Necko Technologies Helps On-Hertz Launch Groundbreaking Radio Production SaaS Product

Executive Summary

Broadcast software company On-Hertz has used AWS, in collaboration with AWS Partner offering consulting services Necko Technologies, to bring a whole new product category to market. Called Nubo, this software-as-a-service tool lets radio broadcasters set up a complete remote studio from anywhere with an internet connection in minutes. Nubo leads the industry trend of moving away from hardware and embracing online, software-led alternatives.

Necko Technologies Helps On-Hertz Launch Groundbreaking Radio Production SaaS Product

For over a century, the broadcast industry has been powered by hardware: mixing desks, phone hybrids, A/V routing systems, and other tools help bring radio and TV broadcasts to audiences around the world. But today, broadcasting is undergoing a fast-moving revolution. Software is taking over. It’s a trend accelerated by COVID-19, which led many presenters and production staff to work from home. On-Hertz is a virtual audio software developer that specializes in tools for the broadcast and media industries. The company is only three years old but has already created a number of major production tools used by top European broadcasters, including VRT, RTBF, Radio France, and RFI. Until recently, these production tools had to be installed locally on-premises; OnHertz saw an opportunity to create a completely online radio production suite. This would help facilitate broadcasts when access to a studio isn’t an option, such as remote broadcasts. “We knew our customers wanted an online studio that combined everything they needed in one tool, but with the accessibility and flexibility of the cloud,” says Renaud Schoonbroodt, CTO of On-Hertz. “Before, broadcasters had functions such as playout, mixing, remote contribution, and much more, all on separate services and hardware provided by different vendors. The challenge for the broadcaster was then how to make them work together.” Schoonbroodt continues, “We realized we could solve that problem.” The idea came from customer demand: with the COVID-19 pandemic forcing radio production out of studios and into home offices, a remote working solution was essential.

“Live broadcasts depend on great quality and low latency. With AWS and Necko, we have both. It’s helped us create a gamechanging product for the broadcast industry.”

- Renaud Schoonbroodt, CTO, On-Hertz

Expert Guidance from AWS Partner Necko Technologies

To make this complex web app a reality, On-Hertz needed a cloud solutions provider with the low-latency technology and global reach required for broadcast-quality productions. It also needed an expert partner to design the best possible systems architecture and help it port its existing PC-based software to a new cloud-based solution. On-Hertz contacted Necko Technologies, an AWS Advanced Partner offering consulting services and AWS Well-Architected Partner, to help it develop and launch the new product. After discussions with Necko, On-Hertz was convinced of its expertise and decided to go ahead. Necko kickstarted the process by assessing the costs and business implications for On-Hertz, recommending Amazon Web Services (AWS) as the ideal cloud provider. Necko also produced a proof of concept to show how well AWS would work for On-Hertz.

With Necko and AWS on board, On-Hertz was able to develop a complete software-as-a service (SaaS) product. On-Hertz has now launched Nubo, an all-in-one, cloud-based radio production studio that is available as an online subscription service. Nubo gives broadcasters new levels of efficiency and flexibility, allowing professional broadcasts from any location with an internet connection. “The great advantage of using AWS in the way we’ve deployed it is that On-Hertz can focus on its products without having to worry about the day-to-day management of the AWS infrastructure,” says Jérôme Dauge, Co-founder of Necko.

A Complete Radio Studio, Up and Running in Seconds

Nubo is a fully integrated live radio studio that’s easily accessible. With just a web browser and a microphone, users can sign in and be on-air in minutes from anywhere and at any time. “With presenters and guests often working at home, we needed a user-friendly and non-technical way to setup a studio-quality connection that was easy to integrate into broadcast workflows,” says Schoonbroodt. “With Nubo, production staff no longer have to struggle with configuration settings or opening ports on a presenter’s home router—a live virtual studio can be up and running in just a few clicks."

Suitable for both large and small organizations, Nubo is easily scalable, thanks to its Docker-based architecture. The system offers reliable and secure connections, freeing operators from unsecured, hard-to-expand remote desktop connections. Nubo is based on Amazon Elastic Compute Cloud (Amazon EC2) for maximum scalability. It uses AWS AppSync and Amazon CloudFront content delivery network tools to aid low-latency performance and global availability. “Live broadcasts depend on great quality and low latency,” says Schoonbroodt. “Latency of 500 ms or higher just isn’t good enough for a broadcaster, so we had high standards to meet for both quality and latency. With AWS and Necko, we have both. We’ve been able to launch a whole new SaaS product with the same or better latency than on-premises solutions. It’s helped us create a game-changing product for the broadcast industry.”

Paving the Way for Future Growth and Expansion

Customers can launch a studio in any AWS geographical region and users are connected to the relevant studio. So, for example, if a broadcaster deploys a studio in Ireland, users for this studio will be connected to AWS resources closest to Ireland. Customers can also launch studios in multiple regions for a truly global broadcast function. Necko and On-Hertz continually update Nubo to improve functionality and add new features.

Working with AWS and Necko, On-Hertz was able to boost innovation and bring its novel new product to market in just six months, from project start to first public release. Necko has ensured that On-Hertz has the cloud-based technology it needs to support a high-performance SaaS offering. Using AWS also helps On-Hertz to enter new international marketplaces—recently, its first US customer just signed up to Nubo. “We are developers, but back then we were not cloud experts,” Schoonbroodt says. ”Necko showed us that AWS was the best choice for what we needed. Other broadcast companies are using AWS, so we knew it was a good fit for us.” He adds, “Necko has been extremely supportive all the way through and we are planning to continue working with them in the long run.” With the support of both Necko and AWS, On-Hertz now has more cloud-based products in the pipeline. “The possibilities of AWS are endless,” Schoonbroodt says. “I’d recommend it to anyone. I’d also recommend using a great partner like Necko to help guide you through the process.”

On-Hertz

About On-Hertz

On-Hertz delivers production solutions for the broadcast industry that are designed to augment any workflow involving sound, improving media operations, and interoperability. Designed to make the task of producing content from anywhere at any time easy, OnHertz products allow broadcasters to efficiently and cost-effectively create compelling programs that increase engagement and generate new revenue opportunities. The firm’s virtual production solutions offer a complete feature set and absolute reliability, transforming the economics of broadcasts, onpremises, on-demand, or on the-go.

About Necko Technologies

Necko Technologies is a Belgian-based AWS Advanced Partner offering consulting services. It helps companies and startups through their journey to the cloud on AWS. Necko Technologies helps its customers to architect, build, and manage new generation applications powered by AWS.

Published September 2021