Video Streaming with Microsoft

Video Streaming’s Rise in the Enterprise

Demand for enterprise video streaming is growing at an exponential pace. According to a survey conducted by Wainhouse Research, 39% of organizations with 500 people or more are producing live webcasts on a weekly basis1, which is up from 35% in 2016.

Number of times per year organization uses live video for business communications—companies with 500 or more employees.1

A number of factors are contributing to video streaming’s rise in the enterprise. For some, the use of video is driven by the organization’s goals. Whether the goal is to save money on travel, increase employee engagement and development, or usher in a digital transformation, video is typically in the strategy mix. Regardless of the goal, it’s an effective way to reach large, geographically dispersed audiences at once. 

Consumer habits are also driving demand. When was the last time you watched a video on the internet or Facebook? (I bet it was within the last half hour!) According to Cisco’s Visual Network Index (VNI) Forecast, 2017-2022, total internet video traffic (business and consumer, combined) will be 80% of all Internet traffic by 2022, up from 70% in 2017.

Video has become—and will continue to be—one of the primary ways we consume information both at home and at work.

Technology Made Easier

Probably one of the most significant drivers is the video streaming technology itself. Video streaming is more reliable, easier to use and less expensive than it once was. A prime example is Microsoft Stream. Included with the Office 365 productivity suite, Microsoft Stream is making it easier than ever to create, share and access video.

Many of our customers tell us they’re using or plan to use Microsoft Stream for live and on-demand video streaming. Some are using Microsoft Stream for everything. While others will use it along with their existing video solutions to meet the various needs of the business. For example, using Microsoft Stream for employee webcasts and separate video players for learning programs and digital signage.

Regardless, Microsoft is garnering a lot of attention with Microsoft Stream. In Wainhouse Research’s Strategies for Streaming Success: Streaming Market in Transition, Steve Vonder Haar takes a close look at the increasingly important role Microsoft is playing in the evolution of enterprise video.

Your Network with Microsoft Video Streaming

Microsoft Stream allows you to upload, organize and share both live and on-demand videos across your organization. But before you unleash the power of Microsoft Stream, you need to consider what it could do to your network.

Video streaming uses a massive amount of bandwidth, and your network probably isn’t sized to handle hundreds or thousands of video streams at one time. Too much video, and your network gets congested. As a result, business-critical applications slow to a snail’s pace. All of a sudden, you have a new set of problems. 

A sluggish network also means poor quality of experience (QoE) for viewers. A little buffering or latency, and employees will complain, or even worse, stop watching altogether. So much for meeting your company’s goals.

enterprise video streaming
When video streams cross your firewall, they can create network congestion, resulting in a poor viewing experience.

To fix the problem, you have a handful of options, including:

  1. Buy more bandwidth
  2. Tell your internal customers, “no more video streaming”
  3. Wait and see if your network can handle the demand
  4. Deploy an enterprise content delivery network (eCDN)

Since option “1” could decimate IT’s entire 2020 budget, and options “2” and “3” put your job at risk, “4” is the answer. Let me say that again for the people in the back. You need an eCDN if you’re going to get the most out of Microsoft Stream.

An eCDN optimizes the delivery of bandwidth-intensive media on your network. By intelligently routing the flow of video streaming traffic around the network, it minimizes or eliminates congestion to improve network performance. As a result, your audience enjoys less latency and buffering, faster video start times, and an overall higher quality experience.

Ramp’s Approach

Ramp is 100% focused on video distribution behind the firewall. Our eCDN software reduces network congestion created by live video streaming and video-on-demand by 90% or more. It’s integrated with Microsoft Stream, Microsoft Teams, Yammer and Skype Meeting Broadcast.

Unlike our competitors, Ramp offers vendor-neutral multicast and video caching solutions. They deploy entirely behind your firewall on existing infrastructure, scale easily as demand for video streaming grows, and maintain your enterprise security policies. With centralized management, monitoring, and analytics, you get visibility and control over network performance and an uninterrupted, high-quality viewer experience.

>> Learn more about Multicast+

>> Learn more about OmniCache

Building Your Video Streaming Strategy

Want to learn how to make video streaming work better in your workplace? Read Building a Scalable Strategy for Enterprise Video Streaming. In this paper, Wainhouse Research’s Steve Vonder Haar explores how the right technologies can help you leverage the power of video in a way that delivers substantial business impact.

>> Download Wainhouse Research’s whitepaper

1Survey Insight: Enterprise Streaming Viewership and Adoption Trends – North America Q4 2019