adoption.

3. Programming

The consumer movement across platforms has created a major change in how content is made, distributed and monetised. Hit content has become a major differentiator and an increasing source of leverage. To free-up resources to create big-budget content, networks have begun to trim selling, general and admin expenses.

Live sporting events, hit content and original, niche programming continue to generate strong viewership and rates while middle tier entertainment networks are falling behind.

4. Advertising

The ad industry continues to be dynamic and volatile. Spending on digital media has increased in social and video formats, but the technology to deliver advertising in the online TV ecosystem lags behind usage. Consumers access content through subscription based, ad-free, video-on-demand services and as these services have become popular over the years it has led to a decrease in adverting spending.

Broadcast and cable networks have been the target for advertisers because of their capability to deliver a massive number of viewers in real-time. But advertisers can now aggregate viewers of similar size instantaneously through OTT videos. Online players are developing innovative ways to entice advertiser’s interest, to reach large and different digital viewers. And these platforms benefit from real-time bidding, with better demographic targeting at a more efficient cost.

Conclusion – Understand your Market and offer Outstanding Content

Factors such as high speed internet connectivity and broadband infrastructure, smartphones and live streaming apps, social networking and cutting-edge technology have transformed the television experience from linear to an era of “whatever, wherever and whenever experience”. As OTT becomes part of consumer’s everyday life, there are new methods and opportunities to drive growth and revenue in the broadcast industry.

To stay competitive in the digital era, broadcast companies should be strategically focused to understand market dynamics, content consumption patterns, audience interests and advertiser responses. Many new forms of multimedia services become possible with the introduction of digital delivery.  One thing is undeniable –  attractive content is certain to be the key factor to stay successful in the digital era.

Making SAP Easy for the Media Industry – 2

Following on from our 1st instalment in this 2 part series, MESA continue their interview with Invenio to find out how they help their media customers understand the huge capabilities of SAP.
Interview by Chris Tribby

 

Invenio says that its SAP partners see savings of as much as 40%. Can you expand on that, share how the company’s solutions actually translate into real, bottom-line savings?

We helped a major newspaper group increase revenues by extending their ad-booking window by between eight and 24 hours. Our SAP solutions help their operations produce 15 million copies of a daily newspapers from 16 print locations, and to manage the financial and business operations of 25 separate legal entities.

We helped a major TV broadcaster improve its content acquisition processes across the entire broadcast portfolio, for both original and syndicated programming. Our solution helps manage the entire procure-to-pay process for 3,500-plus television programs, including series episodes, one-off programs, and movies.

We are helping a leading music publisher to standardize and streamline its global procure-to-pay processes using an innovative SAP solution that will manage over 150,000 suppliers worldwide. The self-service vendor portal and guided streamlined invoice processing has resulted in saving of thousands of man-hours in administrative tasks for the customer.

We implemented an award-winning SAP solution that offers support for financial, human resource management and management reporting for a major international search portal across their online, mobile, email subscription and e-commerce lines of business. This was one of the first SAP implementations for a pure online business.

With such a rich experience in the industry, our consultants have a head start when they start servicing our customers, resulting in better and faster issue resolution. With our experience in the industry, we have built ‘accelerators’ — pre-built solutions to address typical scenarios in media companies. This can potentially crunch the project timelines as compared to traditional partners.

Can Invenio offer some specific use cases, where media and entertainment companies made especially good use of Invenio’s offerings?

Universal Music Group (UMG) is the world’s leading music company with wholly owned record operations or licensees in 77 territories. Its business also includes Universal Music Publishing Group, the industry’s leading global music publishing operation. With the recent acquisition of EMI, Universal Music Group has consolidated its dominant position in the music market. Universal Music Group is a unit of Vivendi, a global media and communications company.

UMG has implemented a single global instance of the SAP FICO (Finance and Controlling) solution for its financial reporting. The procurement function was, however, widely distributed across various local systems. With 7,000-plus internal users involved in the P2P process working with 130,000 suppliers across the globe, the administration and control of purchasing was highly inefficient. UMG was keen to ‘outsource’ supplier data management back to suppliers, bring in better commitment tracking with clear visibility on spend and enforce strict budget controls. Traditional SAP solutions were cost prohibitive and integration with third party tools became unmanageable. That is when UMG turned the attention to Invenio’s P2P Solution.

Invenio’s work and partnership in different aspects of Universal Music’s SAP estate has been gradual in finite increments as Universal Music grew in its confidence with Invenio’s capability.

Over the last five years, Invenio has developed a bespoke procure to pay system on SAP for Universal Music which uniquely address the requirement of simple front end interfaces, full budgetary control, complete workflow, access through web and an easy to use vendor portal particularly suited for the media industry and at the same time fully inside SAP. Invenio was given the challenge to make it work across the globe, with country specific GAAPs and languages and running this in one instance of SAP, which was delivered exactly as tasked and has now been working for three years in a very stable manner.

We built on the SAP platform requiring no integration and available at a fraction of the cost of the classical solutions, very tightly integrated with budgeting allowing the possibility for a strict enforcement of a ‘no budget, no spend’ policy. Includes easy to follow and maintain workflows to improve compliance in the entire P2P process, with a secure, Web-based tool available on mobile which pushes the responsibility for supplier data and transaction maintenance back to the suppliers in ‘self-service’ mode.

The Invenio P2P solution has now been rolled out into nine countries including four of the biggest territories for UMG: USA, Japan, Germany and France. More than 4,000 internal users are working successfully with the user-friendly solution. Supplier on-boarding has also started and has received enthusiastic response in France, USA etc. The solution will be rolled out to eight more countries in the next year covering over 90% of UMG’s global business.

With all global purchasing data in one place, UMG has better visibility on spending enabling tighter budgetary control and more effective supplier management. Supplier relationships have also improved by providing them with better visibility throughout the process. The administration burden of the P2P process has come down, saving thousands of hours of administrative tasks for the business which can now be utilized better within UMG.

For more details on MESA you can visit their website here

 

Making SAP Easy for the Media Industry

MESAlogo9In this 2 part blog series, Invenio Business Solutions media practice heads sat down with the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA) to discuss the state of SAP services for the media and entertainment industry, and the success stories of Invenio customers.

MESA discuss how Invenio Business Solutions delivers SAP solutions, services and support for the media industry. Because SAP is all Invenio does — with 75% of its global revenue coming from media customers — the company marks itself as the best in the SAP business.

Interview by Chris Tribby of MESA 

 

MESA: What makes Invenio’s SAP offerings stand out in the media and entertainment space?

Invenio: We’re a 100% SAP consultancy and support practice, with 75% of our global revenue coming from media customers, in the music, publishing, broadcast and advertising space. From SAP Global rollouts to small upgrades projects.

As an SAP media specialist, we really understand the challenges in the media industry — from platform convergence and digitization to shifting market dynamics, IP protection and content distribution. We focus on media as one of our core industries, which ensures best practices and insight, and we’re the proud winners of SAP’s Best Partner Award for Innovation in the media space.

We have a diverse and growing media customer base with outstanding referenceability, and our experience includes award-winning projects e.g. Best SAP Partner Implementation for our ground-breaking work at Indian Web portal Rediff.com.

Our long and distinguished list of media clients includes Star and Fox TV, Random House (a subsidiary of Bertelsmann AG), Universal Music, Eros International, Star News and Fortune Magazine, Times of India, and Rediff.com – global providers of online news and information. This wealth of industry experience helps us address many complex and diverse challenges facing the media industry. And we underpin it all with a technology practice that offers in-depth solutions expertise and service excellence.

We also understand that any media company needs a host of specialized technical solutions to work alongside SAP solution. So we also offer Enterprise Architecture Integration services to seamlessly connect various systems.

MESA: What was the reason for Invenio’s beginning, what gap in the market did the company see that needed to be filled?

Invenio: The reason for Invenio’s formation was based on customer satisfaction, the only focus. Keep the customer satisfied and be transparent when it comes to pricing.

We observed a gap in IT partners which specialize in media domain and provide SAP services. The choice available for customers was to deal with the ‘big 4 or 5’ from the industry or choose specialist company which does not necessarily have SAP expertise.

Customer focus is in the DNA of Invenio. We always strive to give unparalleled services to our customers. We are also absolutely transparent with our customers, starting from the commercial rates. In an industry which, unfortunately, has become notoriously infamous for a “get away with as much as you can’ attitude,” we provide a breath of fresh air with our honesty and transparency.

Keep an eye out for part 2 of the blog next week.

How well do you Know Your Customers?

Using audience data to monetise your digital content.

hospital-clubAfter a very busy summer, Invenio are now gearing up to host their next SAP HANA event for the media industry, aiming to inform and educate the media delegates about Big Data.

Digital consumers demand content on a variety of platforms and media companies must engage with consumers across all channels. Consumers leave a fascinating trail of valuable data, including content preferences, behaviour, attitudes and opinions. But once you have collected this data how do you use it to build, target and engage a loyal audience? And how can you monetise the information?

We hope to address these questions in our morning briefing.

Matthew Hembrow, previous Global Account Director of SAP, now working with Invenio’s Media practice, will take the stand to talk about how demystifying your data can help to understand customers and viewers online habits. Matthew will also discuss how the industry has moved from demographic marketing to personalised adverts that are more relevant and less invasive. This gives the media companies providing the content a positive effect rather than disruption and leaves the content providers to concentrate on the sourcing or making best content.

Our next presentation will be a real scenario involving one of Invenio’s long standing customers. The business had some pain points with their processes, mostly related to the huge data causing delays in the month end closing process. Invenio spent time studying the key pain points and planned the objectives for the proof of concept (POC). After understanding the existing landscape and processes, Invenio were able to re-design using SAP HANA and present a more robust, dynamic, maintainable and quick on performance solution. SAP HANA made significant improvements to company and the presentation will lead onto an open Q&A session.

Registrations are free and are still available so don’t miss out on this must attend event!

Automation of the Procure to Pay function, is this the “Holy Grail” everyone is after?

ThumbsupspeachA colleague says “So, as the finance director you oversee purchasing and spend decisions?” Your response is likely to be “Yes, you’re right I am responsible for spend decisions and would like to see as little operating cost as possible.”

So what is Procurement?

“Procurement means the whole process of acquisition from third parties (including logistical aspects) and covers goods, services and construction projects”– Crown Commercial Service (Government)

‘Procurement’ covers all activities that involve buying, contracting, purchasing, sourcing or tendering; it incorporates lots of divisions and lots of personnel. Procurement could, account for up to around 50% of the costs to an organisation, so no pressure at all to try and reduce the spend!

By seeing the procure-to-pay process in its entirety, buying and paying for goods and services, to the request for the product by the operations staff, to the issuance of the purchase order, receipt of the goods, and finally payment of the invoice. You can see quite how much this involves, a lot of which is manually operated.

P2P Focus

Over the past few years there has been more focus on procure-to-pay, with a marked increase in conferences, seminars and also organisations wanting to specialise in improvements in P2P. The focus now is on procurement and with it accounting for so much of your business, it’s about time. So what are the problems of procurement?

Manual Rules the Roost

‘Time is money’ and nothing could be truer than this in procurement. Currently a lot of the processes and systems are still very manual, this can be a big problem, it can mean time delays, manual input errors and frustrations for those involved. Here are some key things that come up time and time again in procurement as needed for improvement, here we will address a number of these.

  • Reduce admin
  • Improve efficiencies
  • Having a clear insight
  • System integration problems – that is when you find a solution!
Reduce Admin

As an organisation you currently have very manual processes, with lots of data input. Wouldn’t you like to change that? With a few alterations, you really can re-engineer the division of labour. I’m sure currently internally you are:

  • Looking at info
  • Registering suppliers
  • Processing / approving quotes
  • Checking budget availability
  • Raising PO’s
  • Chasing sign-off
  • Checking goods receipts
  • PO Matching
  • Processing invoices
  • Approving payments

And what are the suppliers doing?

  • Submitting quotations
  • Sending invoices

This is typical scenario with your employees doing 80% of the admin load and suppliers doing 20%, it’s about time the tables were turned.

So here’s how it works

With a P2P system such as Invenio’s P2P Solutions, you can have the following benefits:

Reducing your admin – Suppliers register and manage their own master data and submit quotes and invoices.

Improving your efficiencies – ‘One click approvals turning quotes to purchase orders’, fully automated workflows for multi-level spend authorisation, in-built security, budget allocation and approval processes to make it easy, fast and efficient.

Giving you clear insight – Manage budgets and authorisations on one global platform. For ready visibility across all cost-centres, projects, budgets and geographical locations.

Eradicating integration and consolidation headaches – Purchasing information sits inside SAP and so it’s always ready, always up to date and becomes a part of your existing investment in SAP.

All of this results in the ultimate goal of the division of labour being reversed. Some processes are totally automated and will flow through the system without the need for any manual handling, resulting in speedier processes and less laborious tasks. You really can now have your employees approving quotes and approving payments, all whilst the supplier is now:

  • Registering and doing data maintenance
  • Uploading quotes
  • Notifying goods and services delivery
  • Raising invoices

As the financial director, wouldn’t you like to say “well yes, that slick operation is mine, we have created a system to reduce costs and to make procurement processes more streamlined and automated”. The overall result being a reduction of costs for the whole procurement team.

To find out more about how Invenio’s P2P Solutions can help you to become automated, please do get in touch.

3 Ways to Improve Advertising Inventory Management with Business Intelligence

eMarketer’s latest estimates on digital ad spend in the US suggests that it is set to grow to $42.26bn in 2013 – accounting for 24.7% of all total media ad spending in 2013. The research also found that mobile spend is expected to grow by a healthy 95 per cent – accounting for a fifth of all digital ad spending, and 5% of total media ad spending. Meanwhile, in the UK, the Internet Advertising Bureau reported that in 2012, UK digital ad spend rose by 12.5% to a record high of almost £5.5bn. Just as digital spend crossed the £5 billion threshold, mobile ad spend reached its own milestone as surpassed the £½ billion mark in 2012 – representing an increase of 148% on the 2011 figure of £203.2 million.

The increase may help many media companies for whom advertising is a key revenue stream to offset the decline in ad spend across “traditional” offline business models – and particular in the beleaguered newspaper industry where a hefty fall in circulation for six national UK newspapers has recently been announced. But maximising revenues from online advertising inventory brings its own unique set of challenges.

Forecasting and pricing of advertising inventory – digital or otherwise – is complex. The challenges of selling perishable inventory at the right time and for the right price means publishers need to deploy sophisticated, insightful analytic applications to be successful. But when you take into account the deluge of data that’s being generated from any company’s online activities you begin to see the issue that media firms are faced with in turning this data into timely – and meaningful – business insight. Fortunately analytical technologies have moved with the times and there are a range of solutions that can help media companies to make sense of the vast repository of data produced in today’s digital economy.

Below are three ways in which media firms can deploy analytical platforms like SAP Business Objects to transform raw digital data into the meaningful business information that’s needed to inform digital advertising sales strategies:

1. Optimise Pricing Strategies.

Pricing and business analysts can spend much of their time cleaning and checking data – meaning they spend less time on analysing the information that’s needed to make optimal pricing decisions. What’s more, the amount of data that is available for analysis is increasing. Digital data has the potential to offer much deeper insight into various performance metrics (e.g. video v banner), across a variety of placement options and across differing delivery platforms (e.g mobile v tablet). Analytical tools like SAP BusinessObjects can take raw data and help organisations to create insight into the possibilities and potential of inventory, and help to inform cross-selling and up-selling strategies.

2. Improve Demand Forecasting.

A new breed of predictive analytical applications is helping organisations to identify patterns in past data to inform future business strategy. This is particularly pertinent for media companies who need to optimise demand forecasting to sell inventory. These technologies allow organisations to analyse current data and historical facts helping to better identify potential future demand for inventory.

3. Reduce Unsold Inventory.

Because of the perishable nature of advertising inventory, Media sales reps need fast, unambiguous recommendations on how to price ad inventory to maximize sales – without having to sift through large amounts of data or reading through long-winded reports. Business Intelligence solutions can equip them with this information while, at the same time, allowing them to analyse high volumes of pipeline data at any level of granularity to help inform their pricing decisions. This visibility means advertising sales professionals can react more quickly to changing sales conditions, with real-time information and accelerate deals through the pipeline to reduce the occurrence of unsold inventory.

These are just a few of the ways that business intelligence solutions like SAP BusinessObjects can help media executives to sell more space for the best price. Invenio are specialists in delivering cutting edge SAP solutions for their media customers. Contact us directly for more information.