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By Naveen Narayanan

Whether you’re buying a car for a growing family – like mine – or creating an OTT business from scratch, total cost of ownership should be part of your decision-making process. While upfront cost can be a factor, TCO requires a long-range vision of needs and the ability of your platform to support them in the future.

How will your user base change as it matures? What new capabilities will users demand? Will you need to pay for added horsepower as the need for new functionality arises? How big is the tradeoff between higher operational and maintenance costs and initial savings? How easily can your platform scale to accommodate more users – or kids?

In OTT, as in the auto industry, there are configurations for every circumstance. What streaming providers have learned – especially over the past year – is that the decisions they made in the glitz of the showroom haven’t always met their real-life needs. In many cases, they can be faced with expensive, time-consuming decisions as they try to stay ahead of surges in viewing.

I’ll leave the choice of the Mercedes or the minivan up to you, but here’s how we’ve built our Gen5 architecture. In a world where time is money, our research has shown that our roadmap can reduce total cost of ownership by 40% or more. 

More efficient development – We’ve aggregated the basic functionalities of APIs – initialization, orchestration, data access, security etc. – into elements that remove the need for customers to build features from the ground up, so they can concentrate on business logic. Development effort savings: 50%.

Faster DevOps – Our Continuous Integration/Continuous Delivery (CI/CD) pipeline automates deployment and testing, so teams spend less time and effort testing and maintaining code and more time creating new features that impact viewer satisfaction and the bottom line. Maintenance effort savings: 40%.

Cloud-Native Efficiency – Since everybody who’s anybody talks about cloud-based services these days, let’s define the difference: Unlike software that’s been adapted to the cloud, our native approach optimizes for cloud using a modular containerized architecture that leverages a Kubernetes orchestration layer, scores of microservices built on Go, and serverless functions for on-demand availability. Cloud spend savings: 40%

Fewer Third-Party Costs – Our Gen5 architecture is built on core open-source software frameworks such as FFMpeg, Istio, Dgraph and more that keep pace with innovation through the efforts of developers world-wide. It reduces the need for – and cost of – third-party vendors. Using our own IP, we streamline our customers’ operational expenses to eliminate not just fees, but the cost and complexity of managing multiple vendors. Third-Party spend savings: 25% 

Long-Term Savings – Launching a service is one step; adapting to changing market needs is another entirely. As Struum pointed out earlier this year, the extensibility and modularity of Gen5 enables high degrees of flexibility without impacting the overall architecture, so platforms can remain innovative without the expenses of change requests. Transformation spend savings: 50%

Of course, as they say in the auto industry, “your mileage may vary,” but the lesson is clear. Giving thought and consideration to TCO can put you in the driver’s seat when it comes to downshifting costs and increasing ROI.

Naveen Narayanan

Director, Product Management