SaaS has moved from the margins to the mainstream with business and operational benefits driving adoption, says Paul Glasgow, sales and marketing director, Marquis Broadcast

The rate of change in our industry is phenomenal and continues to accelerate. It’s so fast and agile, it doesn’t fit within the ‘pure play’ broadcast model anymore.

So what will the future look like from a supplier’s perspective?

D3 op marquis pix


Five years ago I remember giving a ‘waves of change’ presentation at an RTS event regarding the importance of SaaS.

In the Q&A session I felt like Galileo. I was politely ‘stoned as a heretic’ by the broadcast ‘flat earth society’ – ‘you’re mad’ and ‘it’ll never work’. In fairness the audience was divided. Many knew the sun was really at the centre of the Solar System, and SaaS will have a place in our industry.

Five years on, those of us who once stood on the SaaS margins of the industry are now mainstream.

The earliest cloud adoptions were around business logic, light graphics and offline editing. Improved network performance has marked the arrival of ‘heavy lifting’ cloud applications, libraries, transmission and post. Importantly it’s the business and operational benefits that have been driving these transformations.

IP’s recent ability to deliver low latency video resiliently and deterministically is industry transforming, and marks the demise of SDI.

IP enables completely new workflows on common network infrastructure.

As an example, remote production is already transforming the sports industry. Importantly it’s the business and operational benefits that have been driving these transformations.

If we consider SaaS, S3 and IP, and look forward 10 years – will the broadcast and media world will be turned on its head?

Maybe rolling out a new media service could be rapid and inexpensive.

‘Spin up’ on-demand services, applications, network, storage add creative ideas, branding, scripts, talent, content, rights management etc. and decide who you are going the deliver the service to.

Maybe this vision is crude, even if it’s half true it’s a radical change.

For large media companies this can’t happen overnight, as they require complex migrations; because of legacy of applications, workflows, data integrations and asset metadata and media types.

The equivalent of changing the wheels on the bus whilst driving.

Many new migrations will be to cloud hosted services. 

This content was first published at IBC 2016.

The views expressed are those of the author.