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Fight Against 'Film Rot' has New Ally


EDS and WAM!NET Team Offers Pay-As-You-Go Digital Media Management

LAS VEGAS -April 19, 1999 -- The problem of "entertainment entropy" – beloved films and TV shows and historic news broadcasts decomposing faster than their owners can save them – has worried the media and entertainment industries for years, and with good reason: Ninety percent of all classic film prints now are in poor condition, according to the UCLA Film and Television Archive, and of those produced before 1950, at least half have disappeared.

Now the fight against "film rot" has a new ally. EDS, the information technology company that was honored last year by Anthology Film Archives for the digital restoration of Gone With The Wind, and WAM!NET Inc., a leader in digital networking services, plan to bundle their digital media management technologies together in a way that makes the preservation of all types of media both affordable and accessible.

Digital media management is the process of storing photos, videotapes, audio recordings, and paper documents on computer files. Historically, systems needed for the process had to be purchased outright by users – often costing millions of dollars. Now, in an industry-first, EDS and WAM!NET plan to offer a digital media management service on a pay-as-you-go basis. The companies made the announcement here today at the NAB99 convention.

"What makes this exciting is that, until now, digital media management was available only to those who could afford the enormous capital investment required to purchase the necessary technology," said Charles Ansley, president of EDS’ Communications Industry Group. "But EDS and WAM!NET have made the use of this technical process affordable and practical for virtually any size need without spending a single dollar on the purchase of equipment. Now there is no good reason for film rot."

By integrating technologies developed by both companies to digitize, index, store, transport, retrieve and deliver information, EDS and WAM!NET will create a powerful and cost-effective way for indefinitely preserving any form of media: text, images, sound and full-motion video.

"Entertainment entropy should now become a thing of the past," said Allen Witters, co-founder and CTO of WAM!NET. "Equally important is that digital media can easily be accessed, updated and shared by any number of people, regardless of their location, via the Internet."

Preservation of precious media assets is only one benefit of EDS and WAM!NET’s new digital media management service offering. For example, in a separate but related announcement, WAM!NET said it has been awarded a contract to digitize, preserve, store and transport over 12,000 titles contained in the video library of Spark Interactive, who together with the WAM!NET service will provide true video-on-demand.

The ability of digital media management to be used effectively for a wide range of projects of many sizes (single photos to multiple motion pictures) comes from combining the intuitive nature of EDS’ MediaVault™, an end-to-end multimedia asset-management system, with WAM!NET’s WAM!BASE®, an enterprise-wide digital archiving solution with built-in disaster recovery. As part of an existing marketing agreement between EDS and Sony Electronics Inc., Sony’s PetaSite™ mass storage library will house the digitized media.

"The robustness of the MediaVault software will provide our clients with a tremendous desktop software application and user interface to the WAM!BASE solution," Witters said. "The sophistication, bandwidth and volume requirements for digital media management can be easily met by the MediaVault/WAM!BASE service offering, the WAM!NET® global digital network, and Sony’s PetaSite solution."
As part of the letter of intent to use EDS’ MediaVault software, WAM!NET is exploring outsourcing portions of its transaction processing, data-management operations and support services to EDS.

"We are very excited about the scale and scope of global information services that EDS brings to our customers," Witters said. "EDS has no peer in history when it comes to digital transaction processing and electronic business capabilities."

WAM!NET Inc., with its digital networking service, on-line archiving solution and production workflow application software, provides the industry standard for electronic collaboration in the entertainment, graphic arts, advertising, and marketing industries. WAM!NET enables subscribers to move to a totally digital production workflow — cutting turnaround times by as much as 75-98 percent and costs by as much as 50-75 percent on the average size file. Since its incorporation in the state of Minnesota in 1994, WAM!NET has signed over 2,000 blue-chip customers onto its secure business-to-business internet with an additional 35,000+ ISDN dial-up clients. WAM!NET’s services are available throughout North America, Europe and Japan. The company has benefited from strategic and financial relationships with SGI and MCI WorldCom. For more information on WAM!NET, call 800.611.9006, or visit the company's web site at http://www.wamnet.com.

EDS has been a leader in the global information services industry for more than 35 years. The company delivers systems and technology expertise, management consulting, business process management and electronic business leadership. EDS, which reported revenues of $16.9 billion in 1998, offers solutions to improve the performance of more than 9,000 business and government clients in about 50 countries. The company’s stock is traded on the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE:EDS) and the London Stock Exchange. Visit EDS via the Internet at http://www.eds.com.


EDS Editorial Contact
Miles Kotay at (+1) (972) 605-8144 or email miles.kotay@eds.com.



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