Guest Comment: Winning the game through SaaS and other predictions for 2016

Signiant's Greg Hoskin

Signiant managing director EMEA/APAC Greg Hoskin

At Signiant we work with some of the biggest names in sports – from football and basketball to hockey and rugby, writes Greg Hoskin, managing director EMEA/APAC, Signiant. One thing all these organisations share in common (beside enthusiastic supporters) is their commitment to delivering the best possible on-screen fan experience. In 2016, we all expect to see increased use of 4K video, and growing adoption of SaaS technology to enable more complicated distribution of larger files.

Much of the evolution in the sports video industry in 2016 will be driven by demand from tech-savvy, always-connected consumers who are hungry for content. When was the last time you watched a game in regular-definition? HD is a true game-changer for sports fans who want to feel as though they’re part of the action. And this is leading to increased interest among consumers for 4K content, which provides them with a more immersive, realistic experience. Today’s consumers are constantly connected via mobile devices, and they expect to be able to watch highlights of their favorite team from any device, anytime, anywhere.

With the advent of 4K, and even 8K content, video file sizes are increasing at an exponential rate. And large files are difficult to move without the right tools. As we head into 2016, the increasing demand for high-quality, timely content is posing an even bigger challenge for production and post-production professionals. They need the ability to move this content more quickly among employees and partners that are distributed around the world, in order to get the final product into to the hands of consumers.

Over the last year, we’ve seen a surge in sports teams using SaaS (Software-as-a Service) to solve the challenges associated with large file transfers. In the seasonal sports industry, SaaS can provide enormous benefits. Depending on the sport, a typical regular season only lasts six to nine months, creating huge peaks and valleys in data transfer. This is a major reason SaaS large file transfer services work so well for teams. SaaS allows for automatic response to peak and valley loads, without the need to pay for and maintain enough on-premises servers to handle peaks. And SaaS does not require a huge upfront investment, so teams can try it out during peak season and renew each year if the software continues to serve their needs, without the risk of deploying additional hardware or any IT heavy on-premises software that requires maintenance and management. Finally, the pay-as-you-go pricing model of SaaS reduces cost of ownership, making file transfer very much like a utility service where you only pay for what you use. In 2016, we expect to see a continued increase in adoption to SaaS solutions to meet these needs.

Technological advancements like 4K create huge promise for delivering more realistic experiences to viewers. In the New Year, we’ll see technology continue to shape how sports are filmed, delivered and consumed by fans around the world.

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