Sony Pictures CIO calls for greater IT collaboration between competing studios

By Sooraj Shah
25 Mar 2014 View Comments
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The vice president and divisional CIO of Sony Pictures Television, Eric Iverson, has called for greater collaboration on IT between competing studios, and particularly between European and US counterparts.

Iverson was speaking at the Hollywood IT Society (HITS) Conference Europe, which is produced by the Media & Entertainment Services Alliance (MESA), an organisation that aims to service providers in building efficiencies in the creation, production and distribution of physical and digital media and entertainment.

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Iverson explained that the concept of MESA originally began in Hollywood because technician redundancies were rife in the industry and many of the studios were spending a lot of time and money re-inventing the same kind of IT solutions.

"CFOs talked amongst themselves - more than we did. So that led us to talk about getting together and collaborating and sharing," he said.

The first meeting between the CIOs of various studios including Universal Pictures, Fox, Sony and Paramount occurred in June 2010.

Each of the CIOs came up with presentations and ideas on how they could better collaborate to ensure they were getting the best out of IT.

Jim Bottoms, executive director of MESA Europe, suggested that in the past, studios were competing on all fronts, but now they could just compete purely in terms of content.

This would allow them to one day ensure there is standardisation across formats and make sure they can acquire large systems between the studios.

But Sony's Iverson claimed that the most important priority for the near future is for MESA Europe and MESA in the US to work together.

Iverson believes that there are some key sticking points that need to be addressed within different areas including automation, business intelligence, big data, metadata standards and the digital supply chain.

He said that one main challenge is that the CIOs and their teams are trying to achieve things that may be complicated to explain to non-technical business people.

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