The animation industry is marked by some unique challenges, key among them being communication. In conversation with Biztech2.com, Biren Ghose, Country Head, Technicolor India, explains how collaboration tools can be a game changer for the animation industry and advises on some basic principles upon which an enterprise’s collaboration strategy should be built, irrespective of its vertical.
What are some of the IT challenges unique to the animation industry?
The animation industry is no different from any other vertical, in the sense that IT is not only a service provider but also a business enabler. The very origin of animation industry in India is marked by evolution in IT.
Some challenges such as managing huge amounts of data over high speed network, data security, storage management, etc are generic in nature. But, there are a few challenges unique to the sector. Every year software is becoming more sophisticated, and in order to keep pace with that regular hardware acceleration is required.
Also, considering the Indian animation industry is primarily driven by outsourced work, a major challenge we face is collaborating with peers and clients. This poses as a problem, in particular, because of network dependencies.
What are the basic principles upon which an enterprise, irrespective of the vertical, should build its collaboration strategy?
Firstly, getting the basics right is what the companies need to look at before adopting collaboration solutions. Then, collaboration should focus on where it can have the biggest impact on achieving business results. These are typically those parts of the business where there is a lot of dynamic information, where decisions are complex, and where those decisions have far-reaching consequences.
Secondly, collaboration is a combination of processes, business rules, systems, data flows, organisation roles, staff responsibilities, and so on. Hence, C-level executives should keep in mind that when the right combination of these components comes together the enterprise will create the ability to collaborate.
Collaboration plays a major role in this new age of communication, where the authority to make critical decisions is aligned with the information required to make them. This means that right information must be made available to the right decision maker at the right time.
How has collaboration helped in transforming the business and work culture in the animation industry?
When talking of transformation in business or work culture, we cannot pin point to any particular tool or solution. Transformation is the result of all the IT tools and solutions working in perfect sync with each other. Having said that, I would like to add that a major contributor to the transformation in the animation industry, especially in the Indian context, has been the collaboration technology with its various tools.
Increased awareness has led to the industry investing in collaboration tools and technologies like enterprise instant messaging, Unified Communications (UC), web conferencing, and telepresence, etc. Since our industry is mainly based on outsourced work, collaboration tools have helped in overcoming all the communication barriers that existed earlier with clients as well as internally.
Also, in the animation industry requirements change very quickly. For instance, when we are working on international movie projects any change in the storyline brings about a lot of change in the actual animation. Hence, constant communication is required. Newer and advanced collaboration tools have helped overcome this challenge.
What is your take on UC adoption among Indian enterprises?
UC enables spontaneous connections and escalation from text chat to voice and video. In India, the work styles and culture are different from the West. There is a certain degree of formality and a hierarchy which needs to be preserved while communicating. For instance, organisations may expect the employees to make appointments and schedule meetings while communicating with the senior management. This work style is out of sync with the UC tools.
Hence, for better results and ROI companies first need to invest in imparting that culture among their employees wherein they are not reluctant to communicate with their business leaders and counterparts on an instant and spontaneous basis. Cultural change within organisations is a must for UC to work.