Seconding that eMotion

Mar 5, 2001  •  Post A Comment

Age: 38.
Title: Vice president, broadcast and entertainment, eMotion.
Founded: 1992 as Cinebase Software, renamed eMotion after merger with Picture Network International, January 2000.
Headquarters: Vienna, Va. (offices in Los Angeles, New York, Silicon Valley and Chicago).
Employees: 204.
Investors: Privately held. Investors include GE Equity Capital, Chartwell Capital, National Geographic, SIB (Saudi Investment Bank), Broadview Capital, EMC, Enron, Veritas, Sun Microsystems, East-West Venture Group, Bear Stearns Constellation Fund, Psilos, Broadview Capital Management, Sand Hill Capital, Eastman Kodak, Young & Rubicam and Wasserstein Perrella & Co.
The topic of digital-asset management has the ability to glaze over one’s eyes, but not when Janet Gardner pays a call.
This high-energy dynamo, promoted late last year to vice president of broadcast and entertainment for digital media management solutions provider eMotion, rarely pauses for breath after finishing one project before she’s digging deeply into the details of the next.
“There is no single product today in media management that can solve all the problems a broadcaster has,” Ms. Gardner said. “We’re providing broadcasters and entertainment companies with a customizable toolbox, one that they can use today and five years from now. eMotion delivers more than technology.”
What eMotion offers is an array of products and services that power the entire life cycle of digital media management, from creation and collaboration to searching, storage and distribution. But that only describes the product. Company literature doesn’t tell clients that they also get Ms. Gardner’s expertise. “A lot of media management companies sell licenses to develop systems,” she said. “We deliver those systems and work with the client to customize that system. We don’t hand you the tool kit and walk away.”
Ms. Gardner, who studied architecture at Ball State University before earning a master of science degree from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in 1987, became interested in interactive media while studying for her graduate degree. “I got involved with leveraging objective technology and interactive video,” she said. “It was fascinating.”
Before joining eMotion four years ago, Ms. Gardner headed the object technology practice with American Management Systems, and she focused on the insurance and financial markets. For two years before coming to AMS, she worked at Advanced Databases, an object database company that markets the Matisse database product. She came to eMotion as the director of professional services and training, a position which drew heavily on her knowledge of intelligent-computer databases and systems architecture.
Now vice president of broadcast and entertainment, Ms. Gardner said: “I play an evangelist role externally and internally … this is an industry still heavily dependent on physical media-the tapes, disks and all. Not everything is maintained on digital storage systems because of the cost. I spend a lot of time educating executives in this industry [on] how to best develop these systems, what the capital investment is and really delving into what the vision is for their company.”
Problem-solving, strategic thinking and ability to think “outside the box” are the qualities most often attributed to Ms. Gardner.
“A lunch with Janet is a real brain tease,” said Bryan Fails, vice president, post productions, Scripps Productions. “It’s a struggle to keep up with media-asset management, but she stretches my understanding, big time. She packs so much into even the simplest explanation … that’s what makes her a valuable business associate and a companion in the communications industry.”
eMotion devised a pilot media-asset-management project for Scripps Productions. “It wasn’t just what we wanted to do but how it all flowed between the different departments in our company. Janet was instrumental in showing us how to discover that information,” said Mr. Fails.
Suzanne Donino, senior vice president, Turner Network Operations, Atlanta, said she first met Ms. Gardner when Turner was investigating media-asset management. Ms. Gardner’s industry knowledge and her energy level were most striking.
“She has a passion for this industry and a commitment to get out into the industry and try to make [change] happen,” said Ms. Donino. “She is articulate in presenting where she wants … to take this industry. She commands a tremendous amount of respect when she starts talking about the challenges facing all of us as we sell this new [business] model into our companies.”
Even Ms. Gardner admits that possessing the ability to dig into technicalities about digital-media-asset management-as well as being able to speak coherently about the subject-is a combination that’s hard to find. “For me, what I find so much fun is the opportunity to bring a vision to this industry,” she said. “We help build toward a future of where a company wants to go.”