IBC 2022 — All eyes in the entertainment technology community are focused on new developments that will be unveiled in Amsterdam, as leaders from around the world gather at IBC 2022 to unveil new products, services and consumer experiences that will define the industry as we move deeper into the decade. VANTIVA, the brand that will replace the Technicolor corporate name by the end of September, is making its debut during the conference, which is being held from September 9th to September 12th at the RAI in Amsterdam.
Also at the event will be members of the VANTIVA HERO Partnership program. These are innovative companies that are collaborating to integrate a growing array of engaging features and services on cutting-edge customer premises equipment (including gateways and media hub devices) from VANTIVA.
“Among the critical areas of focus at this year’s conference will be the role that emerging technologies — including artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning (ML), big data analytics, customer care solutions and digital advertising — will play in providing consumers with seamless, secure and immersive experiences,” says Girish Naganathan, CTO of VANTIVA, and head of the HERO Partnership program.
“We asked our partners to provide their perspectives on how specific segments of the ecosystem are evolving, and the steps they are taking, with VANTIVA, to address the challenges and opportunities facing the industry,” he adds.
Here is what they had to say:
Wi-Fi Plays Central Role in Delivering High-Quality In-Home Experiences
Regardless of the macro-economic climate, connectivity – and home Wi-Fi in particular – is essentially as critical as electricity. In fact, home Wi-Fi and connectivity have never been more important to supporting consumers in their daily lives, businesses, and society at large. For that reason, the industry remains very well positioned to succeed despite broader economic headwinds.
“Airties’ Smart Wi-Fi solutions are more indispensable than ever, due to the rise of the ‘enterprization’ of the home, telemedicine, e-commerce, remote learning, home entertainment, and more. Providing a high-quality and consistent level of home connectivity presents significant challenges and opportunities for broadband operators, and Airties’ passion and focus is to help meet these demands,” said Bart Vercammen, Chief Product Officer, AirTies.
“At Airties, we’re fully committed to helping broadband operators live up to, and exceed, consumer expectations by providing the world’s best managed Wi-Fi solution. Part of that obligation means working with leading partners, like VANTIVA, whose gateways are fully compatible with Airties’ software and extenders to serve our mutual customers around the globe.”
Optimized Video Delivery Remains Top Priority in Uncertain Economy
According to Damien Sterkers, Video Solutions Marketing Director, Broadpeak, the main contextual event influencing the sector’s economy is probably the war in Ukraine and its impact on energy price.
“This situation is accelerating the topic of energy savings in streaming and its natural extension, the environmental responsibility of corporations and their commitment to carbon footprint reduction,” says Sterkers
Broadpeak’s core business has been the optimization of video delivery, which is no longer limited to money savings. It now includes, as an imperative, wiser use of energy resources to deliver a high-quality user experience.
Broadpeak is already very engaged in this aspect, for example by co-funding Greening of Streaming alliance or by developing tools that allow measuring and reducing the carbon emissions in delivery networks.
“Technicolor HERO program remains a very trusted source of support for a key solution, multicast-ABR, which offers a way to stream live content with one single physical copy of the content via multicast instead of many individual copies to each user, like it would be the case for dominant HTTP unicast streaming, thus generating huge network resources savings,” explains Sterkers.
Emerging Technologies — like AI in the Connected Home — Vital to Adoption
The economic slowdown brings network service providers (NSPs) new challenges as they need to figure out how to grow in a slow-growth economic climate. With many companies continuing their hybrid and work-from-home policies, the demand for NSP services should be steady.
“That is why NSPs will continue to invest in best-in-class service quality and innovate to improve customer experiences to ultimately differentiate their service offering,” states Ivar Beljaars, SVP of Sales, EMEA, CUJO AI.
NSPs can compete for higher market share through leveraging data insights. This is where companies like CUJO AI come in to support NSP transformation to data-driven businesses, unlocking comprehensive insights on the usage of NSP products and services, supporting product development strategy; improving customer profiling and enabling up-and cross-selling; and supporting customer care with better insights on home network devices for faster resolution of incidents; enabling NSPs to provide the best-connected experience to their customers.
The program allows us to present our products and solutions to a broader audience. It also provides a great opportunity for NSPs to discover massive synergies, new sources of revenue, and value that come from combining cutting-edge technologies.
“The HERO program is immensely valuable for our mutual customers. It allows NSPs to take advantage of pre-integrated technology to reduce the complexity of integration and deployment and ultimately reduce the time to market. In addition, CUJO AI services provide benefits to other HERO partners as they can leverage our AI / ML-based device intelligence services to drive optimized experiences with their offering as well,” he says.
Digital Advertising Emerges as a Vital Business Strategy for Operators
With costs rising due to inflation, consumers are becoming more price sensitive as it pertains to their subscriptions for entertainment content services.
“This is elevating the role of advertising supported services, which are gaining traction with more audiences around the world this year. These elements are causing operators to place significant importance on creating greater customer engagement through more interactive surveys and data-driven advertising,” according to Cyril Daoud, CEO for Hoppr.
HopprTV is a solution that enables brands and advertising managers to target audiences in this new highly fragmented digital TV marketplace. For operators, the HopprTV solution offers the means to leverage ad formats that are more engaging and relevant to target audiences across the wide array of services provided to consumers on their multiple devices.
“The growth of AVOD players and other advertising-supported services creates a tremendous opportunity for operators to manage complexity within the user experience. This includes user interface design that incorporates content recommendations and data-driven ad experiences,” states Daoud.
Hoppr is working with VANTIVA to engage with operators and brands to take advantage of this opportunity by leveraging new technologies that enable more engaging ads in a variety of formats.
“Hoppr’s participation in VANTIVA’s HERO partnership program supports our efforts to work with a wide array of solution providers that are delivering innovative offerings for operators. VANTIVA has a long history of developing and deploying next-generation customer premises equipment to pay TV operators and network service providers. By working in partnership with VANTIVA, Hoppr joins a rich ecosystem of partners that are enabling operators to implement new solutions that delight their customers,” says Daoud.
Customer Care is Critical in Today’s Complex Connected Home Environment
Most companies in the industry are having to work harder than ever to retain customers in an economic climate that forces consumers to evaluate their monthly spend on entertainment and leisure services.
“Our customer care tool for Pay TV operators, Connect TV, allows NSPs to delight customers with a level of personal help and education that isn’t available online via self-help or from the in-box instruction manual,” says Adam Greenwood-Byrne, CEO, RealVNC.
Not all NSPs recognise customer satisfaction in the same way. That said, NSPs that place a high value on helping customers will be best positioned to weather the storm of subscriber change coming as a result of the economic upheaval unfolding across the globe.
“The team at VANTIVA has a deep reach and broad view of global CPE markets. HERO Partners benefit from that position and the communication between NSPs and HERO partners it affords. We look forward to exploring new opportunities with VANTIVA over the months and years to come,” he concludes.