Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company
Yle required a highly flexible and configurable media logistics solution that increases automation but also includes manual processes, and enables 3rd party media suppliers to deliver content directly through a media portal.
Yle, the Finnish Broadcasting Company
Yle is Finland’s national public service media company, founded in 1926.
Yle employs around 3000 people in Finland.
Yle operates four national television channels, six nationwide radio channels and three radio services, and 24 regional news offices.
Yle has a versatile online offering, including a streaming service, Yle Areena.
Content in twelve languages in Finnish, Swedish and three Sámi languages, in sign language, in plain Finnish and plain Swedish, Romanian, Karelian, English and Russian.
As Finland is bilingual, Yle provides radio and TV programming in Swedish through Svenska Yle. Streaming audio is in Finnish and Swedish.
As is customary in Finnish television and cinemas, foreign films and TV programmes, as well as segments of local programmes that feature foreign language dialogues (e.g., news interviews), are generally subtitled on Yle’s channels. Dubbing is used in cartoons and off-screen narration in documentaries.
Yle required a ‘single solution’ with a unified media services architecture along with configurable and intuitive user interfaces for the functions of each of the essential user groups, content owners and technical operators, putting user experience at the heart of the requirements. It had to be configurable, without the need for hard-coded programming or scripting to effect changes to the system. The data model and structure, i.e., the relationship and mapping between the content, additional supporting material and different metadata also had to be configurable. In addition, the system would be required to flexible in its integration with existing and future content processing and media management systems.
A key expectation, from a business process management aspect, was a comprehensive, configurable and flexible graphical workflow editor with a scalable workflow engine and user task management capabilities. The system requirement for resilience and scalability across the whole platform was critical, with expected operations of 24/7 and future-proof well in excess of 5 years.
Yle Broadcast and Media Services were taking necessary strategic steps to improve the customer experience, enhance quality of service and manage the operational processes. Their broadcast and Media Services consist of:
Master Control Room (MCR) operations (radio, TV and online)
Recording, Archiving and Playout and Publishing functions.
The general aim is to reorganise the way of working within the whole department, to streamline and unify operational tasks, and to introduce more automation, control and visibility to the workflows.
The new sophisticated and more automated end-to-end workflows and fully transparent and centralised process monitoring are all essential factors for improved operational efficiency and enhanced customer service.
Yle were looking to improve strategic planning and operational management by introducing a better general view, visibility and reportability into the processes. They were looking for a system that could replace an obsolete in-house developed system running the partial workflows, which did not enable their visions and goals to become a reality.
Key drivers to migrate to a new system:
- End-to-end workflows in a single solution for different media logistics purposes
Primary workflows related to program video and video clip material ingest, and archiving file management, required the file-based business process management to have essential capabilities, including user friendly ways to implement user interaction within the workflows, since not all Yle’s planned processes would be fully automated.
Another key requirement was the flexibility to modify processes with continuous change management as business, environments and customer needs evolve. In addition, the new platform needed to be able to handle emerging technologies, such as 4K/8K, HFR/HDR, AI-based metadata generation and other cloud services (storage, processing capabilities, etc.). The solution had to support open and flexible integration interfaces that would enable Yle to build new solutions over the new media logistics system.
Expected Business Outcomes
Improved customer service
Simplification of operation
Improved efficiency and focus
Optimisation and effective use of existing resources
Improved collaboration with other production houses, through the use of a single solution accessible for external companies and users
Transparent and modern process management functionality
Forecasting capabilities for process reporting using near real-time data
Data-driven management and decision-making
TMD was able to provide a solution that met all Yle’s requirements and key criteria for a single system that ticked all the boxes, with Mediaflex-UMS.
The challenge for successful delivery of the system was to combine the knowledge and experience from Yle and TMD, to implement the specific solution that matched the design brief, delivering against Yle’s expected business outcomes to maximise ROI. TMD’s wealth of experience in deploying MAM/DAM systems for a wide range of clients ensured a proven approach and methodology to address this challenge.
The implementation process was iterative and collaborative. TMD worked closely with the team at Yle, introducing users, getting feedback, testing, refining and configuring Mediaflex, where required, to integrate with Yle’s existing systems – MediaGenix scheduling and traffic system, and AVID Media Asset Management system, adding the features and power of other third-party integrations. Mediaflex workflow engine orchestrates the workflows from acquisition, through management and final delivery of the content to multiple distribution systems. The orchestrator automatically assigns the content to the various automated tools, notifying a human of manual tasks, and performing time-consuming technical adjustments to content without the need for human intervention, thereby improving efficiencies right across the content workflow.
The final phase of implementation was to introduce the users at Yle to Mediaflex, provide training and a real-world user experience to get full buy-in from the team, as they were able to see the benefits in time and cost savings. Tedious time-intensive human tasks that were error-prone, could now be automated in Mediaflex, enabling staff to be more efficient with their time, increasing job satisfaction.
Migration of existing data was performed by TMD, with the technical team implementing an API based connection for the seamless migration of the Yle data to Mediaflex, along with ongoing metadata updates between Mediaflex and MediaGenix. Another benefit to Yle is a central point for support for the whole system, including the third-party integrations, providing quick resolution to any problems that may arise.
Mediaflex also provided more visibility and transparency to the wider business, with everyone in Yle having access to a central dashboard providing progress on projects.
TMD’s Mediaflex was the approved solution that filled the brief of a single, feature rich, powerful system that streamlined and unified operational tasks, and introduced more automation, control and visibility to the workflows, improved efficiencies and provided a satisfying user experience. When the system went live in April 2020, everything worked perfectly first time.
Go Live: April 2020
Volumes: In excess of 1 million automated tasks in first 6 months of operation
Users: 100 concurrent
KEY TECHNOLOGY PARTNER INTEGRATIONS:
MAM: Avid MAM
QC – Manual: GrayMeta Iris
QC – Assisted: Interra Baton
Audio Processing: Minnetonka
Transcoding: Telestream Vantage; FFMpeg; Dalet Amberfin
Storage: Isilon; DIVArchive