Why Live Video is Hard

Today, CEOs and other executives are embracing the immense popularity and effectiveness of live video communications to motivate, inspire, and share consistent messages across a global and mobile workforce. When the CEO decides she/he wants to reach out to employees via live video, they most often engage their Corporate Communications team to work out the planning and logistics associated with an enterprise-wide live streaming event. Contrary to what many of us may think, pulling off a successful and technically glitch-free live streaming event is not as simple as pushing the giant “easy button.” Streaming live video is technologically complex and to ensure your CEO or executive is able to deliver an impressive, engaging and polished communications experience that’s free of any distracting technical snafu’s, here are a few things to consider.

Successful Live Webcasts Rely on Scalability

Live webcasting poses a significant network distribution challenge for the enterprise. Unlike open consumer sites, enterprise video traverses the enterprise wide-area network (WAN) where it can be securely delivered behind the firewall. Historically, enterprise video solutions – whether from third-party vendors or home-grown solutions – have taken a single-server/unicast approach to video distribution. This design may suffice when a few users access video-on-demand assets, but it can’t scale to meet the crushing demands of a live webcast for thousands of simultaneous participants. The user authentication process alone places exceptional stress on the corporate network, resulting often in only a fraction of participants able to join the webcast.

Multicasting provides a better, more reliable and scalable option for allowing unlimited participants to simultaneously access the live webcast stream. Using intelligent media servers, organizations can deliver content, securely over the corporate WAN, to edge caching devices closest to end users. When it comes to enterprise video management, large organizations often prefer a hybrid approach where the video and device management takes place in the cloud, while video is distributed on premises, behind the firewall where organizations can use the infrastructure that they already have and seamlessly burst into public or private clouds.

Video to Every Employee, Anywhere, on Any Device

Executives want to be able to share the live video experience with every employee, wherever they are and whatever device they happen to be using. Older video solutions are not suited for reaching a mobile workforce, with vendors often developing separate sites to serve mobile users. Modern enterprise video platforms have a responsive design so content is automatically resized and re-ordered for practical use from laptops, tablets or smartphones.

Multicasting technology requires centralized management not only of viewer privileges, but also of viewer locations. It also requires the ability to remotely manage devices and establish automated failover, storage and expiration rules. Once viewers log in, the same management system should pair knowledge about the user’s location with permissions for video viewing. Taken together, the management system ensures quality and availability by routing the end user to the closest video source and delivering content in the format and data rate appropriate for their device.

Live Takes Planning and Preparation

Consumers take for granted how difficult it is to live stream the Olympics worldwide. This takes months of planning, preparation, coordination and testing. If you think a corporate webcast can be simply turned on and expected to just work, your event will fail in your enterprise. VBrick offers a complete end-to-end solution that enables organizations to securely and efficiently deliver high-quality live and on-demand video to unlimited participants. VBrick enables customers to centrally manage video assets, user access and permissions, network delivery devices, and video publishing and distribution in the most bandwidth efficient way possible. The VBrick solution simplifies the complexity of planning for and addressing challenges associated with pulling off a dazzling live video experience.

About Amy and VBrick

Amy leads Product Marketing at VBrick – the pioneer in next-generation enterprise video through its Rev® cloud-native platform. By converting video into bandwidth-efficient streams, Rev allows organizations to use their own networks to securely share video with thousands of online viewers, centrally integrate unified communications and other video sources, and deliver a consumer-grade experience for employees.