Software as a service (SaaS) continues to be one of the more significant growth areas in the tech field. And it’s clear that the way we watch television is changing rapidly by technology—in particular, cloud-based services like Netflix. That means Television as a Service (TVaaS) is a logical combination of these two areas.
Viaccess Orca, a global leader in the protection and enhancement of content services, is both leveraging the advantages of cloud-based television services and working through the kinks. The model becomes ever more appealing as the speed of the cloud continues to increase, which is a key consideration when streaming data-heavy high-definition video content.
“What we are offering is not a product or solution any more, it’s a service,” says Chem Assayag, executive vice president of sales and business development at Viaccess Orca. “We are taking care of many aspects of the solution that the content provider would have to take care of himself.”
Readers are likely familiar with “TV everywhere” services that allow consumers to access television and movie offerings on a variety of hardware, anywhere they happen to be, whether on a television at home, a phone on the city bus, or a tablet in an airport. What Viaccess Orca does is offer the SaaS that is the means to getting that service to customers, for a variety of clients.
And while things are intentionally uncomplicated from the user end, they are considerably more so on the developer end. “Things might look simple from the outside,” Assayag says, but “it gets more complicated as you look further into it.”
An Increasingly Popular Option
Viaccess Orca’s TVaaS offering makes use of both the public and private cloud. Content subscribers can access the former, and the latter stores deep data on users’ viewing choices, content preferences, and engagements for the providers.
But along with the options for customization for both the client and their customers, the cloud offers other selling points. The scalability of a cloud-based model is one key financial advantage, Assayag says, both for Viaccess Orca itself and for customers. Having a scalable solution allows a customer to get in in the early stages, and their costs grow with the company, and presumably, its revenues.
And being able to offer a solution to customers at every level, not just those with a large budget to spend up front, widens Viaccess Orca’s potential for sales. The scalability lets smaller companies get in the game, Assayag says, and also provides their customers with the flexibility to change their services as their needs shift.
Another advantage of the cloud-based model is that it offers considerable savings at the outset, Assayag says. “With a non-cloud model, you’d have machines sitting in the customer premises.” But with a cloud solution the “machines,” or rather the software a machine would typically run in the home, exists in the cloud. This allows customers to pay for access, which costs less than buying the hardware themselves. It also reduces the hardware needs of the client by using a hybrid-cloud model.
“You don’t have to spend a significant upfront,” Assayag says.
Today, consumer awareness of TVaaS options remain somewhat low. A survey from Altman Vilandrie and Co., commissioned by Epix and released in October 2015, found that only about a third of Americans are aware of “TV everywhere” offerings. But the same survey also found that the number of people who are cutting the cord of traditional cable is currently at 17 percent and increasing. That means companies that hit the sweet spot between security, usability, and speed--on both ends of the service--have an opportunity to capture several areas of this growing tech-minded market.
Terri Coles is a freelance writer based in St. John’s, NL. Her work covers topics as diverse as food, health and business. If you have a story you would like profiled, contact her at [email protected]
The IT Innovators series of articles is underwritten by Microsoft, and is editorially independent.