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Over the past 18 months, organizations in media & entertainment and telecommunications turned to digital technologies for the resilience and agility necessary to maintain business continuity and, in many instances, simply survive. With a host of lessons now learned—and with a marketplace that has been forever changed—the urgency for these two industries to continue to transform at scale has never been greater.

Forces driving transformation in media & entertainment and telecommunications

The forces that continue to accelerate the pace of transformation in media & entertainment and telecommunications organizations include:

Telco’s transition from connectivity provider to digital service provider. The erosion of traditional telco business models continues due to innovative and non-traditional competitors, as well as ever-increasing customer expectations for personalization, immediacy, and choice. Greater importance is now being placed on the development of digital ecosystems to expand the reach and scope of business models, with telcos providing connectivity for new products and services co-created with ISV’s, hyperscale cloud providers, device manufacturers, enterprise customers, and other strategic partners.

The development of industry-specific edge services. The capabilities of 5G open up a new world of low-latency edge services targeted at specific industries including agriculture, retail, automotive, manufacturing, healthcare, gaming, entertainment, and many more. 5G will provide low-latency connectivity to autonomous vehicles and devices, facilitate highly tailored service agreements through dedicated network slices, support high-density sensory devices for industrial IoT, and enable the deployment of advanced private mobile solutions.

Scaling and accelerating content creation and production. In response to the explosion of (in particular) video consumption across traditional and OTT/D2C channels, media and entertainment organizations must scale and accelerate their content production workflows to meet audience demands for new content. At the same time, organizations must look for every opportunity to reduce cost, better manage and monetize assets, and enable productivity and collaboration amongst remote and distributed teams—all while maintaining the security of their high-value creative IP.

Making better use of data to create differentiation and drive monetization. In many media & entertainment and telecommunications organizations, data is often siloed which creates governance inconsistencies and value gaps due to the lack of end-to-end visibility—a challenge that often leads to an inability to extract business and consumer insights that can inform decision-making across the entire value chain. What’s more, the increased importance of OTT/D2C channels further underscores the need to more deeply understand audience preferences and behaviors—and to “do more with data” in general—to better personalize and monetize content and experiences.

Five essential business outcomes for each industry

To address these and other challenges and opportunities, media & entertainment and telecommunication business leaders must remain focused on the business outcomes necessary to maximize operational agility and efficiency, optimize collaboration and productivity across all teams and partners, increase relevance and deepen engagement with customers, and speed the design and delivery of innovative new products and services.

For media & entertainment organizations, these essential business outcomes are:

  1. Streamlining content production. Accelerating production workflows and scaling content creation with industry-leading tools, intelligent processes, and automation on an open and secure platform.
  2. Enhancing creativity and collaboration. Empowering individuals and teams with intelligent and secure tools for anywhere, anytime productivity, collaboration, and teamwork.
  3. Optimizing content discoverability and delivery. Improving content management, distribution, and monetization through automated processes on an intelligent and secure cloud.
  4. Transforming audience and content intelligence. Simplifying access to insights from multi-channel data to drive informed, proactive decision-making.
  5. Reimagining and monetizing experiences. Deepening fan and audience engagement with personalized, connected, and immersive experiences across all channels, platforms, and venues.

For telecommunications organizations, the five essential outcomes are:

  1. Empowering the Telco workforce. Enabling secure teamwork across employees, suppliers, and partners with intelligent tools for anywhere, anytime productivity and collaboration.
  2. Streamlining operations and business support systems. Simplifying workflows and realizing operational efficiencies through cloud-native applications, intelligent processes, and automation on a trusted and secure cloud.
  3. Deploying and optimizing next-gen networks. Using the power of a carrier grade, hybrid cloud to reduce cost, improve network efficiency, scalability, and reliability, and grow revenue.
  4. Transforming customer experiences. Using data-driven insights and AI to enhance care, deliver personalized content and experiences, and earn customers for life.
  5. Accelerating innovation and growth. Building new revenue streams with an AI-enabled platform for the rapid development, deployment, and monetization of innovative cross-industry edge and IoT services.

Our approach to media & entertainment and telecommunications

Microsoft’s approach to the media & entertainment and telecommunications industries is core to our mission to empower every person and every organization on the planet to achieve more. Guided by the four key principles of business model alignment, customer ownership and control of data, industry customization, and an unmatched partner ecosystem, we are working to ensure that every M&E and telco organization has the tech intensity required to succeed going forward.

Learn more about intelligent media and entertainment to see how solutions from Microsoft and our partners have optimized workflows, streamlined content delivery, and deepened audience engagement for the likes of Digital Domain, Waave, the BBC, Wunderman Thompson, the NFL, LaLiga, and Thomson Reuters.

And, learn more about intelligent telecommunications to see how Microsoft and our partners have increased productivity, streamlined operations, optimized networks, and accelerated innovation for industry leaders such as AT&T, Etisalat, Deutsche Telekom, Telefónica, Telstra, and Vodafone.