Services In The OU World
The OU sector of the satellite transmission and delivery world is a fast-changing one. When talking about value, you always have to ask the questions: what is given, what is the standard and what is extra in terms of the service that you are offering? It could be that the standards have changed during a short period of time and the services that you were offering before a world-wide pandemic are no longer relevant. It could also be that the industry is moving at a speed where every few months you need to stop and re-examine your entire service portfolio. In the last year few years the industry has moved towards IP and hybrid methods of transmission and delivery and more recently during the COVID-19 pandemic the trend has moved again towards operations via a remote location. As a service provider to sporting federations and marketing agencies, news outlets, production & SNG companies and broadcasters, it is very hard to establish what is the standard service level and what is the extra value service level that you are giving them. It would wrong to think that all are the same as each one is unique.
Let us start by examining each type of client and the type of services they require.
Sporting federations and Marketing Agencies. We think of them as the most complex and at the same time the easiest to provide service to. The goal is to enable the content reach a world-wide audience at the highest quality and supervision allowing the clients to focus on leading the sport into the future or marketing it to the widest possible audience.
Production Companies. These are our twins. In the end both of us serve the same end client. Here our job is very simple: allow them focus on the narrative, tell the story contained within the content from different scenic angles while we focus on providing a new and cutting-edge service while at the same time maintaining the principles of service reliability and flexibility.
News Outlets. Here fast and flexible is the key. Today’s breaking news headline is forgotten tomorrow. It is always about being first on scene and first with the headline. The type of service that is required is fast and effective while giving the client the confidence that you will not delay them from achieving headlines and being the first to cover the story.
Broadcasters. Different types of broadcasters require different solutions. For example, traditional linear channels are very different in terms of their operation and distribution methods to OTT IP channels. But they are very similar in terms of their contribution. Both Require reliability, stability and fast response.
You may notice that the words “reliability”, “flexibility”, “stability” and “fast response” occur frequently above; add to those “cost effective” and “cutting edge” and you have the standards required in order to operate effectively in this segment of our industry. This is what clients expect from you as a service provider and if you cannot meet these expectations you will not succeed because the clients will go elsewhere. During the last few years, several big service companies have either failed or were replaced. Being small has its advantages and you can deliver the expected standards comparatively easily and without too much hassle. However, due to COVID-19 during the last 12 month a new word has entered into the standard service lexicon: “remotely”. With lockdowns and travel bans taking place all over the world all standard services need to continue being offered without a physical presence at venue or operations center. This applies both to you and to your clients. You constantly need to look at and explore how you can provide everything the from the comfort of your respective remote working locations – your own home and your clients’ homes. This is the key to succeeding and maintaining standard service levels this year. Otherwise, you will very quickly find yourself redundant as the direction the industry is taking moves on.
Finally, it will be very interesting to see if the industry returns to its pre-COVID ways of working or continue with the path that the pandemic has demanded. Regardless, service levels to customers will need to continue to evolve and improve.