What the NFL Can Teach Us About Cloud Communications

nfl cloud communicationsAre you ready for some football? For many, that question can elicit feelings of dread as they know they are about to lose their significant other for huge gaps of time each weekend. For others, the same question can trigger feelings of euphoria and sheer joy. Wherever you fall on the spectrum of reactions to the NFL regular season and its associated pageantry, pomp, and circumstance, there is an undeniable impact that the league has on Americans in general. This blog examines why that is and exactly how the NFL has come to be such a ubiquitous juggernaut in the collective American experience for the better part of five months. Spoiler alert, it has way more to do with cloud based communications than you think.

Four Downs, Zero Cables

The massive explosion of NFL games is measured in a lot of ways, most easily in the pervasive growth of the media footprint it occupies. Between the three major broadcast networks and ESPN, the total amount of investment to simply be allowed to cover NFL games was over $20 billion in 2016. This is just the cost for these companies to have the right to cover the games, that doesn’t include the massive costs associated with producing the game for broadcast. Like all investments, these huge amounts wouldn’t be shelled out if the promise of an equivalent return weren’t so likely. However, the huge infrastructure that typically has delivered sports media to throngs of eager crowds is no longer enough to get the largest audiences possible. Especially considering the mass exodus that viewers have been making from traditional media outlets in favor of cutting the cord and going with leaner media options.

Touchdown From Anywhere

More and more people are leaving traditional media outlets for cloud-based communications. That is evidenced by the fact that 40% of all businesses report a likely shift to VoIP over the next two years. We see this shift in the number of businesses that are also augmenting their existing communications networks with over-the-top applications. Additionally, the NFL recognizes this trend as being the reality moving forward for its fan base, as well, which is why it made massive investments into new, robust compression and streaming technology for its hundreds of millions of viewers each week. These are worthwhile investments, indeed, when you consider that the very first time the college football championships were decided by a four-team playoff, the only way to view that game was through a famously insufficient streaming service from ESPN that crashed repeatedly during its maiden voyage. With such huge dollar amounts on the line, clearly, the NFL recognizes they can’t afford to have the same problems. Nor should, in our humble opinion, any business be so blind to the trends that they miss the boat on the importance of cloud communications.

How to Enjoy Modern, Mobile Gridiron Mayhem

Ultimately, to enjoy the growing list of services, products, and entertainment streams that are becoming available over the internet, the most important variable to consider is the quality of your network connection. Just like the speed and agility of a wide receiver is rendered useless without a fast and accurate pass for him to catch, having a robust streaming platform is under utilized with a suboptimal internet connection (sorry, I couldn’t resist). The best way to ensure that your internet connection can handle your cloud communications needs is to conduct a thorough network health check that will assess the total capacity, use patterns, and thresholds of your overall networking behavior. And unlike a simple speed test that provides a simple snapshot of the bandwidth of a network, a health check will dig deeper to provide a more useful, holistic view of the health of your network. This is typically an invaluable tool for businesses looking to maximize the benefits of a cloud-based communication network, but it will also come in handy by allowing you to prioritize various types of use so that the important traffic goes through uninterrupted. I’ll leave it to you to decide if that traffic is for VoIP, or for the NFL streams. Either way, we hope you have a happy season opener tonight, whether you were aware of it or not!

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