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SharePoint Gains Video, Thanks to Ramp MediaCloud

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Microsoft SharePoint has broadened significantly since it first launched in 2001, but one feature it still lacks is video support. That's being remedied today, as Ramp, a content optimization company based in Boston, Massachusetts, unveils MediaCloud for SharePoint at the SharePoint Conference 2012. The conference begins today in Las Vegas, Nevada.

Enterprise is a new area for Ramp, which spun out of a government research project five years ago and has been working with major media customers such as ABC, CBS, Fox, and Hearst. The time is right, however, says Ramp CEO Thomas Wilde, who sees video files as the new documents in the workplace; workers are now doing things with video that they used to do with documents.

The MediaCloud platform is four-years-old, and Ramp has built it out to integrate with SharePoint. Users can upload video (it accepts H.264, MPEG, AVI, 3GP, MP4, FLV, WMV, and VP6 files), and MediaCloud handles everything on the backend, including transcoding, indexing, storing, and serving. The result is that videos are available for use in SharePoint just as documents already are.

By integrating with SharePoint, Ramp is letting workgroups add video support without the need to learn a new system. A proficient SharePoint administrator should be able to install the package and have it running in an hour, Wilde says.

Prior to this release, Ramp beta tested MediaCloud for SharePoint with a few customers. The product is launching in beta, as Ramp wants to collect more user feedback. Look for it to go into general availability in January, 2013. Pricing is based on the amount of video that a company can manage, not on seat licenses. Wilde says pricing will start at around $30,000.

Ramp is already planning future upgrades to the product. Look for it to gain Yammer integration, the ability to suggest related videos and documents along a timeline while a video is playing, and even live video support. While the current release is for pre-recorded videos only, Wilde says it will grow to handle live video sometime in 2013. Look out, IP multicast; MediaCloud is looking to take over.

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