This month, we spoke with Shari Segal, CMRRA’s Supervisor, Data Exchange.
You are often described as the bridge builder at CMRRA. Can you tell us about your role and how you landed at CMRRA?
After working a few years maintaining systems at an insurance company, I got my dream job. I was hired in 1990 at Sony Music Canada. I spent 15 years there running their royalties system and working in tandem with CMRRA. When Sony replaced all of their systems including warehouse, returns and finance, I implemented their new sales order processing on the AS400. When the company implemented Lotus Notes I became the Manager of Notes Services. During my time there, our processes were practically paperless using the Lotus Notes workflow and integrating with the global company through Notes Apps. Lotus Notes and I were victims of the Sony Music/BMG merger and, in 2005, I began working at CMRRA.
I was hired to support Lotus Notes but soon became involved with Ken Porter in designing the new online system that we added onto the AS400 platform. In addition, I was primarily responsible for all the Lotus Notes apps supporting the online matching efforts and supporting the posting of the online statements and publishing summaries onto the CMRRA Direct website. The Invoiced Based Royalty (IBR) system was able to ingest huge amounts of digital sales data and licence requests from the ever-expanding collection of Digital Service Providers (DSPs), generate online invoices, process the royalties and facilitate the online distribution. Over the years, IBR paid out approximately $100,000,000 to our clients. In addition, the IBR system was able to handle multi-territories and multi-currencies. We also supported the US Gracenote lyric business for several years. When the new LDS system was introduced, I helped convert data from the AS400 and prepare it to be processed in LDS.
What do your weeks look like at CMRRA? I oversee the processing of the online sales files we receive from the DSP’s. Each quarter, there are over 75 sales files submitted in different formats. Over the years, our legal agreements with DSPs have become more technical so I work with our Legal team to review these agreements and determine how to implement the royalty calculations into our deal code framework. I also assist the stores with their implementation efforts.
Where did your love of music begin and what are you really enjoying in music now? I grew up in a musical home. My father played violin (as did I) and there was always music in the house. We listened to everything from classical to showtunes. My older brother exposed me to music beyond my years…. Yes, Hawkwind, King Crimson, Uriah Heep, Donovan and Strawbs. When I was in my early teens, I taught myself guitar. Being a massive Neil Young fan, it was wonderful learning that if I could master the D, A and G chords, I could play Helpless.
In 1999, I was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. Although this has caused me to change my lifestyle, it has not reduced my love and obsession with music. I can’t function without a soundtrack. The best way to get to know me is through my Can You Hear Me Now Spotify playlist.
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