Cloud services: market demand

Having previously revealed the upturn towards cloud-based services across the AV industry, here Steve Montgomery reports on the markets within the industry reaping the benefits of the cloud and those still cautious.

Within the AV sector, primary applications like digital signage and video communication are rapidly shifting to a cloud-based model, but for different reasons. Digital signage applications benefit through the ability to deliver content to a widely deployed network of screens, while videoconferencing takes advantage of the ubiquity of the cloud to connect users wherever they are, and on whatever device. “In the past 18 months the cloud has become the accepted method of content transmission to digital signage screens across most sectors in which we operate,” says David Oades, managing director of Sedao. “In the retail space it has long been standard, as there was simply no other way to deliver content to a national network. However in the education and corporate sectors we have experienced reluctance due to security fears of end-users.

“Those fears are being allayed, but they are still there to some extent and integrators and end-users should be cautious. There are a myriad of cheap, ineffective hardware units and free software solutions available that are controlled via the cloud and offered as white-label products. Integrators need to be confident of the security of data held by these systems and who has access to it. They need to consider the long-term viability and availability of that service. Integrators should only use companies with a tried and tested record; but that applies to all cloud solutions, not just signage.”

Within video communication operations, the advantages of cloud-based services are also attractive. The current trend is for the cloud to be offered as an infrastructure replacement. “Businesses that have significant investment in AV equipment and videoconferencing suites are looking to the

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