Balanced computing, ESG and cybersecurity top EVS’ 2023 agenda

EVS chief executive Serge Van Herck has set out the company’s priorities for the year, with a focus on cybersecurity and activities to boost EVS’ environment, social and governance (ESG) credentials high on the agenda.

At a press conference at the EVS HQ in Liege, Belgium last week, Van Herck and other members of the EVS management team also spoke of the technology trends they expect to dominate this year.

Left to right: Chief technology officer Alex Redfern, chief executive Serge Van Herck and chief marketing officer Nicolas Bourdon

A swifter adoption of IP-based technologies and an acceleration in usage of cloud services were among the trends highlighted by Herck, who spoke of EVS’ approach to providing a mix of hardware and software, which the company refers to as “balanced computing”.

He said: “For EVS, it is a very important theme where we show that technology is something that is mixed between on site and solutions in the cloud, and that will always depend on the customer’s needs.”

The shift to the cloud was a key topic of the afternoon, with EVS chief technology officer Alex Redfern also speaking about balanced computing.

Redfern said: “In certain areas we see trends towards the cloud, such as our Mediahub and MediaCeption offerings. When we look at XtraMotion, and the launch of XtraMotion Edge, there’s a trend and a request to come away from the cloud. So, in certain instances, we see that balance shifting depending on the area.

“We think that there are opportunities to further strengthen our product portfolio, when you look to the whole chain of production…we don’t have cameras, so is that an opportunity for the future? There might be solutions in the news environment that could be attractive for us as well”

“We deployed [XtraMotion Edge] as a SaaS offering in the cloud, and for what the customer actually needs, speed was the most important thing. In that instance, the cloud didn’t offer the speed that was needed.”

Redfern added that customer choices about technology are increasingly influenced by financial rather than technological considerations, with chief financial officers driving decision making as much as chief technology officers.

Van Herck explained: “There is definitely a push to the cloud, and that push to the cloud automatically means an OPEX-type of business model. But we should not forget that there is a difference between the business model and the deployment model. And we are convinced that we can also provide an OPEX model with equipment on site. So it’s one of the things we are looking at.

“Our customers ask questions about moving to OPEX, but many of them are still reluctant to do it. When we give them the opportunity to choose between one or the other, going into the cloud with a recurring model or having it on site with other advantages, they say well, we go on site with a traditional model, so I think the jury’s still out on that.”

IP and interoperability

Redfern also spoke about the pace of the industry’s transition to IP and the adoption of UHD – and the importance of interoperability.

He said: “These are not necessarily new things, but they’re things that we need to keep talking about, because they’re continually evolving…we’ve certainly installed a lot more IP-based systems, be they in fixed installations or now increasingly in trucks and in mobile solutions.

“The need for multi-vendor support is a really key topic for us and will continue to be. And when you’re in a multi-vendor environment, it’s all about observing standards, and it’s about how to be interoperable with each other. And, not just observing the standards, but each vendors interpretation of the standards. An important thing for us last year was to join the JT-NM (Joint Taskforce on Networked Media) testing and be part of these interoperability tests to know that we play well with everyone else.”


Another area highlighted by the EVS management team was cybersecurity, which Redfern said the broadcast industry was “increasingly becoming aware of”. He said: “Clearly, broadcast is a target and so it’s something that we took a stance on a couple of years ago, and asked what can we do about this?

“The first thing, was to look for talent and to acquire some knowledge, and start offering services around audit and protect, and a learning process around what we could offer in terms of a services, and that turned into a product, EVS Shield. We’re starting to bring that to the market through through some chosen partners but it’s something that I think in 2023 will be a real trend.


Chief financial officer Veerle De Wit spoke about EVS’ approach to ESG, which is a set of standards that can help to measure an organisation’s impact on the environment, society and how the business is managed.

She said: “ESG has many aspects. First of all, there is the environmental aspect. And for us in within that context it is very important that we work with suppliers of components that source things in a sustainable way, and that have the environment high on their agenda as well. So in that frame, we’re really scrutinising our entire portfolio of suppliers, and making sure that we report them in a sustainable way.

“We also just looked at our carbon footprint analysis in 2022, and we have a defined a roadmap to improve on that. And the interesting part is that we don’t only look at our internal or EVS carbon footprint, but we also look at the indirect carbon footprint. So, for instance, the footprint that we create with customers that are actually using EVS solutions. So it gives us a handle on how to act across many areas, and it will potentially impact some of our R&D work.”

Redfern elaborated on the role that the EVS R&D team can play in boosting the firm’s environmental credentials. “The first one is to make sure that our software is the most efficient it can be, so using the right languages, or using more efficient languages, to write software.

“And then there is our messaging around balanced computing, and where we deploy our software and our solutions is very important and whether to deploy in the cloud versus on COTs (commercial off-the-shelf hardware).

“It’s all about making the most utilisation of things so that we don’t have systems running idle. It’s also about being able to remote start and stop things to better control that their power consumption. And then, more simple things like making hardware more efficient and responsibly sourcing components.”

More M&A activity?

CFO Veerle De Wit joined the press conference by video from the site of Axon, which EVS acquired in 2020 to bolster its media infrastructure offering. During the press conference, Van Herck suggested that EVS could look to make further acquisitions with cameras and acquisition technology highlighted as product lines that could be added to the company’s product portfolio.

He said: “We have a good understanding of where we have holes in our portfolio. Some of those holes, for the moment, are being filled with partnerships but we would expect that over time, we will fill those holes with acquisitions or by our own product development.

“Sometimes, if we don’t find the right company, or it’s not for sale, then we might decide to develop something ourselves. So in that respect, we have a good understanding of where we want to further invest in the future. If you look at EVS at the moment, do you really think of us as a video company?

“We think that there are opportunities to further strengthen our product portfolio, when you look to the whole chain of production, and when it starts from the camera, from glass to glass, as they say. We don’t have cameras, is that an opportunity for the future? There might be solutions in the news environment that could be attractive for us as well. So we see some opportunities, also holes in our product portfolio, and at some point in time, we’ll need to address it.”

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