Vizrt – Cloud considerations: how to guarantee success when ‘going cloud’

Vizrt – Cloud considerations: how to guarantee success when ‘going cloud’

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Vizrt – Cloud considerations: how to guarantee success when ‘going cloud’

Fri 06, 10 2023

Vizrt – Cloud considerations: how to guarantee success when ‘going cloud’

Jon Raidel, Global Lead of Cloud Live Production, Vizrt

If you’ve been paying attention to the conversation around production rooms, “cloud” is everywhere, especially the benefits. But just because we talk about the benefits of going cloud, it doesn’t mean it’s a one-size-fits-all solution.

Different productions have different needs, from the size of what’s being captured to the size of the team working on it. Not only that but transitioning to cloud can sometimes entail changing from hardware to software and adapting to a new way of doing things.

To make a leap to cloud production and make it truly work for you, some considerations must be made.

The economic challenges of cloud operating platforms
When it comes to traditional live productions, it’s usually the case that hardware will be ‘on’, even when not in use. The cloud offers the possibility of not leaving it ‘on’ for longer than you need for each production. Understanding that the meter is running and turning off the instances when not in use is important to optimize the infrastructure in the cloud.

Being able to turn it off and on again as needed keeps costs in check. There is no doubt cloud production is a cheaper alternative when optimization is achieved.

With the right provider, the process can be made easier, and quick too. Recently, the European League of Football (ELF) decided to move to cloud live production for its 2023 season – in just three weeks. Now who has built a control on-prem from start to finish in that timeline? The available technology makes this possible, by automating the deployment of the tools in minutes, as and when needed, with Viz Now. This makes it easy to turn it off when production is finished.

For example, The European League of Football has its viewership on track to reach more than half a billion households worldwide, representing 17 teams in nine countries. So, when ELF made the switch from pre-recorded, post-produced games to cloud live production, it was paramount to get it right.

At the end of the day, the cost benefits are considerable. Production agency for ELF, novel.media, shared that costs were reduced by 10,000 euros a game – which equates to over 700,000 euros a season.

With increased value for sponsors, reduced production costs, and the ability to operate up to four games at once, ELF is optimizing its chances of reaching more fans and growing.

ELF’s moving to the cloud is only done once, but the benefits continue.

 

The hidden costs of cloud: is it always better?

In my experience, the hidden costs of cloud have come in the form of lack of communication – from both sides.

Vendors can sometimes leave out details during the surface-level planning, which are brought up during the architecture phase. It’s a vendor’s responsibility to try and make it as simple to understand as possible, and broad strokes are good when talking with a customer making a big move.

On the other hand, customers may leave entire engineering or video departments out of the conversation, until the system is built. This means that the workflow that was established doesn’t fit with what the production needs. It’s happened before: an entire process is constructed without the customer’s IT department involved, and when IT comes in the project is stopped in its tracks.

Minor details can seem insignificant, but it’s important to factor in the newness of going cloud. While most broadcasters have experience with traditional on-prem setups, many are new to cloud and will naturally rely more on guidance from the vendor – and this is why it’s so important to flesh out all the ‘minor’ details upfront. This way, customers can avoid overpaying on professional services if it doesn’t work the first time.

Communication is the best tool to avoid hidden costs or mishaps. Understanding what a customer needs, so they can go cloud smoothly and successfully, also comes down to the details – even the ones we might not find that important.

The right partner for the right job

When listening to a vendor making big claims about cloud benefits, some broadcasters can get a little suspicious. I get it – it’s a lot to be promised at once. Lower carbon emissions, lower production costs, and a workflow that allows for multiples productions to be done at once seems too good to be true.

So how can you see clearly through all the marketing and claims?

Researching and educating yourself on how and why going cloud has worked for productions similar to yours can make things clear. A customer is a company’s biggest marketing tool – and stories don’t lie. Search for customers who use the product or solution that you were recommended, and don’t hesitate to reach out to users too.

It’s also true that each vendor is on their own development timeline with cloud, and licensing comes to mind. Every vendor does it differently, not because they are being difficult, but due to a philosophy or infrastructure put in place. A broadcaster may love the idea of using cloud and wants to pay a 12-month licence, another may want to be charged per use. Who’s right? The answer is both! But each vendor is getting to those destinations at different times.

It’s important to work with a vendor that is invested in understanding the specificities of your workflow and production, preferably with a 24/7 highly rated and respected customer success and support team. As a trusted advisor and partner in your journey to cloud, and careful consideration of all the details, combined with the right expertise, and the right technology, the right vendor will guarantee your project succeeds and you benefit.

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