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Is the IP Infrastructure evolution within the Media Sector a risk or an opportunity for traditional Broadcast System Integration companies?

The Broadcast sector is converging rapidly with IT and Telecommunications technologies as user demand for traditional distribution methods of delivering video are changing toward multi-channel, multi-platform, on-demand delivery via the internet. Utilisation of IP based infrastructure provides more efficient services which provide relatively low cost interactive content delivery capability over a vast array of devices running a variety of viewing applications.

As transport network capacity bandwidth increases, so does the desire to fill it, which has led to increased channel volume, feature capability and an improved end user experience. This change in delivery has presented commercial challenges for traditional terrestrial, satellite & cable methods of delivering video services, as an ever growing on-demand IP capability provide users with more power, flexibility and choice than ever before. Internet content providers such as BT, Netflix, iPlayer Services and many other subscriber and ‘pay as you go’ IP distributed content providers are now well established in the market and as a result traditional large high value box based specialist product integration is becoming less and less required.

Technology Manufacturers are adapting to the need to reduce costs, be more competitive and yet deliver technology that provides high quality audio and video. Many manufacturers are now moving away from bespoke expensive to manufacture hardware based products towards applications based software solutions running on standard ‘Off the Shelf’ IT hardware. This change brings major advantages to infrastructure costs and also flexibility in the management, transport, manipulation and storage of content, however this also brings with it complexity in integration of software within a multi-vendor domain and with it even more complex issues relating to content security and maintenance.

As a result traditional broadcast system integration companies also have to change their model to meet the new requirements IP technology has brought to a rapidly evolving market space. System Integration needs to adopt IT principles to enable it to manage and develop the infrastructure it provides to its customers. In future this business will require an increased knowledge of IP/IT based network infrastructure, application software and higher levels of training associated with supporting the network infrastructure and application software provided.

A structured methodology and framework in which to deliver services that keep systems current and enable them to meet the ever changing demands of the sector is crucial to ensure system availability and capacity is maintained. IT and Telecommunication Integration companies are starting to encroach on traditional broadcast projects as their knowledge of IP solutions and distribution services become more important to the infrastructure deployed within broadcast. However there is still a large white space for traditional broadcast system integration companies to fill and thrive in the new evolved market, but not in their current form.

Broadcast Integration companies have a limited time to move forward, as there is a real risk they will find themselves left behind. There is a need to develop internal skills to build and support IP infrastructure within digital media environments. They will need to leverage their expertise in the sector to bring value to the customer ensuring they differentiate themselves from the basic IT integration companies. Specialised broadcast IP solutions organisations will thrive in this market as organisations look to outsource technology and vendor management to focus on core capabilities.

This change was very evident in the 1990’s within traditional IT Data markets; increasingly the TV and Video sector now looks likely to follow a similar path. Bringing together IT expertise, software integration knowledge, vendor relationships and project management skills within media content creation and management projects, will enable video service providers to look to outsource technology management to partners of choice that have this expertise. To enable this to become a reality, traditional system integrators will need to move away from rack and stack system methodology, to become specialist video technology solution providers. This requires specialists to bring value to customers by establishing the best technology and commercial methods of building a mix of on-site and offsite solutions to ensure competitive advantages can be obtained, utilising the best fit technology available.

This means for onsite solutions that hardware lifecycle management, software support and maintenance are crucial for ensuring systems remain current. Management of compatibility between deployed system software and hardware will be crucial, to ensure new versions of application software can be applied with minimal risk to operations. System life is being extended as traditional bespoke hardware solutions are being replaced with application software operating on standard IT infrastructure.

This enables larger organisations to evolve and extend the life of modern IP systems through upgrades and refresh programs as opposed to traditional method of completely replacing entire platforms. For smaller enterprises the idea of Software as a Service (SaaS) and managed IT infrastructure become more appealing as modern technology facilitates new cost effective, cloud based methodology of providing feature rich solutions previously viewed as being too expensive to purchase, manage and implement in house.

This is where CJP can help. We can help your organisation evolve to meet the demands of a rapidly changing market. CJP BSS Ltd apply ITIL v.3 2011 framework methodology to broadcast service solutions providing organisations with the ability to change from traditional ‘box based rack and stack’ system providers, into organisations that can add real value and services to their customers.

CJP believe that by implementing a sound service framework methodology at the forefront of your offering, not only provides a solid platform on which to build differentiating customer value but also is a fundamental requirement to be able to support the technology infrastructure deployed in today’s broadcast and media markets.

For more information on how CJP-BSS Ltd can help your organisation maximise its service value to its clients visit www.cjp-bss.co.uk or email us at [email protected].

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