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BFV's Big Interview: Qvest Media

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Qvest Media is a leading international systems architect in the fields of broadcasting and media technology, specialising in the television, media and telecommunications industries but also providing services for governments and NGOs. With a team of more than 180 employees, the company group operates internationally from locations in Germany, Switzerland, Dubai and Singapore. Qvest Media offers 360° expertise in the design, development, implementation and operational support services of media technology infrastructures.

Peter Nöthen, CEO of Qvest Media, talks about the growing speed of demands in the ever-changing media landscape and the need for continuous innovation and flexibility to build high-performance, flexible and scalable technical solutions and services.

BFV: Based on your expertise, what are some of the ground-breaking market shifts in the media industry in the future?
PN: Today's broadcast infrastructures already consist of several widely differentiated components and new technologies that are increasingly IP-based and IT-driven. So, the industry is continuously shifting away from past infrastructures. Traditional hardware and service offerings were rather static, which is why the industry could only slowly adjust to the changing market conditions. Media asset management, workflow orchestration and automation, cloud-based production and content qualification, media intelligence, OTT and VoD are said to break these traditional rules, leveraging a completely new way of agility and flexibility in our industry.

How does Qvest Media address these challenges in the midst of this digital transformation?
As an internationally-operating systems architect, one of our most important tasks is to analyse the options that arise from the interaction between IT, broadcasting and audio-visual solutions and to link these with suitable operation layers and connectors for seamless integration. Our customers expect a full-service provider who works at the interface between the areas of technology, management, processes and applications and transforms the growing complexity of today's broadcast projects into systems they can work with. To support our customers along the entire media value chain, our business is based on three main pillars, namely Design, Build and Services. They combine our high level technical expertise as solution architect, comprehensive customer care and service and professional support on the management and operational level for our customer's technical infrastructures.

What are some of the major projects Qvest Media has realised recently around the globe?
We are currently working on more than 65 projects across nine countries. There are some larger projects that come to my mind in our core regions: For Sky in Germany we implemented the infrastructure for the first 4K live channels, including the design and planning of the fully redundant system architecture, the IT-relevant systems integration of the broadcast for the 4K live production infrastructure and Ultra HD broadcast management. As the master systems integrator, Sky Deutschland also commissioned us with the technical conception, design and construction of their new sports production centre “Cube” which will be one of the largest and most modern broadcast IT infrastructures for live sports productions currently available in Europe.

One of our clients from Spain, a globally-operating channel, asked us to build a new end-to-end file-based system architecture based on highly efficient workflows for linear broadcasting and OTT distribution. The focus of that challenging project is to create a high-end infrastructure for massive data file transfers, asset archiving, rights management and handling of disaster scenarios. For MediaCorp in Singapore, the biggest media company in the APAC region, we have been commissioned with the implementation of their new broadcasting centre. As a consultant and master systems integrator, we are in charge of setting up the system design and overall technical infrastructure for eight TV channels in different languages and 14 radio stations. The infrastructure will accommodate 3.000 employees with more than 700 journalists from MediaCorp's fields of TV, radio and print. In the MENA region, we realised a state-of-the-art media and training centre for the Arab States Broadcasting Union (ASBU) in Tunisia. In addition to several other projects for news and sports broadcasters in the region, we have also been commissioned to realise a completely new TV station from scratch, including the planning and implementation of disaster recovery.

Why did Qvest Media create new dedicated business units such as “Managed Technology”? What will it focus on?
Due to the rapid changes in technology and increasingly shorter product life cycles, we understand that media companies are refraining from investing large financial resources in long-term investments for technological infrastructures but rather prefer to pay as they go on their operating expenses according to their business needs. Our new approach for Managed Technology covers everything from technology infrastructure to services and operations offered within a streamlined payment model. Basically, we enable customers to run their business operations at all times and with lower costs – whether it is a matter of technology services and maintenance, Cloud Services, Software as a Service (SaaS), Infrastructure as a Service (IaaS) or up to Platform as Service (PaaS). This increased flexibility helps them to focus on and strengthen their core competencies in terms of creation, distribution and monetisation of content without the burdens of selection, integration, operation, maintenance and replacement of technology.

What are Qvest Media's future plans to develop their business and infrastructure in the UK/Northern European markets?
We have recently started assembling a dedicated team for the UK and Northern Europe regions to further expand our offer of services and operations in those markets. Daniel Url, Managing Director at Qvest Media, is currently building a new team of experienced experts, who are specialised in the areas of Business Development and Sales in these markets.

Only by working with a highly-skilled network of experts and professionals, in combination with our longstanding technical expertise and wide spectrum of services, can we ensure that we are always one step ahead and face up to the new technological challenges of today's media markets.

Which projects have you already implemented in these markets?
So far we have already worked with the BBC and helped them to implement projects in the field of sports productions. For SBS Broadcasting Network, we set up the infrastructure of a new playout centre. The project also included a 24/7-service agreement. Our AV & IT specialists took care of the maintenance and the further development of the playout infrastructure. A consulting project for Turner Broadcasting Systems in London involved the evaluation and formulation of appropriate strategies for the replacement of their broadcast-scheduling system and the creation of a detailed implementation plan.

Image: Peter Nöthen, CEO of Qvest Mediia.

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