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Video: Hybrid Hosted Video Platforms and Other Emerging Trends in Enterprise Video

Tim: All right, here we are. The final interview of the first day of Streaming Media East 2017. And I have with my Steve Vonder Haar from Wainhouse Research.

Steve: Saving the best for last.

Tim: Exactly, exactly. Steve actually was instrumental in giving some information for an article that I wrote for the January/February issue of Streaming Media on unified communications. UC clearly is of interest to people in the enterprise space. So tell me a little bit about what kind of work you've been doing recently. Just catch me up on the types of things you're doing.

Steve: Yeah, the big thing that's driving the whole enterprise is the whole motion of integration. We have an environment where the old-style enterprise platform vendors used to be end-to-end providers. Everything from content creation, content management, distribution, analytics of the viewership on the backend all in one tiny integrated package. And those solutions work great for the marketplace in terms of providing guaranteed delivery. Making sure that if your CEO spoke in the microphone in the camera over here, they would actually get out to people on the other side.

Tim: Okay. Right, right.

Steve: We're getting to a point now that those on-premise solutions are giving way to a new breed of hosted enterprise video platforms.

Tim: So, going to the cloud like the media and entertainment spaces.

Steve: And not necessarily fully to the cloud. Maybe you might think about a hybrid solution.

Tim: And I think hybrid is important because there are some specific things that enterprise may not want to push to the cloud.

Steve: Security is job one. Some things you just don't want to take behind the firewalls. That's all well and good, but when you at least have some elements of the enterprise platform solution being delivered on a hosted basis. That opens the door for a host of new ways for organizations and vendors to develop products, for how they sell it, and ultimately how they implement it for their customers. And it's causing more change. We've probably seen more change in the past two years in the enterprise streaming space than the previous decade combined.

Tim: In fact, it's interesting you say that, because on an enterprise video panel I moderated at Streaming Media West two years ago, two of the things the panelists said were driving it were end-of-life technologies and mobile, and how important mobile was becoming to their workforce. Do you see that to be the case as well?

Steve: The expectation is that video that you create, that video that you produce is going to show up on any device that the executive has access to.

Tim: And that's the key, the executive has access. Because the average worker may be told you can't have the device. The executive will never be told you can't have the device. He's going to say make it work for my device.

Steve: Whatever the CEO wants, the CEO gets.

Tim: Absolutely.

Steve: And if that means having a mobile-enabled enterprise platform, then a mobile-enabled streaming platform is what you're gonna get.

Tim: So, is this primarily in terms of internal content by all-hands meetings, or is it driven by training, or is it driven by a combination of things?

Steve: Well, it's always going to be tied to the organization-specific communications objective. So, if you have something that's driven top down from the CEO, most likely it's gonna be a town hall meeting environment where the CEO or top executives are getting out a consistent message to the entire workforce at once. If it's a bottom-up where organizations have to prove out the ROI, prove that they are gonna be able to pay for the technologies that they're deploying. Then you're gonna be looking for more of the training solution--preferably, a training solution that maybe consolidates or eliminates the need for people to travel. You can keep people off of planes out of hotel rooms, that's the clearest, shortest, most direct path to getting ROI and ultimately winning budget approval for those implementations.

Tim: You and I both know that the boondoggle--

Steve: It's a beautiful thing.

Tim: We saw it in video conferencing where the whole argument prior to 9/11 was keep them off planes. At 9/11, you had to keep them off planes for a period of time. But since then, it seems like ... So I totally understand the argument of ROI to keep people out of hotel rooms and maybe for training where it's an on demand thing it makes sense. What about for live? Do you see webcasting in the enterprise replacing the need to travel?

Steve: You'll never replace the need to travel. So like in the 1990s, when people were saying that Amazon was going to replace the shopping mall. That doesn't happen. It augments what you're already doing.

Tim: So it allows you to do more without as many trips.

Steve: Exactly, so maybe if your team has four sales meetings a year. Maybe you have two that are local or in-person mode, then you have two that are done via webcast. So you don't totally eliminate the boondoggle, Tim--

Tim: Sorry, I was trying to go anti-boondoggle.

Steve: No, no, no, no! We've got to keep our boondoggles in place. That's what made America great. So if we can minimize ...

Tim: Our founding fathers--

Steve: No, no--

Tim: They were on a boondoggle in New York City.

Steve: It was the boondoggle with the cheese doodles and beer. That's what did it.

Tim: All right, fair enough. History is actually now clear to me in a way that I didn't understand before.

Steve: I'm glad we could set you straight.

Tim: All right, good deal. Anything else in the enterprise space that you see is important?

Steve: I think beyond integration the whole notion that you gotta make sure that your corporate networking is tight, in place, and that you can get that video data from point A to point B. If you can't ship that data behind the corporate firewall without crashing the corporate network, without making ITs hair stand on end. That you're creating some type of security faux pa. Either putting content at risk or putting the entire sanctity of the network at risk-

Tim: The sanctity of the network absolutely.

Steve: You do not want to do that. So, you want to deploy systems that essentially allow you to scale the amount of video that you can deliver, so that people will use video more frequently. If you can't get the video from point A to point B, there's no point in us doing webcasting anyway.

Tim: So, does that lead to sort of to the rise of ECDNs?

Steve: Absolutely. We're seeing a push towards within the marketplace of more and more vendors emphasizing the need for actually standalone ECDN solutions. Where, historically, we have seen the distribution capabilities bundled into larger content portal solutions. Now, because we have these hosted options we talked about before, it's easier to mix and match solutions from various vendors and get to a point where we can have best or breed solutions at every point of the video ecosystem. And if we have the best of breed solution, part of that rests in developing ECDN capabilities developed by vendors who are fixated and focused on solving that specific problem.

Tim: Interesting, and I think there will be a debate that will rage for a number of years to come on multiple standalone CDNs or homogenized CDNs. Ultimately, what we find in the enterprise space is you know, you shop things out then you bring them all back together. So, we may find that ten years from now, we're saying, "Oh, no we can't have these standalone CDNs. We need to have ECDNs." But at least it's very good to hear that the focus on doing smart delivery behind the firewall continues to be part of the discussion.

Steve: And that's going to be a big part of the discussion moving forward.

Tim: Right, This has been Steve Vonder Haar with Wainhouse Research. Steve, as always, I appreciate your time.

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