Transform recently sat down with several Microsoft customers at an event highlighting emerging trends in data and artificial intelligence (AI). We spoke with Jean Lozano, chief technology officer at MediaValet, a cloud-based digital asset management (DAM) system, which helps customers of all sizes manage their growing digital media libraries.
TRANSFORM: What is a DAM and what business problem does it solve?
JEAN LOZANO: A DAM is like a video or photo library, but it can handle way more than that. It’s typically used by enterprise marketing teams to provide a single source of truth for all brand and marketing content.
The big challenge with digital media is that it’s unstructured by nature, so discoverability can be a problem. A lot of companies invest tens of thousands of dollars in creating digital media and infographics, but its lack of searchable data makes them hard to find.
A DAM implementation contains anywhere from 10,000 to several-million digital media [items] that are put into a central repository and tagged to make them discoverable. Having just one person as the curator of the digital library is way too much, and that’s where AI comes in.
TRANSFORM: How does AI help you serve your customers?
LOZANO: We’re betting big on Azure AI to make MediaValet the most intelligent DAM out there. We’ve seen it in various deal cycles that we would not have otherwise won. It’s just a matter of demonstrating capabilities.
So, for example, one of the hottest technologies that we can demo is our capability for video indexing, which other DAMs cannot offer right now. Video is the fastest growing media out there, so when our customers can actually see their videos getting analyzed and made discoverable, they can see the value it adds.
As an example, we have a huge video production house as a customer. Every time they do a shoot, it’s a 500-gigabyte upload to MediaValet. But, they also have to generate video transcriptions. With video indexing, we [provide] the transcriptions as soon as they load it on our system, so they don’t have to send the files [elsewhere] for manual transcription. Does that improve their workflow? Definitely.
TRANSFORM: Have your customers fully embraced the changes and the new technologies?
LOZANO: Many of our customers are digital asset curators, and some of them probably fear that AI is going to replace them. But the guiding principle for AI is assistance, not replacement. AI is going to make their lives easier. It will enrich the data that they’re producing, but it doesn’t replace them.
TRANSFORM: How does AI make life easier for a digital asset curator?
LOZANO: We have a couple of customers that are sports franchises that are creating millions of images. These teams have been there for decades and decades. One hockey team had about 50 petabytes of video clips. So, how do you work through millions of images and hundreds of thousands of hours of video?
Machine learning is actually helping with that now. For example, you can detect a jersey number and see who is the player that wears that number. We can actually make those images easy to use for marketers, or the communications team when they look for brand approved images.