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What to Know When Engaging Cloud Broadcast Services

There are several key questions to consider when engaging cloud broadcast services. Managing expectations, getting a clear demarcation of responsibilities, and looking at the entire workflow to understand what needs to be integrated are all points to examine throughout the process of evaluating cloud vendors, in addition to determining service levels, compliance standards, and possible security threats.

Above all, knowing how well a cloud broadcast service can be integrated into your existing systems is essential from the start. This helps create a better sense of how well the process will be streamlined into and comply with your services, along with evaluating any potential functionality or security issues. “The question I ask vendors is: how can I screw this up?” says Ben Ratner, Live Operations Manager, CNN, Warner Bros. Discovery. “Your services are probably 99.7% uptime and strong, but I’m typically the chain that is going to break something.”

Jean Macher, Business Development Director, SaaS Solutions, Harmonic, also emphasizes the need to establish who does what within the engagement. “What is my responsibility versus what is your responsibility?” he says. “Clarify that, because when you get to cloud services, it could be that the demarcation is less obvious if you are not familiar with the cloud environment. So that's a good question.”

Megan Wagoner, Senior Vice President, Americas, Vimond, concurs with Macher on this, and she also highlights the need to understand integration and workflows. “What are you going to need to integrate?” she says. “Looking at the entire workflow, being able to identify how long it will take. Those types of things are very important.”

One big issue that Wagoner encounters are customers who budget a project before they really understand their market and who they want to target. “I think a wonderful question that somebody can ask a vendor is: can you give me best practices?” she says. “Are there successful examples similar to what we're talking about, and also, what are the failures you've seen?”

Knowing the integration points between existing systems and processes and new technologies is also crucial. “People don't want to reinvent the wheel,” Wagoner says. “So if there is a new technology and there are integrations, there are systems that are set up, hierarchies and things like that which have already been built and established -- share those with the people that are trying to get on air fast.”

Learn more about Cloud Broadcast Services at Streaming Media West 2022.


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