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IBC Recap: M&E's Cloudy Future

by Dana Merk |  Blog Oct 05, 2017

For me, a trip to Amsterdam for IBC in some ways represents a renewal - new school year, everyone is back from their summer adventures, and it's a final push for the rest of the calendar year - all while doing so in one of the more beautiful cities in the world! It's also a nearly guaranteed recipe for coming home with a head cold of some sort (same can be said for NAB). This year was no different. Now that I've finally run through the 10-days of antibiotics treating the sinus infection that was my IBC parting gift to my family, my head finally feels screwed on enough to recap the week that was IBC.

As with this past April at NAB, the biggest theme I saw throughout the course of the show was cloud. Sure, there was the usual buzzword compliancy talking about 8K, AI, and seemingly everyone saying they offer some sort of high-performance transport (HINT: they don't). But nothing seemed more "real" than the embracing of the cloud from ingest through the entire workflow to distribution.

Whether it be OTT vendors like Amagi, DRM (digital rights management) vendors like castLabs - incidentally, both customers of Data Expedition's - or Media Asset Management (MAM) vendors of which there are too many to name, cloud is now a central part of their messaging. But beyond the messaging aspect which we've been hearing for several years now, we're actually now seeing vendors up and down the M&E (Media & Entertainment) workflow and ecosystem embracing cloud to expand their offerings from on-premises in many cases, to some cases where vendors are being "born in the cloud".

It's been a long time coming, but the ability for creatives, smaller and larger companies alike, to be able to leverage something like Amazon Web Services (AWS) to spin up their workflows on an hourly, monthly, and annual basis is changing the dynamics of M&E workflows. Getting top down buy-in to allow cloud usage was a challenge for some time, but it seems that bridge has finally been crossed.

And it's not only M&E end users and workflow vendors getting in on the action. Google was represented this year in what felt like an "all-in" way for M&E, sporting a commanding presence in Hall 14 complete with mini-presentation theater, cafe, and meeting rooms. Clearly there is a recognition that M&E workflows are not only ready for the cloud, but those workflows are looking for options in terms of where they're hosted. This was not only evident in their presence but also in conversations we had with their teams.

Of course, now comes the realization of all of the potential and upside. There is leveraging the economies of scale that vendors like AWS, Microsoft Azure, Oracle Cloud, and Google Cloud offer, thereby allowing for greater collaboration and faster turn around times for many projects. And that doesn't even touch on the whole dead horse conversation of CapEx vs. OpEx budgeting that's taking place.

From Data Expedition's perspective, data is data and whether that's being sent to on-premise storage or cloud storage really matters little to us, as we'll do it more efficiently and cost-effectively than anyone. What we can say confidently is while others scramble to determine their cloud messaging and strategy, we've been successfully helping our customers navigate the maze of cloud data transfer since 2011. Our support for various different cloud vendors and workflows only continues to expand, but just remember one simple thing: you can't do anything in the cloud until your data gets there, and nothing you do there matters until you get your results out.