A Video Streaming Solution Is Only As Good As the Sum of Its Parts

By Irwin Lazar, VP and Service Director, Nemertes Research

Picking the right video streaming solution for your organization requires careful consideration of a myriad of questions:

  • How do I capture video?
  • How do I manage video assets?
  • How do I ensure high quality distribution across my network?

In today’s market, individual solutions exist for all of these needs.  A buyer can by a video capture or webcasting solution from one vendor, a video content management system (VCMS) from another, and an enterprise content delivery network (E-CDN) for optimized content delivery from yet a third.  Alternatively, they can look for a single vendor that integrates all of these functions into an integrated platform.

In 2018 Nemertes Research conducted a study of approximately 500 end-user organizations to analyze their use of streaming video technologies, and ultimately to determine what makes for a successful strategy.   We developed a success model based on utilization of video applications, identified gains in productivity, and self-rated success in terms of how participants judged the effectiveness of their video strategy in meeting their organization’s needs.  Approximately 11.4% of participating organizations qualified as “successful” in this model.

We then analyzed this success group to correlate success with approaches for a variety of video technologies (e.g. videoconferencing and streaming) as well as management and user adoption strategies.  Our goal was to determine what successful organizations did differently from those who didn’t qualify as successful.

With respect to video streaming, we looked at success ratings for those who use different vendors for capture, management and distribution versus those who use the same vendor.  Overall, we found that those using a single vendor were approximately 7% more successful than those who used individual vendors.

There are several contributing factors that explain this result.  Single vendor approaches are typically easier to manage and support.  They enable more granular policy management by integrating the management platform with the E-CDN, allowing the E-CDN to optimize streams based on identified need.  For example, the organization may wish to give a CEO live broadcast the highest possibly priority, above say on-demand video streams of past meetings or training classes.  A fully integrated solution also allows for advanced optimization of video asset delivery, for example pre-positioning content across the network before an anticipated high demand broadcast.  Finally, integrated solutions allow for single-pane-of-glass management to ensure end-to-end performance and security.

When evaluating end-to-end providers, pay careful attention to their ability to support your environment and your needs.  For example, if your business requirements include integration with a learning management system, support for large-scale webcasts, as well as recording of meetings, you’ll want to consider a provider with support all for all of these capabilities, versus providers that only support individual features like webcasting.  You’ll also want to consider providers that integrate with your existing unified communications and videoconferencing environment to enable easy video capture from your existing videoconferencing endpoints and meeting applications.

Using a fully integrated video capture, management, and distribution solution often correlates with higher overall video streaming success.  Consider integrated solutions as you evaluate your choices in the market.