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Ovum's 2017/18 ICT Enterprise Insights survey revealed that the top three business challenges for almost half (49–55%) of Indian media enterprises are poor data management workflows slowing time to market, operational inefficiencies, and lack of an end-to-end integrated content supply chain. As local enterprises embark on the media transformation journey, they need technology stacks that not only reduce total cost of ownership (TCO) but also deliver data enrichment capabilities across the content supply chain. Microsoft has increased its market share in the Indian media and entertainment (M&E) space through a vertically integrated partner ecosystem along with horizontally diversified infrastructure services (Azure), rich platform capabilities (Azure Media Services), and enterprise collaboration applications (Office, Dynamics).

At Microsoft India's Media and Analyst event in Hyderabad in December 2017, the company announced that it had transformed its partner ecosystem framework to drive individual engagement profitability, moved its Cognitive Services onto Azure, and introduced its hybrid cloud platform, Azure Stack for India. Ovum believes that Microsoft India is extending its USP from traditional cloud platform provider for TV and video content (capex to opex/pay-per-use) toward enabling tomorrow's media enterprises to enrich lifetime customer engagement, reduce TCO and time to market, and build new hyperlocal monetization avenues to increase ARPU.

Media transformation projects will strengthen local market positioning in 2018

Growing adoption of smartphones, internet, cloud, and IoT is pushing media enterprises worldwide, including those in India, to embark on the digital transformation journey in order to create a seamlessly integrated personalized user experience. Because these large-scale media transformation projects are complex and capital intensive, technology vendors should adopt the PDPCS framework to improve competitive advantage:

  • a horizontally and vertically integrated partner ecosystem across the content supply chain (i.e., from media acquisition to engagement)

  • unified digital asset (data) repositories to improve operational excellence and productivity

  • platform economics to lower overall TCO

  • end-to-end automation of digital customer engagement workflows (cognitive services and AI touchpoints)

  • content compliance and security to reduce revenue leakage.

Microsoft India's customer acquisition strategy, based on the PDPCS framework, incorporates the following:

  • The average monthly addition of 430 partners across its core verticals, including telecoms, media, and entertainment. A push toward leveraging Adobe and SAP partnerships while revising partner segmentation (ISV, SIs, channel distribution, and managed services) and streamlining the evaluation process based on individual partner contract profitability (shift from annual to biannual).

  • Azure Stack to help unify multiple siloed data repositories into a single on-premises one for handling large data sets requiring on-site processing. The on-site cloud services allow the processing of large data sets requiring immediate action and help lower network cost and latency. The hybrid model enables the transfer of a single data repository to the cloud, allowing advanced analytics, cognitive or AI-based processing, and streaming at scale. This will appeal to news agencies, broadcasters and content providers.

  • Strategic partnerships with niche vendors such as WittyParrot, Ramco Systems, and Yellow Messenger to help streamline operational workflows and reduce TCO in the long run.

  • A vertically diversified cognitive services portfolio that includes agents and bots (Cortana, Ruuh), applications (Office 365), services (Cognitive Toolkit), and infrastructure (Azure ML). Four primary APIs (text, images, audio, and translation).

  • The launch of a cybersecurity engagement center (Lab as a Service).

As "digital first" becomes the main expansion strategy in the Indian media and entertainment sector, enterprises are embracing a cost-effective, secure, agile, and unified content supply chain to enhance lifetime customer experience and engagement rates. Microsoft is well positioned to help Indian media enterprises reduce digital transformation complexities and costs, and to meet their changing business requirements.



Kedar Mohite, Senior Analyst, Media & Broadcast Technology Services

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