Media Shuttle is a broad-based tool that is used for a wide variety of applications across the media supply chain but one particular application where we’ve seen recent success is Media Shuttle as the perfect DAM/MAM companion. Over the years, we’ve learned from our customers how Shuttle helps keep their MAMs clean from work-in-progress content, aids with remote collaboration, and integrates via Shuttle’s APIs for seamless contribution and distribution workflows.
Organization, versions, access control and general chaos are not new challenges in the world of asset management. Now with so many new platforms, formats, delivery specifications, and general demand for more content to more places, the challenges are compounded. On top of that, today, more remote collaboration, more partners, more end-users, more demands, more, more, more–only adds to the complexity. Media Asset Management systems are central in assisting with these challenges, and those who manage the systems are tasked to find the right balance of keeping the systems clean and organized, while ensuring the policies aren’t so prohibitive that end-users don’t navigate around them. In our travels, we’ve heard many stories (some quite amusing) from all ends of this spectrum.
Work-In-Progress: One common theme we’ve heard from asset managers across the industry are tales of MAMs being cluttered with WIP content. Conventional wisdom is that MAMs should be used to store content that is either finished, or at least at a fixed place in its lifecycle. The reality, however, is many use the MAM as a convenient repository for anything and everything, especially work-in-progress (WIP) files. Asset managers are challenged to find the right balance between keeping the system clean and facilitating the everyday creative “chaos” of making and versioning intermediate and final assets.
Access, Restrictions, Usability: With this in mind, media asset managers find themselves constantly trying to figure out what degree of restrictiveness to apply to their MAM systems. If the controls are too loose, the system becomes easily cluttered, sometimes with hundreds of different versions of a single asset. Not only does this make retrieving the right file when it’s needed a seemingly sisyphean task, but it also can saddle an organization with unnecessary costs. In some cases, older business models charge for the assets under management. The result? You’re now paying for the storage of many versions of the same asset and whose own business value is diminished by the fact that it may not be easy to find the proper version.
Remote Collaboration: This is even more important and difficult in the age of remote work and remote collaboration. Since companies adopted remote strategies to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s become even more critical that teams–now widely dispersed–can easily access whatever content they need to do their jobs. Unfortunately, not all MAM systems make it easy to onboard and collaborate with external users, whether remote employees, contractors or partners. That causes operational challenges and risk, opening the door to more MAM clutter and risk.
One approach where we’ve seen our customers have success in finding the right balance of making it easy to collaborate and get work done while keeping the MAM clean is to leverage Media Shuttle for WIP content and only register finished assets with the MAM. This goes doubly when it comes to remote collaboration, an area where Media Shuttle has had a major surge recently, helping companies transition to their new ways of working under quarantine. With Shuttle, external collaboration can be handled easily and securely, again keeping the MAM clean and limiting access to a smaller set of users while still providing the tools they need to get their work done no matter where they are or who they are collaborating with.
API Integration: While Shuttle works easily alongside any MAM system, it also has robust, modern APIs making it easy to integrate with any system. Signiant has a long list of MAM partners who have integrated Shuttle so that end-users can request files from within the MAM and a Media Shuttle file request will make it easy to contribute content into a specified location within the MAM. In addition, files can be delivered from the MAM directly to external users who will receive the file via the standard, simple (and branded) Media Shuttle end-user experience.
Media Shuttle is not a MAM and doesn’t attempt to replace a MAM. In fact, as a general purpose tool, Media Shuttle is used widely for all sorts of ingest, collaboration and ad hoc distribution workflows. However, we’re seeing lots of large media companies have success using Media Shuttle side-by-side with MAM systems and there’s quite a few reasons why:
There’s plenty more to Shuttle, and for asset managers challenged with keeping their MAMs clean and aiding end-users and partners in keeping content flowing, we’d be glad to share more on how the world’s top M&E organizations are leveraging Shuttle to meet that challenge.