IRVINE, CA - June 1, 2010 - Summit Entertainment, LLC, has been recognized as a Laureate by The Computerworld Honors Program, which brings together principals of the world's information technology companies to award organizations that have demonstrated extraordinary use of information technology in ten separate categories. These companies will be commemorated during the 22nd Annual Laureates Medal Ceremony & Gala Awards Evening on June 7, 2010 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C.
A key element in the movie business is navigating the complex and different licensing laws and currencies across the world. Complicating matters are the ancillary businesses involved in the film-industry supply chain: studios that produce films; production companies; distribution companies and all the various film outlets, such as movie theatres and cable-TV operators as well as DVD sales and rental operations.
To manage these demands, Summit Entertainment uses iRights®, a software system developed by Gray Matter LLC. The iRights solution handles international licensing, title availability, license billing, collections, and generates the wide range of reports required to support the activities of the company.
Together, Gray Matter LLC and Summit Entertainment expanded iRights®' core functionality and extended it to include cash management, accounts receivable, loan collateral and banking systems designed to handle the enormous volume of complex financial transactions processed by Summit. As the company scaled its business operations, it added international box-office tracking which tracks the week-to-week performance of its film titles in theaters around the world.
The systems also allow Summit Entertainment to stay nimble and adapt to an ever-changing film industry, particularly in television where services such as basic cable, premium movie channels, and super-premium movie channels have created a limitless amount of differentiation for viewers to choose from. This creates more revenue-generation opportunities but also makes the Summit iRights® solution more complex.
Summit Entertainment's system provides a model for how a film distributor with a small IT staff can manage the complex world of film licenses. Helping Summit Entertainment grow into a dominant independent film production and distribution studio, the iRights® system not only makes life easier, it has supported Summit's rise to prominence.
"With successful films such as the Twilight series, we are seeing a large volume of licensing activity with the backend benefit of overages (royalties) that go beyond original expected up front license fees. We worked with Gray Matter to address this by building an expansive front-end banking system that tracks all money coming into, and moving through, the myriad of bank accounts necessary for our licensing and financing structures, as well as those of the producers we represent as a sales agent. Proper identification of money received can be a challenge with the large volume of banking transactions and often little information conveyed in bank wire reference fields. Our treasury staff can easily search the database from this front-end banking system from multiple search points to quickly identify where money is coming from, what license it is connected to, and which title it is associated with. Gray Matter has built a system so that we spend less time determining where money is coming from and can quickly focus on proper application as the data is pushed through our financial system and out to our end users." - Mimi Tseng, EVP Finance and Operations, Summit Entertainment, LLC
"From a Sales perspective, iRights® from Gray Matter LLC has brought us into the 21st Century in such a convenient manner that even the novice is able to generate meaningful reports. Traditional databases go through a collection process using historical data that might be days old, a week old or even a month old because of the amount of effort required to collect and reprocess the data, but with iRights® powered by the SQL Anywhere database, we have greatly benefited from the extraordinarily fast and accurate results. Furthermore, our empowered end-users are able to change deals, save them, and re-run the relevant availability report immediately. This prevents the next user that runs the report from working with outdated information. This has proven especially beneficial during our peak sales seasons and for our overseas staff who no longer are reliant on us for updates." - Claire Cordary, Vice President Sales Administration, Summit Entertainment, LLC
"The cost of Gray Matter programmers working with all of the Sybase tools, when taking into consideration the reduced development time as well as the reduced hardware requirements, lowers our overall costs for the iRights® solution significantly compared to the same solution developed on another database platform. And the Sybase technology is so reliable that we can operate the database on a day-to-day basis without having to hire an on-site database administrator." - Bill Clune, CIO, Summit Entertainment, LLC
Founded by International Data Group (IDG) in 1988, the Computerworld Honors Program is governed by the not-for-profit Computerworld Information Technology Awards Foundation. Now in its 22nd year, Computerworld Honors is the longest running global program to honor individuals and organizations that use information technology to benefit society.
Each year, the program’s Chairmen's Committee, a group of 100 Chairmen/CEOs of global technology companies, nominates individuals and organizations around the world whose visionary application of information technology promotes positive social and economic progress. Nominations are evaluated by an independent board of CIO-level judges who select Laureates, Finalists and award recipients, in 10 industry-related categories, to be honored at the Laureate Medal Ceremony. This year’s ceremony and accompanying Gala Awards Evening will take place on June 7, 2010 at the Andrew W. Mellon Auditorium in Washington, D.C. The technology achievements honored by this program are preserved and protected in national archives, and in over 350 universities, museums and research institutions throughout the world.
Additional information about the program and a Global Archive of past Laureate case studies and oral histories can be found at the Computerworld Honors website: www.cwhonors.org.
GRAY MATTER LLC is a consulting firm that provides intelligent software solutions for business-management applications, with an emphasis on intellectual-property licensing and distribution in the entertainment industries. GRAY MATTER was started in 1998 by Glenn A. Barber and Lorin Brennan, who together have more than 40 years combined experience in database design and intellectual-property licensing. Glenn Barber is the architect of the leading rights-tracking and accounting systems used in the entertainment industry. Lorin Brennan is an attorney who has written the industry standard international licensing agreements for entertainment products. Both mathematicians by training, they bring extensive technical and practical experience to designing and implementing intelligent software solutions for critical business needs.
Summit Entertainment, LLC is a worldwide theatrical motion picture development, financing, production and distribution studio. The studio handles all aspects of marketing and distribution for both its own internally developed motion pictures as well as acquired pictures. Summit Entertainment, LLC also represents international sales for both its own slate and third party product. Summit Entertainment, LLC releases on average 10 to 12 films annually.