Streaming Media West '15: What Enterprise Customers Want from Online Video Providers

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Tim Siglin: Welcome back to Almost Live here at Streaming Media West 2015. I have David Boyll from Oracle. Now David, you were on a panel this morning. What was the panel about?

David Boyll: The panel was about what enterprise customers want from online video platform providers. Being a longtime customer of online video platform providers, I have some very specific wants.

Tim: Are we talking on-demand platforms, webcasting, live?

David: Both, yeah, all three.

Tim: Got it. Give me just one or two of those very specific wants?

David: We want a partner that can scale with us. We want a partner that we can integrate with in terms of extensibility. We want a partner that will give us the data that we can measure and analyze ...

Tim: The analytics base.

David: Right, to essentially support the purchases and to drive future purchase decisions.

Tim: Interesting. It's not just about the scalability and extensibility, but really about the measurements to be able to understand the business cases around that.

David: Yes, and the ability within that extensibility requirement to connect to whatever off-board or third party or partner functionality that we're going to need in the years to come.

Tim: I talked to Eric Hards at Lockheed and, of course, last year when you and he were on my panel, he was going through an RFP process. He said they finished the RFP process at this point. Are you all actually, as you look for partners, moving through an RFP process or are you just assessing the field at this point to understand?

David: We are not in the market for an online video platform today. What I am looking at here at the conference this year is I'm focusing on a couple of areas. One of them is client-side analytics, quality of service. Measuring the user experiencing, quantifying the user experience. The other thing I'm looking at is functionality to support accessibility requirements that are mandated by regulation.

Tim: Noise reduction, closed captions, those types of things?

David: Keyboard controls.

Tim: Keyboard controls. Sure.

David: Closed captioning is a big one.

Tim: One of the things that you and I have talked about in the past is security and some companies won't go with cloud because of security concerns. As they say, they really need to do everything on prem. What's your take on that? Is there a balance between security and accessibility?

David: That's a good way of putting it. Security for us is table stakes. I hate to be jargon-y about it or use a buzz word, but if it's not secure, we don't want it. If you can't make it secure, we don't want to use it. I'll take a page out of Larry Ellison's playbook and say most everything you buy that's in the cloud is secure, but most people don't turn on security. Why are you not using it? The reasons in the past why people wouldn't use it would be it would impact user experience, it would contribute to latency, or there was some user action that would get in the way of the experience. Every solution that we're looking for needs to be a solution that works in the background transparently and that uses open standards for integration and APIs.

Tim: Is that true for everything from the encoding side of the house through the player and the analytics or just on the customer-facing side from a security standpoint?

David: Any time we are dealing with customer personally identifiable information, who you are, who you work for, where you're sitting, what's your MAC address, all of that needs to be secured just at a default level. The other things we look to secure are data in transit. We ensure for our internal content that we wish to protect that it's encrypted in transit and encrypted at rest, that you are who you say you are before we give it to you and that the player you're using is a player we provide you and not something you're going to use to scrape it with.

Tim: Inherently, that sounds like a lot of what a database company would want to have their customers doing anyway. It's interesting to hear you apply that to media. Is that because Oracle understands that video assets, audio assets are just like any other kind of asset in a database?

David: We've understood this from the very early days of Oracle and in order to ensure not only an acceptable excellent customer experience, but also to ensure that we're not going to get blamed for getting hacked. Our content won't get hijacked and misrepresented, somebody posing as us.

Tim: The man in the middle.

David: Right. It's equally as important for the intellectual property that we produce as it is for the information that our customers give us to keep safe in the cloud.

Tim: Hence the reason for encryption at rest as well as encryption in transit secure.

David: That's right. There is nothing inherently insecure about putting data in the cloud if you protect it. If you're putting it on-prem, there's inherent protection measures by virtue of the fact that nobody can get into your network. If you put it in the cloud, you can pretty much do that in the cloud. That's what you do when you give your credit card number to Amazon and that's what you do when you sign up to get financial aid for your child when they go to college.

Tim: Exactly. Thank you, David for your time. This has been David Boyll from Oracle. Again, I'm Tim Siglin. This is Almost Live at Streaming Media West 2015.

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