A Look Into the Lab

Dell's Chad Andrews Talks About the First-Ever Digital Process Workflow Lab Debuting at the Entertainment Technology Expo

As time draws near for the very first Digital Process Workflow Lab, which makes its debut at Createasphere’s Entertainment Technology Expo on November 7th and 8th, we’re speaking with partners in the Lab to give us insight on how it works and what visitors can expect to glean from a tour.


First up is Chad Andrews, Dell’s Global Marketing Manager for Telco, Media & Entertainment.

PVC: What’s the purpose of the Digital Process Workflow Lab?

CA: It became clear to me while managing digital pipelines for feature films that more and more silos were coming down. After co-founding Orbit Digital, I worked through the early 2000s to start integrating departments that had once been walled gardens. We started by integrating Post and VFX.

Since 2009, the once distinct Post and Production worlds have merged into one environment. It’s clear that advances in cloud promise unification of hardware in a datacenter model with seamless interoperability around one framework with converged process.

PVC: What will attendees be able to see at the Lab and what kind of information can they expect to walk away with?

CA: End-to-end pipelines like we are showing here are the future because they are practical, affordable and provide dramatically more value to the customer in many ways that attendees will see at the lab.

By integrating metadata from many platforms into one database and working around a common software architecture framework, it is possible to have much more fluid and automated workflows that save time while reducing hardware costs. Attendees will see a highly efficient workflow pipeline riding on about 20 Dell products and spanning from image capture on set to a full service facility to a visual effects company and back to the facility for finishing. We are simulating a demo where each location could be different continents. Attendees will see how fluid interactions between intelligent hardware and several best-of-breed software products can save time and money while opening the possibility of powerful options.

PVC: What kinds of solutions does Dell bring to the table?

CA: Many will benefit. We are showing improvements and efficiencies in every area of the workflow. Whether you’re the CIO of a studio or broadcaster or run a small creative shop with 5 employees, you’ll see how you can adopt solutions that have isolated value, or which can be integrated into powerful systems. Dell believes in an open source, open standards approach and intelligent, highly efficient hardware. Our philosophy makes us an ideal partner whether it’s with the 20 partners we are working closely with in the lab, or customers of any size looking to navigate a path to greater profitability. ??

PVC: How will digital process workflow positively affect the production process? How soon will these changes take place?

CA: No doubt this is the future. To compete, companies must remove inefficiencies in process and get the most from hardware. The amount of video that must be managed is literally rising exponentially, and companies need intelligent end-to-end solutions just so they don’t get swallowed by storage costs. But the model we are showing opens up the possibility of more. Dell customers are using big data to get insights about how to be more effective targeting content and marketing more precisely.

The Digital Process Workflow Lab can be toured at Createasphere’s Entertainment Technology Expo Wednesday and Thursday, November 7th and 8th, 2012. Click here for free registration.


Nathan Thompson

Nathan has filmed all walks of life, from short films, music videos, and corporate commercials, to humanitarian efforts in Africa and the war in Afghanistan. He is a 19 time Emmy Award winning filmmaker and was named the 2012 National Videographer of the Year by the National Press Photographer’s Association. Having taught around the country, including the renowned Poynter Institute, Nathan is also an accomplished instructor. Outside of work he geeks out on vintage cinema lenses, rock climbing, running and drumming.