Interview with Alexander Leschinsky, Co-Founder and Managing Director, G&L Geißendörfer & Leschinsky

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Alexander Leschinsky and his company G&L have been in business since 2000. G&L is a leading system integrator and managed service provider for audio and video processing, distribution and playback in the European market. With a strong network of more than 50 partners, the company develops world-leading solutions for the entire content delivery chain. Alexander studied musicology, phonetics, computer science, and electrical engineering. His focus is on bridging technical, legal, commercial and editorial topics. Alexander is married, father of 3 grown-up children, and a passionate tenor in a choir.

What is the status quo of the streaming industry?

In the experience of our company, G&L, the streaming media market has reached a certain level of maturity. Technical progress gets incremental. Often the discussion is cost-driven. However, two issues come up in every discussion with clients: data sovereignty and sustainability.

Which challenges does data sovereignty pose for your clients?

As many relevant streaming vendors are based in the USA, for our customers in the EU data protection receives more and more attention. In a typical scenario, a content provider acts as a data controller in the EU and is processing personal data of individuals located in the EU. Often this is only a person’s IP address. However, as the IP is regarded to be personal identifiable information (PII), GDPR kicks in.

Any transfer of such data to a third country must satisfy the requirements of Chapter 5 of the GDPR, i.e. be based on a viable transfer tool. We estimate this can only be Standard Contractual Clauses (SCC). Many vendors outside the EU provide SCCs nowadays, which is a great improvement.

However, most of our customer’s legal teams agree that it is not enough to simply sign these SCCs to be GDPR compliant. As part of the process a transfer impact assessment must include an assessment of the legal risks of individuals located in the EU that originate in the law or practices of the third country.

As the necessary transfer impact assessment needs to take into consideration both legal and IT perspectives, it is extremely challenging for our customers. Working with established international streaming companies and large broadcasters in Europe, G&L has developed deep expertise in this kind of assessments. We are working with our partners and building out our own infrastructure in Europe to provide our customers with a choice of proven, fully GDPR-compliant solutions. We can also support in streaming related transfer impact assessments.

How can G&L help its customers operate more sustainably?

For entertainment, business, and social interactions, today’s world relies on streaming services. Until nuclear fusion will provide us with practically unlimited energy, hopefully in the next decade, we have to optimise the consumption of power. Finding ways to reduce the environmental impact of our technology gets more and more important for our clients. We now see environmental requirements in almost every public tender for streaming services. 

Energy consumption has to be measured and controlled for every aspect of our business - from production over distribution to playback. Choices made in one segment can influence energy needs in another segment - for instance, the higher effort to encode video in a newer, but more demanding codec can reduce the number of bytes to be delivered - or, for long-tail content, the extra effort in encoding could not be outweighed by the reduced data. To find the right balance is not an easy task.

G&L has gained a lot of know-how in examining digital media signal chains for their energy consumption signatures and optimisation potential. In our own infrastructure, we continuously enhance the energy efficiency of the components we deploy. Also, G&L is in the process of becoming certified for ISO 50001 energy management and has joined the organisation “Greening of Streaming”.

If you want us to help to optimise your streaming services energy consumption, please let us know!

G&L Geißendörfer & Leschinsky GmbH

www.GL-systemhaus.de/en

email: contact@gl-systemhaus.de

tel: +49 221 998090

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