Merging Streaming Capabilities with Video Conferencing Platforms

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By: Steve Vonder Haar

As a kid, I was always a big fan of Legos.

I loved using the building blocks to assemble model ships or miniature buildings. When putting together creations piece-by-piece, you’re really only limited by your own creativity.

So, it’s little wonder that I’m starting to grow a tad jealous of technology resellers – particularly those who specialize in assembling video communications solutions for enterprises and education institutions. Increasingly, the principles that make Legos so much fun are paving the way to innovation – and substantial new revenue opportunities – for savvy resellers.

The world of online video supplies the building blocks for this emerging world of video-enriched communications in the enterprise and the classroom. More and more developers of streaming technology platform solutions are creating viable application programming interfaces (APIs) that make it possible to piece together streaming technology features from various vendors into a single, integrated solution.

The growing modularity of these streaming solutions also paves a more viable path for integrating these online capabilities into solutions already being deployed by organizations, such as group video conferencing systems.

For the many resellers that have specialized in outfitting corporate meeting rooms with video conferencing gear for years, the flexibility of streaming platforms opens a potentially lucrative opportunity to sell add-on solutions to their existing customer base.

Certainly, the demand exists for merging streaming capabilities with video conferencing. In a survey of 1,512 executives conducted by Wainhouse Research in the fourth quarter of 2015, 35% of organizations that have implemented group video conferencing systems report that they have already deployed streaming solutions to use online video to better enable the creation, distribution and/or archiving of video conferencing sessions. Another 50% of these video conferencing users report that they are either “somewhat” or “very” interested in the idea of integrating streaming platforms with existing video conferencing systems.

Streaming Solution and Video Conferencing System Graphic

Despite the burgeoning demand for this type of integration, at least one major pitfall remains. It still is relatively early days in the development of these APIs. As a result, snapping together streaming features from disparate vendors – and then integrating them all with already-deployed video conferencing systems – is not a trivial task. At this point, specialists still can play a key role in managing the integration of these video communications solutions, shielding end users from the complexities of weaving together streaming features from multiple technology developers.

Most companies and education institutions do not have the capabilities in hand to manage extensive integration projects. That’s where resellers come into play. Their sweet spot rests in managing the complexity of bringing together features from multiple vendors and then being on hand to support and continue to develop for enterprises over time – based on each organization’s specific needs.

What’s more, the streaming solution that is perfect to address the needs of one customer will not necessarily be the same combination of features that is optimal for another organization. Such need for tailored solutions creates even more opportunities for resellers to add significant value in the technology deployment process.

The emerging world order for streaming in the enterprise may appear daunting, but it’s really not as bad as it seems. All will become clear once you break out your old box of Legos.

Steve Vonder Haar is a senior analyst with Wainhouse Research and can be reached at svonder@wainhouse.com.

 

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