Custom Development Process in Telebreeze

IPTV/OTT is a fast-growing and highly competitive market. It gives to its participants more and more complex challenges year by year. The geography, requirements to network, content, platforms are changing constantly, the number of subscribers is growing, new niches and adjacent areas are appearing. All these trends are making the market more complicated for both service providers and their audience.

Meanwhile, in the atmosphere of constant changes, customers need a qualified partner - a company, that not only sales a complete solution but will be able to provide a long-term stable and operative support, to scale the streaming ecosystem and adapt it for changing market conditions.

Out-of-the-box products on the IPTV/OTT market

As practice shows, customers come with a request not only to install software, but to solve specific business-tasks, including launching IPTV/OTT in the existing Internet Service Provider network or mobile networks, migrating Cable Operator to interactive television, creating online cinema platform, etc. The mentioned tasks are rarely one-off, they are often large-scale projects that require expertise, an experienced development team and support service leading a customer through the whole period of the solution implementation.

Each OTT project is unique and that is why an unchangeable solution could hardly fit such projects "from A to Z". Usually, the solution needs adaptation to unique business needs.
A company capable of fast customization of its product to the personal requirements of the client is able to respond to growing market demands.
Conventionally, product customization can be divided into three levels:

1. Branding

  1. It includes user application appearance: interface localization, colors replacement, etc. as well as bringing the appearance in line with the design concepts and corporate identity of the company.

2. Incorporation into the ecosystem

Includes billing systems, content protection systems, CDN, business support systems (BSS) integration and solution adaptation the to the clients' network structure.

2. Flexible personal and functional extension

New functionality development and customer's wishes implementation.

Generally, the first and the second level tasks could be often solved using software settings, editors or small changes of the code base. The third level tasks demand an expertise and a qualified development team. There is why the providing of out-of-the-box solutions don't work on the OTT/ IPTV market.

Interaction with customers

Customers come with a list of business tasks that we help to solve using our product. Often these are various goals that our solution is not always able to cover fully. In such situations, we seek a compromise between the requirements of the counterpart and our own development plan of the product. Thus we trying to find the best way to satisfy the project requirements of the using the initial information about the customer's business and goals and our expert estimation.
We are not an outsourcing company, we are experts in our field who can offer a solution resolving clients' issues, not even as they see it, but how it will be better taking into account all market requirements.

Identification of project requirements. Collection of information.

The company uses a step by step information collection and customers' business needs identification.

At the first stage, we use a direct contact, it helps us to acquaint potential clients with the product for the first time and to reveal the specifics of their businesses and basic needs. After making a decision of cooperation, the customer fills in a questionnaire, which indicates the amount of hardware, content and other specific technical details of the project.

The next stage is the preparation of technical specifications. Often, this stage is carried out by us, because, firstly, we, guided by our experience, can adequately compile a list of tasks for the project implementation, and secondly, it is important to combine the benefits of product development with clients needs while preparing a requirements list.

Additionally to the initial stage communication, there is constant interaction with the customer until the project is completed. That allows us to optimize resources and satisfy the best way the business needs of our clients.

Types of clients' requests

Lots of moments are individual in each project because of different markets, countries, end-user requests. However, some operators, trying to increase their competitiveness, step after market leaders, even if some of them do not operate in the OTT field, and ask for something similar: functionality, design, etc. In such cases, we try to do the product closer to premium one, while maintaining the integrity of the development, however, we reserve the right to deny a custom development that could influence negatively on our product. For example, there are requests for system modifications to work with liner broadcast (analog and digital signal), possibility to transmit not only media data, but also, for instance, information about the transponder. Unfortunately, we have to refuse from such features, as they are apart of not our targeted market. In any case, each project is a set of unique business tasks, so we have a detailed discussion with the client to make a decision - to develop and implement or to abandon. And in the most cases, new features requests improve the overall quality of the product, so we agree to take them and the development is only a question of time.

Conditionally, clients' requests could be divided into two groups: the ones that correspond to our roadmap and the other that go beyond it. The majority corresponds to the logic of the first group of requests and includes improvements to the interface usability. Despite the fact that we always have tasks in this direction, it happens that the customers find some nuances that really improve the product. As an example, visualization of the electronic program guide (EPG) when watching live channels (case of 2015) or feedbacks to optimize user registration - reducing the number of "clicks".

As for the second group of tasks, going beyond the roadmap, the most frequent are related to payment system or operator billing integration. As they appear almost in every project, we usually do them as a part of our custom development.

Development of product extensions. Implementation of customer ideas

Our clients, Service Providers, are always on the edge of interaction with the viewers. And we consider their insights in our process of product development. If we understand that our client has a terrific idea that will make the our product better, we'll take all the costs of its development and implementation, thereby improving the overall quality of the proposed product.
First of all, our clients are our partners and, based on our expertise, we help them to develop their business. If we understand that without an expansion the business of the counterpart will not be started, they will not be able to enter the market, we will always meet the requirements and develop something specific for this project.

Telebreeze has been operating in the IPTV/OTT market since 2011. This experience allows us to create strong partnership relations with our customers. During this period of time, we have already implemented 178 uniquely customized projects in 69 countries of the world. We know our niche well, we understand the basic requirements of customers, the tastes of end-users and we are constantly improving our solution according to the changing conditions of the interactive television market.

Alexander Zaguzin, CTO Telebreeze