Expanding Your Streaming Infrastructure

Over the years, countless companies, products, applications, and services have emerged on the video communications landscape. Organizations face difficult decisions about which technologies and applications are right for them, and more importantly, how to make them all work together. In the end, many of these companies find they have implemented disparate systems, from multiple vendors, that are redundant, expensive to own, incompatible, and—perhaps most disappointing—still don’t reach everyone in the organization. As a result, the transforming power of video communications is still not realized, and organizations are left to wonder what failed in their strategy, and what the remedy might be.

With a strategic planning approach before implementation, each video system is acquired not just for how it will solve a specific business problem today, but also for its ability to work with future video investments. Such planning builds on earlier investments by leveraging open and de facto industry standards. StarBak Communications, as an example, offers an integrated network video approach that converges disparate video applications onto enterprise IP networks including videoconferencing, streaming, live Webcasting, satellite, and cable. This type of approach allows enterprises to leverage various video business applications with existing investments—with huge cost-saving implications.

What is a "Stream-Ready" State?
So what exactly is a "stream-ready" state? Think of it from a business perspective. It correlates to requirements for a typical corporate streaming initiative. For one Fortune 500 energy company with more than 119,000 employees in 145 countries, streaming content effectively has become paramount to quickly disseminating information globally.

Therefore, having a streaming infrastructure that won’t interfere with business-critical applications, yet provides adequate capabilities to stream corporate content, has become vital. In our case, we defined a stream-ready state by these criteria (while the number of potential viewers in your enterprise might be different, the other criteria apply regardless of enterprise size):
• Provide sufficient functionality to reach hundreds of thousands of employees through live, on-demand, and "push" video broadcasting
• Deliver video globally without requiring expensive network upgrades or impacting country network capacities
• Provide both broadband and narrowband content
• Enable employees with varying skills to publish streaming presentations yet maintain IT control
• Keep cost per live and on-demand events low
• Control access rights for targeted secure viewing
• Provide the capability to protect sensitive corporate information by leveraging digital rights management technology and existing directory services
• Provide usage information and reporting metrics

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