Spidercam on time critical IT operations

30. April 2017

Every sports fan is familiar with the spectacular camera shots produced in stadiums and arenas these days. Such breathtaking bird’s-eye view images are made possible by so-called spidercams®, which “fly” over the field or court on Kevlar wires. The world leader in this segment is the company of the same name, spidercam, which has branches in Hamburg, Austria and the United States.

Most spidercam® systems used for sporting events and shows are rentals. spidercam® takes full logistical responsibility for these heavy systems, transporting the roughly 2.2 ton packages anywhere in the world in flight cases. They also put their own people on the ground to install and operate the cameras.

Failure Is Not an Option: Critical Applications

On location, the systems need to perform 100 percent without any problems. At live events broadcasting to millions of people, breakdowns are not an option. In order to support the crews on location as quickly as possible in the event of a problem, spidercam technicians and support workers can be reached via hotline around the clock. The technical experts in Austria and Germany are only able to help insofar as they can remotely access the industrial computers being used to control the spidercam® systems. To address this issue, the IT department at spidercam have been using remote support software for a long time already — and worldwide at that.

spidercam® Producer uses AnyDesk Remote Desktop Tool for Worldwide Equipment Support.

However, the leading software product they had been using was proving less and less effective over time in its ability to meet arising challenges, as Jan Peters, CEO of spidercam GmbH, recounts: “We were having recurring performance issues with remote support, which was making our employees’ jobs more difficult. The crews on location are under extreme time pressure to install these systems. If they need help, we can’t afford to have IT slowing things down during remote access. Our previous provider’s licensing model was also unattractive for our purposes in terms of costs.”

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A Streamlined, High-Performance Remote Desktop Tool Was Needed

Reason enough for the decision makers at spidercam to look for an alternative remote desktop tool . Their focus was on finding a solution that could address their specific needs in as streamlined and efficient a manner as possible. A comprehensive collaboration suite with extra features such as video conferencing and chat was not up for consideration. Instead, the solution needed to contain a reduced number of features, be easy to use and offer powerful remote support.

Following a series of intense tests and advice received from an external IT consultant, spidercam decided to switch to AnyDesk, a remote desktop tool developed in Germany. Using a special video codec, AnyDesk was designed with speed in mind: A high refresh rate and low latency make it possible to work smoothly on remote computers.

Reliable camera performance when it comes down to the wire

“With all the logistical work involved when our systems get transported halfway around the world for big events, it’s absolutely critical for our clients and for us that they perform problem-free. Our engineers are available around the clock and can respond within 30 minutes,” explains Jan Peters. “When problems arise that our crews on location can’t fix themselves, we can connect to the systems in question using AnyDesk. Our technicians can then work as if they were right there on the remote computer and can fine tune settings, for example. AnyDesk has shown us that it can rise to the challenge. Performance is noticeably better than our previous solution, and everything runs smoothly.” “We’re very pleased to be able to support spidercam® in such critical scenarios,” added Andreas Mähler, CEO of AnyDesk Software GmbH. “This underlines yet again our philosophy of placing the utmost value on performance in order to offer the fastest and most reliable remote support experience possible.”

spidercam's five engineers in Germany and Austria now use AnyDesk to make setting changes to spidercam® systems installed on location, should the need arise. Support workers can connect to the control computer in question in a matter of seconds using AnyDesk, allowing them to see the remote PC's desktop on their own computer and carry out any necessary changes.

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