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Staying Ahead of the Curve

Published: Apr 06, 2018
Author: Tim Stevens

National Association of Broadcasters Show 2018

When virtual reality technology first appeared on the radar of industry in the 1990s, it created quite a buzz. In truth, the technology had been quietly developing since the 1950s and finding its way into applications used by NASA and the military, but no one outside those small spaces knew anything about it. When Jaron Lanier and VPL Research put out the first true virtual reality gear in the early 90s, it drew a lot of hype about how the technology was going to be a game-changer, especially for the media and entertainment space. When the tech didn’t live up to its promise, that hype turned into disappointment and then into skepticism, proving that something can’t really be innovative until it’s disruptive. As a result, the development of VR moved back into the periphery.

Today the technology is reemerging, its capabilities and applications across the industry are coming on strong, and suddenly everyone is reengaged. Binaural audio is being imbedded, haptic interfaces are improving, and sensor-based tracking is allowing users to move freely in a defined space. Big players are now on board. Facebook’s purchase of Oculus VR in 2014 drew big attention, with hundreds of employees now focused on VR development. Google, Samsung, Apple, Amazon, Microsoft and Sony are all committed to the potential of the tech and have dedicated VR and AR divisions. And like a domino effect, companies across enterprise are trying to figure out how to leverage VR to drive their customer experience transformation goals.

Innovation has a lifecycle.

All innovation starts out as a really great idea. When that great idea is fully baked, fine-tuned, and positioned within the right ecosystem, it ceases being an idea and becomes innovation, but the lifecycle for that innovation doesn’t truly begin until it becomes disruptive—i.e., when it:

  • Measurably changes the ecosystem, working models, and workflow of an industry.
  • Drives necessary digital transformation within that workflow.
  • Gives rise to new competitors not previously part of that ecosystem.
  • Influences the core revenue model.

But the final phase for innovation in that lifecycle is when it drives (and preferably exceeds) expected outcomes. Whether that outcome is to greater operational efficiency or compelling customer experiences, innovation is both disruptive and productive when it keeps its promises. Nothing is really a “game changer” until the homerun is hit.  

Consider the increasing demand for multiplatform content consumption. Millennial-inspired, flexible, mobile consumption is driving innovation from the outside in and changing business models and ecosystems in the media, entertainment and technology industries. Consumers of content and applications are driving companies to change their delivery mechanisms to provide an IP-based, broader reach to enable anytime, virtually anywhere content consumption from any device.

The move is creating new channels of distribution, and the need to enable applications and content availability across multiple platforms is driving the digital transformation phase of the innovation cycle—all with the goal of delivering better, more compelling, on-demand experiences for consumers.

Companies in the content broadcasting space are navigating digital disruption, where emerging technologies and evolving consumer demands are transforming business models. Over-the-top (OTT) streaming, Internet-protocol television (IPTV), and free/subscription content platforms are disrupting the way traditional media providers have owned and managed content delivery to consumers. Consumer behavior, preference, and expectation are the greatest drivers and disruptors shaping the evolving everything-as-a-service industry model. Digital solutions designed to meet those evolving consumer expectations are converging in ways that are significantly transforming media & entertainment.

This will be top of mind for attendees at the upcoming National Association of Broadcasters Show in Las Vegas (Apr 7-12). When it comes to the outcomes they are trying to drive, enterprise companies in this space consistently cite compelling experiences, ecosystem security, digital dexterity, business agility and predictable revenue as top-of-mind priorities.  

Verizon will be showcasing solutions that address each of the top five priority outcomes outlined above NAB 2018. Come see us in Booth #SU3202 or visit our conference website.


About the author
Tim Stevens is the Global Lead for Vertical Marketing at Verizon Enterprise Solutions.