Is the Online World Shrinking or Expanding?
We have all heard the adage that, because of technology, we live in an increasingly "shrinking world", and this is, in many ways, unquestionably true. However, as Origin Digital's service footprint expands globally, we continuallyÂ encounter opportunities and market dynamics which challenge us to "stretch" in order to address what seems like a wildly expanding world - of media consumption preferences, of contribution and distribution channels, of devices (handsets, STBs, Connected TVs). Perhaps the most interesting growth is around consumer expectations of immediacy, quality and timing for new services.
This is not a new topic, and we have been hearing for a number of years now how, as broadband delivery networks increase capacity and ubiquitous service coverage, and as the compression and streaming technologies improve, that IP content alternatives will directly compete with Television. Origin Digital was founded on that belief and we have, like many industry pundits, been watching and preparing for the legendary "inflection point". While it's probably not realistic to claim that we are there yet, at least not globally (many markets we classify as "emerging"Â are still months or years away from deploying infrastructure that will make this feasible), there are geographies and initiatives today which support the view that the critical time in this evolution is now . . . right now. And if - as a content originator, aggregator, or network operator - you haven't matured the strategy, partnerships and technology to accelerate your IP broadcast offering, you may already be in danger of watching your market advantage go right "Over The Top"Â, to less conservative competitors (some of whom you may not even know exist).
As part of the Accenture corporate family, Origin Digital gets a broad and intimate view of leading edge movers in the IP Broadcast space, in their various shapes in just about every corner of the globe ("emergingÂ" or "advanced"Â) and this has helped to shape its approach to both technology and regional engagement. Here are two key "global marketplace"Â observations that drive Origin Digital's aggressive agenda:
There is no more indulgent forgiveness.
Even as recently as a couple of years ago, consumers were so smitten with the novelty of viewing video on their computers and mobile devices that they were (despite constant grumbling) willing to deal with the "glitches", video that took forever to load, low quality video (and low quality content), and any number of random imperfections that interrupted viewing. Today it's a different story. Consumers are paying for premium content, the leading edge service providers have proven that an excellent experience is possible across a range of devices, and as the television begins to reclaim its rightful place with broadband viewers, "broadcast rigor" and reliability are no longer optional.
This is, as OD's John Leland (VP of Global Media Operations) frequently says, "the Big Time Ladies and Gentlemen!"Â and the smart content and network companies are selecting partners who understand that, and live by it.
You need to be in the market if you want to lead in the market.
As a strategic partner of many of the world's leading CDNs, OD has consistently been at the front of the pack promoting new global delivery models, virtual or cloudÂ service components, and other technologies that enable flexible deployment and high quality consumption experiences across geographies. Additionally, OD has worked with many of its top customers to import and export premium content on a virtualized, managed services model. This continues to be an efficient and smart way of doing business. Nonetheless, however much of the world may be shrinking; there remains significant gaps between and across various key markets which can only be addressed by having a dedicated and informed team on the groundÂ.
Today, a huge part of Origin Digital's value proposition is the ability to deliver clients across the world the combination of Accenture's deep understanding of their industries, their cultures, and, most importantly, their specific aspirations and business challenges. Accenture Consulting and Origin Digital's Services is a "one-two punch"Â that is taking our business to an entirely different level. It's no coincidence that today Origin Digital is more active internationally than ever before and this will only increase. When OD's customers are striving to become market leaders as providers of IP Media experiences, it means making significant investments and often requires moving ahead of the pack. This means risk and when there is significant risk, you want serious partners. One dimensional technology companies need not apply and those without "in market"Â presence and expertise need not even inquire.
So, is the world "shrinking"Â or "expanding"Â? Paradoxically, it seems to be doing both . . . very quickly. Most importantly, if you're in the content or network business, and you haven't laid a strategic foundation, forged your critical partnerships, committed against an investment as well as set your IP broadcastÂ plan in motion then, well, sooner would definitely be better than later.
Author: Curt Kendall, SVP of Market & Business Development