Just as video communication has become a pervasive form of communication in our social lives, it’s increasingly becoming so in the office environment. We can now view training sessions on demand from the comfort of our desks. Video webinars are now the norm, and group video chats are increasingly common. Microsoft has facilitated this growth by enabling live video collaboration in products like Skype For Business and the video management platform in Office365 Video. As you will all be aware, video management, webcasting and collaboration is going to get an even bigger assist from the capabilities of Microsoft Stream and Teams.
So, is your organization and your network ready to embrace video communication? We think there are many reasons why you and your network should be. Video is the most vibrant and intimate venue that executives can use to convey information to large, far-flung audiences within their organizations. More engaging than a conference call, more impactful than email, streaming video is described as an “effective” tool for business communications by more than 90% of executives (see 2017 study published by Wainhouse Research available for download here).
Instead of holding an in-person town hall once a quarter or once a year, why not use video to have a virtual town hall once a month? Why not use video to have a virtual department level meeting once every two weeks? Take advantage of technology to foster the communication and transparency that will lead to a more engaged and productive workforce.
The challenge with encouraging greater adoption of video is the impact that video has on the network. It would be nice if we could have the bandwidth to cope with live HD streams to all devices, but we know that would never be cost effective and it would be severely underutilized over 90% of the time. Other important factors to take into consideration besides cost include compatibility and manageability.
Traditional enterprise video distribution solutions, such as caching, rely heavily on hardware, which often require upgrades and refresh cycles. They are difficult to centrally manage due to remote installation and are often bundled into the video platform, making changing to a different video platform extremely cumbersome.
The continuing evolution of Microsoft’s communication and collaborations applications is an excellent example of the fluidity of the Enterprise video market. Today, Skype Meeting Broadcast empowers organizations to broadcast meetings to up to 10,000 attendees in HD quality. To take full advantage of this capability though, most Enterprises need to have a compatible distribution solution, such as Hive Streaming, to ensure their network can support this type of traffic.
For those that aren’t familiar with Hive Streaming, we provide a software-only solution that uses existing hardware and bandwidth that customers already have in place, to distribute live and on-demand video across the enterprise network. Many Office365 and Skype For Business customers are already using Hive Streaming to ensure a high-quality video viewing experience for their employees. Video, especially live video, can bring an enterprise’s network to its knees. Hive uses our peer-based technology to enable everyone within the same network segment to view one stream rather than everyone getting their own unicast stream. When Microsoft releases the broadcast functionality in Microsoft Teams later in CY2018, Hive Streaming will support customers in a seamless transition.
One of the compelling features of the Hive Streaming service is the ability to perform Silent Testing to understand the impact video will have on your network. This feature gives customers the ability to run a live video event in the background without having to involve end users. The customer will be able to get detailed information on how their network will perform under the stress of an internal live video event. If you are ready to start using Skype Meeting Broadcast or are excited about some of the new video capabilities of Stream and Team, then now might be the time to organize a Hive Streaming Network Readiness Test to see if your network is ready to embrace these new video features.
Hive Streaming is deployed at many Fortune 1000 companies including Eastman and Ericsson. Hive has published a compelling Skype Meeting Broadcast case study based on their deployment at Hexion, Inc.
In closing, we hope you found this blog informative whichever way you choose to go with your video distribution needs. Hive will continue to partner with Microsoft to help customers maximize existing network capacity with our robust eCDN and video distribution solutions. If you have questions or would like to discuss anything in more detail, please don’t hesitate to reach out. The email address firstname.lastname@example.org will always get a prompt reply.