AnyDesk helps deliver spectacular European Cup images
by Michael Keith
Aerial camera specialist Spidercam relies on the remote desktop tool AnyDesk to provide technical support for its systems
Every sports fan has seen the spectacular images from stadiums and arenas: using so-called aerial cameras that ‘fly over’ the playing field by remote control, they provide breathtaking TV images from a bird’s eye perspective. Spidercam is the world market leader in this segment with offices in Hamburg, Austria and the USA. Right now, Spidercam cameras are being used to broadcast impressive footage from the football stadiums at the European Championship. To provide technical support for these critical systems, the aerial camera specialist relies on the remote desktop software AnyDesk (www.anydesk.de).
Most of the company’s camera systems are supplied for use at sporting and other major events worldwide on a rental basis. Spidercam not only takes care of the entire logistics operation for an event – the complete systems, weighing a total of around 2.2 metric tons, can be transported anywhere in the world in a flight case – but also provides specially trained crews for assembly and onsite operation.
No room for failure: a critical service
On location, it is paramount that the systems are 100 percent reliable and error-free. Downtime is not an option for events that are broadcast to an audience of millions. To assist onsite crews in urgent cases, Spidercam technicians and support staff are available 24/7 via the hotline.
However, in many cases, the technical specialists sitting in Austria and Germany need to be able to directly access the industry PCs responsible for controlling the Spidercam systems to effectively provide support. For a long time now, the Spidercam IT department has used remote support software for its worldwide operations.
The initially employed solution by a leading software developer proved less and less able to meet the demands required of it, according to Jan Peters, CEO at Spidercam GmbH:
“We kept having problems with our remote support performance, which made our employees’ work unnecessarily difficult. If an onsite crew has to assemble a system within a very tight schedule and needs assistance, then the last thing you need is for the remote access service to slow you down. The provider’s licensing model was also unattractive for our purposes for financial reasons.”
A streamlined, high-performance remote desktop tool was required
This was reason enough for the executives at Spidercam to look for an alternative remote desktop tool. The most important criterion was to find a streamlined and efficient solution that focuses on the specific required application. A comprehensive, complex collaboration suite with additional functions such as videoconferencing or a chat interface was intentionally ruled out from the start. Instead, the idea was to implement a functionally reduced and easy to use, but especially high-performance remote support software.
After intensive testing and on recommendation of an external IT consultant, Spidercam decided to make the switch to the German-designed remote desktop tool AnyDesk. The software is specialised on achieving high speeds through the use of a custom-developed video codec: a high frame rate and low latency allow for a smooth work experience on a remote computer.
All of the five employees at Spidercam’s engineering department in Germany and Austria now use AnyDesk, for example to remotely adjust settings for onsite aerial camera systems straight from their office in just a few simple steps: the support technician uses the software to connect with the respective control computer within seconds, sees its desktop and can then perform the necessary tasks on his or her own computer.
“If one of our systems has been transported halfway around the world at high logistical expense to be used at a major event, its flawless operation is imperative both for our customers and for us. At any time of day, a member of our engineering staff is available within 30 minutes”, Jan Peters explained. “For problems that the onsite crew can’t solve on their own, we can connect directly to the system in question via the Internet using AnyDesk. The technician then basically has all the same options he’d have if he was sitting right in front of the computer, for instance fine-tuning the system settings. AnyDesk has proven itself in the field. The performance increase in comparison to its predecessor is considerable and the software runs smoothly and reliably.”
“We are very pleased to be able to support Spidercam with such a critical application scenario”, Andreas Mähler, CEO at AnyDesk Software GmbH, added. “This case once again highlights our philosophy of placing the highest premium on the performance of our solution in order to provide users with the fastest and most reliable remote support experience.”