TV Technology on SaaS and the future of the media facility

Media City, in the United Kingdom, at night.

Last week, TV Technology published an insightful article by Al Kovalick on understanding web apps and SaaS for the media industry. He explains the difference between traditional stand-alone software installation and management vs. the growing use of web applications and SaaS for media creation, management and distribution. “Web apps and the SaaS model are the future of the media facility,” says Kovalick. “Stay alert for developments in this area.”

Media transfer is the biggest barrier to Web App and SaaS adoption

Kovalick points to the time it takes to transfer large files into the cloud as one of the biggest “shortfalls” to SaaS adoption in media.

“For media apps, constrained access bandwidth poses the biggest problem (i.e. 4K editing). Usually the media is first uploaded to the server location, which could take days for some workloads,” said Kovalick. “So it’s not always practical to use Web apps, which is one reason why Avid, Adobe and others do not yet offer full-featured creative apps only via SaaS.”

In fact, this is a barrier to adoption for any SaaS solution that works with big data and is precisely why Signiant created our latest SaaS solution, Flight, to accelerate the ingest of large files and big unstructured data sets into cloud storage (Amazon S3, Microsoft Azure and soon Google Cloud).

Flight enables both SaaS development and adoption

Flight can be used independently as a SaaS solution to move content in and out of cloud object storage, or third party SaaS providers can leverage it as a PaaS (Platform as a Service) solution within their products to address this problem.

Transferring large video files between teams during production and post-production has long been a challenge to media teams, and why our SaaS solution for accelerated large file transfers between people, Media Shuttle, is already being used in 195 countries around the world only three years after launch.

Flight utilizes the same large file acceleration technology as Media Shuttle, but is specifically focused on moving big data sets from a data center into the cloud, and vice versa.

Flight removes one of the most inhibiting barriers to SaaS adoption, both for companies looking to move to the cloud (for storage and other cloud services) and for companies looking to provide data-intensive Web apps or SaaS to their customers.

“Bottom line,” said Kovalick, “Web apps are mature and SaaS is gaining steam in media. A few observers expect the NAB Show/IBC to become ‘media apps shows’ over time.”

Well, count us in. If you are planning to attend IBC in September, we’d be happy to further explain Flight and show you how it works. Stop by Signiant booth 14.L08 in Hall 14 or schedule a meeting.

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Essential security considerations: Get everyone on the same page and work together. Your first step, and best place to start. Educate yourselves, your clients, your coworkers and management on the risks and options. Recognize that every production is different and unique. Access, functionality and security are all important. Success requires all three, not just two. Recognize there is a technical side and a very big social side. Recognize that security protocols cannot hinder productivity. Put teams together that collaborate well. There will be a lot of learning on both sides. When choosing technology, first find a partner with a security-first mindset.

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