PERFORM Deploys Aspera to Automate Workflows in Digital Content Management

Sports media distributor relies on Aspera Orchestrator to automate the ingest, transformation and delivery of more than 20,000 media files a day

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ARMONK, NY - 08 Sep 2014: IBM (NYSE: IBM) today announced that PERFORM, a leading digital sports content company, has deployed Aspera software to create a highly scalable and automated workflow to manage more than 20,000 diverse media files per day for its customers worldwide. By using Aspera Orchestrator to automate one of the largest transcoding systems in the industry, PERFORM can seamlessly control the flow of data through its Content Management System (CMS) in a single view and scale out to the cloud when workloads spike, ensuring the on-demand delivery of sports video under even the most demanding conditions.

Video ranks as the most popular way for fans to consume sports content online according the Global Sports Media Consumption Report 2014. PERFORM fills this growing demand by creating, transcoding and distributing sports news media clips and full match content to television broadcasters and digital media services in a variety of resolutions, bitrates and formats for any device. But to manage these highly complex workflows, it relied on a collection of disparate tools to manage across third party applications, handling a range of processes from watermarking to file format validation. PERFORM also faced large and unpredictable spikes in data volume and workloads at any given time, putting a strain on compute resources during critical times.

PERFORM chose Aspera Orchestrator to improve its workflow management, increase efficiency and enhance its file delivery capacity with a single, platform-agnostic interface, enabling it to serve sports media content to its customers with even greater speed and efficiency. Aspera Orchestrator automates the process with little human intervention by directing the right content to the correct transcoding workflow, ensuring the platform processes and delivers content where it is needed and fills the increasing customer appetite for online sports content.

Specifically, Orchestrator is helping PERFORM with:

  • Automation of complex workflows – Aspera helps PERFORM eliminate human error by automating key decisions and setting business rules in a variety of configurations to reduce time cycles and guarantee delivery to its customers. Orchestrator works behind the scenes to automatically invoke the right application, manage the processing and handle conditional decision making as dictated by the customers' service level agreements.
  • Scale out to the cloud – Aspera Orchestrator helps PERFORM to intelligently move workloads to the cloud using Aspera On Demand when its on-premise systems reach specific user-defined processing thresholds. This ensures that even when processing demands spike to their highest levels, PERFORM can always meet obligations to its customers on time.
  • Extensible and flexible architecture – PERFORM can choose from more than 50 pre-packed plug-ins supporting third-party applications and can easily add support for new software or hardware from any vendor, which enables PERFORM to deploy specialized solutions for specific applications as required by customers.
  • Priority management – Aspera Orchestrator prioritizes workflows based on customer-defined characteristics, pushing the most important projects to the front of the completion queue so that high priority work is completed first.
  • Integrated monitoring and performance management – Aspera Orchestrator provides full tracking and reporting, which allows PERFORM to monitor the entire lifecycle of the content at any time or point in the workflow.
  • Faster problem resolution with reduced support costs – Aspera Orchestrator monitors overall system health and the job status of every single workflow. If one of the supporting applications becomes unavailable, Orchestrator quarantines the application, notifies the team, and re-routes the workflow to alternate systems. Processing errors are automatically reported and users are notified and provided with a recommended resolution.

“With Aspera Orchestrator, PERFORM now has an automation and management layer that controls all aspects of the workflow and operates seamlessly with our existing Content Management System,” said Ed Silvester, head of video platform at PERFORM. “This allows us to ingest and transcode more than 20,000 media files every day, with more than 1,000 different transcode combinations, making a significant improvement to the orchestration of our business model. It means our customers receive delivery of their files intact and on time, enabling our business to operate more cost efficiently and with far greater flexibility than before.”

“This breakthrough project sets a precedent in a fast-moving environment where complex workflows and file formats now prevail,” said Andrea Di Muzio, director of professional services, EMEA, Aspera. “By helping PERFORM gain control over one of the industry’s most complex workflows, we have shown how any media company can deploy intelligent automation capabilities to satisfy any customer demands and handle the dramatic increase in data volumes, file sizes and video formats that they continue to face.”

At IBC 2014 in Amsterdam, PERFORM will showcase the joint Aspera-PERFORM project as the first known heterogeneous ‘transcoding farm’ for fully automated workflows. The presentation, titled ‘A breakthrough in digital content management and workflow automation,’ will take place in the IBC Content Everywhere Workflow Solutions theatre in Hall 9 on Saturday 13 September at 11:00 a.m. local time.

About Aspera

Aspera, an IBM company, is the creator of next-generation transport technologies that move the world’s data at maximum speed regardless of file size, transfer distance and network conditions. Based on its patented, Emmy® award-winning FASP™ protocol, Aspera software fully utilizes existing infrastructures to deliver the fastest, most predictable file-transfer experience. Aspera’s core technology delivers unprecedented control over bandwidth, complete security and uncompromising reliability. Organizations across a variety of industries on six continents rely on Aspera software for the business-critical transport of their digital assets. Please visit and follow us on Twitter @asperasoft for more information.


PERFORM Group PLC is a FTSE 250 listed business and the world’s leading digital sports content group. Through unrivalled global content collection, production and distribution capabilities PERFORM creates digital products that drive traffic, engagement and revenues for over 2,600 of the world’s leading media and betting companies and enable brands to engage with over 180 million sports fans every month.

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