The main objectives of the project are:
- to develop a multimedia brokerage service:
- mainly in the area of multimedia publishing;
- offering the customer the possibility of negotiating the purchase of data and services from suppliers, through a broker machine;
- using existing technology where possible (e.g. Internet);
- running on ATM and ISDN networks transparently;
- integrating OSI and Internet technology;
- guaranteeing security and intellectual property rights protection and management;
- contributing to standardisation on multimedia and brokerage services;
- to demonstrate the feasibility of this brokerage service that will allow the achievement of a more competitive position in the market-place, by reducing costs and time through the use of a broker machine;
- to develop a good business case for the introduction of electronic brokerage services, through ATM, in a real business environment.
The major achievements of the project to date can be summarised as follows:
- specification of the supplier /customer systems, the broker machine, and the architecture of the whole system;
- integration of Internet technology;
- development of a Customer/Broker Machine access prototype;
- clarification of the Security and IPR aspects;
- specification of the communications modules, including Internet protocols;
- standardisation work with a lot of effort on DFR, document manipulation and T.120 aspects;
The expected achievements for the remainder of the project are:
- finish implementation and integration of the customer / supplier systems and the broker machine;
- finish contribution to standardisation of Communication platform APIs, multimedia formats, MPEG4 - image manipulation, and communication application modules (DFR, DTAM and document communication services);
- trials on ATM of video services and multimedia publishing & purchasing.
- customers: optimum quality of service because of ease of access to professional services;
- suppliers: increase in revenue as a result of faster access and relationship with customers;
- future brokerage service providers: new expectations are offered in the market.
An important expected impact of the project is the increase of usage of ATM by SMEs in the multimedia publishing and other related sectors.
Globalisation of the multimedia publishing market since the brokerage service to develop will be carried out at international level.
Contribution to the development of Electronic Commerce in Europe.
The social impact will be mainly an increase of outsourcing of publishing services (better offered through a broker machine), and the provision of new possibilities for teleworking.
Similar impact may be expected in other areas tested by the project, e.g. some cases of electronic commerce.
Main contributions to the programme objectives:
Integration of Internet technology together with other standard communication services
Contribution to the programme
Globalisation of the multimedia publishing market, development of publishing services, provision of new possibilities for teleworking, increase of electronic commerce
A working application over ATM will be demonstrated by piloting video services, conventional publishing services and some electronic commerce services. The architecture of this service will include:
- A Broker Machine offering "interactive" (order negotiation, ordering, quality control, etc.), and non-interactive services (document transfer, multimedia information remote access, etc.). Intelligent automatic processing of information, like formats conversion, is also provided. An ATM communication platform will be included for communication with customers and suppliers.
- Customers and suppliers multimedia machines to communicate with the broker machine, which will include whiteboards for multimedia production. An ATM communication platform will be included for communication with the broker machine. Any communication between customers and suppliers will always be through the broker machine.
Internet technology, such as HTTP/HTML and TCP/IP will be integrated, together with other standard communication services based on OSI, like DFR (Document Filing and Retrieval).
Summary of Trial
MULTIMEDIATOR will demonstrate the use of an intelligent multimedia brokerage service for customers and suppliers mainly in the publishing area, but also as a general service for a Multimedia market place.
Services offered will include specialised video-on-demand, hypervideo, videorating, conventional publishing services (infography, animation, design, assembling, etc.), and electronic commerce on virtual gallery and education. For that purpose, the project will integrate existing technology with its own project developments.
The procedure for customers to obtain services or to buy information consists of a sequence of steps such as looking for suppliers, selecting those that fit their needs, negotiating the job or purchase, ordering, controlling the work progress, and accepting it. In parallel, accounting and billing will be performed.
OSI protocols will be used and implemented, and Internet technology will be integrated where useful, e.g. for service search and negotiation. HTTP/HTML TCP/IP protocols will be used.
The key issues for the project are:
- General multimedia brokerage, mainly in the publishing area.
- Use of ATM by SMEs. Cost effectiveness.
- Communication APIs for several communications protocols.
- Standardisation of multimedia formats, document services, communication APIs, MPEG, etc.
- Use of Internet protocols and formats in combination with OSI standards.
- ATM traffic and multimedia quality.
- Test cases for ATM interoperability.
- Quality of service offered from the broker machine.
Funding SchemeCSC - Cost-sharing contracts