Interviews

Imagining The Future

Raj Yadav, regional sales head, South Asia, Imagine Communications tells Pradeep Suvarna that disruptive technology trends, such as the move to IP and cloud adoption, will gain momentum

The media industry is becoming more familiar with the benefits and power of cloud-native, microservices-based services. Keeping this in perspective, Raj Yadav, regional sales head, South Asia at Imagine Communications predicts its wide scale adoption by organisations that increasingly recognise that building an agile and versatile technology foundation is imperative to fend off all competitive challenges. This will be paramount for future success.

What are some key technologies and trends that will gain ground in 2018?
Many of the same technologies and trends that have been building momentum for the past couple of years will pick up some velocity in 2018. Picture quality enhancements, such as UHD and HDR, will continue to work their way into more and more workflows, as is the nature of these types of transitions, which typically take place over multiple years and are influenced by consumer demand.
More disruptive technology trends, such as the move to IP and cloud adoption, will also gain momentum.
Our customers are increasingly becoming more comfortable with these new architectures. As we continue to convince them through practical innovation that they can make the transition seamlessly from where they are now and at their own pace, their interest rises and their reluctance dissipates. In terms of breakout technology, 2018 will be a major turning point for microservices, which represent a more efficient and futureproof way to build out operations.

Many industry experts believe that IP-based, commercial off-the-shelf equipment represent the future technology foundation of the M&E industry. Do you agree with this premise?
Absolutely. The transition of the media and entertainment industry to a datacenter, software-oriented architecture is no longer a point of dispute. The economic, reliability and performance benefits are just too compelling to be ignored. Television is destined to join nearly every other industry, including telecom, publishing and commerce, in transitioning to an IP-based environment. The question that media companies should be asking is not if they should move in that direction, but when and how.
IP is inevitable but there’s no set timetable and no expiration date on SDI. Each media company needs to work with technology partners to orchestrate a non-disruptive transition to new architectures and construct a business model that provides the most favorable financial flexibility for the media organisation.

How will IP-based equipment work in countries like India where connectivity is still sporadic in many regions? What is the backup option for such situations?
This is where a non-disruptive transition becomes a crucial factor. IP can be implement into workflows and infrastructures incrementally, depending on the particular environment, allowing media companies to continue to leverage the same distribution and transport facilities that now support SDI-based operations. A practical approach to the modernisation of media facilities allows for organisations to work in a hybrid IP and SDI environment for as long as needed. Media companies can then expand and interconnect these IP islands as the connectivity infrastructure matures around them.

How can these above companies also explore and exploit new monetisation opportunities through an IP-based infrastructure?
Support for new monetisation models is actually a major incentive of moving operations to a more agile technology foundation. Such a transition frees media companies from the severe financial and time constraints associated with the provisioning of new services using hardware-based, purpose-built equipment. Reaching niche markets and new geographies suddenly becomes more obtainable by shedding some of the financial risks typically associated with service expansion. In addition, a move to IP is a catalyst for dynamic ad insertion, addressable advertising and other next-gen monetisation schemes that are not available in traditional environments.

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