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„IPsation“ of broadcast workflows: The vendor and system integrator challenge

The broadcast industry is rapidly changing under the combined pressure of technology evolution and evolving business fundamentals. Technology represents only 5 to 10% of the broadcaster budget way behind programming costs but technology vendors feel the pain and as a recent IABM conference title suggested need to “adapt or die”.

As hardware centric vendors move toward license based monetization models as they migrate toward software and IP solutions new challenges emerge. As this transition will be very long they will need to maintain legacy solutions while developing new ones. They will need to cope simultaneously with different business, technical support and revenue recognition models. With an even higher need of consultative selling they will also need to adapt their go to market model.

This evolution brings the question of “single vendor – one stop shop” versus “multiple vendors – best of breed” to an all new level. Even if a lot of effort goes into standardisation, interoperability tests and plug fests the question of the responsibility over the performance of IP or hybrid IP/SDI workflows becomes central. Today neither broadcast nor IT system integrators have a proper solution even more as the solution become virtualized.

The need to insure an end to end quality of service, mitigate the integration risk and secure the total cost of ownership will impact the broadcast industry in different ways:

  • Today’s highly customized workflows will progressively be replaced by more commoditised solutions changing the odds for managed service companies.
  • Some broadcasters with the required technical skills, staff and financial resources will consider overtaking that integration role or even develop their own platforms.
  • Thanks to lower entry barriers new vendors will emerge and propose micro services that will plug in existing frameworks and middlewares
  • Broadcast IT system integrators will appear.

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