Martin Wahl - Principal Program Manager, Industry Solutions & Accelerators
In the media and entertainment industry, production timelines continue to accelerate, file sizes continue to grow, and remote workflows have become the norm.
Content creators must scale and accelerate their production workflows to meet ever-increasing audience demands for personalization, immediacy, and choice. At the same time, media and entertainment organizations must look for every opportunity to reduce cost, better manage and monetize assets, and enable collaboration and productivity across their production and post-production teams—all while maintaining the security of their high-value creative IP.
The Dynamics 365 media and entertainment accelerator empowers partners and developers serving the media industry to adopt cloud workflows to address these challenges. Our 2.0 release with enhanced features and expanded data model is now generally available.
First introduced in July 2020, the Dynamics 365 media and entertainment accelerator enables organizations to develop and deploy their own business applications for quick access to data insights and new workplace automation. It builds on Common Data Model and Microsoft Power Platform, and includes sample code and various industry-specific customizations to support media and entertainment applications and business logic.
Version 1.0 of the media and entertainment accelerator included a data model with entities and attributes centered on the theme of fan and guest engagement. These are used when building new applications to drive guest experiences and sales workflows, and to support broad data collection and analysis. The accelerator allows ISV partners and developers working in Microsoft Power Platform to add media-specific data entities, sample user interface forms and canvas apps, and business flows that could be used for:
- Event and physical venue management.
- Sports management.
- Ticketing and advertising sales.
- Media sponsorships.
- Guest interactions, such as automating event registrations, creating and managing new loyalty programs, or tracking guest preferences.
Enhanced live, hybrid, and virtual events with Microsoft Power Apps portals and Microsoft Teams integrations
In the 2.0 release, Microsoft has expanded the media data model and code samples that ship with the accelerator to incorporate support for the industry’s recent shift to hosted online and hybrid live events. Microsoft Teams API integration has been added so event producers can easily create schedules, and support live events and broadcasts, virtual conferences and seminars, remote press conferences and briefings, or even sports matches or league activities where guest plan to participate through Microsoft Teams. A sample events and venues model-driven application has been added to enable these capabilities. Microsoft has also included a Power Apps portals template so event producers can launch their own fan-facing web sites to promote events, register guests for upcoming live events, and allow registrants to RSVP for activities. They can even join a live event in progress – such as a sports game, symposium, or music concert – directly and without the need for a separate Microsoft Teams client.
Accelerate the development of apps for cloud-based content production workflows
What’s more, in the 2.0 release we have added a content production management solution that addresses the needs of creative production houses, advertising agencies, special effects houses, and television and motion picture studios.
The content production management solution adds 15 data entities to the media data model – from studios, shows, episodes, and seasons to production assets, video and audio tracks, and descriptive and AI-generated metadata. The accelerator includes sample user interfaces, dashboards, and automated business flows to assist with the rapid development of online applications that can be used for optimized collaboration and productivity throughout the creative process.
These elements enable the development applications that address most of today’s collaborative cloud-based production and post-production workflows by using Microsoft Power Automate for:
- Adding data and processes for managing access and asset sharing.
- Improved searching capabilities.
- Relational asset management.
- Automation of common functions, such as:
- Asset uploads
- Tagging and discovery
- Quality control
As described by Harry Grinling, founder and CEO of Support Partners, “The new capabilities of the Microsoft Dynamics 365 Media and Entertainment Accelerator will allow us to rapidly extend our solution portfolio for cloud-enabled archiving, asset management, and remote collaboration. The combination of this latest release of the accelerator and our tried-and-tested production frameworks will help make the migration of workflows to the cloud frictionless for our global roster of media and entertainment customers.” Support Partners is a Microsoft ISV partner that designs, deploys, and supports innovation in the cloud.
Mark Keller, head of strategy and innovation at WPP, added “We are really excited to collaborate with Microsoft and see huge potential and massive scalability with the Content Production features of the M&E Accelerator for building and expanding new virtual studio offerings for our clients.” WPP is one of the world’s largest advertising agencies, operating in 110 countries, and leverages Microsoft technology to build customized solutions for their brand clients.