Webinar Recap: Employee Connectivity in Healthcare and Beyond


Webinar Recap: Employee Connectivity in Healthcare and Beyond

During our recent webinar Employee Connectivity in Healthcare and Beyond: Scaling Live Events to a Hybrid Workforce, a panel of experts from Microsoft, Kollective, and Children’s Mercy Hospital, had a roundtable discussion about how the pandemic and now hybrid work has transformed communications and collaboration. They reviewed the challenges faced by communications teams and network administrators when connecting a hybrid workplace with live events and covered strategies to build more inclusive communications. Learn how Kollective and Microsoft are working together to provide Healthcare companies with innovative solutions that address the needs of the modern workplace.


  • Host – Carson Heady – Microsoft, Director, Health Solutions – U.S. Health & Life Sciences
  • Matt Sims – Microsoft, Senior Customer Success Manager, Modern Communications – U.S. Health and Life Sciences
  • PJ Hartzell – Multi-media Content Producer at Children’s Mercy Hospital
  • Garrett Gladden – Kollective, V.P. of Product
  • Neal Lauther – Kollective, V.P. Global Technical Solutions

The Evolving Modern Workplace

The modern workplace has been reimagined. Hybrid and flexible work models have brought video to the forefront, making it the primary medium that businesses use to communicate and collaborate. Video’s growth in the enterprise has been significant. In July 2022 alone, Kollective delivered Teams Live Events to over 1.7 million viewers – a 15x increase in one year!
Microsoft Teams Growth

New Challenges

Since the pandemic, businesses have been confronted with new challenges when using live events to connect their distributed workforce. Neal Lauther, V.P. Global Technical Solutions at Kollective, identified three areas where they occur:

Running Events – Equipping yourself with the right tools is key to running successful live events.  Event producers and network administrators need to be laser focused on their objectives and properly prepared for events, regardless of their size. A few of the questions that need to be addressed before running an event include: Where are presenters connecting from? What kind of equipment do they have? What kind of content are they presenting? Are they familiar with the technology so they can run the event? These are just a few of the questions that need to be addressed prior to an event.

Delivering Events – Live events are now a preferred medium businesses use to deliver critical messaging. If an event fails and the messages don’t land, that is a problem for leadership and employees. Understanding where viewers are connecting from, if they are connecting remotely through a VPN, and if your network has the capacity to deliver content to those accessing it from the office, are a few of the considerations that need to be considered before running a live event.

Analyzing Events – Robust live event analytics are key to understanding how well an event performed. Having the data to prove whether employees were engaged, whether the event reached all necessary parties, and whether the quality was high, helps teams understand if there are issues that need to be addressed to ensure a better run during the next event.

Modern Collaboration Tools

To tackle these new communications challenges, modern tools are needed. Matt Sims, Senior Customer Success Manager, Modern Communications – U.S. Health and Life Sciences at Microsoft, described how Teams Live Events address these issues:

  • An advanced yet familiar producer experience to manage content and speakers
  • Scalability to support up to 10,000 attendees with options to support up to 100,000 view-only participants with the help of an ECDN
  • Support for asynchronous collaboration and consumption with VoD via Yammer and Stream
  • Built-in event analytics and the ability to integrate with an ECDN like Kollective for expanded insights to understand how people are connecting, where they are connecting from, and the quality of their experience

“The very clear design intent with Teams Live Events is to commoditize the toolkit for content creation, delivery and then consumption.”
– Matt Sims – Microsoft, Senior Customer Success Manager, Modern Communications – U.S. Health and Life Sciences

Emerging Content Delivery Challenges

The increased use of live events and hybrid work has led to delivery challenges and creative network solutions that have risen in response.

Network Complexity

In the modern hospital, there is a vast array of devices connecting to networks delivering critical and sensitive information. Oftentimes, sophisticated networks like these present hurdles when trying to deliver live events. There are numerous concerns to consider to understand how network complexity may impact deliverability:

  • Wireless networks – their design can be complex like tunneled or bridge connections
  • Devices can connect but where does that traffic go? Does it connect to a data center?
  • Users connecting from their workstation – is it wired or wireless, what kind of device are they using, and how is traffic being routed?
  • Remote users – are they using a company device or their own, are they secure, can they directly access cloud services, or do they need a VPN?

These challenges need to be understood and addressed before running live events. Many organizations are modernizing their network topology to embrace cloud services and allow users to connect from any location.

Security Standards

Matt Sims has found that security comes into every conversation he has with customers. To address these concerns, Microsoft Teams has security built-in from the ground layer. Taking a Zero Trust approach to security, Microsoft uses an identity-based security model with Azure Active Directory. This lends itself well to hybrid work, ensuring that one’s data and device are secure no matter where or how they connect. Explore Security and Microsoft Teams to understand how Teams follows security best practices and procedures.

SASE Environments

Secure Access Service Edge (SASE) is an emerging way of modernizing networks to support the hybrid workplace. Neal Lauther explained that the old way of setting up corporate networks does not consider the needs of modern workplace (e.g. addressing network complexity and security postures). Security is front and center with SASE and it meets high-security needs in a manner that is easy to turn on. It also provides networking policy and governance to cover the multiple ways hybrid and remote workers access content.
Kollective SASE

Kollective ECDN, as part of a SASE environment, delivers in the face of these network challenges by adapting to where the user is whether that is a VPN or a cluster location.

“Flawless live events, clear messages delivered, no impact to other critical services. That’s the goal.”
– Neal Lauther – Kollective, V.P. Global Technical Solutions

Inclusive Communications

Ensuring that every employee has equal access to high-quality live video is one of the primary concerns in the hybrid office. Whether employees are viewing a live event from the office, home, or a coffee shop, the event’s success depends on whether each attendee experienced a flawless, uninterrupted stream.

Reaching Every Employee

PJ Hartzell knows that reaching every employee in a hospital setting with live events has never been more important. At Children’s Mercy Hospital, the production team works with internal communications to execute a plan for upcoming events to ensure high in-person attendance for the event. For those unable to attend the event in-person, the production team immediately uploads the video to Microsoft Stream and notifies the organization that the event is available to view on-demand. Offering synchronous and asynchronous communications ensures that messaging gets to those who need it when and where they can access it.

Return to Office & Hybrid Work Planning

The modern workplace is continuously flexing to meet the needs of employees and businesses alike. To support companies shifting to hybrid work, Microsoft’s Work Lab has developed a series of guides called How to Hybrid that focus on the non-technological considerations of the return to office and hybrid work planning.

“We’re still working through all of these new challenges which are pretty exciting because it feels like we’re reengineering what we want work to be like for this new era.” – Matt Sims – Microsoft, Senior Customer Success Manager, Modern Communications – U.S. Health and Life Sciences

Collaborating With Stakeholders

Leadership is utilizing live events due to the simplicity and effectiveness of getting a message to land across a large group. Neal Lauther has noticed, “The ease has created the need.” Events are so easy to set up when the right systems are in place that they are shortening in duration and increasing in frequency.”

Children’s Mercy Hospital has seen a strong adoption of live events for one-to-many communications from the highest levels. Their CEO began a series during the pandemic called Live Connects to present information from high-level meetings to a broader audience to keep leadership in touch with the workforce.


Scaling Live Events Checklist – Download this checklist to develop an effective and measurable plan to scale live events to a hybrid workforce.

Microsoft Live Events Assistance Program – A free service offered to Enterprise customers that provides basic training as well as technical and non-technical consideration of how to run successful Teams Live Events

Microsoft Workshops – Microsoft Teams training to help employees connect in a hybrid workplace.

Kollective Free Trial – Start a 30-day free trial of Kollective ECDN in just six clicks to begin scaling Teams Live Events.

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Video Consumption Continues to Rise. Is Your Network Prepared?


Video Consumption Continues to Rise. Is Your Network Prepared?

With 270 million monthly active users, usage of Microsoft Teams and its live video capabilities has risen dramatically in the past two years. While return to office movements have made in-person meetings more frequent, the prevalence of hybrid working has continued to propel the growth of live video as companies seek better ways to connect their dispersed teams. As 74% of U.S. businesses currently have or are planning permanent hybrid options, video will remain a central part of the modern workplace and pivotal to the digital experience of all employees. The ongoing boom in virtual communications makes it more important than ever to ensure enterprise networks can meet the increase in demand for digital collaboration tools.

Teams and Live Video Usage Continues to Climb

How many Teams meetings do you have on your calendar right now? Chances are it is significantly greater than the number of meetings you had two years ago. Microsoft’s Work Trend Index 2022 found that Teams users have experienced a 252% increase in weekly meeting time and a 153% increase in the number of weekly meetings since February of 2020.

Kollective’s usage statistics for live video mirror Microsoft’s findings. Between Q2 and Q4 of 2020, live events delivered by Kollective increased by 187%. During that same timeframe in 2021, growth continued at a similar rate with a 170% increase in live video and a 92% increase in Teams Live Events.

Over the past two years, Kollective observed that the rise in live video usage is global – a trend that can be seen across all regions:

  • Americas – 130% increase (2.1x growth)
  • EMEA – 156% increase (2.6x growth)
  • APAC – 264% increase (3.6x growth)

Live Video Enables the Hybrid Office

The return to office has been reimagined and hybrid work models are being widely adopted to meet the needs of both businesses and employees. A July 2022 study by McKinsey found that 58% of U.S. workers currently have the option to work remotely or on-site. The prevalence of flexible working has placed more pressure on businesses to facilitate effective communications between employees at different physical locations. Whether it is day-to-day team meetings or large-scale corporate communications, live video has become integral to connecting employees and fostering collaboration and communication in the modern workplace.

Hybrid Networks at Risk

While Teams and live video offer businesses the opportunity to enable hybrid work, its success depends on the quality of each user’s experience. As a bandwidth-intensive medium, video can overtax unprepared networks and cause excessive buffering, jittery streams, or event failures. During larger events like All-Hands, viewers in locations with insufficient bandwidth may not experience the same event quality as those working remotely. These poor experiences lower engagement, reduce productivity and derail communication efforts.

Exacerbating this problem is a phenomenon known as network volatility. Network volatility is caused by the ever-shifting number of concurrent streams running across corporate networks. In a hybrid scenario, the number of people working in the office on a given day is in constant flux. While networks may perform well on days with low employee attendance, high-demand days push the limits of a network’s capacity and cause live event failures and business-critical cloud applications to perform poorly or, in the worst-case scenario, total network failure. However, even a relatively small number of employees streaming live video in an office can cause problems for networks that are not equipped with an ECDN.

ECDNs Prevent Network Failures

Adding an enterprise content delivery network (ECDN) to your technology infrastructure is a simple and cost-effective way to optimize networks for live video. An ECDN reduces the bandwidth needed to deliver high-quality video, allowing you to securely scale communications across the enterprise.

As flexible workplaces often bring added network complexities, not all ECDNs can meet the needs of the hybrid office. Kollective’s ECDN, Edge Accelerator, offers the complete coverage necessary to meet the needs of modern networks. With three content delivery methods built under the same architecture, Kollective offers the flexibility to handle even the most complex network environments and ensures that every employee receives flawless video.

Preparing for a return to the office, Michelin, the world’s largest tire manufacturer, added Kollective to optimize their network for Teams video distribution. Since implementing Kollective in 2021, they have run over 1,300 Teams Live Events reaching over 50,000 people globally with a total bandwidth savings of 60% in every region. Their employees rely on high-quality video communications with no impact on their network.

As the numbers show, Microsoft Teams and Teams Live Events are being utilized on a massive scale to connect people and organizations across the globe. The hybrid office’s dependence on video will continue to fuel that growth, putting unprepared networks at risk. Investing in an ECDN like Kollective’s Edge Accelerator will ensure your network can support your hybrid workforce and deliver a flawless digital experience to all employees.

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The Rise of Zero Trust Networks


The Rise of Zero Trust Networks

In the past two years, we have witnessed a rapid evolution in cybersecurity and a rise in Zero Trust security as a top priority for organizations across the globe. With the shift to remote and hybrid work models, businesses must adapt to support employees working in locations beyond the perimeter of the corporate network. Increased prevalence of cloud-based services, the internet of things (IoT), and the growing sophistication of cyberattacks has caused business leaders to adopt more robust security protocols.

In response to these changes, the adoption of Zero Trust security models has skyrocketed across diverse markets and industries. In their report titled, “The State of Zero Trust Security 2021,” identity management firm Okta found that Zero Trust has increased in priority for 78% of businesses. Microsoft’s 2021 “Zero Trust Adoption Report” echoed these sentiments, stating, “Security decision-makers (SDMs) say developing a Zero Trust strategy is their #1 security priority, with 96% saying it’s critical to their organization’s success.”

As more businesses switch to Zero Trust security models, software solutions they rely on must perform and comply with these new security practices. Kollective’s Edge Accelerator was built with Zero Trust security in mind, allowing businesses to scale content delivery in evolving network environments.

This article will review the basics of Zero Trust, the factors leading to the increase in Zero Trust adoption, where adoption is occurring, and how Kollective enables businesses with Zero Trust networks.

What is Zero Trust?

Zero Trust is a security model based on the principle: “never trust, always verify.” In Zero Trust networks, no device is trusted by default. Users must be authenticated, authorized and continually validated before being granted access to applications and data, whether they are inside or outside the organization’s network.

Zero Trust networks redefine the traditional understanding of the network edge. In Zero Trust frameworks, networks can be local, in the cloud, or a combination of the two – supporting workers in any location. With pushes towards digital transformation, Zero Trust allows businesses to ad dress the challenges of the modern office, including securing remote employees and hybrid cloud environments.

Hybrid Work is Driving Zero Trust Adoption

Zero Trust models have been a part of the enterprise for over a decade. Google implemented Zero Trust architecture into their security model as far back as 2009. The growth of Zero Trust strategies in the 2010s was slow, but has accelerated over the past three years. The increase was fueled by the rise of mobile computing, the internet of things (IoT), and cloud-based services, and the pandemic only amplified these problems. Existing challenges and the subsequent shift to remote and hybrid workplaces have driven Zero Trust adoption to record highs as leadership seeks better ways to safeguard systems and data as employees access them off-site and through personal devices.

Business leaders confirmed that the move to hybrid work models accelerated their Zero Trust timelines. In a poll of over 600 global security leaders, Okta found that the challenges of hybrid work caused businesses to become “more security conscious” and forced them to prioritize Zero Trust strategies. As a result, most companies (90%) are actively pursuing Zero Trust initiatives, up from 41% in 2020. While many companies are still determining how to integrate Zero Trust frameworks, Microsoft found that implementation is well underway – “76% of organizations have at least started implementing a Zero Trust strategy with 35% claiming to be fully implemented.”

Zero Trust Adoption Varies by Industry

While Zero Trust initiatives have increased across all industries, Okta discovered that adoption varies among key verticals. Highly regulated industries, like financial services, lead other verticals in their use of Zero Trust, with 94% reporting they already have Zero Trust frameworks in place or “have aggressive goals to get there.” Other industries with notable pushes towards Zero Trust include healthcare and software. Almost one-third (30%) of healthcare organizations stated that Zero Trust is now a top priority compared to 17% globally. While software companies like Microsoft and Google implemented Zero Trust models, only 9% of software organizations have a Zero Trust initiative currently in place. However, the industry is poised for change as nearly 4 in 5 plan to adopt initiatives by the end of next year.

EMEA Experiences the Largest Increase in Zero Trust Initiatives

In Okta’s report, they found that at least 87% of APAC, EMEA, and North American organizations have defined Zero Trust initiatives in place or plan to start them in the next 12-18 months. While all regions saw substantial increases in adoption since 2020, the most significant jump occurred in EMEA where Zero Trust initiatives grew by a factor of five.

Increase in Zero Trust Initiatives by Region

  • APAC: 50% (2020) to 91% (2021)
  • EMEA: 18% (2020) to 90% (2021)
  • North America: 60% (2020) to 87% (2021)

Kollective Supports Zero Trust Networks

Secure by design. Creating an effective security design requires a comprehensive security policy woven into every layer of a solution, addressing present threats and future concerns. That is how Kollective’s Edge Accelerator was architected – with security in mind from conception to release, ensuring the highest degree of protection for your data.

Zero Trust with Kollective. As more businesses adopt Zero Trust frameworks, solutions must adhere to their security standards. Kollective’s Edge Accelerator provides best-in-class content delivery mechanisms and offers advanced security controls to support networks operating in Zero Trust environments. Learn more about Kollective’s security.

Performance without Security Risks. In Microsoft’s study, overall security and the end-user experience were the primary motivators for organizations adopting Zero Trust frameworks. These priorities are directly in line with Kollective’s goals – to flawlessly deliver content to any user in any location securely. Kollective’s Edge Accelerator handles the most diverse network needs, from delivering video to China to supporting hybrid workplaces with complex network environments. Kollective provides businesses with flexibility and the confidence that their network will always work.

Talk to an expert today to see how Kollective’s ECDN solutions excel in Zero Trust network environments.

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What’s New in Kollective IQ?


What’s New in Kollective IQ?

Kollective IQ, our advanced analytics platform, has new dashboards that will reveal some key performance indicators (KPIs) commonly used to assess event performance. The dashboards have been redesigned to help better understand the impact and quality of your events, engagement across the enterprise, and so much more!

Kollective IQ contains three primary dashboards:

  1. Views & Experience
  2. Delivery & Consumption
  3. Network Performance

Views & Experience Dashboard

The views and experience dashboard displays the reach, stream quality, and engagement of an event. Top-level insights are easily digested through the six key performance indicators (KPIs) displayed in the dashboard. Users can drill down to explore data on specific users by interacting with the graphs. If you hover over a tile, there are options in the upper right corner that will allow you to download or explore the data, and even set an alert for metrics that could be of particular interest.

Kollective IQ Views and Experience Dashboard

Quality of Experience (QoE) Score is an aggregate rating, representing the overall stream quality for everyone that viewed an event. This score is a combination of two factors — the quality of video received (measured by bitrate) and the time to first frame.
Reach indicates how many unique viewers streamed an event.
Max Reach represents the greatest number of simultaneous viewers during an event.
Average View Duration measures the average amount of time viewers spent watching the event.
Reach by QoE is a pie-chart organizing viewers by the level of stream quality they experienced during an event. Scores are displayed on a graded scale, ranging from excellent to bad. Click on the pie-chart to explore specific segments in greater depth.
Event Reach Over Time reports the reach for every minute of the event. This indicates audience engagement, allowing one to easily identify changes in attendance over the course of an event. Monitor this graph while your event is running for engagement insights.

With the views and experience dashboard, your team will understand:

  • How many people attended an event
  • When attendees joined and left an event
  • How engaged employees were during an event
  • Any issues with buffering and stream quality

Delivery & Consumption Dashboard

With hybrid work becoming the new norm, it’s crucial that businesses understand where and how their content is streamed to ensure video communications are successfully delivered throughout the enterprise. This delivery and consumption dashboard does just that. The intuitive graphs and interactable map enable the rapid identification of locations that experienced buffering problems during an event.

Kollective IQ Delivery and Consumption Dashboard

Delivery Map shows everywhere your event was viewed. Larger circles indicate areas with greater viewership. Users can explore and interact with the map directly. Click on clusters to view detailed data for specific offices or locations.
Views by Location are a series of four separate bar graphs that are broken down into geographic segments (external IP, locality, country, and city). Each graph lists the top ten places with the most event views. These charts include QoE dots that represent stream quality for each location. See a region with poor stream quality? Click on the corresponding bar graph to explore the data in more detail, uncover potential trends, and develop a resolution plan.
Views by OS details which operating systems were used to stream an event.
Views by Browser displays which browsers were used to stream an event.

With the delivery and consumption dashboard, your team will understand:

  • Where an event was streamed
  • Which offices participated most in an event
  • Where issues with stream quality and buffering occurred
  • What browsers and operating systems were used

Network Performance Dashboard

The network performance dashboard shows how much bandwidth was saved by using Kollective’s enterprise content delivery network (ECDN) to deliver the event. Kollective IQ’s dashboard offers a unique lens into network performance, allowing users to monitor an event’s impact on their network in real-time as an event runs and after it ends.

Kollective IQ Network Performance Dashboard

Total Savings is the total bandwidth savings for all viewers of an event, including those not capable of peering.
Capable Savings is the total bandwidth savings for all viewers of an event that were capable of peering.
Peerable Savings is the total bandwidth savings for all viewers that successfully peered an event (joined a cluster with other peers).
Peering Efficiency displays the percentage of bandwidth that was delivered through peering in relation to the size of each peering group.
Bandwidth Over Time shows the amount of bandwidth that’s consumed over the course of the event. This graph is an excellent indicator of the ECDN’s performance. The green portion of the graph represents the amount of bandwidth that was pulled from your network, while the blue portion displays the amount saved from peering.

With the network performance dashboard, your team will understand:

  • How much bandwidth Kollective’s ECDN saved your network
  • Bandwidth utilization over the course of an event
  • How well your event was peered

Kollective IQ – A Perfect Addition to Your Communication Platform

Adding an advanced analytics platform like Kollective IQ supercharges your broadcast event reporting, yielding actionable insights to help you understand employee experiences and maximize performance.

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