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SMW '19: Kaltura Talks Award-Winning Video Platforms and Extended Reality

Read the complete transcript of this interview:

Tim Siglin: Welcome back to Streaming Media West 2019, we're coming down toward the end of the second day. I'm Tim Siglin, Contributing Editor with Streaming Media Magazine and the founding Executive Director of HelpMe! Stream, the not-for-profit that helps NGOs stream. So I've got with me today two gentlemen from Kaltura, I have Liad and Gil. And their company won today not just one, not just two, not just three, but four Readers Choice Awards. So we're gonna talk a little bit about each of these categories and just have brief descriptions on what it is that you all, what the products and services are. So the first one was for OTT Video Platform, that's Kaltura TV platform, give me a little description of what that is.

Liad Eshkar: Thank you first for great customers and audience for choosing us for those four categories, we are very excited to be here and to get this nomination and thank you very much for all of you. In terms of OTT, we made a lot of progress in the last couple of years since we got into the space after an acquisition of a company. Since then, we've been working with quite a few of the Tier 1 telecommunication companies in the world, like Vodafone, Viacom, VimpelCom and others, with thousands of millions of subs worldwide is using our OTT platform. Delivering live video as well as VOD and we are very happy about the progress we have made and we became, we gained a lot of market insights and benefits from our customers as well.

Tim: So who was the company that you actually acquired when you mentioned that you acquired a company a few years ago?

Liad: So it's a company named DaVinci.

Tim: Okay.

Liad: It's a startup that's had quite a few customers back then, a few years ago, and since then we developed the technology in a much higher and bigger scale. We improved the products and since then we are in this space.

Tim: Okay, very good. The next one was Enterprise Video Platform, the Kaltura Video Platform. Enterprise, of course, is a space that you've played in for quite some time. But what, what's new and innovative in that particular, that particular one?

Liad: So Enterprise we've been dealing with a lot of large customers for many years, and it's one of the core friends of Kaltura. In the last few years invested a lot in our web custom solution, which is another award that we are going to talk about. We also invested in the scalability of a platform, the level of analytics that we provide, we develop many products that can fit different use cases. For example, a video for emails, a video player called Kaltura Pitch, we developed a new player with a way to customize and make your own experience for our enterprise customers as well. And we invested a lot in scalability of our platform in the support level, which we provide as well.

Tim: Okay. So I'm gonna give those two to you to hold, and I'm gonna do the next two. Now this is going way back to your roots, because I remember when Ron and the early team, the focus was education. So the Education Video Platform, which is of course Kaltura Video Platform. Essentially it's the same platform, but just with a focus that's geared toward education. What makes your education offerings stand out, versus other potential competitors in the market?

Liad: I just want to mention that we are very focused on education and for us we see it as a whole different vertical subject matter, experts. But the technology behind the scenes and the level of scalability that we have for media and OTT, and also enterprise serving education customers. So, for example, for us, when we have live events or dozens of millions of students or thousands of students, it's very easy for us delivering on a global scale. For us it's something that we can support easily. That's one advantage. We also invested a lot in the level of integration in different platforms and LMSes and the collaboration that we have with them. And we also leading in the xAPI and Caliper space to make sure that the content is standing behind the latest standards as well.

Tim: And do you tie in to learning management systems and other solutions like that with the education platform?

Liad: Yes, we are very focusing on integrations and standing behind those standards that are special. For education, we also leading the accessibility space.

Tim: Okay.

Liad: Making sure all of our products can stand behind the standards for those aspects. And yeah, education for us is a big thing. We have more than 650 universities and will continue, planning to continue in this investment in this space.

Tim: Okay, very good. And then the final one was Webcasting or Presentation Solution in the Cloud, Kaltura Webcasting. And I think before we went on the air, Liad, you and Gil were talking about how this seems to be a pretty important win, so tell me what Kaltura Webcasting is and how it differs from the Kaltura video platform.

Liad: So our webcasting product, the reason we were so happy is that it's a relatively new product. It's not new anymore, but it's only I'd say three or four years, while the other products are more than that. So for us to become leaders in the space is a big achievement, and we're very proud of it and committed to continue this success. We developed quite a few features in the field of webcasting starting from Q&A, more scalability, live analytics that are accessible for customers. We recently released a new version of Personal Webcast to allow every user to start their event directly from their laptops without the need to connect external encoders, and that's something we support as well. We also committed to our open capture standards to make sure that we can work with different encoders and serve the entire ecosystem.

Tim: Okay.

Liad: Provide ones that are creating the largest value for our customers are the ones that we want to make sure they can integrate easily.

Tim: Okay, very good. And then Gil, there's a fifth topic for us to talk about, pretty briefly, but you said it's a category that doesn't even really exist.

Gil Shefler: It doesn't really exist right now on the radar--

Tim: And if you want me to hold

Gil: Sure, hold these

Tim: The shards of glass.

Gil: Yeah, watch out for those. You might, you know, injure someone.

Tim: Javelin heads or something.

Gil: I'm gonna use my prop. I've got a prop, might as well use it. So yeah, I would like to nominate a category. So, hopefully we will be nominated for that one as well. Extended reality.

Tim: Okay.

Gil: Now that means augmented reality, virtual reality and everything in between. And I think that the strength that Liad mentioned in the three-pronged approach, education, enterprise, and OTT, once you have that foundation, to bring it into the emerging extended reality world is relatively simple and easy. And we can push it off, so this is something we're seeing already happen, so it's not just theoretical.

Tim: And I've read in articles around the use of for on-the-job training, and for remote diagnostics and the like.

Gil: It's taken a circuitous route. People thought everything evolves the way the iPhone does. Shows up, next day everyone has one.

Tim: Right.

Gil: This one's taken a different route. It's already being adopted at university, academic institutions, and training and learning and enterprises, and that's actually gonna bolster that whole market. It's gonna bring it up so that when the hardware, software and awareness is there, maybe there will be an iPhone moment, but it's already being adopted. And so the Kaltura Foundation, to power those experiences they think is already there, and I'm here to just increase awareness and let people know that there are really cool ways to, essentially, tell stories with this mediums. And so yeah, fifth category, potentially, take it into account and yeah. Thank you for having us and all these awards.

Tim: Absolutely.

Gil: I feel like a--

Tim: And thank you all for obviously putting out some really good products that readers of Streaming Media felt like were compelling enough to go not just for one, not two, not three but four of these things.

Gil: I'd like to thank, yeah, the guys for voting for us.

Tim: Yeah, absolutely.

Gil: Appreciate it.

Tim: We'll be right back with our next interview.

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