The new platform will shift content creation, production, and editing into the cloud


WPP to roll out Cloud Studio to 5,000 employees across its network over the next three years. (Credit: WPP plc)

Microsoft has entered into a partnership with British communications company WPP to transform the production of creative content through the launch of a new cloud platform called Cloud Studio.

The cloud platform will enable creative teams from across the worldwide network of WPP to create campaigns for clients, regardless of their location.

According to Microsoft, Cloud Studio is the first customised platform in the advertising industry for virtual production.

The platform is said to equip creative professionals with the technology for collaborating and producing impactful work for clients. At the same time, it will shift content creation, production, and editing into the cloud from otherwise traditional on-premises environments.

In the coming three years, WPP will provide 5,000 employees across its network access to Cloud Studio, particularly within its creative production operation Hogarth.

The cloud platform will enable the employees in accessing production tools and services from their devices through Azure without needing any traditional hardware or physical equipment.

For the longer run, WPP intends to broadly grow the platform with a possible deployment of up to 25,000 users.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella said: “Digital technology is rapidly transforming every aspect of the media and advertising industry, including how content is produced.

“Together with WPP, we will apply the power of Azure’s scalable, intelligent infrastructure to support next-generation content production and ensure thousands of WPP employees remain agile, collaborative and creative from anywhere.”

Microsoft said that Cloud Studio will help WPP in facilitating greater collaboration and more efficient production of content. These will be possible by offering easier access and visibility into the content through advanced Azure artificial intelligence (AI) powered indexing of metadata from a central location, that can be accessed from anywhere and at any time.

Through the intelligent categorisation of content, the communications company is expected to assure its teams of version control and removal of duplication of content among other benefits.

WPP will also trial the use of Microsoft’s Surface devices to enable its creative professionals to be productive from anywhere.

WPP CEO Mark Read said: “Technology is what powers WPP’s creativity; it allows us to realise our ideas, uncover insights and embrace innovative ways of working. The pandemic has shown how WPP teams can successfully collaborate to create extraordinary work for our clients, all while being physically apart.

“Partnering with Microsoft on Cloud Studio is the next step in our journey to arm creative teams with the latest in cutting-edge production tools, and draw upon the best talent, regardless of where they are.”