August 10, 2017
Three Keys to Digital Transformation
By: Gino Galassi

For years now, we’ve been preaching that content is king. But we are drowning in excellent content; far more than any one person has time to watch. Great content is not enough. In today’s biggest video draws, there may be too many content kings competing.

Also, with the rise of the liquid consumer comes new “Digital Disrupters”. These disrupters are rewriting the rules of competition and enjoying advantages like:

  1. Sophisticated and established ecosystems of developers, customers and partners
  2. Data-driven feedback loops
  3. Digital experience ownership – from cloud, to network, to devices
  4. Advanced business models established on two-sided platforms that speed growth
  5. Tech cultures that foster failing fast, learning then moving on

Companies in the video industry must re-engineer themselves to embrace the platform-based business model, if they want to remain competitive. This brave new way of thinking and doing entails embracing IT architectures that drive scale and leverage smart video ecosystems – providing content and services that better connects with the customer anywhere, and on any device.

Three Pillars of Transformation

The Platform Culture

Expanding the video ecosystem beyond a B2C model to a business-to-business-to-consumer model is the key value proposition of the platform-based culture.

In the platform-based video era, there are no longer “best practices” to blindly follow. High performing companies tailor efforts around operations and targeted segments – focusing on evolving as frequently as possible – deploying low complexity initiatives that increase business performance.

So how is this done? By connecting each performance-driving hypothesis with key metrics, then establishing an environment that encourages a “new learning” attitude. But this transformational mindset requires retraining. We’ve all been programmed to perceive failure as a negative thing. The new platform-based culture is more like biological research where a single discovery is built on top of a myriad of small experiments needed to confirm or reject a certain hypothesis.

The Platform Architecture

The new video platform is built on “microservices.” This architecture features small, modular and fast evolving building blocks. Each block has one task that it does efficiently, orchestrated in real-time, a myriad of ways, leveraging data to better serve user micro-segments with personalized features. Innovators are using microservices to not just build for themselves, but allow — and even encourage — others to create value on their platforms.

Here’s how video businesses are harnessing the power of making platforms extremely easy to access within the new video ecosystem. 1) creating open API environments, 2) establishing sandbox, simulation and enablement programs, and 3) accepting the trade-off between the part of the platform with controlled omnichannel experiences while allowing for ‘uncontrolled experiences’ from third-parties. Combined, these elements result in rapid platform connection, new features built on top of APIs, increased reach, and expanded platform adoption.

The Microservices Architecture Advantage

  1. Evolving each microservice in parallel with others
  2. Establishing experimentation culture
  3. Achieving fully automated environments with reduced complexity
  4. Overcoming the limitations of legacy IT in terms of scalability and infrastructure costs
  5. Improving platform resilience

The Device Revolution

It’s debated how much longer the STB will reign as the key device for Communications companies. There’s a shift underway – companies are starting to move from proprietary, closed middleware to open source stacks. Giving way to new services and a new ecosystem that increases the value and importance of the digital home platform.

Data. The New Currency.

For most businesses, the cost of acquiring a customer, building a network, and developing or sourcing content can be cost prohibitive. On top of that, the liquid consumer now expects personalized experiences. Once content is well differentiated, businesses must turn their focus to creating seamless and engaging video experiences, customized for each user.

The platform-based business model offers a broad new source of data. This data is the key to changing the experience for the video consumer… ultimately giving customers more relevant services, content they want to consume and a trouble-free user experience.

Here's how:

  • Data Integration: collecting business and operational data from multiple sources and storing it in a big data platform
  • Data Discovery: conducting data analysis or choosing from pre-defined analytics metrics that leverage a broad set of KPIs
  • Segmentation: segmenting video audiences, content and inventories with a rule-based engine
  • Learning: obtaining consumer insights using advanced analytics algorithms, adopting multi-variate testing techniques and tools highly interconnected
  • Actionable Analytics: enabling a closed loop approach in which marketing actions are defined and executed based on calculated hypotheses and targeted metrics

A data-driven strategy is an important component of the end-to-end technology landscape of new platform-based digital video ecosystem – not an isolated one. The interlock of data into microservice architectures and user experience configurations maximizes the value extracted from each experience and transaction across the digital video value chain.

More blogs on this topic