Strata Unveils New Media Processing System, Compatible With Microsoft Desktop Apps

Media-buying software and systems developer Strata has introduced a new enterprise system for ad agencies that is based entirely on Microsoft's operating system, making it seamlessly interoperable with all of Microsoft's desktop applications. That, says Strata CEO John Shelton, represents a significant improvement in the ease of integration for most advertising agencies, which utilize Microsoft's desktop applications - especially Excel spreadsheet files - as the primary means of planning and posting media buys.

The update to Strata's Enterprise Agency Management platform also adds a variety of new tools for planning, buying, stewardship, optimization and billing across all media, including the most advanced forms of digital media.

The update comes as Strata, which is owned by telecommunications giant Comcast Corp., is fighting a pitched market share battle with two bigger industry giants, the granddaddy of the business Donovan Data Systems, and venture capital-backed MediaBank, which has a new management team that is morphing it into a state-of-the-art media trading system.



Strata, which represents a mix of smaller and larger agencies, is touting more of an open source approach based on interoperability and ease-of-use, and Executive Vice President Joy Baer says its Microsoft-based software system is a key advantage, because of its ubiquity and common standard.

Microsoft is also at the core of a new initiative by Interpublic's Mediabrands unit, and the American Association of Advertising Agencies to create a new, state-of-the-art standard for agencies and media to electronically exchange data related to media buys and processing.

Microsoft previously was a significant equity stakeholder in Strata parent Comcast, but has since divested of its stake, Strata's Shelton says, emphasizing that there is no strategic connection between the two organizations.

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