Affinis Advisory Group Merges with MediAnswers
The transition to software-defined workflows touches nearly every organisation in the broadcast and media industry today, from manufacturers and trade associations, to ad agencies and television networks. To address this industry-wide challenge, broadcast and media industry visionaries, Chris Lennon and Glen Sakata, have joined forces as MediAnswers, a global company that focuses on media management and workflow optimisation.
Lennon formed MediAnswers in 2013 to help organisations manage large pools of media assets, and spearhead standardisation projects to automate workflows from program acquisition through playout. Sakata has merged his consulting firm, the Affinis Advisory Group, with MediAnswers to more effectively drive these transitions from a higher level across sales, marketing and product management. He additionally brings a rare expertise in helping hardware manufacturers refocus their energies toward adapting to software-defined workflows, as broadcasters and media organisations worldwide begin migrating more operations to IP and the cloud. Sakata will serve as MediaAnswers’ Vice President.
“This is an important step in broadening our approach to the ever-changing media business,” said Lennon, MediAnswers President and CEO. “Affinis has a history of offering top-notch analysis of markets, products, strategy and sales development. Couple this with our media systems integration, standards development, custom software development, education and consulting services, and our customers have an industry leader that can more comprehensively drive new strategies, initiatives and transformations that propel them forward.”
Prior to forming Affinis Advisory Group, Sakata held influential positions at Vinten, Louth Automation, and Harmonic. At Harmonic, he led the company’s EMEA division through a business transformation that paved the foundation for its recent international success. While at Louth Automation he began working with Lennon, then with Enterprise Systems Group, to establish tighter interoperability between automation and traffic systems. Both companies were later acquired by Harris Corporation, where Lennon evolved this initiative into standardisation work around BXF (Broadcast eXchange Format).
Today, BXF eliminates manual data entry processes for ad ingestion into traffic systems in favor of automated, XML-based file transport. Lennon has continued driving similar standardisation work at MediAnswers with organisations like CIMM (Coalition for Innovative Media Measurement) and NABA (North American Broadcasters Association), driving software-defined workflows across audience measurement and automated exchange of file delivery specifications.
Sakata’s diverse skillset complements both Lennon and his MediAnswers colleague, Peter Storer, another industry veteran who specialises in media software systems. The company’s growing roster also now includes sales executive Paul McNeill, well-known to broadcasters and cable networks alike.
“After two decades working closely with Chris on a variety of end user projects, standardisation initiatives and partner relationships, a synchronicity of sorts found us launching Affinis and MediAnswers at the same time,” said Sakata. “While focused on different technology areas, we continually found the two firms meeting in the middle – often with the same customers – driven by the same evolving business dynamics found across the broadcast, media and entertainment industries. Combining the diverse skills and expertise of both companies to better address the needs and challenges of our growing client base across front-end acquisition, business process management, content delivery and more instantly became apparent. It’s an ideal meshing of talent to help a diverse range of players from the manufacturer to the media network.”
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