Evaluating Multi-Vendor vs Single Vendor Approaches for Your OTT Service
One of the biggest decisions businesses face when rolling out new services is whether to use a single, end-to-end platform vendor or a multi-vendor approach. When it comes to video solutions, though, the benefits of an end-to-end platform outweigh the disadvantages, making it the preferred choice of many companies. Here are a few reasons why:
One of the biggest advantages of an end-to-end platform is increased compatibility. Using a multi-vendor approach, there's always the possibility — and sometimes the inevitability — that individual components or solutions will be incompatible with one another. Even worse, as video technologies continue to evolve and mature, companies juggling multiple vendors may find themselves using a mishmash of products and services that don't support seamless integration.
In contrast, by using an end-to-end approach, companies can ensure maximum compatibility, offering a consistent, streamlined array of video features to their customers.
All too often, multi-vendor approaches rely on products and services that were created with a specific project in mind. This can lead to services that may perform one task very well, but fall behind in other tasks, lack key features, or is incompatible with alternative video formats. Further, companies taking a multi-vendor approach must have employees or third parties manually connect or map data between respective product components, which can be extremely time consuming (we will touch upon this below). Taking a single vendor approach, gives you the flexibility for agile development and the ability to move quickly on new projects.
The management of video services is complicated. Customers using a multi-vendor approach often find themselves overwhelmed by these challenges. With an end-to-end solution, however, the workflow becomes the responsibility of the platform provider, who has the single focus of delivering high-quality video services. Companies using an end-to-end approach can leave the technical aspects of multi-platform management and support to their platform provider and instead focus on delivering great, high quality content to customers, regardless of the devices they use. Companies no longer have to worry about writing code or creating interfaces between each component.
End-to-end solutions result in an improved video workflow. Too often with multi-vendor strategies, valuable time and resources can be spent just trying to make various parts of the process work smoothly, even when there are seemingly no inherent incompatibilities. Different development processes, backgrounds, and goals can result in wildly different approaches to various steps, making it harder for your company to focus on what's really important.
With an end-to-end solution, every step of the process shares a common lineage, making it much easier to establish effective, streamlined workflows — no headaches or misunderstandings involved.
Time-to-Market and Reduced Costs
With an end-to-end solution, you don't have to spend time negotiating individual video and software licensing agreements. Even more, your IT department doesn't have to spend precious time and resources integrating and supporting various components and services. For example, the process of integrating data either manually or programmatically is often very time consuming. Best of all, this streamlined process greatly speeds up time-to-market with new features and abilities, helping you stay competitive and take advantage of new opportunities. In short, end-to-end solutions save you — and, by extension, your customers — money.
Of course, your company won't reap any of the benefits of a single vendor approach unless you choose the right end-to-end solution. As managed service providers are hard to come across with very few existing in the industry, selecting the right partner that doesn’t rely on any third-party vendors or components is key. This will allow you to leave all the technical aspects to the service provider, and focus on your content.
For more information about evaluating the multi-vendor vs. single vendor approaches, download our NeuLion’s latest e-Book, “Does Your OTT Service Have Too Many Moving Parts?”