I attended the 2013 NAB (National Association of Broadcasters) show in Las Vegas last week and, wow, I have to say I was a bit blown away. Of course, it would be prudent to say that it was my first time attending NAB, so that probably had a lot to do with my overall impression.
NAB is one of the largest trade shows that comes to Las Vegas each year and the pure size of the show is impressive. The show is a who's who of technology suppliers to the media and entertainment (M&E) industry. From the usual tech industry suspects including Oracle, IBM, HP, Microsoft, Cisco, EMC, Adobe, etc. to M&E specific suppliers such as Grass Valley, Front Porch Digital, Black Magic, AJA and Avid Technology, anyone who is anyone, or desires to be someone, in the M&E space was there with all their latest software, hardware and other gadgets and gee whiz gizmos. Everything you need for digital content creation, post production work, workflow management, content distribution and content delivery systems.
The amazing thing for me to witness was the complete transformation of the industry to the digital age. The transformation from analog to digital probably began in earnest in the M&E industry about fifteen years ago and it is evident that the transformation is now nearly complete. The fact that the above mentioned, traditional IT suppliers were well represented with large booths is a good indication of the progress of the M&E industry to an all digital workflow... from content creation to content delivery and finally to digital archiving.
You could consider the NAB show as an annual barometer for how the traditional IT community is embracing the media and entertainment industry as a truly legitimate, high growth opportunity. As far as vertical market opportunities go these days, you hear a lot about the healthcare, energy, retail and financial industries as the top opportunities, but from the perspective of the floor of the NAB show, you would have to put the M&E industry right at the top with those others. As the M&E industry completes it's transition to digital, the infrastructure required to drive it becomes a multi-billion dollar opportunity for both software and the underlying hardware infrastructure which includes plenty of high powered servers, storage and networking. That's why Oracle was at the show with an impressive booth full of M&E solutions including:
Traffic in the Oracle booth was solid for the entire four days of the show with many industry leaders stopping by for in-booth demonstrations and meetings including HBO, Turner Broadcasting, Front Porch Digital and Harris to name just a few. Many of these discussions revolved around requirements for moving digital media assets through the workflow process, as well as the integration of digital archiving throughout that workflow. Many customers were interested in understanding how the new LTFS specification for digital tape has emerged as the enabler for simplifying the integration a digital repository or archive into the DAM/MAM (digital asset management/media asset management) workflow. As a co-chair of the SNIA (Storage Networking Industry Association) committee responsible for the LTFS specification, Oracle is uniquely qualified to guide M&E customers through that discussion.
And as it is doing with LTFS, Oracle will be there with the right technology and the right solutions to assist the media and entertainment industry as it continues it's digital media revolution. So don't forget to look for us at the 2013 IBC show on September 13-17 in Amsterdam and next year's NAB show in Las Vegas on April 7-10, 2014.