Warners unit integrating image apps

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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, 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.