Optimizing Video Workflows Using the Cloud

Okay, let’s get some things out of the way:

  1. Video is impactful, engaging…and growing. Cisco keeps predicting that video will continue to consume available IP space. And it’s no wonder, right? We all like to watch movies. We like TV. We like multi-sensory experiences. And it’s easier to watch a video on a smartphone screen than read a lot of text
  2. Video is complicated. Despite the attempt by big companies (i.e., Google, Apple, Microsoft, etc.) and standard organizations to help simplify producing and delivering video, it’s still complicated. And it’s not going to get any less complicated any sooner given the proliferation of devices, players, environments, etc.

The presentation below was delivered as part of a panel called “Working with Video in the Clouds” put on by Streaming Media and featuring a lot of smart video people from a bunch of different companies like MediaPlatform, Haivision, and Harmonic. My presentation, specifically, really explores the idea of outsourcing the entire video workflow into the cloud using one of a variety of different service providers and their products (Limelight provides Limelight Orchestrate Video, for example). Heck, anything to make your life easier, right? Video workflow in the clouds definitely does it.

Here is a slide-by-slide walkthrough:
  1. Yipeee. My favorite. Title slide.
  2. Okay, you can’t treat video like other content. It’s different. That’s because there are so many technical and other considerations (like players and devices) that you have to take into consideration when publishing.
  3. That means that video really requires its own, specialized workflow (which, as it gets more complicated, can sometimes necessitate a miracle to keep running)
  4. But that miracle is only necessary because the whole thing has become grossly complicated. You have to worry about software and hardware and all those technical considerations just to get video to your digital audience.
  5. What it comes down to is a set of technical challenges that create business problems. In short, all the time you spend dealing with the technical issues delays you in getting your video to your ends users FASTER.
  6. If you are a visual, graph type person (yeah yeah yeah, there’s no actual numbers behind this), as demand goes up, it seems that complexity goes up even faster and steeper which, like I said, creates delays. And that is the ultimate issue…well besides producing good content. There’s no sense getting lousy content to market faster…or at all.
  7. What we really want, though, is a simplified, clean, elegant solution to publishing video content.
  8. Only that can’t happen in the current regime. If your entire video workflow is dependent upon on-premise software and hardware, on the IT folks running the show, you aren’t going to get that clean, elegant, simplified workflow that you are dreaming about after seeing slide #7.
  9. So you get this brilliant idea (well, maybe it wasn’t your idea, but you put pen to napkin). The cloud. What if you put all your video publishing workflow into the clouds?
  10. First, if you are going to do that, you can’t really just pick one thing and put it into the clouds. That’s just robbing Peter to pay Paul. Sure you may solve some problems by offloading transcoding to a cloud provider but you gain a whole new set of complexities.
  11. No, the idea is to move your entire workflow into the clouds. All those pieces–creating, managing, delivering, engaging, monetizing/converting, and optimizing. That’s what gets you to slide #7.
  12. What does it really mean to put your video workflow into the cloud? It means lots of optimization and efficiencies to the way you get video to your digital audience (hint, hint: faster to market).
  13. And this is what it kind of looks like. Admittedly, this is our solution, Limelight Orchestrate Video, but there are others. Only I’d argue that Limelight Orchestrate Video, being connected to Limelight Orchestrate Cloud Storage and Limelight Orchestrate Content Delivery (and even Limelight Orchestrate Content Management) provides significant value over other providers in the market while offering the same video workflow functionality that you really want.
  14. Ultimately, there are tangible business benefits to moving your video workflow entirely to the cloud. To top it off, you will probably save money in the long-run as well by shifting from CAPEX to OPEX.
  15. And the biggest benefit? You get to cut this guy out. The IT guy. No more tickets to request software upgrades or more bandwidth or more hard drives or codec support or any number of other requests to people who aren’t video experts.
  16. What you get is nirvana. That’s right, I said it. Outsourcing your video workflow to the clouds gets you to (or closer to) nirvana. Ah, isn’t that nice.
  17. That’s me. Got questions?

- Jason Thibeault, Sr. Director, Marketing Strategy. You can connect with Jason on Twitter @_jasonthibeault.

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