Redefining ‘Systems Integration’
Over the last few years we have seen “emerging markets” rapidly developing their broadcast facilities and capabilities throughout Asia. We have seen a growing trend in which local broadcasters are transforming from consumers of international and Pan-Asia content to producers of localized and often unique programme formats.
Over the last few years we have seen “Emerging Markets” rapidly developing their broadcast facilities and capabilities throughout Asia. We have seen a growing trend in which local broadcasters are transforming from consumers of International and Pan Asia content to producers of localized and often unique program formats. There has also been a rapid explosion of the types of programs from News, sports and local events into growing segments including entertainment, reality, dramas and series. The popularity of international formats and programs like Korean dramas, Bollywood movies and English Premier league are still undeniably popular but statistics are showing that localized content is capturing the audience’s attention and time more and more. Channels embarking on programing “close” to the viewer are beginning to dominate the market.
In conjunction with this content transformation there has been a growing need for the Broadcasters in “Emerging Markets” to reach out and find partners whom can help them expand their market, content and capabilities rapidly as often the skills and experience are not found in-house. The Broadcasters are searching for not only product and service suppliers but long term relationships and business partnerships which can help lead them through their technology transformation. The Broadcaster is taking into consideration more and more often workflows, operational efficiencies, and even facility design to assure the road-map and technology strategy which when adopted can adapt to their creative, program and business development goals.
This is where the role of the classic “System Integrator” is transforming and a new definition is emerging. Today’s Integrators must change from the classic system design and wiring teams hired to cobble together a facility. Today the customers are seeking partnerships with organizations whom are integral to their business as consultants, operations experts and technology roadmap designers. A new paradigm or business type is emerging to meet these needs, the “Broadcast Technology and Operations Consultant” has been born.
The Broadcast Technology and Operations Consultant (BTOC) is embarking on this new mission. It’s helping to realize the dreams and ambitions of business owners in the Broadcast Segment. The BTOC is coming alongside the Broadcaster and developing and rolling out business strategies across organizations. For example, as Broadcasters look at the emergence of OTT or IP technologies in their operations require assistance not simply to install or purchase a system, instead they need guidance over their business practices and technology choices across multiple business units and over multiple project phases of the project. They need a business consultant who intimately knows their facilities and operations to help steer the long term plans. Yes, the BTOC often provides the hardware, software, configuration and training for project phases however it is not limited to this.
OTT for example is not a product but is a new delivery method which demands complete business operations change in order to efficiently create and deliver the online content to viewers. To achieve cost effective operations a strategy often starts as early as the content ingest through production and promos all the way down to the playout and encoding systems chosen.
Ultimately this holistic examination of the Broadcasters requirements, products, workflow and system selection is critical. Proper choices can help to minimize staffing, accelerate time to air, and lower overall cost of each phase and ultimately ongoing business operations expenses. On the other hand, when OTT is taken as a “project” one often creates an island of equipment as well as a new set of staff and departments which often are too costly or slow to gain market share and who’s operational expense contribute to the failure to deliver additional profits to the bottom line.
Take a facility construction plan which a customer is embarking on, a technology and operations partner can bring huge value to the process. From studio design (and size), production staff requirements and location, post-production or network infrastructure to support file based or IP workflows, power and cooling requirements etc. All these areas can be optimized when planned from the outset of the project as one size often does not fit all. The cost to correct areas which were missed in the initial project design can be very costly and cause delays in the launch of the new facility. A BTOC can help avoid these oversights and bring significant value to the project.
In Advanced Broadcast Solutions (ABS) the mission to partner, educate, transform, and innovate has led to many new business practices. Today ABS and it’s engineering and project teams get to know intimately the Broadcaster and their goals, the bottlenecks or barriers to achieving the goals and strategies to help move the organization forward. ABS looks at the facilities, technologies, and practices to help develop a plan for transformation. ABS comes alongside the Broadcaster to achieve these objectives.
Today ABS works with many leading manufactures and knows their products deeply so they can select and advise on the best technology choices within budget, skills capabilities, and requirements. ABS works hard to clearly outline the challenges to achieve success in each phase of the business plan. ABS strives to get the best possible product which will do as required and in budget for the customer and deliver these products quickly. ABS also understands most businesses must use phases of implementation for staff, operational and budget reasons and helps prioritize and select the core components required at each point minimizing redundant or incompatible systems which often leads to replacement in each successive project phase. This is a key differentiator verses the classic “SI” who’s core business is making income on the installation and commissioning of projects.
ABS recommends businesses to appoint a team to work under ABS for each project. ABS takes it on themselves to help educate the staff on the design and implementation stages. ABS trains the customers staff on everything from how to pull wires properly (and cleanly) to termination and dressing. ABS helps the Broadcaster increase their staffs’ skills by working alongside them so in the future with supply of the design and products by ABS the Broadcaster can roll out the installation themselves. The core objective for ABS is to help lead Broadcasters through their business technology and business workflow goals helping to deliver their programing at profit.
ABS believes that for Broadcasters staff to fully understand and feel comfortable working on installed systems they need to know how they were built and operate. ABS helps them through the commissioning of the systems so that each configuration choice of each products is understood by the local team. This differs dramatically from product or system training as done by most SI’s and manufactures where only the features or basic operation is understood verses the system architecture and how to utilize the features.
ABS works with the customers’ team to achieve full efficiency of the solution through complete planning and roll out of the end to end workflows. By being involved in the implementation steps the customer understands not only the “what’s’” but also the “whys”. The training therefor is transformed as the engineering teams are fully knowledgeable and able to support the systems.
The users are also trained not simply on features but on complete workflows and how to use the tools to achieve the most successful practices. When manufacture training is the only basis for knowledge on a system there are significant gaps in the understanding of the complete system and therefor only marginal utilization of the total capabilities can be achieved. By fully engaging the users ABS is able to increase the depth and use of the total solution which was rolled out for the Broadcaster.
ABS has embarked on a transformation from a System Integrator to a Solution Partner. ABS has embarked to transform its’ business to an organization which the customer can rely on to help build their business over time and through technology transformations. It is this transformation into a “Broadcast Technology and Operations Consultant” that ABS sets itself apart in the industry. It is with the transformation to s BTOC vs SI that customers have a new partner in their business which has vast experience in the industry and helping to transform many Broadcasters businesses and systems to solutions for today and tomorrow’s business needs. The new partnership available between ABS and its’ customers helps transform the Broadcaster into the future.