This is another in a series of my notes on Lotusphere 2012. I am very pleased to be back again after last year with support from IBM. These notes cover a session on Music Industry Social Evolution with Broadcast Music Inc. or BMI.
Kevin Forbes is the BMI enterprise architect. Mike McReady is the IBM business partner working with BMI from Prolifics. Kevin came from healthcare into the music business. BMI is one of three performing rights organizations in the US. Most countries have just one. It is a very complicated business. They provide royalty distributions. They track music performances and pay royalties based on data.
Being in the music business is highly social, both inside and outside organizations. They are trying to revamp the entire IT enterprise for BMI. They are just getting started and are three months into it and plan to take five years. They are changing the entire platform. Growth had outpaced existing infrastructure. Things are working but they want to perform better and drive down costs. There are now a lot of silos with little reuse. They are taxing their systems with too much replication between the scenes.
The vision is supporting collaboration inside and out. They want to target the right information for right user by role. One goal is SOA and to build core functions as services. Mobile is another key strategy and they want to deliver more mobile apps. They are using IBM Connections, Websphere Portal, SameTime, and Mobile Portal Accelerators. They are using IBM Rational tools and Tivoli for service management. Here is an interview I did on Rational with Gina Poole (see IBM Rational Offers Collaboration and Innovation within Software Development)
They are implementing the entire WebSphere back end for integration. They are using Rational for software management. They use Netezza, SPSS, and Cognos for business intelligence. It is a complete overall and they plan to take five years to complete it. Here is an interview with Mike Rhodin on the IBM acquisitions strategy including Netezza, SPSS, and Cognos. Kevin presented a complex diagram of all they are doing.
They have links between SameTime, Connections, and WebSphere both inside and outside the organization to build a more social business. On the business intelligence front they have a lot of data about music use across the world. They are tying Netezza, SPSS, and Cognos together for this analysis and looking to provide real-time data analysis of this music use data.
They will tackle the plan by segments of the architecture based on business priorities or are core dependencies for the architecture. They will use the wikis in Connections for their teams to do work. Rather than building their own collaboration infrastructure and have to continue to update it, they are using these IBM tools so they can focus on the vision.
They have restructured the development teams to avoid silos while giving specific responsibilities. One of the challenges is running the business while this change is underway. There are nine work streams: portal team, IBM agility at scale, Rational, Quality Center, Business Analytics, InfoSphere, Center of Excellence, Enterprise Architecture, and Program Management.
They opened it up for Q&A. How does the social part unfold? Kevin said the development is about high collaboration. One use case is using social to find best development team members for each task. They have some external social uses cases but these a secret for the moment.
I asked about what the end users do with the tools they have described. BMI has about 10 million songs and tracks their performance. Licensing is tricky. There are rules and regulations. Ownership of copyrights changes a lot through things like divorces. Examples of tracked performances include YouTube TV, radio. Their BMI end users need to track all of this. Whenever a song is played on a radio station a royalty needs to be paid by the station. Even when a song is used on YouTube a royalty needs to be paid. It seems like these external facing tracking use cases are the most interesting but that is what they cannot talk about at the moment. However, the complexity is certainly apparent. Things need to be transparent and accessible. For example, anything stored in an email is potential lost revenue. I look forward to the time when they can relive these social use cases.