IBM Deploys Cloud Video For The Enterprise

  • IBM announced a new robust and flexible live video services for the enterprise and new high profile clients.
  • IBM's new video technology permits using the internet to transport live, high-quality video, from anywhere in the world.
  • IBM wants to bring professional video services for the enterprise up to the agility and performance standards of consumer video.

In January Amigobulls reported that International Business Machines Corp. (NYSE:IBM) had acquired Ustream, a provider of cloud-based live video streaming services, with the goal of integrating the Ustream team and technology in the IBM Cloud Video Services unit to manage live video in the cloud and add business analytics, which according to IBM represents a $105 billion opportunity.

Now, at the 2016 National Association of Broadcasters (NAB) Show in Las Vegas, IBM unveiled new innovations to meet increasing demands for robust and flexible video services, and announced that new high profile enterprise clients including Comic-Con HQ, Canadian Broadcasting Corporation, global digital media and technology company AOL, and Broadway Video, will be among the users of IBM Cloud Video for media management and distribution. Other users include HBO, A+E Networks, BBC America, Scripps Networks Interactive, and Verizon.

“IBM is at the forefront of the industry at a time when video is the driving influence in how organizations communicate, share information, and entertain," said Braxton Jarratt, General Manager, IBM Cloud Video Unit. “Today’s announcements will be viewed as a significant milestone in the company's cloud video strategy, as IBM makes the sharing, distribution and management of video increasingly simple across any device.”

IBM's new video technology permits using the internet to transport live, high-quality video, from anywhere in the world, with startup delay of one second or less, and, according to the company, a glitch-free viewing experience. IBM also announced new software that enables organizations to seamlessly live-stream events like town hall meetings, training sessions and all-hands meetings over enterprise networks while simultaneously maintaining optimal internal network performance.

IBM Cloud Video will power Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's (CBC) next-generation, ad-supported streaming video services. "We knew we needed a video platform to support our strategy of building an audience in an aggressively competitive environment. We worked with IBM Cloud Video because they know what it means for a broadcaster to be digital," said Lauris Apse, CBC Director of Digital Products. "IBM's flexible video technology, its depth of experience in digital workflow, and its understanding of our existing infrastructure made them the perfect fit to give our audience a great experience."

Created in January 2016, IBM Cloud Video delivers a portfolio of video services that spans open API development, digital and visual analytics, simplified management, and consistent delivery. "With unparalleled global scale and reliability of IBM Cloud, IBM’s video solutions are the most comprehensive in the market today," notes the IBM website.

The new eCDN software, created by Ustream, is a software solution for enterprises to support the growing and widespread use of internal, streaming video. Ustream eCDN is designed to reduce the impact of video traffic on an enterprise network, enabling businesses of any size to deliver high quality streaming video throughout their organization while maintaining network performance.

IBM also announced that AOL has deployed a full suite of high-speed transfer and automation software from Aspera, an IBM company, as the backbone for its new media management platform. As a key component of AOL's new integrated media production and management system, Aspera's FASP high-speed transfer software enables AOL to quickly share and exchange large media files between its production facilities in New York and Los Angles.

After a comprehensive multi-vendor evaluation including the option of developing the new system in house, AOL selected Aspera software to power the movement, sharing and exchange of content. "The scope and breadth of the project was unmatched, and we needed industrial strength tools and someone willing and able to work directly with us to understand our requirements, and that was Aspera," said Vitali Bystritski, Post Technology Lead at AOL Studios. "We’re excited to be a part of this integrated solution for content management and distribution with next generation technologies, combining on-premises and cloud, that will enable AOL to scale out and continue to grow their content generation and advertising business," said Michelle Munson, CEO and co-founder of Aspera.

TechCrunch notes that, with consumers now running to live-streamed mobile services from Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR), such as Facebook Live and Periscope, broadcasters need to provide content quickly that can compete with user-generated content, or at least provide conduits to use that user-generated content more effectively.

In fact, in today's fast-moving Internet economy it often happens that professional services for the enterprise lag behind more agile consumer services - a case in point being Microsoft's (NASDAQ:MSFT) Skype, which is better than legacy enterprise telephony for consumers and tech-savvy businesses alike. IBM is determined to bring professional video services for the enterprise up to the agility and performance standards of consumer video services, such as those offered by Facebook and Twitter, with enhanced business-oriented analytics powered by the IBM cloud.

It seems likely that IBM's strategy, focused on agile business-oriented video services, will generate appealing value propositions for enterprise clients, which will strengthen IBM position in one of the fastest growing segments of the professional services sector.

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