In March 2017, VBrick partnered with industry analysts Frost & Sullivan to develop a white paper, “Live Video Streaming: The Next BYOD for the Enterprise,” analyzing the burgeoning enterprise video market opportunity – its estimated size, market drivers, applications and the changing nature of the workforce further heralding its broad adoption. The following blog is the third excerpt – the complete white paper can be downloaded here and the recorded webcast can be viewed here.
Roadblocks to Enterprise-Wide EVP Deployments
The enterprise network continues to be the biggest challenge that needs to be overcome to successfully deliver high quality video inside and outside the firewall, whether on the company’s or personal devices, on the enterprise premises or to a telecommuting employee. As video communications become the norm, some enterprises are upgrading their networks to support growing video traffic. Ensuring that networks can support live webcasts in a secure, scalable and reliable manner is key to an engaging experience.
Over the years, as enterprise video has evolved in its uses cases, many organizations have accrued multiple video solutions, each operating in its own silo. These include online video platforms for external stakeholders, managed services offerings for webinars, enterprise YouTubes, lecture capture solutions and video conferencing systems. As such organizations mature in their use of video, their patience to deal with multiple vendors to solve different parts of the same problem is swiftly declining. Vendors as well as customers are gravitating towards comprehensive platforms that can be deployed in a flexible manner (hybrid cloud / on-prem) and be a one-stop shop for an enterprise’s video needs.
For instance, very often an organization’s first enterprise-wide introduction to video via video and web conferencing deployments. Thus, vast amounts of enterprise intellectual property still reside in such video and web conferencing solutions such as Cisco WebEx, Citrix’s GoToMeeting, Adobe Connect, BlueJeans, etc. Because of inadequate search and discovery tools, it is cumbersome to find and access the recorded and archived content. Enterprise video vendors are solving this problem by integrating with conferencing solutions to enable organizations to ingest, transcode, organize and leverage video assets from multiple sources.
Technology to the Rescue
In the early stages of their video journeys, large companies chose to live-webcast only their most high profile events, annually or sometimes semi-annually. IT departments or the CIO’s office identified vendors who offered webcasting in a fully managed manner where the professional services would make up a large chunk of the invoice. Given the high price tag of this endeavor, enterprise video was considered generally inaccessible to the average employee and even senior management.
However, as globalization has taken hold, workplace dynamics have shifted and economic downturns gave way to the careful evaluation of travel-related expenditures, the market has evolved and a vibrant ecosystem of vendors has emerged in response to the growing enterprise video needs. A variety of point solutions, webcasting services, webinar and enterprise YouTube type solutions are available depending on the enterprise and SMB customers’ requirements, and their capabilities to deploy video.
Many larger companies have at some point chosen to go the homegrown or DIY (do-it-yourself) route. Here, they task their in-house IT departments with leveraging existing investments in infrastructure and equipment and purchasing necessary pieces to architect their own enterprise video solution. Frost & Sullivan’s research shows that such an approach requires significant investment over time till the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) just becomes overwhelmingly high to maintain.
While live webcasts are important to deliver certain types of information, time-shifting employees will need to record live content for later viewing on an array of mobile devices of their choosing. Purpose-built, modular, end-to-end enterprise video platforms that enable employees to capture, stream, deliver and manage live webcasts and on-demand video content on a branded portal are a great step in this direction. These solutions, complete with a mobile strategy, aim to provide a comprehensive platform and address all forms of inward-facing enterprise communications. Adaptive bitrate streaming becomes critical as users attempt to access the portal from a variety of environments.
The rise of cloud and SaaS based enterprise video solutions brought with it monthly subscription fee based pricing models. These models have become the go-to for most enterprise customers who do not want to spend large sums of money to put together on-premises solutions. Cloud native solutions are also a popular choice to reach remote locations and small offices, as well as for SMBs that want to avoid making a significant infrastructure investment. Increasingly, vendors are focusing on the business user and the widely proliferating content-creation use case to design self-service webcasting solutions that can be utilized to go live in a few clicks.
Live video streaming’s emergence extends this trend, driving a new level of technology scale and performance that older solutions are architecturally incapable of delivering. Live streaming video taxes corporate network and other infrastructure in a way that the occasional video-on-demand viewing does not. Consider the load that 10,000 simultaneous users, all trying to log into a webcast within about a five minute time span, places on network, web and database systems. Live streaming will be a powerful catalyst for organizations to evaluate cloud- and SaaS services for their unparalleled ability to expand elastically with unlimited scalability.
Live video streaming also forces the traffic across the corporate WAN at a scale and level well beyond video on demand, forcing companies to either upgrade their network infrastructure or to find enterprise video platforms that help them optimize existing resources and bandwidth – whether at HQ or the smallest branch office. Furthermore, with this level of live streaming occurring, companies will increasingly need to control and monitor all aspects of their video network distribution infrastructure to ensure that every end user is getting an ideal experience – instead of putting in a trouble ticket or call to a third-party provider. Efficient enterprise video distribution will rely on concepts like mesh distribution, intelligent content pre-positioning, zone logic and intelligent edge caching. These capabilities will become the baseline for efficient delivery live video streaming across limited network resources.
As companies leave behind piecemeal approaches to enterprise video, and gravitate towards a more comprehensive, forward-looking and cost-effective enterprise wide video adoption view, integrations with other widely used enterprise solutions will become critical to streamlining workflows, reducing redundancies and driving productivity. Integrations with enterprise social media platforms will help spread the word and drive engagement, while integration with marketing automation solutions and learning management systems will make digital marketing and corporate learning initiatives more effective.
Also, as video becomes a first-class citizen in enterprise systems, it has spawned a growing need for a centralized repository that is capable of archiving, ingesting, indexing and managing all forms of video assets such as those from video conferencing and unified communications solutions. Organizing these assets, making them findable and reusable is becoming critical as compliance and corporate governance mandates need to be met. These issues as well as the need for much more effective collaboration and workflow efficiency have led to improvements in search, discovery and recommendation, and are fast becoming a functional priority as is the ability to leverage analytics. Engagement and QoS analytics are helping enterprise video users to gather information and insight about viewership trends and tailor more effective presentations.
Thanks to a flourishing vendor landscape, enterprises have now stepped up from the low-fidelity experience provided by video conferencing tools to scalable, branded and interactive webcasts with better analytics and reporting capabilities. These are some of the key reasons why Frost & Sullivan research finds that the market for enterprise video platforms will triple in revenues by 2021.
None of this is a leap-of-faith. Let us now discuss a real example of a company that struggled with some of the challenges discussed so far in this paper and analyze how it was able to effectively overcome them by leveraging an enterprise video solution.
Read more, download the complete white paper here or watch the recorded webcast here.