During a Media & Entertainment Breakfast hosted by Raxio Data Centre at the Kampala Serena Hotel on Friday 28th June, 2019 executives from the media industry in Uganda were presented with tailored solutions that target data storage and recovery.
The Media and Entertainment Industry is one of the fastest growing data and content creators across the world. This is largely driven by the need to keep up with the current trends in consumer satisfaction and remain relevant on the airwaves by generating large amounts of content rapidly.
The current state of this industry is not sustainable – most content creators in Uganda, often generating large amounts of data on a daily basis are using storage solutions that are not smart. As a result, limited storage for big data makes archiving close to impossible, makes data recovery very difficult and commercialization of such data remains sub-optimal.
During his presentation at the event, Mr. James Byaruhanga, Raxio Data Centre General Manager highlighted the journey of the media industry’s past, present, and future data storage and recovery solutions:
“What’s really happening in the industry is that there’s a bit of market pressure from all over the place. Traditionally, we had key monopolies around the media space with one TV station and radio station around. However, a lot changed in a short period of time. The space started getting congested with streaming services, online platforms & channels and content drivers like YouTube and Netflix coming on board; this subsequently changed the playing field. Social media has also become key in disrupting news, becoming more in real time. TV used to start at 6pm, with news at 7pm, 8pm and 10pm; by midnight TV would close. All this has changed with some social media channels more trusted than the actual TV.”
Mr. Byaruhanga also highlighted that digital growth was rapidly growing; you can’t run a media house without a big social media channel. Platforms like YouTube market off media content with ads, since content is put out for free without an operational cost on the side of YouTube, ultimately giving them the upper hand relative to the media house.
“So how do you stay afloat? You are being made slaves when you’re the one doing all the leg work,” he cautioned. “As a business there’s something that keeps you awake and its part of what we are trying to resolve for our clients; lack of backup or disaster recovery and lack of a road map (for data storage). Knowing what the plan is for tomorrow rather than moving blind is what Raxio Data Centre is here to provide.”
“We are building a Tier III Data Centre in Namanve Industrial park, about 15km from the CBD. It will be the first carrier neutral and cloud neutral data centre in Uganda where every telecom provider can provide infrastructure for your services and the first where any cloud provider can put their cloud platform and provide services to customers. We will also provide adequate power (with backup) and enough space for you to bring your equipment and collocate it.” Mr. Byaruhanga added.
Mr. Byaruhanga also advised the audience on what they could do to win more audiences through commercialization of Ugandan content: “If we are not commercializing content, we are not able to share it. This limits us since we are not connecting to some service providers from different markets directly where we should be able to provide and access content directly from them.”
Raxio Data Centre comes into play by attracting big players to bring their content networks here and at the same time attracting Ugandan media to connect to them. “If media services like Netflix and similar players bring their servers in-country, then we can connect to them and get this content live before it becomes stale, and the only way they will bring their content networks is if there is a data centre here to host their servers. This is why we are building the Raxio Data Centre.”
The Media & Entertainment Industry was also advised on how to free up capital by spending less on IT infrastructure that will need heavy capital investment at the onset and expensive constant upgrades.
The recommendation by Mr. Byaruhanga was to instead focus on investing in their core business like expanding their network reach, improving on their media distribution, production of quality content, moving into the digital space and increased sales and marketing drives to get more advertisers.
By doing this, they would therefore improve operational efficiency instead of spending large amounts of capital on data storage and data recovery because Raxio Data Centre is on hand to provide cheaper, better and more value driven options for them.
The audience was also educated on the advantages of outsourcing data storage and content archiving to cloud service providers. “Some TV stations are producing upwards of 1Terabite of data a day; so the question is how fast can your media house keep up with this? Running your own server room can cost up-to twice the price of outsourcing this equipment. Rather than deleting content every two to three months, you can outsource your data storage to cloud service providers by having virtual servers on their platforms while still retaining ownership of your content”.