The Consolidation Conundrum


Each year, Wainhouse Research conducts a comprehensive survey to monitor trends in enterprise streaming video. The survey captures quantitative data about usage and deployment as well as attitudes about the technology and services used for streaming and webcasting. The latest results from IT respondents once again reveal the majority of organizations, more than 70%, have multiple streaming platforms deployed. In fact, more than 1/3 of organizations use three or more platforms. In an age when efficiency and productivity are the name of the game for IT departments, this propagation of streaming platforms inside the enterprise creates support challenges. No wonder 90% of IT executives report the desire to standardize on a single streaming platform. But this desire to consolidate, while good-intentioned, is not likely to become reality any time soon. In today’s enterprise streaming market, it’s virtually impossible to find a single platform that adequately meets the requirements for all the popular uses cases of enterprise video. Business stakeholders have painfully learned that platforms are usually optimized for specific use cases. As such, a platform that does an excellent job supporting executive broadcasts or HR communications will often fall short of meeting critical requirements for global learning and development programs or quarterly earnings calls.

The surprise in the quest for simplicity

So what’s an IT executive to do? Forcing standardization on a common platform can undermine the strategic objectives of business functions and erode the partnership between IT and business stakeholders. Even with hosted platforms and associated SLAs, the common denominator for effective video communication is successful delivery to the audience. Inside the enterprise, that means network infrastructure plays a crucial role in end-to-end video streaming. And responsibility for the network is squarely on IT. They need to ensure the network infrastructure allows video to reach intended viewers while protecting mission critical applications from potential network congestion caused by this kind bandwidth-intensive data. Because enterprise content delivery networks (eCDNs) are network overlays, deploying and managing unique distribution infrastructure to support each streaming platform is an IT nightmare—and fortunately unnecessary. As Steve Vonder Haar explains in this Wainhouse Research video, standardization really needs to take a different form. Rather than focusing on standardizing the streaming platform, IT should look to standardize the network infrastructure. By seeking out common enterprise streaming infrastructure (CESI), a single solution can be deployed to support all the video streaming across the corporate network, regardless of the video source. Not only does this simplify the deployment and management of the eCDN, but it provides maximum flexibility for the future. Even if the quest for a single streaming platform finally becomes a reality, having put a common delivery infrastructure in place will continue to be a good investment.

Five Best Practices for Building Enterprise Streaming Infrastructure

Ramp Whitepapers Social VideoSprawlSteve Vonder Haar has been studying the impact of streaming video on enterprise networks for many years. His white paper, Video Sprawl Behind the Corporate Firewall, shares more findings from his annual survey as well as recommendations for deploying a single networking solution to support multiple streaming platforms.

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Protecting the Enterprise Network


Streaming video is usually ushered into the enterprise by the departments responsible for large-scale communications—marketing and communications, learning and development, human resources and compliance, etc. With cloud-based streaming services readily available on a subscription basis, the need to include IT in purchasing decisions is not always obvious. Until…the first major broadcast occurs and employees report widescale viewing problems. Or worse yet, critical business applications are negatively impacted by congestion on the network.

Video impacts the corporate network

Despite its inherent value to business communications, the growing use of video inside the enterprise presents a new set of challenges for IT departments. Video transfer is bandwidth intensive, and the higher the quality (HD and Ultra-HD) or the more interactive (augmented reality and 360°) the more bandwidth it consumes. Most corporate networks struggle to handle heavy volumes of video traffic coming from the cloud over the corporate internet connection and the bandwidth consumption of video traversing far-reaching corners of the network.

Who is watching out for the network?

Importance of Networking in Streaming Purchasing Decisions
In their latest enterprise streaming survey, Wainhouse Research probed into factors influencing streaming purchasing decisions. The findings reinforce what we expect. IT departments show the greatest concern for monitoring the network as a very important issue, while the functional departments driving the use of video show less concern for the network as a key purchasing criterion. While the findings are appropriate given the roles of the individuals, the problem arises when IT is not brought into the purchasing decision early enough to ensure network delivery infrastructure is a part of the overall solution.

Common enterprise streaming infrastructure

To mitigate network congestion without inhibiting the use of video, IT departments deploy enterprise content delivery networks (eCDN), network infrastructure that optimizes the distribution of video behind the firewall. eCDNs intelligently route the flow of video traffic around the network to improve performance and minimize congestion. As a result, audiences enjoy less latency and buffering, faster video start times and an overall higher quality, more reliable viewing experience.

The good news for IT departments and business communicators alike is that eCDNs do not have to be deployed 1-to-1 with enterprise streaming platforms. As we discussed in our recent blog, The Consolidation Conundrum, more than 70% of enterprises use multiple streaming platforms to serve the full needs of the enterprise. Some eCDN solutions are proprietary and only support a single streaming platform. But when companies choose to deploy common enterprise streaming infrastructure (CESI), they can reliability distribute video from any and all platforms they use, today and in the future, using the same infrastructure solution.

Five Considerations for Deploying an Enterprise Content Delivery Network

CESI Social 01If you want to learn more about common enterprise streaming infrastructure (CESI), download this primer that discusses the five principles of CESI. It talks about why solutions that adhere to these principles are the best candidates for meeting the delivery needs of your business today while anticipating the demands of tomorrow.

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