Media Publisher Inc will shortly announce the new version of its enterprise video software suite, with one of the highlights being the webcast- and VoD-enablement of videoconferencing endpoints.
Emeryville, California-based Media Publisher develops software that enables enterprises to take video from a camera, encode, edit, store and distribute it within their organization. It was founded in 1999 as eScene Networks, acquired two years later by caching vendor Inktomi, then spun back out in 2003 after Inktomi was acquired by Yahoo.
Steve Pattison, VP of marketing and business development at the company, said endpoints currently in use in corporate videoconferencing environments run the H.323 protocol, which makes them incompatible with webcasting. In version 4.5 of our Enterprise Video Communications [EVC] suits we do an integration with these endpoints so that they can be used for webcasts and video-on-demand [VoD], said Pattison.
Though VoD is normally thought of as a consumer app, in an enterprise context it can be the storage of pre-prepared content for training or other corporate comms purposes.
Another enhancement to the platform in v4.5 is the ability to re-broadcast simulated live content, which Pattison explained as a halfway house between truly live broadcast and VoD. It offers the convenience of being able to re-broadcast edited footage in accordance with a schedule, yet with the look and feel of a live event, which is a feature Media Publisher developed in response to specific requests from customers, according to the exec. Groups of employees can thus see the event live on a broadcast schedule, instead of requiring each individual to pick it off a VoD server.
Pattison said a recent analyst report estimated that the enterprise video comms market would be worth $1bn by 2010 though that may be a conservative figure, given the interest Cisco, IBM and Microsoft have shown in the space of late. He argued that what Media Publisher’s software brings to the table is the ability to cluster and scale on unicast but with the advantages of multicast.
Media Publisher’s comprise the Video Control Center, which is the platform on which all the specific apps are available as modules, and modules called Live EventPRO (created and management of live webcasting content); LiveCaster (webcasting with dynamic screen sharing); VOD Manager (content publishing and workflows); Digital Signage (publishing of video content to LCD and plasma displays) and MediaNet (and option on the VCC with deliver services for live webcasting with security and fault-tolerance). Pattison said the new version of the suite goes on general availability this week but will only be formally announced in a coupe of weeks’ time.
Media Publisher predictably considers itself well ahead of the competition in terms of the breadth of its offering, since most of the other are just video creation software and an appliance, claimed Pattison. Our closest competitor was ThePlatform, which mainly provided digital media services on an ASP basis, he went on, but they were bought by [CATV operator] Comcast for about $80m in mid-2006 and Comcast took them to consumer and out of enterprise.
In any case, other vendors in the enterprise video software space include Jubilant Technologies, Accordant Technologies, Reflect Systems and Stratacache.