Cloud adoption is rapidly increasing, and using it for video data is no exception. According to the Flexera 2021 State of the Cloud Report, 36% of enterprises spend more than $12 million on cloud technologies and 90% believe that this will increase after COVID-19.
With increasing video use, a scalable cloud video platform can greatly benefit your business. But why look towards purchasing a cloud video solution for your organization? What are the benefits of doing so? And what options do you have?
The answer is simple. Video is powerful and a cloud-based video streaming solution can help your organization harness its immense potential.
Your audience can easily watch videos anytime and anywhere over the internet. You can control who views these videos; keep videos public or restricted to signed-in users. You can also benefit from cloud innovations such as AI.
Lastly, you can scale your cloud storage and streaming capabilities as your business requirements for video grow.
According to HubSpot, 86% of the marketers use video in marketing and 87% believe that it gives them positive ROI.
Not only marketing, but videos are also an important part of internal communications and training in any organization. According to Google, 4 in 5 people surveyed thought that video helped them learn better.
This blog discusses the limitations of existing video streaming systems and the benefits of a cloud video platform. It also discusses the different innovative features that a cloud video platform offers.
The Limitations of Traditional Solutions
Videos in organizations are either stored on local drives or are stored on your cloud file-sharing sites (SharePoint, Google Drive, DropBox etc.). Both of these have their own limitations.
Sharing Local Files is a Hassle
For videos saved on your local drive, it's difficult to share them with your audiences. You'll have to send them a copy through a USB, CD or upload it on a drive and send them a link. You can also leverage sharing through HTTP but that is old school.
These extra steps reduce your productivity. The problem is worse when these are marketing videos and you need to share them with external audiences.
The issue is compounded when video files are large in size. This is commonplace as high-quality videos can be in 10s of GBs. Uploading and downloading the video can take hours.
Read More on Problems in Sharing Large Video Files.
The Issue With Your Everyday Cloud Sharing Solutions
For cloud file sharing applications (SharePoint, Google Drive, DropBox etc.), it's easy to share files. However, these are not conducive to video experiences. For some of these, you'll have to download the video if it's not supported by your device. There aren't options to select the quality that you want to view the video in. You can't add forms, surveys and handouts in these videos.
Cloud sharing applications treat videos like documents, but the thing is: videos are not documents!
Due to such limitations, organizations need to look for free options like YouTube, which aren't secure and there are content ownership challenges. So what's the solution? Your own platform with your content, right? And that's what a cloud video platform is!
What is a Cloud Video Platform?
A cloud video streaming solution or platform on the surface is a YouTube-like solution for your organization. But in more detail, it stores your organization's videos in a cloud datacenter and uses various computing resources in the cloud to optimize your videos for streaming and perform other video-related workflows.
A cloud video platform can be deployed in your own dedicated cloud instance or can be purchased as a SaaS (Software as a Service) solution as well.
To successfully deliver video, you need a cloud video streaming platform where you can upload your videos and make them accessible to your audiences.
The simpler ones allow you to upload videos and stream them to potential audiences. The complex ones essentially help you define how video is streamed; down to every detail. For example, you can stream both internally and externally, carry our live streams or upload on-demand video, and even define access for each video (who watches them and who doesn't). You can even choose your preferred datacenter, which may be required for GDPR, FedRamp and other compliances.
The Benefits of Using a Cloud Video Streaming Solution
Here are the benefits of using a cloud-based video platform:
- Accessible from Anywhere and Any Device: Your audiences can view videos from home, at work or during their commute. The videos on these platforms are accessible as long as your audiences have an internet connection.
- Solve Bandwidth Challenges: You can choose to watch in 140p, or 360p, or 1080p, depending on the strength of your internet connection. These platforms offer adaptive bitrate streaming and transcoding, where multiple file-formats are created to support varying bandwidth conditions.
- Readily Playable: You can readily play a video, without the need to download it. Just like YouTube!
- Security and Data Protection: According to Deloitte Insights, security and data protection was the top driver for cloud adoption. Depending on the cloud provider you choose to store your videos on, you can benefit from their security and data compliance practices. Cloud providers are up to date with cloud security issues and you are better off leaving it to the experts than managing it yourselves.
- Easy Sharing: Through cloud video platforms, you can easily share your videos to your desired audiences through links or embedding on websites.
- Scalable: As your business grows, cloud platforms allow you to increase your storage and server hardware, add more features and integrate with your new IT systems. Scalable storage is generally a great feature for CCTV cloud based video management.
- Compliances: Cloud video platforms help you meet compliances at both storage and application level. For storage, you can host data in the location of your choice (required by GDPR) or in a datacenter that is compliant with your required regulations (e.g. Government Cloud). Within the application, you can add subtitles to your videos or automatically generate these subtitles for Section 508. To prevent PII from being access by unauthorized individuals, you can restrict access for videos.
Source: Salesforce - Benefits of Cloud Computing
- Searchability: When you have large amounts of videos stored in your organization, it gets difficult to find that 1 video amongst 1000s. A cloud video platform can ease this for you through tags, and search inside videos by faces, objects and spoken words.
- User Management: Define who can view your videos and who cannot. For instance, you can allow your marketing department employees to only view marketing-related training videos, and not the videos of the human resource department.
- Integrations: These platforms allow you to seamlessly integrate with all applications that use video. For example, you can automatically ingest Zoom recordings and view them through your video solution, without having to download and upload them.
- Artificial Intelligence: There's only a limited amount of analysis that you can do on scattered and unorganized data. Through videos stored on the cloud, you can easily have them in one centralized place; ready to be analyzed using AI. You can then use innovative video indexing features (like Amazon Transcribe) offered by cloud providers to get more from your videos.
- Archival: Storing and managing large files can be costly. However, leading cloud providers offer tiered storage options where you can switch old, less frequently accessed videos to cold or archival storage. Read more on tiering in AWS or Azure.
- Backups: Data stored on the cloud can be easily replicated through data redundancy services provided by leading cloud providers. This makes sure your data is not lost in the case of hardware failures, natural disasters, disruptions or any other unplanned events. Learn more about data redundancy in Azure.
- Maintainance: Cloud providers do all the maintenance for hardware and you don't have to worry about such costs.
What a Cloud Video Platform Offers?
Videos need to be converted to multiple formats (240p, 360p, 720p, mp4 etc.) to ensure playback on all devices and varying bandwidth conditions. They also need to be streamed with protocols that are compatible with almost every device.
There are various cloud technologies within a video platform that can do this for you, and options include Azure Media Services, Encoding.com, AWS Elemental etc. This feature helps greatly in sharing and managing video assets that are large.
Read More | Video Transcoding
Video Delivery (CDNs)
In order to ensure minimum buffering and faster load times, videos are cached on various edge servers called CDNs. Cloud providers such as Azure and AWS provide their own secure CDN networks such as Azure CDN and Amazon CloudFront. They also allow you to connect with various CDN providers to enable you to do this.
Read More | Video Content Delivery Systems
One of the major benefits of streaming videos in the cloud is that you can leverage the leading AI products that these cloud providers offer. For instance, Microsoft Azure offers Azure Cognitive services to automatically generate transcripts for your videos. AWS offers AWS Rekognition and Google has its own AI models.
The bottomline, cloud video platforms leverage these technologies to provide you with cutting-edge AI features. To give you an idea, VIDIZMO video platform's AI is able to transcribe a video even if it has speakers speaking 4 different languages.
Artificial intelligence also helps in video indexing, to make it easy to find that relevant video amongst thousands.
APIs and Integrations
With the cloud, data doesn't have to live in silos. You can have it stored on cloud storage with different applications interacting with the storage based on their expertise.
Applications can integrate with each other to provide improved functionality such as a video platform improving the playback in your LMS. Another example is using exporting training viewership analytics to a data analysis tool through means of an API to measure the ROI of training.
Cloud platforms provide top-notch security, at a low cost, something which may not be feasible for your organization.
For instance, Microsoft Azure offers multiple encryptions on your data using AES, has built-in controls in hardware, and has a dedicated team of 3500 security experts to improve the security of their environment. By opting for a cloud video platform in Azure, you can benefit from all of this.
Read More | How Secure is Microsoft Azure Cloud?
6 Options for Cloud Video Streaming
Here is a list of 6 cloud video platforms and a brief description of them:
Our platform, VIDIZMO EnterpriseTube is a Gartner-recognized video content management system that is available as SaaS, or on Azure, AWS or any other cloud of choice.
VIDIZMO offers an easy-to-use YouTube-like portal to stream both live and on-demand videos, offers all of the benefits mentioned above, and helps you harness the potential of video content in your workplace.
This is a great option if you are looking for a ready-made application as opposed to building one on the cloud yourself.
VIDIZMO is a complete enterprise video platform that you can use for all video use cases - whether it's conducting a live event, or streaming training videos to employees internally, creating a video archive or securely sharing confidential meeting recordings. You can use one system to do it all. You can define for every video as to who can access them and more.
Leading organizations including the US State Department use VIDIZMO for video streaming on the cloud - view VIDIZMO Customers
You can contact us to set up our cloud video streaming solution or learn more by visiting our website.
Brightcove offers a great platform if you need to upload videos and stream to a large public audience. If you go over to The Premier League's website, you'll find videos embedded from Brightocove's platform. And this is the kind of public streaming use cases Brightcove is good at.
Vimeo is well-known brand and has been in the indsutry for quiet a while. It offers basic features for video streaming and generally is a good idea to opt for if you don't have a complex video use case.
If you're using videos for marketing, then Wistia is a great choice. You can measure a lot more using Wistia than you can with any other platform. Apart from the basic features, you have integrations available with marketing platforms like Google Analytics, HubSpot, etc.
If you are looking for a platform with video creation as well, then Vidyard is a good option. This platform is also suited for marketing purposes as it offers great analytics. However, it is also good for sharing bits of information through means of video.
This is a platform that allows you to host videos online, which is stores in its AWS cloud. You can then embed these videos on your site or in an application (like an LMS). You get DRM protection through Google Widewine, which is a distinguishing feature of this platform.
To stay tuned with great content regarding the video industry, make sure to subscribe to our blog.