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Pandemic fast-tracks media into AWS cloud future

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Simon Zindaba Herold and Dennis Mashigo Herold, co-managing partners at RelianceCloud.
Simon Zindaba Herold and Dennis Mashigo Herold, co-managing partners at RelianceCloud.

The Covid-19 pandemic has driven media and entertainment content producers into the cloud, where they are discovering a wealth of unexpected benefits and future-proofing their operations.

This is according to co-managing partners at RelianceCloud and First Distribution, who were speaking ahead of a webinar on remote working and collaboration solutions for media production, to be staged in partnership with ITWeb.

Simon Herold, co-managing partner at RelianceCloud, says before the pandemic, most broadcasters and media production companies were not interested in moving to the cloud. “Now they are all customers. The sudden shift to working from home has been the driving force,” he says.

While remote work was the catalyst for cloud adoption, customers are now discovering how the cloud – and AWS cloud in particular – overcomes some of the major challenges they once faced, says Dennis Herold, also a co-managing partner at RelianceCloud.

“One challenge has long been sharing video files, which can be massive,” says Simon Herold. “For years, teams filming at remote locations across Africa had to send physical hard drives via couriers to get their content to South Africa for editing. This was done at significant cost and impacted production timelines.” 

When the pandemic shut down air routes, companies were driven to share their content to the cloud, where they discovered cost savings, new efficiencies and time benefits. Thanks to AWS’s global economies of scale, the cloud is proving more cost effective than media production companies initially feared, and they are quickly moving double digit terabytes of content into the cloud.

Another key benefit media production companies are now discovering is that the AWS cloud delivers secure, redundant storage that teams across the country can access. 

Says Dennis Herold: “Some of these companies have been in operation for over a decade, with all their historical content stored in on-premise servers and backup tapes. This means it is at risk of being lost if a server should crash, it could be inaccessible in a power outage, and importantly – it is very difficult to find old footage should it be needed again.” 

Companies that have moved their libraries to the AWS cloud are benefiting from a range of media-specific tools that allow them to automatically log and store all content with the right file names, versions, folders and directory structures, and easily search that content for specific footage later. “Not only does this speed up processes, it also allows them to get maximum value from every piece of content – they can easily share it for marketing and social media teams to repurpose, for example.”

The cloud is also the foundation for future-proofing operations, they note. “If you want to monetise and stream content in future, the starting point is that the content catalogue has to be in the cloud. When the content catalogue is in the cloud, the next phase is to look at how you can benefit using tools like AI-enabled quality control and subtitles, and then you can provision it to stream to different platforms,” Dennis Herod says.

First Distribution and RelianceCloud, an AWS APN Consulting Partner specialising in the media and entertainment vertical, will host a webinar on 29 June on how Reliance Cloud and AWS unlock remote work and future proof the media and entertainment sector. 

For more information, go to https://www.itweb.co.za/webinar/remote-working-and-collaboration-solutions-for-media-production/

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