MAD Perspectives Blog

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 problem solving in the cloud

Peggy Dau - Monday, June 10, 2013

Cloud computing - it's all the rage. It will reduce your infrastructure costs. It will create new revenue streams. It will increase collaboration. It will provide all the data you could possibly analyze. Well, that sounds great, but it's often hard to figure out where to start. It's helpful to identify not necessarily the technology challenges, but the business problem the technology can resolve. Hopefully the this problem is something, that when overcome, will help your business better serve its customers. There are increasing number of cloud solutions serving the media industry. Here are just a couple of the solutions i've seen - and the problems they addressed.

Problem: Capture, edit & manage content at live events

Solution: Cloud based video asset management and workflow.  With prosumer cameras providing higher quality video than in the past, anyone can produce a live event. These can be large scale, global events, regional sporting contests, local concerts or business events. The challenge, in the past, has been the ability to ingest and edit content quickly and easily, on location. Cloud based video asset management/workflow solutions from vendors such as AFrame or Forbidden Technologies, provide a customizable workflow enabling on-site or remote editing of content. Like high-end professional solutions from Avid and Apple, these cloud solutions allow customers to establish roles and tasks for each user. The difference is that they don't require heavy infrastructure investments. The user interfaces for these cloud solutions are intuitive. These cloud based workflow solutions provide scalability fulfilling requirements for the small, local content producers, as well as professionals. They also provide the required flexibility for content format, file size, interfaces to editing systems and metadata and essence definition. The value in these solutions may start with cost savings, but truly provide flexibility previously unavailable to video producers.

Problem: Develop apps for mobile content consumption

Solutions: The growth of mobile content consumption is challenging media companies from large to small. Publishers clearly understand the importance of apps as means for accessing and enjoying content. Apps address the challenges for presenting content in an manner intuitive to the type of device being used. The challenge of cross platform solutions lies in the ability of these cloud platforms to simplify app development for operating system, device parameters and content format. The benefit of cross platform solutions is they break down app ecosystem barriers as they simplify development across iOS, Android, Windows, Blackberry and others. They lower the cost of entry and time to market for smaller developers, and  for large brands and publishers. Vendors offering solutions in this space range from the large, well known Adobe and the up and comers like Appcelerator and PhoneGap.  Each of these are focused on cloud-based development tools, cloud APIs for integration, publishing apps to an app store or to an private enterprise app store and content management.

The problems reviewed here reflect the complexity faced by many organizations as they work to get the right content to their audiences at the right time, in the best format for any given consumption device. The cloud offers new solutions for familiar issues. However, audiences expectations continue to rise as they become increasingly attached to their smartphones and tablets.

What's your perspective?