Warners unit integrating image apps


Warner Bros.' Motion Picture Imaging unit — which includes dailies, digital intermediates and mastering, restoration and archiving — is installing a new workflow-management process to tie together its services. The goal is to be more efficient and competitive.

The process, which takes advantage of IT-based technology, is being set up in partnership with IBM and National TeleConsultants and is based on the notion of a service-oriented architecture (SOA), which NTC director of software system engineering John Footen described as a method of integrating applications.

"The bottom line is the SOA is a way to bring together disparate systems under one workflow-management umbrella," said Spencer Stephens, vp and GM motion picture imaging at Warners. "With the SOA, one event can trigger another. (For instance), the system will notice that a work order is complete and trigger another work order."

One part of the project is the development of a Web interface that clients could use to place orders. "It gives them a simple way to place orders," Stephens said. "It also makes sure that, because a lot of this is extremely time-critical, they give us all the information that we need."

The SOA is based on IBM's WebSphere tools and applies management software customized by NTC to met Warners' infrastructure. This is the first application of NTC's work in this particular area, which was quietly previewed last month at the National Association of Broadcasters convention.