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2      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




    table of contents
      3                                              29
    ERIC SCHUMACHER-RASMUSSEN,                     LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS
    STREAMING MEDIA MAGAZINE                       Delivering the Future of Online Video
    Beyond the Classroom

      5                                              33
                                                   INFLUXIS
    INTERNAP
                                                   Beyond the Imagination
    The New Community of Online Learning:
    The Unique Role Streaming Media Plays
    in Impacting the Online Education Experience     35
                                                   TALKPOINT
      9                                            Online Learning: Testing &
    ACCORDENT TECHNOLOGIES
                                                   Certification Without A Learning
    Enterprise Webcasting and the Rise of          Management System
    Training 2.0: Examining the Impact of Online
    Rich Media and Media Management on the           37
    Knowledge Economy                              VBRICK SYSTEMS
                                                   PAT CASELLA
                                                   VICE PRESIDENT OF EDUCATIONAL MARKETS
      13                                           Enterprise IPTV: A Video Evolution
    SONIC FOUNDRY                                  That is Shaping Our Lives, Changing
    Ten Tips for Selecting an Enterprise           Our Teaching Methodologies, and
    Webcasting Platform From Ten Leaders           Influencing Our Learning Styles
    in Online Education
                                                     38
      17                                           VBRICK SYSTEMS
    IGNITE TECHNOLOGIES                            ANDY HOWARD
                                                   DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE MARKET DEVELOPMENT
    Integrated Video Training Solutions
                                                   Video Distribution in Business: Not
                                                   Just for Large Companies Anymore
      21
    AKAMAI                                           39
    Identifying the Right Media Format             BARIX
    for Broadband Video Initiatives:               The Evolution of Classroom Audio
    A Strategic Roadmap for Success
                                                     40
      25                                           ACCELA COMMUNICATIONS
                                                   ANN ROSKEY, VICE PRESIDENT OF MARKETING
    REAL NETWORKS
    LARRY BOUTHILLIER, EDUCATIONAL & MULTIMEDIA    Educating Buyers in the B2B
    TECHNOLOGY ARCHITECT, HARVARD UNIVERSITY       Environment: Using Video White
    Streaming Media Delivery                       Papers to Accelerate Customer
    for Higher Education                           Relationships
                                                                                                                           www.streamingmedia.com   3




   Beyond
                the Classroom
My first exposure to streaming media             dismiss bands for “selling out” by making         downloaded content, delivered to a variety
came during my former life as a music            their music more melodic or bothering to          of devices. Indeed, if we were launching
journalist, when I joined SonicNet as its        spend more than two weeks in the studio           this magazine and website today, we’d
R&B beat reporter in 2000. I got to see          recording an album.                               likely call it something along the lines of
firsthand what visionaries like Nicholas            Unfortunately, that sort of genre purism       Online Video, putting the focus on the
Rockwell and Nicholas Butterworth (not           will always run rampant among certain             content rather than the technology.
to mention Streaming Media’s own Dan             fans; Against Me!, one of the most thrilling         Likewise, if you were reading a
Rayburn, who worked with them on a few           rock bands working today, had the tires           Streaming Media collection of white
projects, though I didn't know it at the         slashed on their touring van after they           papers and case studies called “Best
time) were doing with this new thing             signed to a label that had allegedly betrayed     Practices: Online Learning—Textbook
called streaming.                                some tenet of the punk ethos. But you             Strategies for Video Education” in the early
    At the time,the actual online video—         almost never see it in musicians themselves,      years of this decade, the purview would be
choppy,grainy,and with audio that was,to put     save for perhaps Wynton Marsalis, the
it kindly,subpar—wasn’t as impressive as the     brilliant trumpeter who has sadly focused
fact that you could do this stuff at all.Of      much of his public efforts arguing that, to
course,that was part of the problem back         put it simply, any jazz produced after 1962 is      Video education today can be
then; people were so amazed that you could       nothing but vulgar noise. No, most musicians
actually stream content that they assumed        don’t limit themselves by genre or era,                 any number of things, from
such technological marvels would translate       subscribing instead to Louis Armstrong’s
into successful revenue streams.                 oft-quoted maxim that there only two kinds             more traditional applications
    Turned out to be, for me at least, a lousy   of music: good music and bad music.
time to make a career move; while I survived        So imagine my surprise when I came on                     to sales force training or
the first and second rounds of layoffs after     board as editor of StreamingMedia.com in
MTV Interactive acquired and swallowed           2004 to find a similar sort of purism in this          educational marketing. And
SonicNet—and the editorial focus shifted         industry. Only this time, it wasn’t the fans or
from music to celebrity—the company              users drawing the boundaries but the
                                                                                                        the tools to deliver it vary as
decided in 2001 that it didn’t need a            practitioners.As an outsider stepping in, I
remote reporter based in Wisconsin (go           would suggest that the end user didn’t
                                                                                                           widely as the applications.
figure). Butterworth and Rockwell stayed         care if what they were watching or hearing
on, and Rockwell continues to innovate           was streaming or progressive downloading,
there as CTO of MTV Networks.                    as long as they could get what they wanted.
    While I sometimes miss working with          Usually, my perspective was dismissed as          much narrower.Video education used to
music buffs on a day-to-day basis—even           an outsider’s ignorance.                          mean recorded lectures or presentations
though the brass wanted us to write more            Clearly, times have changed.And while          delivered via satellite or cable, or specially
about Britney and Christina, we were             streaming media as a technology term              outfitted classrooms that allowed an
always lobbying for more about Rage              means something very specific, and while          instructor in one location to interact with
Against the Machine or Wilco—one of the          its characteristics make it the best choice       a group of learners in another.
things I don’t miss is the sometimes-fanatical   for delivering certain types of content,             But when we talk about video education
commitment those folks had to some               you’d be hard-pressed to find anyone these        today, it means all manner of things, from
notion of the purity of their favorite genres.   days who doesn’t use the term “streaming          the more traditional applications designed
The punk fans in particular were quick to        media”to refer to streaming and progressively     to replicate or enhance what goes on in
4      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




    the classroom to corporate sales force              Sonic Foundry’s “Ten Tips for Selecting an       Imagination”delineates both the advantages
    training to educational marketing to . . .       Enterprise Webcasting Platform from Ten             and some of the challenges of deploying a
    well, you get the picture.                       Leaders in Education”is exactly what it             Flash-based video education program.
       And the technologies used to deliver          sounds like: a list and explication of the              IPTV’s been almost as talked-about as
    video education vary just as widely as the       criteria you should consider when                   Flash, even if the definition of IPTV itself is
    applications.That’s where “Best Practices:       implementing a webcasting solution.The              along the lines of “I can’t define it but I
    Online Learning—Textbook Strategies for          criteria address both the learner’s needs—          know what it is when I see it.” But VBrick has
    Video Education” comes in. It’s unlikely         simplicity,interactivity,easy navigation,and        been doing TV over IP for years, and its two
    that every article herein will appeal to         searchability—as well as the organization’s         contributions remind us that not only is this
    every reader—that sort of “all things to all     requirements—security     ,reporting,and support.   technology nothing new, but it’s also within
    people” approach is no more fruitful than           “Integrated Video Training Solutions,” from      the economic reach of even relatively small
    the narrow-minded purism that presumes           Ignite, reminds us that key to the success of       companies and educational organizations.
    to define streaming so exclusively. But if       any video education initiative are tangible,           What about real old-school approaches—
    there’s one thing that I’ve learned              measurable results, whether improved test           remember lecture tapes? “The Evolution of
    watching this industry for the past three        scores or increased sales.The company               Classroom Audio” from Barix explores the
    years, it’s that the lessons learned in one      also addresses the fact that, in many organi-       issue of how to leverage all of those
    vertical often hold equally powerful lessons     zations, any new video education is going to        existing analog recording systems already
    for another.                                     have to be integrated with an existing              in place to generate digital audio
       The first article,“The New Community of       learning management system (LMS).                   replacements for those cassettes.
    Online Learning” from Internap’s                    Of course, that’s not always the case, and          Another old-school approach, this one
    VitalStream, makes that abundantly clear,        if you don’t have an LMS in place, it might         in the enterprise, is the white paper.And
    addressing how online video training can         not be in your best interest to implement           while the ink-and-paper white paper isn’t
    achieve success in corporate environments        one. Read TalkPoint’s “Testing &                    likely to go away (we hope),Accela’s
    and the healthcare field, as well as in the      Certification Without a Learning                    “Educating Buyers in the B2B
    academic world. More importantly, it             Management System” to see why.                      Environment” demonstrates how much
    shows the ways that online video education          Both Akamai’s “Identifying the Right             more effective a video white paper can
    can borrow strategies from Facebook,             Media Format for Broadband Video                    be in terms of user engagement and
    YouTube, and other Web 2.0 successes to          Initiatives” and RealNetworks’ “Streaming           information retention.
    better accommodate viewers with multiple         Media Delivery for Higher Education” dig               So just as learners have come to expect
    learning styles.                                 deep into the bits-and-bytes issues—formats,        teaching and training to be delivered in
       As suggested by its title,Accordent’s         standards,encoding, licensing—that play             non-traditional ways, think outside the
    “Enterprise Webcasting and the Rise of           such a key role in determining exactly              classroom when taking stock of your
    Training 2.0”stakes out similar territory,       what tools are best for your needs. Level 3,        organization’s educational needs.The
    addressing not only Web 2.0 technology           a relative newcomer to the content delivery         answers just might lie where you least
    but, just as importantly, the Web 2.0            game, also takes a technical approach, but          expect to find them.
    philosophy behind it. No longer will top-        focuses on whether streaming or HTTP
    down training initiatives be the norm.           delivery makes the most economic sense              ERIC SCHUMACHER-RASMUSSEN
                                                                                                         (erics@streamingmedia.com) is editor of
    Instead, all stakeholders will be involved in    as network demands grow.
                                                                                                         Streaming Media and StreamingMedia.com.
    each step of the process—if you’ll forgive the      When it comes to video formats, none             Comments? Email us at letters@streaming-
    Karl Marx reference,“from each according         has gotten more attention in the last year          media.com, or check the masthead for other
    to his ability,to each according to his need.”   than Flash, and Influxis “Beyond the                ways to contact us.
                                                                                                                        www.streamingmedia.com   5




   The New Community of


   Online Learning
   The unique role streaming media plays in impacting the online education experience


In recent years the         internet has         Online Video: It’s Not Just for
been buzzing about online video and all of       Entertainment Anymore                            Key features to consider when
its engaging applications. Online television         Fueled by the need to reach a dispersed      introducing online education
networks, video news and sports highlights,      workforce, many large corporations have          • Utilize two-way interaction by
user-generated content communities, and          turned to online training and resources to
                                                                                                   incorporating blogs, vlogs (video blogs)
all types of advertising vehicles have altered   educate, update, and sometimes certify a
                                                                                                   news feeds, discussion groups, and
the web as we knew it only a few years ago.      group of employees that can number into
                                                                                                   other popular online community
   What if your business does not revolve        the thousands. Online education and
                                                                                                   elements. These features will address
around the entertainment and buying              training is fast becoming part of long-term
habits of your audience, but is instead          strategies for many companies.                    individual learning styles by providing
driven by their attainment of knowledge              Many industries have employees that           multiple means of communication.
and development—then what does this              need to be up-to-date on the latest              • Provide rapid and frequent feedback
“new generation” of online video mean            regulations and maintain certifications            to questions and comments from
for you?                                         without fail, while educators need to know
                                                                                                    students. This will simulate the live
                                                 and be able to verify their students have
                                                                                                    classroom experience, keeping your
                                                 obtained the required knowledge.
                                                                                                    learners connected.
                                                     Within the healthcare industry, elearning
         According to the 2006                   has proved to be a practical and cost-           • Take advantage of easy-to-use video
                                                 effective way for any hospital to stay             production equipment and post-
           Business Intelligence
                                                 current with all of the demands of                 production software to grow training
    Industry Report published                    continuing education for healthcare                libraries and reduce costs.
                                                 workers. Small rural hospitals, in particular,
      by Chief Learning Officer                                                                   • Ease potential network and
                                                 often find it difficult to meet these needs
                                                                                                    resource strains by looking to
                                                 due to a lack of resources.
magazine, 51% of responding                          Online video offers businesses                 partners for cost-effective media
                                                 everywhere the opportunity to supplement           storage and distribution.
      organizations’ learning is
                                                 live and remote training with far more           • Utilize detailed reporting on user
      currently delivered in the                 cost-effective, on-demand options without         activity, media views, file downloads,
                                                 sacrificing the end-user experience.
                                                                                                   and other key metrics to assess
classroom, followed by formal                        For trucking companies, keeping up
                                                                                                   top-performing media and most
                                                 with new regulations and safety
   on-the-job training at 24%                    information is extremely challenging, due
                                                                                                   active users. Measurable response
                                                                                                   and a means to track the
                                                 to their dispersed workforce who spends
        and asynchronous and                                                                       effectiveness of online media across
                                                 their work week crisscrossing the country
                                                                                                   your entire knowledge-sharing
     synchronous elearning at                    it’s difficult to get them into a classroom at
                                                 the same time. Online video learning              community are essential to a
 21% and 11%, respectively.                      enables drivers to access an Internet             successful elearning strategy.
                                                 connection at truck stops or any other “hot
6      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




    spot” when and where it is convenient for       platforms, the trainer may never know of                   twice as much. Students need to learn in a
    them.These companies have found that            these trainee difficulties.                                non-linear way and in a way that will
    they are able to reduce costs associated                                                                   satisfy their curiosity and meet basic
    with the distribution of thousands of CDs       Engagement is Key:                                         psychological needs.Three principle
    or printed materials as well as remove the      A Little Help From Your Friends                            human traits illustrate this point.
    burden of manually managing who has                So how do you overcome the challenges
    completed the training and when.                of the one-way push of content? How do                        The Basic Human Need to Connect
      While the ability to standardize training     you engage a learner and address                              A theory proposed by Abraham Maslow
    and development in a self-study platform        individual learning style differences?                     suggests that humans generally need to
    with tracking and assessment tools is              Let’s consider borrowing a page from the                feel a sense of belonging and acceptance,
    nothing new, current studies of online          social networking playbook for a moment.                   whether it comes from a large social
    video usage suggest on-demand video has         What has been so successful for companies                  group such as clubs, office culture,
    yet to be fully utilized in this arena.         like MySpace,Facebook,and YouTube,can                      religious groups, professional
                                                    lend some insight into how video education                 organizations, and sports teams, or small
    Challenges To the Full-Scale                    can impact the learner experience.                         social connections like family members,
    Adoption of Online Video                           Engagement through multi-faceted                        mentors, close colleagues, and confidants.
       To understand one of the foremost            interaction holds the key to achieving                        Being the social creatures that we are,
    challenges to the full-scale adoption of        success in online learning.When students                   the root of all success from social
    online video as a training tool, we must        can hear, see, read, and do, they remember                 networking sites is based on a need to
    first examine traditional training
    strategies and the issues involved in the
    migration of this content to a 24/7 online        Along with partners like Edulence, Internap delivers a full feature set of options for hosting, managing, reporting,
    self-study platform.                                                                          and delivering these new elearning resources like high-impact video.
       Classroom training remains the dominant
    learning avenue for professional
    development, with synchronous and
    asynchronous elearning growing at a fast
    pace behind it. However, on-demand
    streaming video for learning faces two
    primary challenges—the speed and cost of
    video production and the one-way transfer
    of knowledge.
       Live classroom training provides real-time
    teacher-student interactivity, which on-
    demand learning has yet to effectively
    replicate.To date, even the best elearning
    platforms are designed for unilateral
    knowledge transfer from the teacher to
    the student.Add to this the cost of
    traditional video production and video
    training quickly becomes an outdated,
    one-way push of content that may or may
    not engage a self-study trainee.And due to
    the unilateral dynamic of on-demand
                                                                                                                                www.streamingmedia.com   7




                                                                                                          As reported by Rachael King
                                                                                                          in the BusinessWeek article
                                                                                                          titled “Social Networks: Execs
                                                                                                          Use Them Too,” “As of April,
                                                                                                          the ten biggest social-
                                                                                                          networking sites, including
                                                                                                          MySpace, reached a
                                                                                                          combined audience of 68.8
                                                                                                          million users, drawing 45%
                                                                                                          of active web users,
                                                                                                          according to
                                                                                                          Nielsen//NetRatings.”
Video integrates seamlessly with other popular online community elements such as blogs.



connect and expand connections. Social                   two elements appeal to the altruistic side      interact with teachers digitally in much the
networks allow people to connect through                 of people by allowing them to share             same way they do in a live classroom.
specific interests and to people who are                 information, opinions, and knowledge and        Features such as discussion groups, blogs,
most like them—achieving that sense of                   give them a sense of contribution.              session commenting, and podcasting allow
belonging and acceptance.                                                                                students to interact with their instructors,
                                                            The Need to Increase Intelligence            other students, and the content itself.
   The Basic Human Need to Share                           Ultimately we chase knowledge.We have            When we consider the recent
  All humans have a need to be                           a cognitive need to learn, explore, discover,   dominance of social networking sites, it
respected, to have self-respect, and to                  create, and even dissect to gain a better       seems a natural progression for your
respect others. People need to engage                    understanding of the world around us.           online university to also evolve into a
themselves to gain recognition and have                                                                  knowledge-sharing community to provide
an activity or activities that provide the               So What Does this Mean                          the greatest learning impact possible.
person a sense of contribution.                          for Video Learning?
  The increased popularity of blogging on                   By combining video education with multi-     They Already Know About It
the internet has demonstrated that people                faceted interaction and transitioning your        According to the Social Network
love to share their opinions, thoughts, and              unilateral online university into a two-way     Practitioner Consensus Survey from the
ideas with others.The proliferation of the               knowledge-sharing community, you will           Institute for Corporate Productivity
open source movement only confirms that                  increase trainee engagement and foster a        conducted in conjunction with HR.com,
people love to share their expertise.These               learning environment in which students          nearly two-thirds of U.S. business
8      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




    professionals use personal and                 will grow while inviting trainees to              learning community, putting at your
    professional social networking web sites.      comment and add to the curriculum on              fingertips the power to make each user’s
    And more than half (55%) of those using        the fly.This environment brings us one            experience unique and rewarding.
    the networks shared best practices with        step closer to cost-effectively creating a        Accessing media, documents, and other
    colleagues. If you provide these same          virtual classroom that knows no                   resources is as easy as it is productive.
    professionals with a private multimedia        geographic or scheduling boundaries.              You’re able to do several things:
    learning community built on the same           Train anywhere at anytime; but, more                 • Gain access to detailed reporting on user
    social networking principles that have         importantly, interact as if attending class            activity, media views, file downloads and other
    made MySpace and others so popular,            in person.                                             key metrics
    your online university will grow                                                                    • View graphical reports to quickly assess
    exponentially in terms of both media           Pulling It All Together                                top-performing media and most active users
    library size and user adoption rate.               The technical realities of hosting an            • Easily add new users and assign complete
       Two-way interaction between student         interactive learning community mean                    sets of media to groups of users
    and teacher is the missing link in the         much more media, in all its many forms,
    evolution of a more relevant, engaging,        contributed from far more sites than ever            Our feature-rich solutions are
    and effective online learning                  before.These new formats demand higher            completely hosted—eliminating the
    environment.With the increased                 bandwidth considerations, support, and            technology burden and enabling your
    availability of inexpensive and easy-to-use    resources to ease the potential strain on         organization to share knowledge and
    video production equipment and post-           network infrastructures.                          build successful online learning
    production software, your training libraries       Reliable and cost-effective media storage     communities.The Internap Content
                                                   and distribution is critical to an environment    Delivery Network is a reliable and scalable
                                                   that now extends far beyond what an               solution to handle peak streaming
                                                   enterprise has ever managed in the past.A         demand.All of the critical factors that
       Reliable and cost-effective
                                                   content delivery network (CDN) provides a         affect the quality of media delivery are
                     media storage and             solution to ensure critical information gets to   controlled by our advanced optimization
                                                   its destination quickly,and eases the strain on   technologies and not left in the hands of
       distribution is more critical               network infrastructure.                           other third-party providers.
                                                       The capacity and stability of your               This powerful combination of Internap
     than ever. The capacity and                   elearning platform is more important than         content delivery network (CDN) services
                                                   ever and the right content delivery partner       and Edulence Community Learning
        stability of your elearning
                                                   can become an important ingredient in             Solutions means your organization can
       platform is more important                  your online learning community.                   benefit from online knowledge sharing
                                                       Internap, along with its partners like        and community building more quickly
             than ever and the right               Edulence, delivers a full feature set of          than ever before.
                                                   options for hosting, managing, reporting,
           content delivery partner                and delivering these new elearning                ABOUT INTERNAP
                                                                                                     Internap is a leading Internet solutions
                                                   resources like high-impact video,
        can become an important                                                                      company that provides The Ultimate Online
                                                   multimedia, podcasts, blogs, vlogs (video         Experience™ by managing, delivering and
                               ingredient in       blogs), and other popular online                  distributing applications and content with
                                                   community elements.                               unsurpassed performance and reliability. With a
                   your online learning                                                              global platform of data centers, managed IP
                                                       Along with a robust CDN to deliver your
                                                                                                     services, a content delivery network (CDN), and
                                                   elearning solutions, the single online            content monetization services, Internap frees its
                                 community.        management console allows you to                  customers to innovate their business and create
                                                   control every aspect of your online               new revenue opportunities.
                                                                                                                        www.streamingmedia.com    9




   Enterprise Webcasting and the Rise of



   Training 2.0
   Examining the impact of online rich media and                    media management on the knowledge economy


First used to describe a group of              A Holistic Approach                             bandwidth and storage utilization, as well
web technologies,“Web 2.0” has evolved           Enterprises that have already launched        as for LDAP/Active Directory and other
to describe technology that empowers           successful Training 2.0 initiatives have        systems integration.
individuals to contribute to a greater         done so by taking a holistic view.
collective goal. While Web 2.0 has             This view incorporates a broad array of            Enabling Technology for Practical
famously been tied to the relatively           organizational objectives and                      Content Creation and Consumption
unregulated worlds of user-generated           requirements, and defines a taxonomy for           Fundamental to the entire effort is a
content and social networking, these           content creation, delivery, viewing, and        comprehensive suite of tools that enable
same technologies are now rapidly and          administration of training assets, as well as   all trainers—whether the CEO at an all-hands
profoundly impacting traditional               the rules that will govern how the              meeting or a product manager at his
business, as well as educational and           organization’s resources will be used to
government organizations.                      support those efforts. The approach
   The promise of Web 2.0 for knowledge        usually includes planning and
                                                                                                 New technologies and an
sharing within organizations is                development in the following three areas:
undeniable. The new generation of                                                                emerging 2.0 culture are
solutions for online communications,              Taxonomy Governing Knowledge                   reshaping the meaning and
collaborative content creation, and               Exchange
                                                                                                 importance of training, just as they
content sharing provide the                       From the outset, organizations must
unprecedented ability to harness the           determine which employees will be                 have—with immense speed and
individual knowledge of an organization’s      trainers, and establish a sensible hierarchy      prevalence—reshaped
brightest minds for the collective good.       of groups, sub-groups, and permissions that
                                                                                                 traditional notions of what
And nowhere is this promise more               determine exactly who has access to
evident than in the field of training,         which training modules and for what               constitutes an encyclopedia, what
where “trainers” historically have             period of time. Additionally, organizations       constitutes collaboration, and what
struggled not only to deliver critical         should establish how they want to track
                                                                                                 constitutes social interaction.
information in a rapidly evolving and          and report on user access to the
widely distributed professional                communications assets over time.
environment, but also to actively engage
audiences to achieve the ideal exchange           Comprehensive IT/Network                     desktop—to create compelling online
of information.                                   Resource Schema                              experiences that others can enjoy on a
   In this white paper, we’ll explore how         Training 2.0 involves media-rich             time- and place-shifted basis using widely
real-world organizations have successfully     communications that can touch many              available PC technology.
deployed online training initiatives that      aspects of an organization’s infrastructure        As many early adopters of Training 2.0
simultaneously exploit the benefits of         and also require the collaboration and          solutions recognized, the best approach not
“inclusive” new technologies while             shared vision of several technology and         only balances the satisfaction of immediate
maintaining security, integrity, and           services departments. The most successful       objectives, but also provides the flexibility to
consistency of information, as well as asset   initiatives take an IT-centric view that sets   accommodate evolving goals, technologies,
and resource control.                          and maintains parameters for network            and broader business objectives.
10      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




     Professional Services Firms Tap                        video with supporting visuals.The firm            considered outside its province, including
     Training 2.0 for Competitive Advantage                 now outputs new materials on a weekly             marketing, sales, operations, public relations,
        Not surprisingly, business process                  basis and has already amassed an online           crisis preparedness, and compliance.
     consulting, financial, and legal advisory              library of hundreds of training assets.
     firms have been among the most                            The system—which includes the                  Advancing Medical Knowledge &
     aggressive in deploying Training 2.0                   Accordent Capture StationTM at key                Certification with Training 2.0
     initiatives. A classic example of this is              training venues feeding into the Accordent           In the healthcare field, just-in-time training
     London-based Linklaters, which is a                    Media Management SystemTM—considered              can literally be a matter of life or death.
     leading global law firm with more than                 these Training 2.0 elements from the              From training hospitals to medical schools,
     5,000 employees and offices in more                    outset: the ability to provide global online      staff certification, and international medical
     than 23 countries. They are smart,                     access using Linklaters’network                   collaboration, the need to share the very
     successful, widely distributed, and                    architecture; the need to establish a             latest in medical treatment has urgency
     obligated—by definition—to maximize                    multi-level access system to protect the          unrivalled in other fields and is another
     their intellectual capital.                            firm’s intellectual capital and provide           area where Training 2.0 initiatives have
        Adopting a Training 2.0 mindset,                    support programs for various audiences            taken root.
     Linklaters made training a mission-critical            including customers; and a centralized               For the North Shore-LIJ Health System,
     priority, appointing a team of IT, training,           media management destination so that all          the ability to capture and share world-class
     and key practice area stakeholders. Their              audiences would be able to easily search,         knowledge being presented every day in
     stated goal was to provide a more efficient            locate, and replay presentations at any           its teaching hospitals and research centers
     and economical way for subject matter                  time and from any country.                        was an organizational priority. Of particular
     experts to train the broader body of lawyers              Additionally, by integrating with              concern was the system’s ability to support
     across 18 specialized practice areas.                  Linklaters’ directory services, the firm is now   its core Ground Rounds teaching system.
        The result is a quick-turn training                 able to measure the effectiveness of its          Ground Rounds is a time-honored system
     content development process that enables               training program by tracking and reporting        in the medical community that enables
     experts in various fields to share best                on which employees have accessed what             renowned specialists in such practice
     practice information via online                        materials. Within two months of deploying         areas as Medicine, Surgery, OBS/GYN,
     presentations that synchronize speaker                 the online training program, an early event       Psychology, and Pediatrics to share their
                                                            achieved 90% attendance; within four              latest practical findings via on-site lectures
                                                            months of deployment, lawyers in the firm         with medical students and interns.
       Training 2.0 Planning Guide                          were not only taking the training themselves         In the case of North Shore-LIJ—which
       ■ Holistic View                                      but also using training content to market         serves more than five million people
         Involve all the key stakeholders, from IT to the   that same subject matter expertise to             through 15 hospitals and many other
         communications and training departments
                                                            prospective clients.                              research and health-related facilities
       ■ Role Hierarchy                                        In short, new technologies and an              throughout the New York metropolitan
         Determine who will be trainer-enabled and          emerging 2.0 culture are reshaping the            area—Ground Rounds commitments
         how audiences will be grouped
                                                            meaning and importance of training, just as       extracted a huge commuting toll on
       ■ IT-Compliant                                       they have—with immense speed and                  physicians and offered no assurances that
         Comply with network management, content
         security, and information policies set by the
                                                            prevalence—reshaped traditional notions of        time-pressed medical students and interns
         organization’s IT department                       what constitutes an encyclopedia, what            could even attend the lectures.
                                                            constitutes collaboration, and what                  Continuing medical education (CME)
       ■ User-Independent
         Empower trainers to communicate with audiences     constitutes social interaction. The notion of     requirements for staff—whether for
         using skills and tools they already possess        training is evolving with remarkable speed        nursing, pharmaceutical, or other CME
                                                            and, in many cases, shaping fields once           programs—were another strong driver
                                                                                                                          www.streamingmedia.com   11




for a Training 2.0 solution that would not
only enable rapid creation and delivery
of online training materials, but also
provide the ability to test and certify
employees and provide an auditable
compliance record.
   Today,North Shore-LIJ uses an online
communications system that enables it to
capture all valuable teaching and training
information and make it available live and
for on-demand review. The Accordent
Capture Station,located in all major smart
auditoriums throughout the area,
automatically captures and converts lectures
into synchronized rich media presentations.
   Additionally, the North Shore-LIJ Studios
team routinely brings trainers into the
studio to record material that staffers can
use to meet CME commitments whenever
they have the time. North Shore-LIJ plans
to store presentations in the Accordent
Media Management System, where they
can be searched and made available for
on-demand playback.
   Once integrated with North Shore-LIJ’s          outsourced services such as satellite. Today,   communications plan and adopted a
directory services, users can be                   staying competitive in the knowledge            cross-functional approach to determine
authenticated and, based on access                 economy requires global organizations—          how the new technology could help the
privileges, can participate in online              from high-tech to brick-and-mortar—to find      company meet its top objectives.
certification courses by using built-in            new ways to empower employees to share             Since the primary mission of UBT is to
polls that test their subject matter               information for the benefit of colleagues       ensure that Unisys’ global sales force is
proficiency. The system will enable                anywhere and at any time.                       trained on the company’s latest product and
North Shore-LIJ to track all user                     Unisys, a computer technology and            service offerings,reaching every sales person
interaction with training assets over time         services company and leader in                  has the potential to impact the bottom line.
and will provide an auditable record for           corporate video communications, at first        Today,the company not only offers live and
state, local, and federal government               viewed streaming as a practical way to          on-demand rich media versions of all of its
compliance requirements.                           extend the reach of its Unisys Business         UBT broadcasts that the sales team can
                                                   Television (UBT) satellite broadcast            access online from anywhere,but also has
Training 2.0 Keeps Business Focused                network to its many employees outside           significantly expanded its online video
on the Bottom Line                                 the U.S. —particularly throughout               communications programs.Interactive
   In the Fortune 500,Training 2.0 first gained    Australasia. Early on, the Unisys creative      elements offered during live events—
traction as a cost-effective way to reach global   media services team realized the                including polling,surveys,and Q&A—allow
employees using a corporation’s existing IP        corporate implications of an                    employees to be active participants in the
bandwidth and IT infrastructure,instead of         organization-wide rich media                    learning process.
12      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




        Today,Unisys does hundreds of Accordent       facilities, including existing presentation      over time in order to assure their
     webcasts per year and has trained its entire     boardrooms, conference rooms, and                continued relevance and effectiveness.
     production team on how to use the                desktop computers.
     technology to capture all significant events—                                                     What’s to Come
     including customer-premise broadcasts,and           Can it Deliver the Experience?                   Looking ahead, the definition of Training
     on-location product launches and                    Whether content is supplementing an           2.0 will continue to expand, absorbing
     shareholder meetings—so that they are            in-room learning environment or entirely         new methodologies and touching business
     available for employees online.                  replicating that experience, a Training 2.0      areas that traditionally fall outside the
        The broad success of Unisys’ rich media       solution must provide a full learning            province of training. Accordent has
     communications initiative is due,in large        experience that includes streamed video          already observed clients repurposing
     part,to the company taking a holistic            synchronized with visuals supplemented           safety training content for public relations,
     Training 2.0 approach.The team’s focus from      with interactive capabilities, such as           leveraging professional training to market
     the outset on who would benefit,what             moderated Q&A and polling, that                  subject-matter expertise, and adapting
     resources would be required,and how the          encourage active audience participation.         product training for technology recruiting.
     value of the information could be extended                                                           Training 2.0 represents an exceptionally
     to benefit multiple areas of the organization,      Can it Integrate with Legacy                  exciting time in the evolution of
     has resulted in a more empowered and                Systems?                                      information exchange. New 2.0
     better informed international sales force.          A Training 2.0 system must be able to         technologies are providing an opportune
                                                      leverage existing IT systems and services.This   time for organizations to rethink, grow, and
     Success Criteria for Training 2.0                requires a scalable,standards-based,open         re-evaluate how they can tap intellectual
     Solutions                                        systems architecture that can seamlessly         capital in new ways. It is a living, dynamic
        Choosing the right enabling technology        integrate with the organization’s hefty          environment that—with the right
     is a key determinant for realizing the           investments in infrastructure,including          approach and technologies—can
     organizational potential of Training 2.0. In     corporate databases and directory services,      positively impact productivity, revenue
     considering a technology platform,               web and streaming servers,storage,and            generation, and public perception.
     organizations should not only consider the       network system architecture.
     three planning stages mentioned above,                                                            ABOUT ACCORDENT TECHNOLOGIES
     but they should also have a practical               Can it be Measured and Managed?               Accordent Technologies provides enterprise-wide
     understanding of how their technology               Training 2.0 is, by its inherent nature,      rich media communications solutions that
                                                                                                       enable world-class organizations to inform, train,
     choice can liberate—or inhibit—their             self-perpetuating. Therefore the easy
                                                                                                       and engage their audiences online. Its award-
     Training 2.0 ambitions.There are several         ability to modify the underlying                 winning rich media product line includes the
     key capabilities organizations should            technology system to add new trainers,           Accordent Capture Station™, a room-based
     consider in a Training 2.0 solution:             incorporate wider audiences, and bring in        automated capture solution, Accordent
                                                      media content from other training                PresenterPRO™, Accordent’s professional-
                                                                                                       grade live webcasting solution, and Accordent
        Can it Empower New Trainers?                  sources—such as videoconferences, audio
                                                                                                       Engage™, its enhanced audio webcasting
        The empowerment of new, distributed           conferences, and web conferences—is a            solution. These scalable and modular products
     trainers requires solutions that are             key component in ensuring a successful           all integrate with the Accordent Media
     efficient, effective, and tailored for the       Training 2.0 environment. And as the             Management System™, which provides the first
     specific objectives and technical skill          number of assets, participants, and topics       centralized online communications
                                                                                                       management infrastructure for importing,
     levels of the presenters themselves. As a        continues to grow, enterprises need a
                                                                                                       organizing, searching, publishing, and securing
     consequence, most enterprises require a          centralized system for managing their rich       multi-level access to Accordent presentations
     suite of different content creation products     media assets and for understanding how           and archived web- and video-conferences.
     that can seamlessly integrate into multiple      viewers are interacting with those assets        Visit www.accordent.com.
                                                                                                                           www.streamingmedia.com   13




   Ten Tips for Selecting an Enterprise


   Webcasting Platform
   from Ten Leaders in Online Education

Every day, we work with hundreds of
customers who are just now dipping their
proverbial toes in the webcasting water,
trying to gauge if the hype is true: Will
webcasting really enhance my instruction
and conserve resources at the same time?
   To you there on the edge, we boldly say,
“Come on in; the water’s fine.” But don’t
take our word for it.
   We pulled insights from over three
dozen corporate and education case studies
to build this list of the top ten criteria you
should cling to as you choose your
enterprise webcasting platform.To learn
more about these webcasting leaders, go
to www.sonicfoundry.com/10by10.

1. Simplicity                                    as the time savings.The value is that we’re       may throw up red flags because most folks
    By now,most organizations have created       completely finished at the end of the lecture,”   have experienced watered-down presen-
some kind of online multimedia content,but       says Tim Pletcher, director of applied            tation visuals that are hard to read. Both
if it required significant work from highly      research at the Herbert H. and Grace A.           knowledge workers and students alike
skilled staff with production and authoring      Dow College of Health Professions at              require high-resolution image (VGA) capture
expertise,the chances that it will become a      Central Michigan University.“With                 to get the most out of online instruction,
daily mode of communication are slim.            [Sonic Foundry’s] Mediasite, it’s instan-         yet enterprises need to capture efficiently
    Webcasting must be simple.Your presenter     taneous. As soon as the instructor stops          to minimize bandwidth constraints.
needs to be able to walk into a room at          speaking, that content is indexed, archived,          Advances in both video and graphics
9:00 a.m., turn on a laptop to start teaching    and available. The future of distance             capture now yield a multitude of viewing
or training, know that the system is             education is the ability to quickly produce       options, from the ability to focus entirely
automatically recording everything, and          and disseminate high quality content, and         on the video or simply audio plus slide
then automatically shut itself off at 10:00      that is exactly what Mediasite is all about.”     images, to larger frame sizes and quality of
a.m.With that kind of automation, it’s now          Today’s enterprise content producers are       both video and graphics, to wide-screen
possible to envision capturing and web-          also looking to avoid time-consuming              and high-definition delivery.
casting every lecture on campus or every         editing tools. Churning out the quantity of           “Our professors really love it,” says Seán
session in the training facility. Plus, the      webcasts required by an enlightened enter-        O’Donnell, director of distance education
entire process is transparent to the presenter   prise necessitates automated capture and          at Villanova University College of
so there’s no onus for additional training.      live or instantaneous playback, eliminating       Engineering.“To be honest, they were a
    “My gold standard for successful             the need for post-production editing.             little disheartened by our earlier distance
technology is a solution that faculty can                                                          education efforts because they couldn’t
quickly embrace.The return on investment         2. Quality Rich Media Experience                  use their computer images.With Mediasite,
comes not so much from the price point             For the newly initiated, the term “webcast”     that’s no longer an issue. Now they can
14    Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




                                                         teach the way they want, using all of the        not chatting fanatically with other online
     Your checklist                                      complex, high-resolution images that are so
                                                         essential to engineering courses.”
                                                                                                          participants—the equivalent of passing
                                                                                                          notes in class.
     for choosing the right webcasting
                                                            You’ll want the flexibility to produce
     platform for your enterprise
                                                         fully synchronized content in all sorts of       4. Content Navigation
     1. Simplicity                                       layouts and dimensions based on your                 From VCRs to TiVo®, the days of
     ■ No presenter training required—plug in and        audience and the information you need            watching video from start to finish are
       present                                           to communicate, so don't compromise.             long gone. Online, as in our living
     ■ Scheduling and automated recording                Even a fully loaded spreadsheet in               rooms, we yearn to click, to fast forward,
     ■ Integration with room control systems like
                                                         eight-point type should be readable with         to replay that five-second section of the
       Crestron® or AMX®
     ■ Simple browser-based viewing—no plugins or
                                                         the right solution. Also, be sure to look        program one more time.
       downloads                                         for a solution that gives you tons of                This need to navigate is also driven by
                                                         flexibility to customize the viewing             the true value of webcasting in the
     2. Quality Rich Media Experience                    interface with your logo, colors, and            enterprise—on-demand delivery.The
     ■ Automatic synchronization of audio, video,        other branding elements.                         majority of our customers report an
       and graphics
                                                                                                          increase in on-demand over live viewing.
     ■ Capture and display of graphics at native
       resolution                                        3. Interactivity                                 Their audiences eschew being forced to sit
     ■ Flexible capture options (laptop, tablet,            Webcasting is a powerful learning medium      through the entire presentation just to find
       e-board, doc camera)                              because it engages the audience with             that one piece of information they require.
     ■ Customizable viewing interface                    both auditory and visual information             Moreover, enterprises that webcast their
     ■ Efficient use of bandwidth
                                                         through video and graphic aids and               one-to-many messages, briefings, and
                                                         kinesthetically by typing a question, using      trainings are realizing significant productivity
     3. Interactivity
     ■ Visual, auditory, and kinesthetic elements to
                                                         navigation, or taking a poll.To make the         and cost savings by moving to an
       aid knowledge transfer                            biggest impact, people require instruction       on-demand communication model.
     ■ Moderated Q&A                                     that incorporates all three of these forms           “The navigation feature allows our
     ■ Polls with real-time results                      of communication.                                teachers to get what they want and then
     ■ Custom links to web pages and reference              “I love Mediasite,” says John Heinrichs,      move on,” says Valerie Biggs, staff devel-
       material
                                                         assistant professor in library and information   opment coordinator for Richmond
     ■ Accessibility for all users (closed captioning,
       screen readers)                                   science at Wayne State University.“It’s a        Community Schools. “Even when they
                                                         whole new way of teaching. Now I can stop        watch the event live, often they’ll want to
     4. Content Navigation                               and run polls to see if students understand      go back and review a specific portion, so
     ■ Image thumbnails                                  the content. I can see if there are any          it’s great for that as well.We call it just-in-time
     ■ Chaptering                                        questions being keyed into the moderator         professional development.”
     ■ Video timeline with adjustable playback speed
                                                         function and answer those right away.”               To support a non-linear mode of
     ■ Keyword search
                                                            To create webcasts that emulate in-person     viewing, look for a system that
                                                         communication, ensure your platform              automatically generates navigation
     5. Content Management
     ■ Automatic publishing to customizable online
                                                         offers polling, Q&A, ways to link to related     controls such as image thumbnails and
       catalogs                                          reference materials, and accessibility           indexes, and provides for chaptering and
     ■ Content indexing                                  through closed captioning and screen             other customizable navigation elements.
     ■ Multi-modal search—OCR, phonetic, and             readers. However, be careful not to get          You should be able to click on a specific
       contextual
                                                         hung up on live chat. Experienced presen-        session and see the audio, video, and
     ■ Customizable playback experiences
                                                         ters avoid chat functionality because they       graphics automatically synchronize to that
     ■ Content editing
                                                         want their viewers focused on the instruction,   precise moment in the webcast.
                                                                                                                               www.streamingmedia.com   15




5. Content Management                           character recognition of presentation             6. Security
   It may be hard to imagine having             images, phonetic processing of the audio          ■ Presentation and catalog viewing permissions
thousands of hours of webcast content when      stream, language models, and contextual           ■ System access security
you are just getting started. Many selection    filters to search rich media content (see         ■ Active Directory and LDAP integration
committees operate under the belief that        www.mediasite.com for a demonstration).           ■ Single-point authentication
                                                                                                  ■ Secure FTP transfer of images and video
they will only webcast a couple of live,
high-profile events.But rest assured,once you   6. Security
                                                                                                  7. Reporting
have a couple successful events safely under       For organizations facing intellectual          ■ Playback stats for live and on-demand content
your belt,it will only be a matter of time      property issues,or anyone who doesn’t want        ■ Viewer stats of who watched what, when, for
before other departments start coming out of    their corporate video to wind up on YouTube,        how long
the woodwork wanting to do more.                there is a serious need to control access to      ■ Server usage statistics
   “We knew from the onset that we              both live and on-demand webcasts.However,         ■ Export of reports

wanted to create and distribute an              finding a way to communicate restricted
                                                                                                  8. Scalability
enormous amount of content and did not          information in both a secure and convenient
                                                                                                  ■ Quantifiable return on investment
want to depend on a provider who forced         format can be a challenge.
                                                                                                  ■ Flexible content distribution options
us to work through them, thus creating             “As we transition from a nuclear               ■ Load balancing for high availability and
another step in the process,” says Cary         weapons stockpile-maintenance focus to a            redundancy
Bergman, associate technical analyst for        wider variety of research and development,        ■ Web services API for integration into other
                                                                                                    enterprise applications
EMC Insurance Companies.“Mediasite              we are constantly exploring ways we can
                                                                                                  ■ Enterprise database support
allows us to create and control the delivery    continue to share the information we are
of our content in one seamless solution         discovering,” says Rogulja Wolf, streaming
                                                                                                  9. Flexible Distribution Options
and also allows us to view content as           system and content manager at Sandia              ■ Live webcasts
many times as we would like—similar             National Laboratories.“We kept looking            ■ On-demand archives
solutions we looked at did not allow for        for a complete solution that would allow          ■ Portable content publishing (podcast, CD,
this all-important feature.”                    us to purchase, use, and maintain only one          DVD, USB)
   More businesses and universities are         system, not several. It was not acceptable to     ■ Multicast support
                                                                                                  ■ CDN support
looking to bring all of their multimedia        adopt a solution that just worked okay.”
                                                                                                  ■ Integration with videoconferencing, content
assets under a unified content or learning-        Streaming offers an effective way to             and learning management systems
management umbrella.Through proper              create, manage, and distribute content
server and system configuration, you can        within strict security settings. Look for a       10. Service and Support
plan to automatically publish and cate-         webcasting platform that allows system            ■ Accessible technical support team
gorize thousands of hours of webcasts           administrators to assign role-based access        ■ Quality staff who listen
into custom catalogs, and have them             and permissions using Microsoft® Active           ■ Clear feedback loop and consistent follow up
                                                                                                  ■ Online knowledge base and support tools
commingle with those dusty VHS tapes                                .
                                                Directory or LDAP Take into account your
                                                                                                  ■ Established user group
you finally got around to digitizing.           needs for single-point authentication and
   Yet the question remains: Now that you       secure transfer of images and video on
have those thousands of hours of video,         your network as well.                           on-demand viewing just before exams.
audio, graphics, and text, how do you and                                                       Reporting is an important data source to
your users automatically find the one shred     7. Reporting                                    better understand who your audience is
of information you need when you know             In corporate and investor communications,     and whether or not they’ve absorbed the
nothing about the content? Our customers        the presenting executive will undoubtedly       material you are producing.
are looking to the next wave of search for      ask,“Who’s watching?” while universities          “Students are taking advantage of the
the answer, where we can apply optical          will want to know if there are spikes in        Mediasite offering at a level we did not
16      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




     anticipate. Our advanced students in the         would allow us to expand its use as we            You’ll want to be able to webcast live and
     new Scholars Program are using Mediasite         become more proficient at implementing         archive a presentation at the same time,or
     when they cannot attend portions of the          it throughout our organization,” explains      publish it as a podcast or on CD,DVD,or USB.
     lecture series,” says Tom Gardner, vice          Peter Gorton, presentation services            Consider exploring integration with other
     president and chief information officer of       coordinator at Faegre & Benson.                presentation technologies too, like
     the IT Department at Ross University.                IT leadership is increasingly sourcing     videoconferencing solutions and content
     “They are viewing classroom content at a         enterprise applications that are built for     or learning management systems.
     time that is convenient for them. Other          long-term flexibility.Your webcasting
     students are using Mediasite to review lecture   platform should be designed to integrate       10. Service and Support
     material before exams.”                          into the larger infrastructure of the             Ultimately,choosing the right enterprise
        Choose a system that provides viewing         organization. In this setting, content is      webcasting solution is always about
     statistics for all of your live and on-demand    usable over time across departments,           people—the people who will use the
     presentations. If tracking individual viewing    and centralized IT services can plan for       system day-to-day to create, watch, and
     patterns is important, ensure that your          network issues like load balancing and         manage content,and the people behind the
     platform will provide playback stats,            incorporating webcast content within           product.While your selection should still be
     durations, and viewing activity for all          custom applications, as well as database       highly automated and easy to use (never
     registered users.You should be able to           integration and support.                       compromise on tip #1),it should also be
     dive in and see specifically when a user                                                        backed with quality service and support,
     entered and exited the presentation and          9. Distribution                                which will be reassuring for self-admitted
     how many times he or she accessed it.               Be sure you have multiple options           non-technical people who may be the
     These reports are valuable not only for          when it comes to getting the content out,      system owners or primary users.
     reporting on viewership, but also                whether it is through traditional unicast         “The implementation process was very
     planning for the network requirements            streaming, multicasting, or a centralized      easy,” says Thomas Overby, vice president of
     of your deployment.                              or third-party content distribution            technical services for Virtual-OR.“The
                                                      network (CDN).                                 Sonic Foundry staff answered all of our
     8. Scalability                                      Meanwhile on the viewing end,the            questions and assisted our team.”
        Presenters and viewers may consider           preference is for browser-agnostic web-based      We also recommend working with a
     any online solution an improvement               playback that doesn’t require proprietary      provider who actively seeks out your input
     over coordinating more labor-intensive,          downloads.Students and workers don’t want      on applications and enhancements, and
     on-site meetings, yet many technologies          to waste time downloading yet another          then incorporates that feedback into their
     have limitations that keep them from             plugin,sometimes failing to get past company   product road map.Ask to talk with their
     being stable and cost-effective in large         firewalls,to watch your streamed content.      technical support team, product managers
     group settings.                                     “Mediasite enabled us to rapidly develop    and, if they have one, members of their
        While you want a webcasting platform          and deploy rich media presentations across     user group. In the end, a willingness to listen
     that allows content specialists to share         a broad range of applications,networks,and     will yield the best results to guarantee your
     information quickly, you also want to avoid      devices in a way we never knew possible,”      enterprise webcasting implementation
     a pay-as-you-go solution that leads to high      says Oliver Tsai, director of information      runs smoothly for years to come.
     costs to produce your own content.               technology for Sunnybrook Health
     Similarly, you shouldn’t be locked into a        Sciences Centre.“During regional pandemic      ABOUT SONIC FOUNDRY
     platform that requires highly specialized or     planning,Mediasite was invaluable.Mediasite       Sonic Foundry (www.sonicfoundry.com) is a
                                                                                                     technology leader in the emerging rich media
     technical operators and editors.                 became an essential tool that allowed us to
                                                                                                     communications marketplace, providing
        “Not only did we want a recording and         communicate with as many people as             enterprise webcasting solutions and services
     archiving system, but also a product that        possible in a short amount of time.”           that link an information driven world.
                                                                                                                             www.streamingmedia.com    17




    Integrated Video Training




    Solutions
In this age of iPods and YouTube,                  internal or external audiences in the supply      lower cost of training to employees. Flash
learners of all kinds—from college                 chain—partners, distributors, customers,          presentations,video testimonials,or support-
students to sales professionals—are                and prospects.                                    ing product research information can easily
increasingly demanding that training                                                                 be available on-demand at the customer site,
materials be delivered in video format.               Prove training equates to better               providing a clear differentiator in presenting
Trainers are being challenged to find the             performance, track participation,              company products and solutions.
most advanced, efficient, and cost-effective          see test results.
ways to deliver their video training                  The ability to deliver high-impact sales or       Secure confidential corporate
materials.This white paper looks at how            employee training materials through video            training and education materials.
Ignite Technologies’ patented Content              is only part of a superior training program.         Recent security breaches have resulted in
Delivery Solution is helping diverse,              By enabling trainees to view and interact         the loss of personal and confidential data,
industry-leading companies overcome                with educational content online or offline        with heavy fines and penalties for the victim-
the network and connectivity constraints           and track participation, view test results, and   ized companies.Not surprisingly,protecting
that have limited their ability to reach           produce a comprehensive report,the success        against these attacks is one of today’s highest
online audiences with the highest quality,         of a training program can be proven.              priorities.A chain-of-custody control and
secure rich media.                                    Ignite enables trainers to control and         multi-layered security approach to content
                                                   monitor the entire education lifecycle with       publication,distribution,and version control
Effective Elearning Content Delivery               the ability to view who has completed             provides holistic assurance that the dis-
    A company can have a significant               new training material and who has not yet         tribution of your confidential and proprietary
competitive edge in today’s marketplace            started, and send remedial training               information is fully audited and meets your
with a well-trained sales force and educated       immediately after test results are available.     corporate security requirements at all times.
employees.The distribution of the most             Many large corporations have a learning
current training information to a dispersed        management system (LMS) to manage all             Ignite’s Content Delivery Solution
global sales force can be expensive,involving      training materials, employee training               Ignite’s Content Delivery Solution helps
the replication of CDs and DVDs, or                records, and test results. Ignite delivers
fulfillment and reproduction costs of hard         training materials that are stored in the LMS
                                                                                                       “The timely distribution of
copy manuals and catalogs. Frequent travel         and provides employee progress,completion,
to designated training centers can be              and test scores back to the LMS.                    updated training materials has a
cost-prohibitive for many companies.                                                                   direct correlation with success in
Version control is difficult to manage,with           Empower employees by providing
continuous updates and revisions to product           training materials through on-                   sales. Keeping our people
information or training exercises, and can            demand access.                                   posted on new product
even result in a liability to the company             A diversified portfolio of products or
if the incorrect information is harmful            services can make it difficult for your sales
                                                                                                       developments and materials
or illegal.                                        force to highlight important features,              only serves to strengthen the
    Ignite provides a cost-effective alternative   functions, and benefits that set your
                                                                                                       Canon brand.”
to web-based conferencing, video                   company apart from the competition. On-
conferencing systems,or streaming,while            demand accessibility to information                 MITCH BARDWELL, DIRECTOR AND ASSISTANT
                                                                                                       GENERAL MANAGER, IMAGING SYSTEMS
automatically delivering HD-quality digital        eliminates the need to reactively administer
                                                                                                       GROUP, CANON U.S.A., INC.
video training and education content to            repeated training content providing a
18      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




                                                                  Canon selected the Ignite Content                           distribution of hard copy training materials
       The Ignite Advantage                                    Delivery Solution for its sales and distribution               by 85%
       ■ No new system to learn; Ignite seamlessly
                                                               organization to deliver high-quality sales                   • Increased reach of quality training programs
         integrates with existing LMSs, so end users,          training materials. Sales representatives                      and improved sales resource efficiency
         content developers, and administrators can            and partners are now able to access                          • Delivery of an on-demand method of selecting
         interact with familiar LMS interfaces.
                                                               video-based product training materials                         and receiving priority sales training materials
       ■ Efficient, accelerated, and polite downloading
                                                               and courses on demand, regardless of the                       within the company portal
         of content reduces load on networks.
                                                               mobile user’s internet connection speed.                     • Delivery of a scalable training platform that
       ■ Automated targeting eliminates the need for
         manual intervention.                                  Content delivered through Ignite is                            measures success of learning and development
       ■ Extensive tracking and reporting help measure
                                                               secured through extensive encryption to                        initiatives
         the effectiveness of training initiatives.            prevent unauthorized copying, printing,
       ■ Offline access to content, survey results, and        or forwarding.                                            Case Study #2—RadioShack
         tracking information provides ultimate flexibility.      Ignite integrated with Canon’s existing                   RadioShack prides itself on having the
       ■ Version control ensures that users always have        Intellinex LMS.This integration with the                  highest customer service ratings of any
         the most up-to-date content.
                                                               LMS enabled all content to be delivered                   consumer electronics retailer.This important
       ■ Ability to send only revisions to content, rather     in the context of Intellinex and allowed                  competitive differentiator would not be
         than entire content packages, accelerates the
         delivery process.                                     all interactions, including training                      possible without trained customer service
                                                               sessions viewed offline, to be tracked                    personnel. In RadioShack’s “small box”
                                                               back to the Intellinex reporting engine                   stores,every employee has to be a generalist.
     you manage the entire lifecycle of content                (see Figure 1).                                           This means knowing everything about
     publishing and distribution for any type of                  By using Ignite, Canon was able to                     every product—all 6,000 of them!
     digital content, including critical training              reduce costs associated with training and                    RadioShack had been sending training
     materials.The mission of Ignite’s delivery                increase the productivity of its sales force              videos to all its stores, but switched to the
     technology is to identify and leverage the                and external distributors.The integration                 Ignite Content Delivery Solution to enable
     most secure and efficient routes for delivery             yielded quantified results, including:                    better version control, reduce expenses,
     based on individual user needs and content                   • Increased employee and partner usage of              and increase viewing rates. Ignite gives its
     delivery demands. Ignite is built on a                         sales training by more than 100%                     customers complete branding control over
     client/server platform, with the client                      • Reduced travel costs and production and              the end-user experience, so RadioShack
     (Delivery Center) and server (Delivery
     Manager) connected via private (e.g.,                     Figure 1. Canon’s Learning Zone, powered by Ignite, provides access to valuable training materials.
     corporate) and/or public (internet) net-
     works. Following is a discussion of how the
     major components of the Ignite solution
     and the effectiveness of the Ignite delivery
     system work with your LMS to enhance
     your training delivery process.

     Case Study #1—Canon Inc.
       Canon realized it needed a training
     solution for its sales force,partners,and
     external distributors that could help
     the company:
       • Reach mobile, geographically
         dispersed personnel
       • Target, track, and provide feedback
         on the learning process
       • Reduce training costs
                                                                                                                                           www.streamingmedia.com   19




internally rebranded the Ignite solution as
RadioShack TV.The Ignite solution enabled
the company to pre-stage video content
on end users' hard drives 24 hours before
the related online course was launched
from its LMS (see Figure 2).

Case Study #3—Quick-Service
Restaurant Chain
   With an annual training budget of more
than $1 billion, the largest quick-service
restaurant chain in the world had been
using CDs and DVDs to distribute training
materials to its 30,000-plus
corporate-owned and franchise restaurants
in more than 119 countries. Drawbacks
of this delivery method included high
shipping costs and version control
difficulties.The company needed a way
to deliver rich, compelling content in a
manner that was not intrusive to the network
and could be easily managed. It also
needed a mechanism to track employee                 Figure 2. Powered by Ignite, RadioShack TV delivers video content to RadioShack stores.
viewing and test results.
   After evaluating many alternative
solutions, the quick-service restaurant                • Allows access to detailed reports on employee            The Ignite solution takes advantage of
chain selected the Ignite Content Delivery               participation                                         existing bandwidth to efficiently route
Solution to manage its dedicated learning              • Improves time-to-market for crew training             high-bandwidth content over enterprise
PCs in each restaurant and to distribute               • Secures confidential corporate training and           networks or even the internet.This process
digital training materials. Ignite handles               education materials                                   eliminates network bottlenecks that often
the ordering, installation, and management             • Increases brand awareness                             occur when distributing and retrieving
of the learning PCs. Throughout the lifespan           • Provides labor savings via automated software         large multimedia and streaming content.
of each learning PC, Ignite manages the                  delivery and inventory
delivery of scripts and software and performs                                                                  Ignite Your Training Initiatives
inventory audits to manage a standardized            Ignite and LMS:                                             Ignite helps you overcome the many
and fully reliable learning system. Ignite           A Powerful Combination                                    challenges you face so you can achieve
distributes training videos and other rich              Your LMS is designed to manage critical                your elearning objectives.
content to the learning PC so crew members           learning needs across your extended
can fulfill their training requirements. The         enterprise of customers, partners, and                       Version Control
Ignite solution also provides reports on             suppliers, but this system is only valuable if               Ensuring that end users have the latest
viewing behavior and test results by                 people use it. Ignite works in combination                version of your training materials can be a
restaurant and by individual.                        with your LMS to help make it an integral                 costly and time-consuming process—and,in
   The Ignite solution is rapidly gaining            part of the way people perform their every-               some cases,impossible to enforce.The Ignite
momentum at quick-service restaurant                 day tasks. Ignite’s Content Delivery Solution             Delivery Center has the ability to auto-
chains and other franchises because it:              enables you to efficiently and economically               matically update or upgrade existing files.If
   • Enables cost-effective training for employees   take the content you create in your LMS                   the administrator tells the system that content
   • Increases retention                             and deliver it across your enterprise.                    is an update or revision to previously staged
20      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




     or delivered content,the Delivery Manager         vides overall lower cost of training                 Targeting
     generates a “difference file”containing only      to employees.                                        With traditional LMS systems, you cannot
     the delta (binary differences between the old                                                       deliver content ahead of time or auto-
     and new versions of the file) and sends this        Tracking                                        matically target specific individuals or
     difference file to all users who have the “old”     Ignite enables trainers to control and          groups.With Ignite, you can stage content
     version on their computers.All pending deliv-     monitor the entire education lifecycle—           for delivery on a specified date and publish
     eries of the old version are automatically        online and offline—including the ability to       content based on criteria such as audience,
     voided and replaced with the new version.         see who has completed new training material       domain,or geographic location.For example,
     The default for file comparisons is five prior    and who has not started.Additionally,Ignite       you can target training materials to all
     versions,but the administrator can increase       can be configured to send remedial training       training kiosks in Southeast Asia,all locations
     this parameter if needed.This process,called      immediately after test results are available.     in Germany, all dominant market areas in
     byte-level differencing,dramatically reduces                                                        North America, or any combination of
     bandwidth consumption while enabling                 Offline Capabilities                           these locations.The ability to set an auto-
     reliable content version control.                    Using Ignite’s offline capabilities,your LMS   mated targeting event based on any
                                                       can offer rich,high-impact training courses       conceivable criteria (simple or complex)
        Delivery Alerts                                that can be accessed even while the user is       eliminates the need for administrators to
        Ignite takes the guesswork out of notifying    offline.The user can view content and take        manually target or push content.Targeting
     end users about training deliveries.For each      practice or actual tests offline.Response data    events can even be scheduled to run at
     delivery package,you have the ability to cus-     is uploaded to the LMS the next time the user     pre-configured intervals to eliminate the
     tomize how you want the content to be deliv-      is online,and the results can be viewed           need for manual intervention.
     ered: pushed or pulled on demand.The              through the LMS’s online control panel or
     administrator can set up reusable templates       returned to the user via the Ignite system.       Summary
     for different delivery methods in the Delivery                                                         Ignite’s Content Delivery Solution and
     Manager to streamline this process.The end           Security                                       your LMS work together to maximize your
     user is notified via an onscreen Delivery Alert      Ignite’s chain-of-custody control and multi-   network investment for the creation and
     whenever new content has been delivered.          layered security approach to content pub-         delivery of rich elearning content.With
                                                       lication,distribution,and version control pro-    Ignite, you can efficiently distribute, manage,
        On-Demand Access                               vides holistic assurance that the distribution    and assess educational programs across
        Ignite enables easy accessibility to infor-    of your confidential and proprietary training     your company’s various practices and
     mation on demand. Not having to reactive-         materials is fully audited and meets your         geographies in a quick, efficient, and
     ly administer repeated training content pro-      corporate security requirements at all times.     affordable manner.Ignite helps you overcome
                                                                                                         the many challenges you face so you can
                                                                                                         achieve your elearning objectives and suc-
                                                                                                         ceed in today’s knowledge-based economy.
                                                                                                            To experience Ignite’s Content Delivery
                                                                                                         Solution firsthand, visit
                                                                                                         www.ignitetech.com and click on the
                                                                                                         “Experience Ignite” link.


                                                                                                         ABOUT IGNITE TECHNOLOGIES
                                                                                                         Ignite Technologies provides the industry’s most
                                                                                                         secure and scalable Content Delivery Solution
                                                                                                         enabling customers to efficiently publish, deliver,
                                                                                                         and manage digital assets—from rich media
                                                                                                         content for communications and training to
                                                                                                         software patches and virus updates—to anyone,
                                                                                                         anywhere, at any time, visit Ignite at
                                                                                                         www.ignitetech.com.
                                                                                                                                 www.streamingmedia.com   21




    Identifying the Right Media Format for



    Broadband
    Video Initiatives
    A strategic roadmap for success

WILL RICHMOND, PRESIDENT, BROADBAND DIRECTIONS, LLC • WWW.BROADBANDDIRECTIONS.COM


Introduction
    The media business is currently undergoing a period of significant       providers of all stripes have recognized that a new era of video
disruption brought on by new technologies and consumer behaviors.            competition is at hand.Yet despite this plethora of opportunities,
In the video area specifically, unprecedented changes are occurring          the content provider’s path to broadband video success carries
in the ways in which video programming is produced, distributed,             many uncertainties.That’s because broadband video is both an
monetized and consumed. Every participant in the traditional video           immature medium, which currently lacks clear success formulas,
distribution value chain is currently re-examining its assets and skills     and also a medium which operates in a markedly different paradigm
to better understand how to compete in the future.                           from the traditional video world.
    A key driver of video’s future is broadband Internet access, which          We believe that the primary considerations broadband video
has been rapidly adopted over the past ten years. More than half of          providers must successfully address fall into three main areas:
all Americans now use broadband connections to the Internet from             business model, user experience and operational/production.
their homes. Broadband is such a disruptive force in the video               These considerations include:
distribution value chain because it represents the first open video             Business Model
delivery platform allowing for unlimited video to be distributed.This           • Will the video be primarily promotional, or is it intended to drive
means that any video content provider that produces broadband                     new revenues?
video—from established players like broadcast and cable TV                      • If meant to drive new revenues, what business model(s) will be
networks, to upstarts like YouTube and MySpace—can deliver their                  used (ad-supported, rent vs. own, subscription
video directly to their intended audiences.                                     • For each business model employed, what usage restrictions will
    This openness of broadband delivery is in sharp contrast to the               be created (# of plays, # of devices video can be played on, etc.)
traditionally closed world of video distribution. In that traditional           • Will distribution partnerships be pursued and if so, how will they
model, a scarcity of “shelf space”for video programming existed.                  be implemented?
    Initially this shelf space was over-the-air spectrum,and more recently      • How will existing brands be protected and extended?
it has been the channel capacity of cable TV and satellite operators.
As the custodians of finite channel capacity,cable and satellite opera-        User Experience
tors have wielded significant power in determining which networks              • What kinds of computing platforms, devices and browsers will
(and therefore what programs) would reach consumers’ living rooms.               be supported?
In general,only those cable TV networks with the ability to aggregate          • Is viewing on portable devices going to be possible?
sufficiently large audiences and advertising revenues have succeed-            • Is viewing on TVs going to be possible?
ed.This in turn has constrained the creative community in terms of             • What type of video will be offered (existing video, original
how much and what kind of TV programming could be create.                        broadband video, promotional video)?
                                                                               • What length will the video be (short clips, full programs,
Broadband Video: New Paradigm, New Considerations                                movies, etc.)?
  Now, with the openness of broadband delivery and the                         • Will community-building and interactive tools be offered
acceleration of broadband video’s popularity, video content                      (such as at sites like YouTube and MySpace)?
22      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




       Operational/Production
       • How many and which video encoding rates will be used?                      example, Apple does not license its “FairPlay” digital rights
       • What meta (or descriptive) data about the video will be provided?          management (DRM) feature to third parties. Since this is the DRM
       • Will video be served to users through streaming or downloading?            that Apple uses for premium video content sold through its iTunes
       • What kind of digital rights management (DRM) will be used to enforce the   store,Apple’s iPod is the only portable device that can play this
         usage rules?                                                               video.Apple’s decision to choose this path instead of openly
                                                                                    licensing FairPlay is a key differentiator for iPods.And since iPods
     How Media Formats Fit In                                                       are a huge revenue-generator for the company—which Apple
      All of these considerations influence which media format is                   obviously wants to sustain—it is understandable that Apple has
     most appropriate to use.                                                       chosen this approach.

                                                                                    Media Format Adoption—Current Trends
                                                                                       Our briefings with executives in two media segments—broadcast
                                                                                    and cable TV networks—indicate that their current emphasis on
                                                                                    free, ad-supported business models has motivated them to prioritize
                                                                                    media formats that are:
                                                                                       1) most-widely available,
                                                                                       2) operate on the greatest number of operating systems (Windows, Mac OS,
                                                                                          Linux, etc.), and browsers (Internet Explorer, Netscape, Firefox, etc.) and
                                                                                          devices, and
                                                                                       3) offer the fastest video playback with high-quality results.

                                                                                       These choices make sense since two key success factors of an
                                                                                    ad-supported models are widespread reach and a strong
                                                                                    consumer experience.
                                                                                       Many broadcast and cable networks that offer free,ad-supported
                                                                                    video on their own web sites have also chosen to work with outside
                                                                                    partners when it comes to paid downloads of their programming.This
                                                                                    approach delegates the DRM protection role to the partners.Apple’s
                                                                                    iTunes,with its FairPlay DRM,is by far the dominant provider of paid
        Choosing a media format that fits the business objectives and               video downloads,with other recent initiatives such as Google Video,
     satisfies the relevant operational and user requirements requires              Amazon Unbox,AOL Video,Microsoft Xbox Live Marketplace now
     tradeoffs.That’s because no one format perfectly accommodates                  attempting to build market share.
     all of the above considerations. Each has its own relative strengths              Given these broadband video priorities, for a majority of networks,
     and weaknesses.                                                                the media format of choice for video on their own web sites is
        For example, one media format may be preferred because it has               Adobe’s Flash, which is a streaming video format that is widely
     the widest consumer adoption (a key criteria for succeeding with               available and performs well with different operating systems
     ad-based business models), yet may not have a robust digital rights            and browsers.
     management capability (a key criteria for supporting premium                      In a recent analysis we conducted, 74 of the top 75 cable TV
     business models).This creates the situation where the content                  networks, or 99%, were offering broadband video from their web
     provider must encode and support both formats, or choose just                  sites. Of these 74 networks, more than three-quarters (76%) use
     one, thereby sacrificing an element of its overall business approach.          Flash as their exclusive media format for broadband video.The
        In fact, some features for certain media formats are limited due            specific breakdown of media format choices by these 74 cable TV
     to the larger business objectives of the format’s owner.As one                 networks is shown on the following chart.
                                                                                                                           www.streamingmedia.com   23




   Flash has gained momentum dramatically among top cable TV         sample of 40 local TV stations around the U.S. also revealed trends
networks in the past year.As the chart below shows, the number of    toward Flash adoption.This breakdown is shown above.
networks exclusively using Flash has more than doubled, from 25         Looking beyond these media segments, our informal analysis of
networks in 2005 to 56 networks in 2006.Another trend, which is      numerous online publishing and user-generated/ video-sharing
visible on the chart below, is that these networks’ preference for   sites—which also focus on free, ad-supported video—reveals a
using just one media format is getting even stronger.As the chart    further trend toward Flash. Online publishers such as CNET,
shows, the percent of networks using just one format rose from       MTV.com and Edmunds.com, and user-generated/video-sharing
75% to 92% from 2005 to 2006.This reflects networks’ desire to       sites such as YouTube, MySpace and VideoEgg, all use Flash.
reduce the operational complexity and expense associated with
supporting multiple formats.                                           Flash Success Story: CNET
                                                                       Service Offering: CNET TV
                                                                       “CNET TV is an integral part of CNET’s efforts to position
                                                                       technology as a ‘lifestyle’ rather than a ‘category’. To help
                                                                       deliver on this positioning and maximize viewership, it is critical
                                                                       that the video offered at CNET TV be high-quality and instantly
                                                                       accessible across multiple devices and browsers. Further, since
                                                                       we are pursuing a range of distribution opportunities for CNET TV,
                                                                       a near-ubiquitous media format such as Flash minimizes
                                                                       operational and integration issues with our partners.”
                                                                       —MARK LARKIN, EXECUTIVE PRODUCER, CNET TV




                                                                     Premium Video Models Use Variety of Media Formats
  Turning to the broadcast TV industry, our recent analysis            While Flash is building its market share in free broadband
revealed that four of the six major English language commercial      video initiatives, other formats remain more popular for premium
networks are using Flash for their broadband video initiatives,      video, which is typically delivered as a secure, downloadable file
while the other two are using Windows Media Player. In addition, a   using sell- through, rental and subscription models.As mentioned
24      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




     earlier, Apple, whose iTunes download store is by far the most            every request.The role that CDNs such as Akamai play in providing
     popular place for premium video downloads, uses a video player            scalable, on-demand storage and delivery helps ensure that a
     based on the QuickTime format.A number of the large, premium              provider’s broadband video is fully monetized.
     movie sites such as Movielink, CinemaNow and Vongo all use                   Given the still early stage of broadband video and its immature
     Windows Media Player, as does Major League Baseball’s MLB.TV              business models, cost containment is a key part of the equation
     and CNN’s Pipeline subscription service. Still other premium sites        for economic success.The ability to deliver and scale broadband
     use RealNetworks’ RealPlayer.                                             video initiatives while minimizing both capital expenditures and
                                                                               operating expenses will remain a core focus of all broadband
       Windows Media Player Success Story: Starz                               video providers. In this respect, CDNs like Akamai allow content
                                                                               providers to avoid costly infrastructure upgrades and the risks of
       Entertainment Service Offering: Vongo                                   over-investing in capacity.
       “ Vongo is a key initiative for Starz to drive new, broadband-
                                                                                  Finally, a CDN’s detailed reporting capabilities provide insights
       centric revenues from our valuable collection of feature films and
       other high-quality content. As a premium service, it is essential       as to which video content is performing well. This includes
       that Vongo’s subscribers receive their requested videos in a high-      determining the popularity and geographic distribution of content
       quality and secure manner. Windows Media DRM is able to offer           usage. Further, detailed tracking of average play time, drop-out
       us all of the necessary security to support our requirements,           points and other metrics provide decision-makers with information
       without sacrificing any flexibility.”
                                                                               needed to judge the financial returns on specific initiatives
       —PETER ROBERTS, VP OF OPERATIONS, ADVANCED SERVICES
                                                                                  Sites with growing traffic and burgeoning user communities
                                                                               can incur ongoing capital expenditures for additional infrastructure
                                                                               that can limit their potential for innovation and scale.
     A Trusted CDN That Spans All Formats and Models Is Key                    Infrastructure can quickly become the limiting factor to a site’s
        Irrespective of the media format and business model chosen,            growth, leading to significant capital expense—for startups and
     working with a trusted content delivery network (CDN) is a key            established companies alike.
     success factor for broadband video providers. A well-regarded
     CDN such as Akamai Technologies provides key advantages to                Putting It All Together
     broadband video providers including secure, quality delivery,                The broadband video industry is still relatively new and will
     scalability, cost-effectiveness and usage reporting.                      continue to be highly dynamic, characterized by rapid innovation
        For consumers, video carries higher performance expectations           and experimentation. In this context, choosing the right media
     than traditional text and graphics. A few moments of latency              format that fits the business, user experience and
     while waiting for video to load can make the difference between           production/operational requirements is a key ingredient to
     users sticking around or going elsewhere. For ad-supported                success. Once the format is chosen, working with a trusted CDN
     models heavily dependent on maximizing available ad inventory,            to ensure that video content reaches end users in a secure,
     this is a huge driver of success. Further, video must not only load       high-quality, scalable and cost-effective manner—for all media
     quickly, but also play back in high-quality, together with synchronized   formats—is essential.With these building blocks in place, content
     audio. By these measures, video content that is cached “at the            providers will find themselves well on their way to success in this
     edge” and delivered from high-performance servers, irrespective           new and exciting medium.
     of media formats used, can make a huge difference in the
     customer experience.                                                      ABOUT AKAMAI
        Given broadband video’s rapid adoption,one of the key challenges       Akamai® is the leading global service provider for accelerating content
     facing providers is simply keeping up with the growing user               and business processes online. Thousands of organizations have formed
                                                                               trusted relationships with Akamai, improving their revenue and reducing
     demand.When new video initiatives are launched, it is difficult to
                                                                               costs by maximizing the performance of their online businesses.
     predict which specific piece of content might become the next             Leveraging the Akamai EdgePlatform, these organizations gain business
     viral sensation. With the cost of producing quality video still           advantage today, and have the foundation for the emerging Web solutions
     relatively high, it is imperative to deliver and monetize each and        of tomorrow. Akamai is “The Trusted Choice for Online Business.”
                                                                                                                        www.streamingmedia.com   25




    Streaming Media Delivery for


    Higher Education
LARRY BOUTHILLIER, EDUCATIONAL & MULTIMEDIA TECHNOLOGY ARCHITECT, HARVARD UNIVERSITY


When it comes to streaming media,               using Linux, while many students and staff       player choices will need to reflect that
educational institutions have to be a little    may have Macs (Unix-based OS X). Distance        need. If you serve dial-up users or other
bit of everything—a corporate enterprise,       learning students may have older hardware        viewers with slower-than-broadband
an entertainment company, and an                running any one of the various versions of       connections, you’ll want to select codecs
institute of higher education all in one.       Windows.Add to the menagerie Palm-               that scale down and a system that handles
   Like the enterprise, they deliver video on   powered Treos, 3G cell phones, and               low-bandwidth situations with grace.
the intranet to hundreds or thousands of        Windows CE portables and the variety can            Whatever the specifics, an ideal solution
staff and faculty desktops.                     seem endless.                                    will always lead to fewer platform lock-ins,
   Like entertainment companies, they              Educational settings are also likely to       few proprietary server-player
serve live and on-demand video to large         encounter users with a variety of ways to        dependencies, and broad codec/format
populations of students and alumni who          connect to the internet. Some audiences will     support, which will keep your institution
use a variety of computers and ways of          benefit from readily available broadband,        nimble and flush with options.
connecting to the internet.                     while some in rural or international
   As schools, they produce and deliver         situations will use dial-up.Traveling faculty    How do open standards apply to the
large volumes of timely content with many       and adult learners may also have dial-up, or     streaming media marketplace?
authors, short turn-around times, and           intermittent wireless access.                       The streaming media marketplace
demanding users.                                   Alongside the diverse client                  clearly loves standards. It must, since there
   Higher ed presents unique challenges         environment, schools often employ a              are so many of them! The unfortunate truth
for streaming media.Thankfully, there’s a       heterogeneous server environment. Servers        is that there are lots of “standard” formats
short list of key considerations to keep in     are as likely to be highly redundant,            for audio and video.There’s strong market
mind when selecting the right streaming         centralized data-center resources as they        support for MP3 as a universal audio
solution for your institution.While these       are to be small departmental servers.            format. But for streaming video, there’s no
apply directly in the context of                   So how should schools meet this               clear standard, and there’s no telling when
educational environments, they can also         seemingly enormous challenge? By                 one will emerge.
be useful guidelines to anyone planning a       bearing in mind the importance of these             That said, you need to make the most
streaming media deployment.                     three factors:                                   out of every bit you pump out over the
                                                   • Supporting the platforms and internet       network.The simple fact is that the best
In delivering streaming media, what                  connections your constituents use           codecs for streaming delivery are
sets educational institutions apart                • Keeping platform and format options open    proprietary, such as RealVideo.You’ll get
from corporate and entertainment                   • Sticking to standards as much as possible   better video at a given bit rate than what
environments?                                                                                    you’ll see from a standards-based codec.
   Corporate environments have more or             Keeping these points on the front burner         Even so, standards still have an
less standardized computer hardware and         will help you make decisions that won’t          important place in your streaming
software configurations. In educational         narrow your options down the road. If your       environment. Many streaming shops create
environments, each student comes with           users follow trends like new browsers, new       their original video sources as MPEG-2
his own computer, spanning many brands,         kinds of computers, or new devices, your         files. From these MPEG-2 masters,
types, and even generations of hardware         streaming solution should support these          automated processes create streamable
and software. Some of the computer              innovations. If you have students who are        versions in any number of formats.
science and engineering students may be         still on Windows 98 or ME, your codec and        Therefore, as new and improved formats
26      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




     and codecs are developed, it becomes a
     simple matter to update your content
     while keeping your archive firmly rooted
     in durable standards.
        Another popular standard, MPEG-4, isn’t
     really a format or a codec, but a family of
     formats and codecs, each with its own
     distinct strengths.Although MPEG-4 does
     not provide the one-format-fits-all
     simplicity we dream of, it’s essential for
     reaching mobile and podcast audiences.
        For organizations setting up to deliver
     streaming media, the best strategy is to
     find solutions such as Helix Server that
     support a variety of codecs and formats,
     both standards-based and proprietary.            California State University at Long Beach changes ordinary online recruitment and public relations efforts into an
     Remaining “open” is key.                         interactive and integrated rich media showcase.
        Openness means more than just formats.
     Server infrastructure should never dictate
     what file formats your faculty can use or        simultaneous streams, hosting may be the                   can build a robust data-center solution—
     what media players your students can use.        only option for handling the load. Of                      with load-balancing, SAN-attached storage,
     A flexible solution will have broad reach in     course, in-house hosting and outsourcing                   and redundant fault-tolerant
     terms of supported platforms, operating          are not mutually exclusive. Often, schools                 architecture—that will scale in delivery
     systems, file formats, players, and devices.     will host their academic content internally,               and storage as your needs grow.At the
                                                      but use outsourcing to bolster their                       other end of the spectrum, self-hosting can
     What are the factors to consider                 capabilities for the occasional high-load                  also be as simple as setting up a server on
     when comparing outsourced                        event.                                                     a shelf next to the office coffee pot.
     hosting and internal self-hosting                   Having your own servers gives you
     of streaming media?                              maximum flexibility and control. For a fixed               Which kind of server licensing
        Outsourcing with a content delivery           price, you can store as much as you want                   terms are best for educational
     network (CDN) such as Real Broadcast             and stream as much as you want—subject,                    institutions?
     Network is most appropriate for either very      of course, to the capacity of your hardware                   Flexibility is key. Licensing terms suitable
     small or very large streaming situations.        and network. Self-hosting also enables                     for one kind of installation may not be as
     Most vendors charge for both storage and         enterprise integration with institutional                  cost-effective for others. For example, in a
     the bandwidth you use.With a very small          authentication, learning management                        data center installation you may want
     deployment—serving just a few streams or         systems, and content management systems.                   licenses that allow a large fixed number of
     a few pieces of content—outsourcing may          What’s more, once you’re up and running,                   streams or a high total bandwidth on one
     be cost-effective as an alternative to setting   the incremental cost for adding additional                 server. If you’re building a redundant
     up and maintaining your own servers.At           capacity is small.                                         cluster by having a number of small,
     the opposite extreme, if you’re frequently          An internal streaming media                             load-balanced servers, you’ll want
     streaming hundreds or thousands of               infrastructure can be large or small.You                   license-sharing among machines. For a
                                                                                                                                             www.streamingmedia.com        27




decentralized environment with many                         your hands with platform dependencies                     peaks, even while average stream counts may
departmental servers, a site license, such as               and lock-ins.                                             be much lower. Of course, having built an in-
the Education Licensing Program from                           The most important point of having                     house streaming solution that meets ordinary
RealNetworks, is best.                                      flexible license terms is to let your institution         demand levels, you can always individually
                                                            deploy the kind of streaming architecture                 outsource the occasional high-load event.
What about “free” licenses?                                 that will fit its unique situation and that will        • Large amounts of content—Many
   In streaming media, there are two basic                  economically scale to serve its users.                    institutions are recording and streaming
kinds of “free.” The first is an open-source                                                                          lectures for later student review. Others are
license, which really is “free” to acquire                  What does scalability mean to the                         streaming classroom teaching for distance
and run.An open-source solution may suit                    higher-ed environment?                                    learners. A few are capturing vast collections
your needs, but there are trade-offs.                         Scalability for higher-ed streaming                     of classroom content to build a searchable
Compared to commercial servers, you’ll                      media spans several dimensions of                         reference library. In any case, long-format
find fewer administration tools, less                       technology and process.                                   content such as classroom lectures creates
support for enterprise-grade features like                    • High load—Institutions with hundreds or               large video files, and lots of them. A single ten-
clustering and authentication, and a                            thousands of students may need to support             week course that meets three times a week
narrower range of supported codecs and                          large numbers of simultaneous streams. Even           can generate tens of gigabytes of video files.
protocols. Usually this means that open-                        while day-to-day load may be moderate,              • Busy content creation workflow with
source streaming servers are too limited                        certain calendar-driven events (such as               many content creators—Academia thrives
for most production deployments.                                studying for finals) can cause normally placid        on creative content generation from many
   The other kind of “free” has a cost—                         streaming activity to spike to high-load levels       faculty, knowledge centers, and even
your freedom.This variety comes with                            for short periods of time. Live events such as        students. That’s its job, unlike most corporate
strings attached to a bundled operating                         commencement exercises or high-profile                or entertainment models that have just a few
system or other platform product. Of                            guest speakers can also cause viewer                  content creators. Academic streaming
course, the bundle is actually not free at                      numbers to spike. Your streaming solution             operations have to allow for widespread
all.What’s more, the combination can tie                        should be built to meet the most common               content creation from many subject matter
                                                                                                                      experts. An ecosystem of tool vendors has
                                                                                                                      grown up around streaming platforms. Great
Existing NASA subject matter is repurposed into an interactive teaching tool for students.                            tools can make authoring, encoding, and
                                                                                                                      editing streaming media simple for authors
                                                                                                                      who aren’t media professionals.

                                                                                                                  What kinds of tools are available to
                                                                                                                  help schools create content?
                                                                                                                     The selection of streaming media
                                                                                                                  encoding and authoring tools has never
                                                                                                                  been richer.There are a few categories of
                                                                                                                  products that can make a streaming
                                                                                                                  solution successful, from the content
                                                                                                                  creator’s perspective as well as the IT
                                                                                                                  professional’s.There’s a healthy selection
                                                                                                                  to pick from for each of these types of
28       Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




     tools.While there’s lots of overlap, each           rules. One of the legal tests for whether         In conclusion
     one excels at its specific purpose.                 expanded fair-use rules apply is that the            It’s never been easier to get started with
        Presentation authoring refers to a range         materials be restricted to enrolled students      streaming media.The tools have grown
     of products that allow audio and video to           taking the course.                                simpler to deploy and use. Since many
     be easily combined with PowerPoint                     There are a few ways to protect content        are available in free or trial versions,
     slides. But that is just the beginning—easy-        from casual copying or redistribution. No         there’s no barrier to trying them out for
     to-use software makes it possible to                protection method is perfect, but most can        yourself. Meanwhile, users have become
     capture computer-screen activity and                dissuade all but the most determined              more savvy, and have internet
     deliver it as a second video stream,                unauthorized viewer. Here’s a rundown of          connectivity everywhere.
     alongside the instructor video or audio.            the possibilities, in increasing order of            The explosion of always-on broadband
        • Encoding—To keep your digital media            complexity and level of protection:               and the abundance of media-enabled
          workflow flowing, a new breed of encoding         • Web-based authentication—You can             devices are fueling many new
          tools such as RealProducer can                      protect the web pages that contain the       developments in streaming.With mobile
          automatically batch-process your MPEG-2             links to your video content. This comes      delivery, you can reach phones, iPods, and
          (or other format) masters into the                  naturally to many schools, since course      even video game machines. Communities
          bandwidth-friendly formats you‘ll deliver to        management systems already handle            are forming around video blogs and
          a variety of computers and other devices.           authentication and permissions. This is      social video sites that include tags,
        • Hardware and appliances—Capturing,                  really security by obscurity. Someone who    ratings, and other “Web 2.0” technologies.
          encoding, and authoring of streaming content        guesses or is given a URL directly to the    Video encoding appliances are
          need not happen on traditional computers at         streaming server will be able to access      streamlining workflow and making
          all. For the ultimate couldn’t-be-simpler           the content.                                 production more scalable and affordable.
          experience, there are many appliances, such       • Stream authentication—Stream                    For all of these reasons, streaming
          as the Accordent Capture Station, for               authentication provides a greater level of   media’s impact on business opportunity,
          capturing and serving your streaming audio          access control. Using ticket-based URLs to   education, communication, and community
          and video. No monitor, mouse, or keyboard           integrate your streaming server with your    is growing by the day. Streaming media is a
          required—just plug it in and go.                    web-based authentication system, you can     communications power tool that opens
                                                              protect the streams themselves from          new opportunities for your administration,
     How can schools keep their material                      unauthorized viewing.                        your faculty, and your students.
     secure and ensure that only                            • Digital Rights Management (DRM)—
     authorized users view their content?                     DRM encrypts content files, which can        ABOUT REALNETWORKS
        For a variety of reasons, schools often               only be viewed with a key provided by the    RealNetworks, Inc. is the leading creator of
     want to restrict their content to members                content owner. With DRM, you can control     streaming media services and software.
     of their community, be they students, staff,             who can access your files and how many       Educational, government, and corporate
                                                                                                           organizations along with broadcasters, network
     or alumni. One of the most compelling                    times or for how long they may play the      operators, and media companies use
     reasons is related to copyright law.                     file. DRM offers complete control over the   RealNetworks products and services to create
     Academic courses often contain materials                 media files themselves. Current DRM          and deliver streaming media to PCs, mobile
     that are covered by copyright (video clips,              solutions are more expensive and highly      phones, and consumer electronics devices.
     excerpts from books or newspapers,                       vendor-specific. Nonetheless, DRM is a       RealNetworks business systems and corporate
                                                                                                           information are located at
     photographs, or works of art).The law                    good option in cases where you need the      www.realnetworks.com, or for more information
     grants broad leeway to educational use of                highest protection from copying or           on streaming products and outsourced solutions
     copyrighted materials under “fair use”                   redistribution.                              from RealNetworks, call 1-800-444-8011.
                                                                                                                         www.streamingmedia.com   29




   Delivering the


   Future of
   Online Video
As demand for online video grows exponentially—and as                  Are there any particular types of video that you’re
the quality of that video gets better and better—publishers are        seeing as gaining the most attention online these days?
looking for more efficient and effective ways to deliver their            Right now,the content that’s getting the most attention is broadcast
content to their audiences.                                            TV – all the broadcasters are re-transmitting,for want of a better word,
   Level 3 Communications is a global network services company         their “content”online.ABC,NBC,and other networks are making their
that is making a splash in the content delivery market. In this        popular shows available,as well as all the previous episodes that you
interview, Mark Taylor, Senior Vice President of Content Markets       may have missed – almost like a big DVR.You can log on and watch
Group for Level 3, talks about the issues facing online content        Heroes or you can watch Desperate Housewives and if you missed
publishers and online advertisers, as well as how delivering video     episodes way back in the season,you can watch those,too.
via HTTP might help solve some of these issues.The following article      The online experience is very much like a traditional TV
is a transcript of an interview between Streaming Media editor         experience. It’s got inserted ads, it’s full screen and you can get it
Eric Schumacher- Rasmussen and Mark Taylor; the audio version of       in very high definition.
the interview is available at www.streamingmedia.com/podcasts.

                                                                       In addition to the on-demand entertainment content,
STREAMING MEDIA: Let’s start out by taking a                           are you finding that live events are also becoming
high-level view of what’s going on in the world of online              more popular?
video. Clearly, that world is in a period of tremendous                   They’re definitely becoming more popular, I think, as the quality
growth and change—what are some of the changes and                     of that video improves through the player technology or through
developments that you’ve seen in terms of audience and                 the streaming protocol technology. I mean, essentially, at the
viewer expectations and patterns?                                      moment, all of this content is still being driven largely by advertising
   Mark Taylor: I think we’re starting to see a change.A significant   so getting people to watch is very important.Live event programming
amount of the video streamed today is small screen. It’s aimed at      tends to encourage viewership because it encourages large
people at home or on a laptop, watching what I would call              numbers of people to watch at the same time.
lower-quality videos; they are certainly lower quality in terms of
traditional broadcast, which is fine for the YouTubes of this world,
or for some of the news-related sites.
   We’re starting to see the emergence of very high-quality
                                                                         Online video allows you to create
streaming that actually is equivalent to, and maybe in some cases,       a one-to-one relationship with a viewer
better than traditional standard TV. I think this high-quality video
is starting to increase demands on the network, as well as attract a     every time, rather than simply
new and different audience. It’s enticing people away from the
traditional methods of TV consumption and opening up the                 delivering a mass broadcast.
potential of the internet as a true video distribution mechanism.
30      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




     Since you bring up advertising, how have these                          more than a couple of minutes.Those lower-quality sites are built
     developments and changes in audience habits                             around short clips and they have been very successful, but it’s
     affected the way the content publishers need to                         more difficult to monetize their advertising.
     think about monetizing this content that they put                          When viewers are going to sit there and watch an hour’s
     online? What’s different about trying to monetize,                      episode, there’s time to insert a break for the ads.There are statistics
     let’s say an ABC television show like Lost, online,                     out there that show that as the video quality improves, the amount
     versus trying to monetize it in a typical broadcast or                  of time people will watch it massively expands.
     cable television setting?                                                  Having said that, I think the technology today that’s used for
        Right now, if you look at the technologies, people are treating it   inserting ads is still very, very crude. It simply replicates what’s
     exactly the same.The experience that you get is almost identical,       available on broadcast TV, and you could do so much more than
     in that the TV show will pause and they’ll show some ads and            that. I think the advertising agencies and the brands are starting to
     then you’ll get back to the TV show.                                    get their heads around that idea. They’re starting to see the
        The standard of video with those types of sites is now good          high-quality video and starting to think about different ways of
     enough that people watch the entire show.They’ll sit there for an       advertising through that media. Remember, you’ve now got a
     hour and watch the whole thing, whereas it would have been very         two-way channel. It’s an IP network, and so you can get much
     difficult with the lower-quality video on smaller screens to watch      more information about each individual viewer. Essentially, you’re
                                                                                                                            www.streamingmedia.com    31




creating a one-to-one relationship every time rather than doing a        better than what they get on their televisions. Of
mass broadcast.That’s the potential, anyway, but it’s not being          course, if you look across the entire spectrum of the
exploited in that way yet.                                               internet, the range of video quality is all across the
                                                                         map. What video quality is, for lack of a better term,
                                                                         “good enough” these days?
Even though we’re seeing some experiments with                              A 1MB stream gives you some pretty stunning pictures—
interactivity, it seems to me like that is largely                       whether you call it HD or SD or enhanced or whatever. People call
untapped right now. I think publishers are really                        it different things because they mix up some of the terminologies,
going to have to work on taking advantage of that,                       but if you look at those streams, it’s not just the stream rate that
rather than expecting the traditional television                         makes the difference. It’s the way that the codecs and the players
advertising model to succeed online.                                     work together to eliminate buffering.
   I absolutely agree. Some of what’s limiting experimentation are          There’s fast startup.There’s no stuttering and, even if the bit rate
potential privacy issues.You can’t go too far right now because          declines, some of the players today will handle that as well.The
people are unwilling to share too much information, or there are         picture will degrade slightly but it will do it in a very,very unobtrusive
worries about extracting too much information from end users.            way to the end user.The viewer won’t necessarily know that it’s
But there is still a lot more information that you can access,           even happened.All of those things lead to a video that appears to
particularly if it’s a subscription site or if there is some other       be very high-quality, even if it’s not specifically high definition.And
registration process that garners information about the end user.        if you think about the access lines that are out there today in most
Even from the IP address you can know physically where the               people’s houses, most can deal with that size stream.
viewer is, and that’s something people will accept. So I think those
sorts of things can be exploited by advertisers.
   The other things to consider are the user and device itself. Look     So we’ve got internet users who are expecting
at the sorts of things that Microsoft’s Silverlight™ is doing now.       and can handle that kind of video. We’ve got
They can overlay ads, pop-up ads, or shrink the main TV screen           content publishers trying to deliver it. We’ve got
down and show an ad.There are different ways of putting an               multiple video formats out there. So what are
advertisement on there without simply stopping the medium that           the biggest issues that a content publisher
you were watching, dedicating everything to an ad, and then going        should consider when looking at a content
back to the program like you do in traditional TV.                       delivery network?
   It can be much less intrusive but still probably just as effective.
Those sorts of things will start to come up. In addition to accessing
user information, there are better ways of utilizing the technology
to show ads.                                                               Making use of HTTP as a protocol for
                                                                           distributing video makes sense today
If publishers are going to get users to pay attention
and spend longer times online, and be willing to                           because there’s a huge install base
share some of that information, clearly they need to
provide viewers with something of value. Part of that                      across the CDN providers of the
value is clearly the quality of the video. You hinted
earlier that sometimes, in some cases, an online                           caching technology that enables it.
viewer can get video quality that’s as good as or
32      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




        I think there are two issues there, though not necessarily related      there, it’s easier to deliver video in a more commoditized way.
     to the content delivery network itself. On the content delivery            That’s the way Level 3 tends to think about things.That’s the way
     network side, making use of HTTP as a protocol for distributing            we’ve perfected our network and grown and delivered our services,
     video makes sense today because there’s a huge install base                and I think when you look at the streaming world, it develops in
     across the CDN providers of the caching technology that                    that way, too.
     enables it.
        If you think about the more specific dedicated proprietary
     streaming protocols, they require different servers to serve the           If we get back to proprietary formats—Windows
     streams. There’s much less of an install base there. If you’re             Media, Flash, QuickTime, and Real—and combine
     looking for huge pools of available delivery services or delivery          that with network issues, I can certainly see a real
     capital embedded in the ground, HTTP is the way to go.There are            capacity challenge coming ahead. HTTP delivery
     only a few streaming solutions that will enable that now.We think          could alleviate at least some of that.
     in the long term, those win out economically because they’re                  It certainly does in the core of the network and even out in the
     based on commodity servers. HTTP is the protocol that the inter-           edge—to the extent that the ISPs have caches within their network.
     net uses, so there’s just more stuff out there, even if it’s third-party   With popular content, you have this band of proxy caches in the
     caches, even if it is caches within our ISP networks, or within            network, even in a streaming environment.With certain protocols,
     enterprise networks.We think that’s one thing that you should              HTTP will work fine and effectively.There will be what people like
     bear in mind.                                                              to call “accelerated delivery.” That’s something of a misnomer, but it
                                                                                makes use of assets out there and saves on bandwidth at certain
                                                                                parts of the network.
     Even though we’re talking about streaming video                               The other point probably worth making is that although you
     and using the term “streaming video” fairly generically,                   talked about Windows and Real and QuickTime and so on, I think
     you’re suggesting that we’re going to see a move                           maybe, over time, those evolve into players that all make use of
     away from pure streaming server technology to                              HTTP as the transport mechanism as that makes economic sense
     deliver the video and towards HTTP?                                        to us. I don’t think any of those necessarily go away; I think they’ll
       Yes. It’s just an economic fact that with more infrastructure out        evolve more into the user interface experience.They’ll start to
                                                                                compete at that level and maybe the codecs that they use will
                                                                                become more important.



                                                                                Whether or not HTTP becomes the preferred method of
            Whether you call it HD or SD                                        delivery video content remains to be seen. One thing is
     doesn’t really matter. A 1MB stream                                        clear, however: As the market becomes more crowded
                                                                                publishers need to consider every possible delivery protocol
         gives you some pretty stunning                                         to remain competitive.

      pictures, whether you call it HD or                                       ABOUT LEVEL 3 COMMUNICATIONS, INC.
                                                                                Level 3 Communications, Inc. (Nasdaq: LVLT), an international
                         SD or enhanced.                                        communications company, operates one of the largest IP networks in
                                                                                the world. Leveraging that powerful infrastructure, Level 3 provides
                                                                                scalable Video Transport, IP, and Data Services, and CDN services to
                                                                                the largest creators and distributors of content in the world.
                                                                                                                           www.streamingmedia.com       33




   Beyond the


   Imagination
Streaming media is            one of the             Requests and inquiries from a variety         • Multiple Languages—Professor would like
fastest growing elements of website creation,     of businesses, educators, and developers           the users to be able to communicate in their
with the Adobe Flash Media Server (FMS)           come through Influxis every day looking            preferred languages.
considered the standard for developers            for assistance, many just amazed that
utilizing Flash streaming and multi-user          Influxis can really do what it offers.The        Influxis
interactivity. Every day another aspect is        following case studies are common                • Simple Deployment—The professor had
developed adding more capabilities to             situations often encountered in a                  what he thought was going to be a monster
video conferencing, live and recorded             given day.                                         project on his hands. Influxis tech support
distance learning, and other                                                                         associate Paul guided the professor on a tour
interpersonal communications.                     Case #1: University Projects                       of the Influxis website, highlighting where to
   Although these communication tools                The Call                                        find answers to his questions as well as
are powerful and allow for countless                 A professor from a major national               suggesting which combination of pre-built
applications, people are often stumped as         university was interested in creating a            applications to use and how to embed and
to how to use them or are concerned with          social study project researching how users         deploy the applications to his website.
the price tag.They want to use streaming          interact in a video chat environment.            • Fluid Video Streaming at All Speeds—
media on their site, but cannot invest the                                                           Influxis explained to the professor how Flash
time and resources researching, writing              The Challenge                                   detects a user’s bandwidth and streams the
code, and figuring out how to deploy these           The professor had no background in              appropriate video for their connection speed.
very necessary elements.                          FMS and his project had three elements:            The professor uploaded three different bit
   There are many companies today that            1) stream a pre-recorded video and have            rate encoded .FLV files of the same pre-
offer some variation of streaming media,          people respond to it via chat; 2) observe a        recorded video to target key bandwidth
which may profess to include “higher              live audio/video chat among a group of             profiles. These variable streaming files
quality, lower costs, or better services.”        subjects; and 3) report findings to an             eliminate load times as users receive the
However, few educate and provide the              international group of researchers. He was         appropriate video quality according to their
tools necessary to deploy the full power          concerned about the participants’ computers        individual bandwidth. Influxis fully supports
of FMS on the web. Only Influxis allows           running at different speeds and in different       the Adobe Flash Media Encoder, which allows
the most novice of users to learn, sign up        countries and possibly not being able to           streaming of live audio and video using high
online, and immediately begin deploying           view the video at a fluid rate.Also, would         resolution VP6 encoding.
applications, while also supporting               the viewers to be able to chat in their          • Communicate in Multiple Languages—By
larger scale needs for businesses and             own languages?                                     deploying the Influxis CamChat2 application,
educational institutions.                                                                            the professor provided his subjects with the
   The Influxis team realized a need for            The Objectives                                   ability to communicate in their own languages.
advanced FMS support and provided the               • Expert Support—Professor needs support in      This allowed the professor to observe online
answers to meet the growing demand.                   actually embedding and deploying the FMS       language usage as well as note the various
Influxis developed a unique set of popular,           applications into his website.                 reactions to the same video.
user-friendly FMS tools supported by an             • Clear Streaming for All Connection           • Presentation Tools—Upon completion of
international server network to quickly,easily,       Speeds—He needs to ensure delivery of          the project, the professor used the Influxis
and cost-efficiently utilize and deploy               clear, fluid video streams for the various     application tool called LivePresenter enabling
Flash streaming applications.                         connection speeds.                             him to present his findings to the international
34      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




         board of researchers in an interactive     His client did not want to switch hosts and         with the low costs, but was surprised by
         whiteboard environment format.             domain names if possible.                           the contract-free agreement and ability
                                                                                                        to upgrade or downgrade his plan at any
     Case #2: Developers                              The Objectives                                    time. He signed up immediately online
        The Call                                      • Knowledgeable Support—The client is             and instantly activated his account to
        Influxis received a call from a website         not sure of how to implement FMS.               begin deploying the FMS design tools.
     developer who had been commissioned              • Cost Efficiency—The developer has             • Instant Use Pre-Built Applications—
     to create a website involving streaming            budgetary constraints and is concerned          The developer utilized the Influxis ready-
     audio and video.This developer explained           this project will be very costly.               to-run FMS components received upon
     how he had used Flash for years to create        • Quick Implementation—New Flash                  sign-up, which allowed him to deploy
     banner ads and other animations but only           Streaming elements need to be deployed          real-time communication tools immediately.
     recently had come upon a greater number            by a set date.                                  The Influxis sample applications got him
     of clients seeking live video and audio.         • Keep Current Domain and Host—The                started and it took him only minutes to
                                                        developer’s client wants to maintain his        add streaming content to the site.
       The Challenge                                    current web domain.                             Because he was able to edit the source
       Realizing that traditional web servers                                                           files, the developer custom-branded the
     can only provide limited support at best for     Influxis                                          application for his client. He saved hours
     progressive download of video,the developer      • Support Specialists—Influxis specializes        and days of expected work and finished
     needed to explore the capabilities of FMS          in providing reliable expert-supported          the site weeks ahead of schedule.
     hosting. He wanted to know more, yet was           FMS hosting to Flash developers               • Maintain Current Web Server Host—
     under a deadline and had a limited budget.         throughout the world. In speaking with          The developer’s client was wary of
                                                        one of our knowledgeable support                switching hosts and the developer wanted
                                                        personnel, Influxis determined the              to avoid having to reconfigure and set up
                                                        developer’s specific needs based on             his software and computer in a certain
                                                        business needs, number of expected              way to use Flash Streaming Media. The
                                                        simultaneous connections, file size,            developer was pleased to realize the
                                                        and data file types. Influxis provided          Influxis Flash video player is easily
                                                        the necessary one-to-one support to             embedded into the client’s current website
                                                        help the developer understand the               and he would still be able to fully use the
                                                        capabilities of FMS hosting and                 capabilities of Influxis and the FMS.
                                                        suggested specific applications to
                                                        achieve desired results.                    ABOUT INFLUXIS
                                                      • Custom Hosting Plans—Influxis’              Influxis is a specialist company keenly
                                                        online Custom Plan Builder allowed the      focused on pushing Flash Server technologies
                                                        developer to custom-configure his own       to the next level. Founded and established in
                                                                                                    October 2002 by developers, Influxis services
                                                        FMS hosting plan to perfectly match his
                                                                                                    businesses, universities, and individuals
                                                        specific needs. He wanted only what was     worldwide, and is known for providing the
                                                        necessary in order to stay within budget.   best customer service in the industry.
                                                        The developer was not only impressed        For more information, visit www.influxis.com.
                                                                                                                               www.streamingmedia.com    35




    Online Learning:

    Testing & Certification
    Without a Learning Management System


In today’s marketplace               online         comprehension. In the online environment,          course. However, there are a lot of hurdles
learning has certainly matured from novelty         however, tests take on the additional              to instituting an LMS.
to acceptance and is quickly becoming               significance of providing proof that the              LMSs are a significant commitment for
the norm for many institutions and                  course was completed. In the short time            an organization. On the whole they are
enterprises.The benefits of taking training         that online education programs have                expensive solutions, usually costing in the
and learning online are evident in the              existed, there have been two main ways to          six figure range. In order to justify spending
money and time saved over in-person                 administer tests: via a hard-copy paper            that much on a system, the organization
classes. Early adopters of virtual learning         exam or through the use of a learning              must be committed to its testing initiative
have long understood that there is a need           management system (LMS).                           and conducting enough courses to justify
to make their course work more accessible.              Paper exams have a much lower threshold        it.The reality is that if online learning is a
In many cases it is the only feasible way to        to institute and have usually been the first       significant focus of a business, then this is
reach their entire audience in a timely             choice for new online educators.However,           a smart investment. More often than not,
manner.Today, more and more organizations           administering a hard-copy exam as part of          however, online learning is only a part of
are incorporating online learning into              the event follow-up can become a drain on          an overall offering and these price tags are
their process.These programs can range              resources and is overall counter-intuitive to      out of their range. LMSs are extensive and
from continuing professional education              taking your events online.                         require integration into your network
and employee training to product education              Once a test is completed, it has to be         infrastructure, and as a result, instituting an
and marketing.The acceptance of these               submitted by email or snail mail. From this        LMS becomes an IT procedure that can
programs is bolstered by the busy schedules         point the organization has to either have          take time to get up and running.
of audience members and their under-                someone manually grade the exam or put                This is where TalkPoint Testing &
standing that virtual communication is a            it through some “automated” process.After          Certification comes to the rescue.The feature
reality in today’s business world.                  the results are determined, certifications         was developed as a seamless component
   Deciding to take your educational                must be issued for the people who pass             of our webcasts and is perfect for the
content online is the first step,but how do         and sent back to them.This whole process           online learning market.
you maintain the integrity of the classroom         could conservatively take a couple of                 TalkPoint webcasts are all browser-based
setting after deciding to “go virtual”? Online      weeks.Additionally, if a viewer happens to         and require no downloads, which means
learning, specifically video education              fail the paper version of the test, the whole      they have the broadest reach of any
programs, have proven that they can simu-           process must be repeated.                          webcaster on the market.All a viewer
late the live classroom experience.However,             The fact is that you have gotten your          needs is a web browser and an internet
like in-person learning,their effectiveness is      audience to come and watch an online               connection to view an event.We offer fully
contingent upon the amount of information           presentation, and you should take steps            customized players that help keep the
that the viewer absorbs and retains.In the          to make sure that they complete the                organization’s look and feel,while presenting
virtual classroom,it is difficult to tell if stu-   certification process as soon as possible          flawless video with synchronized slides.
dents are paying attention,or even sitting in       because it helps expedite the process and          TalkPoint webcasts also feature speaker
front of their computers.Beyond registration        improve the results.                               bios, Q&A, polling, and document download
and perhaps polling questions during the                Instituting an LMS is an extremely effective   capability. Document downloads are
event,you have to make a good faith                 way to manage and oversee your online              particularly effective, allowing the viewer
assumption that people are paying attention.        educational program. In fact, it’s the sole        to download, save, or print supplemental
   The most effective way to combat this            purpose of the system.These systems supply         information directly from the event.
unknown is the process of testing.Again,            robust course-tracking, course-completion,            When a viewer clicks a link for a
no different than the in-person version,            and testing elements. Each user can log in         TalkPoint webcast, he or she is taken to our
tests are issued to ensure retention and            and track their progress through the               customized registration page.This page is
36      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




     designed to the presenter’s specifications
                                                                                                                     Easy-to-Use Test Reporting
     and includes all the registration and security
     features assigned to the event. Our regis-
     tration page allows the presenter to gather
     all relevant information about the attendee
     through our robust reporting portal. If the
     educational content is of high value or for
     continuing education credits, we also offer
     the option of incorporating our Pay-Per-View
     feature.Viewers can pay for an event
     right from the registration page through
     our secure connection, which approves
     payment immediately.
         After going through the registration and
     security process, the viewer is taken to the
     event directly or to a program portal.
     TalkPoint can design a portal or agenda
     page for your entire program that will
     allow participants to access all of the
     events from a single source.This is a popular      can supply to TalkPoint before the exam. In          effective way to document accreditation for
     option for online education series and             addition to the template information, we             online education lessons. Our process is an
     behaves similarly to an LMS.                       can add any user-specific information to             effective alternative for instructors who are
         At the conclusion of an educational web-       the certificate that was entered during              tired of a manual grading system,but perhaps
     cast, the post-event test will launch.There is     registration, such as their name and                 not ready for a full LMS. One of the biggest
     no need for additional log-in or registration.     address.The certificate will also be dated           advantages of the TalkPoint system is that,
     Results will be automatically linked to the        and include a personal identification number         like our webcasting services, it is available
     viewer’s event registration information.The        that links that certificate to that specific user.   on an event-by-event basis and requires little
     Testing & Certification process is simple.            TalkPoint features drag-and-drop reporting        overall commitment.When online educators
     Before the event, the presenter will have          available for the webcast registration               utilize the TalkPoint Testing & Certification
     supplied TalkPoint with the test questions in      information, as well as special reports              module along with TalkPoint webcasting
     a multiple choice format.The TalkPoint             designed for the testing portion of the              they are able to save time and money by
     production team will take those questions          event.The reports can include registration           delivering their message and administering
     and create the test.After answering the            information, test-taker results, and even the        their test through one tool.
     multiple choice questions, the viewer will         answers to every question. If a certificate
     click the Submit button and receive results        was issued to the user, a personal certificate       ABOUT TALKPOINT
     immediately. If the viewer fails the test, he or   identification code will also be linked to           TalkPoint delivers the Tools, Technology, and
     she will have the opportunity to either take       that user’s report information.All TalkPoint         Services for Interactive Internet Broadcasting.
     the test again or re-watch the presentation.       reports can be generated for on-screen               TalkPoint specializes in web-based audio and
                                                                                                             video webcasting solutions. TalkPoint’s
     If the viewer passes the exam, he or she will      viewing and are exportable to Excel with
                                                                                                             technology is an internally built system which
     be taken to the certificate.                       the click of a button.                               provides you with the most robust and versatile
         The certificate that is issued for passing        TalkPoint designed its Testing &                  webcasting solution on the market. TalkPoint is
     grades is a fully customized PDF that you          Certification module to be a simple and              both industrial-strength and user-friendly.
                                                                                                                        www.streamingmedia.com    37




   PAT CASSELLA, SENIOR DIRECTOR OF MARKETING, EDUCATION, VBRICK SYSTEMS


   Enterprise IPTV


   A Video Evolution
   that is shaping our lives, changing our teaching methodologies, and influencing our learning styles


A video evolution is underway in our            wanted to participate in a
classrooms across the country.I say evolution   “view only”mode, or even a
rather than revolution as this change has       faculty reviewer taking notes
been occurring through a natural pro-           on a teacher’s abilities.
gression—one of convergence between                Take Oklahoma State
communication methodologies. I don’t            University for example . . .
want to convey thoughts of radical change          OSU has the VBrick
that seemingly happened overnight.What          EtherneTV Media
is taking place in our classrooms, lecture      Distribution System
halls, broadcast studios, and even dormitory    enabling users to record,
rooms is a change that has been occurring       distribute, and manage
over the period of the last 10 years, albeit    DVD-quality digital video
at a faster pace as of late.                    via any IP network. The
    I’m talking about the adoption of           robust digital video
enterprise IPTV—the delivery of audio           capabilities allow professors
and video over IP-based networks.These          to retrieve video and multimedia content       training. Edina Public Schools are also
are indeed the same networks supporting         at the push of a button, providing an          using VBrick to stream live events to the
today’s voice and data applications             added classroom dimension. Students            classroom, distribute programming that
connected to thousands of students’             gain on-demand access to archived class        students and teachers develop (such as
computers at any given time across a            lectures and supplemental information for      morning announcements), and stream
campus; the same network that reaches           enhanced course understanding, as well         cable television to the classroom. The
across the Internet to other campuses           as increased global insight through unique     foundation of Edina’s digital video
across the country, around the world, and       distance learning opportunities.               capabilities is VBrick’s EtherneTV Media
even to a student’s home or dorm room.          EtherneTV also supports real-time virtual      Distribution System, a turnkey platform to
Anywhere a connection to the Internet           presence communications between two            record, distribute, and manage DVD-
exists, enterprise IPTV is now possible and     sites, enabling productive collaboration       quality content.
it is changing the way we teach and learn.      between two locations across campus or            Streaming video has certainly become
    Live audio/video in the classroom can       across the globe.                              the catalyst for many of today’s e-learning
be deployed in a variety of applications.          With IPTV in the classroom today,teachers   solutions.VBrick’s EtherneTV learning
Distance learning is one application and is     are not only tuning into current world         system can provide the transition from
often deployed as a two-way video               events but they are recording these programs   basic information dissemination to an
conference where a teacher in one location      with a single mouse click, saving a digital    environment where rich media lectures are
might be instructing a class in a physically    copy to a video-on-demand server for           commonplace, distance learning minimizes
separate location.While this is certainly a     inclusion into curriculum and replay for a     a campus footprint,and information
valid example, today’s enterprise IPTV          later class.                                   retention surges, all leading to a more
allows for that same video conference to           Look at what Edina, Minn. schools have      effective teaching and learning environment.
be streamed to every desktop for others to      done with video . . .
                                                                                               ABOUT VBRICK
watch.This could be a teacher critiquing a         Edina has deployed VBrick digital video     For more information about VBrick’s education
debate, a student who could not be              capabilities for student on-demand             solutions, contact your VBrick representative or
physically present for a discussion but         educational programming and faculty/staff      visit http://www.VBrick.com.
38      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




         ANDY HOWARD, DIRECTOR OF CORPORATE MARKET DEVELOPMENT, VBRICK SYSTEMS

         Video Distribution in



         Business
         Not just for large companies anymore

     In today’s global business environment,            agility is very important,” says Mark           world to see what is happening on the rigs in
     effective communication is critical to             McKenna, director of marketing communi-         real time has improved our drilling success,
     maintaining a competitive edge. Cutting-           cations for Putnam Investments.“Putnam          which in today’s environment results in
     edge companies have been using video as            TV is a central part of our communication       millions of dollars in incremental revenue.”
     an indispensable business tool for years,          strategy: to handle training, investment
     and the technology has matured to the              information, to connect employees together      How Expensive Are the Solutions?
     point that every company can now                   and to still feel the emotion, the energy,        A huge benefit of VBrick’s approach is
     become a video broadcaster.                        that we want them to have.” (Watch the          that organizations can start with a very
        The question, then, is why aren’t all           video case study at www.VBrick.com.)            modest investment of a few thousand dollars,
     organizations harnessing the power of                                                              and expand as their needs grow. As
     video? Through our extensive contact                  Sharing New Products and                     customers realize the benefits of the
     with customers using video, we have                   Services with your Partners                  products, it is easy to justify the system
     found three main reasons organizations                Getting employees,partners,and customers     expansion to provide more applications.
     are still hesitant to deploy video solutions:      up to speed fast with new products can be
        • They simply do not know what is possible      a challenge. Quickly and effectively train      What about Bandwidth?
          with today’s technology                       and excite partners about your new products.       All of today’s enterprise networks are
        • They believe the solutions will be too        Video product rollouts are more engaging        capable of reliably delivering video. In
          expensive                                     and cost-effective.                             addition, technologies such as IP Multicast
        • They believe their networks are not capable      “As CARQUEST continues our rapid             allow organizations to deliver high-quality
          of handling video                             growth,communications with our employees        live video with minimal impact to their
        This paper addresses all three issues to        and suppliers becomes ever more critical,”      network traffic. Delivering video to the
     demonstrate that all organizations can use         says Ray Birden,VP of marketing for             internet can be achieved through several
     video – easily, reliably, and cost effectively.    CARQUEST Auto Parts. “At CARQUEST, we           methods,including using content distribution
                                                        use VBrick’s to deliver weekly company          networks (CDNs) that scale to large internet
     What is Possible with                              wide CAR QUEST TV broadcasts to all             audiences at a very reasonable cost.
     Video Technology Today?                            employees at our 3,400 stores and 40 dis-
        The best way to describe this is to look        tribution centers.We also leverage the VBrick   Work with a Provider that Knows
     at what other companies have done. The             technology for internal training of our         Networks and Knows your Business
     descriptions below discuss several common          employees through CARQUEST University.”           According to Frost and Sullivan and the
     applications in business.                                                                          Yankee Group,VBrick is the worldwide
                                                           Monitor Remote                               leader in delivering networked video
        Executive Announcements                            Production Facilities                        solutions to businesses. VBrick Systems
        In any enterprise, communicating                   In a global economy, monitoring remote       has unique knowledge of both video and
     important new initiatives, changes, or part-       production facilities and reacting to any       networking, and understands how to reliably
     nerships effectively and efficiently to every-     issues before they become problems can          enable video delivery over IP networks,
     one is imperative.VBrick solutions offer           save millions of dollars.                       even over low-bandwidth WAN links.
     every executive the ability to reliably share         “The VBrick solution has improved our
     live video announcements at a moment’s             business by allowing us to make better
                                                                                                        ABOUT VBRICK
     notice by leveraging your IP network.              decisions regarding our well drilling           For more information about VBrick’s corporate
        “For a company like Putnam                      operations,” says a spokesperson for Shell      solutions, contact your VBrick representative or
     Investments, getting information out with          Oil.“Allowing experts from around the           visit http://www.VBrick.com.
                                                                                                                            www.streamingmedia.com    39




   The Evolution of

   Classroom Audio
The classroom continues to                       inexpensive technology for capturing              classrooms, capture the audio out of the
evolve beyond the traditional instructional      audio directly from the classroom                 mixer and stream it digitally across an existing
model.In higher education,distance learning      microphones, and perhaps an audio                 ethernet backbone.The Instreamer interface
applications have blossomed from simple          mixer or PA system. It is reliable because it     allows the operator to dial up the desired
ideas into high-tech environments on a           operates free of PC architecture, with no         audio bit rate and encoding characteristics
large number of university campuses.             moving parts.The chances of system crashes        for each stream.A video LAN client player
   Like distance learning,the art of classroom   and viruses associated with the PC are            dumps the raw file into the desktop,allowing
recording is undergoing change.The               eliminated.And cumbersome it is not: The          operators to monitor the health of the
modern computer network, and all it offers       Instreamer, with its simple user interface        stream. Fine tuning is conducted after
in the digital domain with file creation, is     and connection ports,is truly a plug-and-play     uploading to the server, completing a solid
influencing more businesses to wave              device.Assign it an IP address and connect        and effective end-to-end workflow.
goodbye to analog. Barix AG of Zurich,           the device to the university network.                The Barix architecture is highly scalable.
Switzerland, with its cost-effective, reliable   Simple as that.                                   The University of Washington’s Classroom
IP streaming technology, is opening eyes on         After capture, the Instreamer encodes          Support Services department is planning a
campuses around the world as it opens            the analog or digital audio signal to MP3         gradual expansion of its current base of
new doors for podcasting initiatives.            to enable reliable transport over the network     Instreamers (24 classrooms in 13 buildings).
   For years, professors at universities taped   backbone. In some cases, a Barix                  For its “Audio Coursecasting” initiative, the
classes for students, perhaps storing them       Exstreamer, the audio decoding counterpart        department uses a similar model to
at the campus library.This was a reliable        to the Instreamer, will receive the audio         Mississippi State University and the
way for students to retrieve information,        prior to uploading.This is useful for customers   University of Minnesota,adding an automated
whether for an on-campus student revisiting      who prefer full quality control of the audio      scheduling feature for recordings. Further
a lecture or for an off-campus student who       file or require additional conversions            expansion is as simple as connecting
missed a distance learning class.                before uploading the files.At $195, the           Instreamers in other classrooms to the
   This begs the question,“Why continue to       Barix Exstreamer is an exceptional                network server.
use tape in an increasingly digital world?”      bargain for cost-conscious audiophiles               Barix also offers alternatives that enable
This question may seem archaic to those          with complex requirements.                        educational institutions to create their own
already using digital methods for capturing         Several Barix university customers,            Instreamer and/or Exstreamer applications
and storing live classroom audio. However,       such as Mississippi State University and          for classroom recordings through pro-
digital doesn’t automatically mean reliable,     the University of Minnesota, upload the           grammable software, available by request.
inexpensive, and manageable, and setup           signal directly from the Instreamer to the        Other options include the installation of
can be time-consuming. Many classroom            university server.These operators then            Barix Annuncicom intercom systems in
recording techniques use a host of               perform a quick QC check and trim the             classrooms around a campus.A lecture in
technology platforms that require a series       “quiet” periods at the start and finish of        an auditorium or classroom of limited
of digital-to-analog and analog-to-digital       the lecture prior to allowing student             space can use an Instreamer to capture
conversions as the signals are routed            access.This keeps storage capacity in             audio and transport it over IP to multiple
throughout a facility’s technical core, adding   check and provides a clean, high-quality          Annuncicom units in other classrooms,
expenses and potentially deteriorating           podcast to students.                              allowing students in other areas to hear
audio quality.                                      The University of Minnesota boasts a           the lecture live.With Barix, the possibilities
   The Barix Instreamer makes reliability,       successful Instreamer deployment using            are truly endless.
cost-efficiency, quick setup, and user-          this exact process.The Instreamer devices,
friendliness a reality. At $395, it is an        installed in A/V racks in the rear of the         SEE WWW.BARIX.COM FOR MORE INFO
40      Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




        Educating Buyers in the


        B2B Environment
        Using Video White Papers to Accelerate Customer Relationships                                                                          By Ann Roskey


     Demand for engaging, educational                goes beyond text. The
     content presents some unique opportunities      visual connection also
     for B2B marketers to both change the way        aids information absorption
     content is developed and accelerate the         and recall, so when
     sales cycle. A recent B2B study found           follow-up occurs, the
     that 80% of buyers rely on vendors for          prospect is more likely to
     educational material to solve a problem;        remember your company
     they also want it customized to address         and message.
     their industry, job function, or stage in the      As discussed earlier, content should vary     Figure 1. AccelaCast’s Interactive Branching Logic.

     buying cycle. Respondents were also             as the consideration process advances.
     increasingly selective about what types of      On-demand rich media platforms such as           telemetry points automatically capture data
     content appeals to them, with educational       AccelaCast can accomplish this through           every 15 seconds to monitor user activity.
     white papers topping the list at 71%. In a      interactive branching logic, providing           Form responses and segment view times are
     similar study, 78% of respondents               viewers with the interactivity of DVD and        recorded in the platform database,providing
     believe video makes online content              the convenience of streaming media (see          intelligence about viewers interests,as well as
     more compelling.                                Figure 1).The unique branching process           the path they took while navigating the
        With buyers turning to vendor websites       can be used to present content-menu              program.The number of downloads that
     for research, marketers can meet this           options, or decision points, based on the        occur during a program measures interaction
     demand by adopting an online content            buyer’s need to keep viewers engaged.            and identifies registrants interested enough
     strategy that employs customized video          Segmented content not only benefits site         to browse beyond the program content.This
     white papers to address all prospects in        visitors, but viewing activity is also tracked   kind of “engagement intelligence”can help
     the buying cycle.This is especially desirable   by the web response management system            your sales team prioritize leads or develop
     in complex sales where you have multiple        to offer insight into a prospect’s stage in      a follow-up strategy that is aligned with
     people involved with varying levels of          the buying process.                              viewer interests.
     product knowledge. For example, people             Other features that help you connect             Appropriately designed interactive video
     beginning to research a solution will seek      with the customer include ”Forward to a          white papers deliver both tailored content
     out introductory explanations of concepts,      Friend” and “Ask a Question.” “Forward to        based on the requirements of consumers
     whereas those at the end of the buying          Friend” is a viral feature that allows viewers   and actionable insight your organization
     cycle will be interested in detailed product    to send someone a time-coded hyperlink           needs to accelerate the sales cycle.This
     comparisons.The interactive characteristics     that points to a specific part of the program.   can be accomplished with a robust rich
     of a video white paper allow you to create      “Ask a Question” supports direct dialogue        media platform and service provider that
     one program that offers customized              with presenters by enabling viewers to           is willing to work with companies during
     content choices to keep more people             submit questions via email. Data from this       the development stage to provide creative
     engaged and learning about your product         and all activity is available 24/7 and stored    input, feedback, and guidance during the
     or service.                                     in a secure database.                            production process.

     Introducing the Video White Paper               Tracking Intelligence                            ABOUT ACCELA COMMUNICATIONS
       Video white papers rely on video,               Video white papers can speed up the            Ann Roskey is VP of Marketing for Accela
                                                                                                      Communications, Inc.
     graphics, and animation to communicate          sales cycle when built on a platform that
                                                                                                      (www.accelacommunications.com), an interactive
     complex information.When done well,             includes reporting metrics and behavior          marketing services firm. To request examples of
     audio and video enhance the speaker’s           analysis you simply don’t get with text          video white papers, email:
     authority and personality in a way that         documents. In the AccelaCast platform,           ann_roskey@accelacommunications.com.
BRILLIANT FLASH VIDEO QUALITY.
                 TOO BAD THE AUDIO IS MISSING.

     Learn Flash streaming from the experts.
     CASE STUDIES   ■   INDUSTRY INSIGHT   ■   HOW-TO GUIDES




     Get your free subscription at www.streamingmedia.com/magazine
    Best Practices: ONLINE LEARNING




                     PLATINUM SPONSORS                                                        Gold Sponsors


                                                                                              AKAMAI TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
                                                                                              U.S. Headquarters
                                                                                              8 Cambridge Center,
                                                                                              Cambridge, MA 02142
                                                                                              TEL: 617.444.3000
                                                                                              FAX: 617.444.3001
                                                                                              U.S. TOLL FREE: 877.4AKAMAI
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                  ACCORDENT TECHNOLOGIES
          300 North Continental Boulevard, Second Floor
                     El Segundo, CA 90245                                                     IGNITE TECHNOLOGIES, INC.
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555 Anton Boulevard, Suite 400, Costa Mesa, CA 92626                                          LEVEL 3
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                                                                                              REAL NETWORKS, INC.
                                                                                              2601 Elliott Avenue
                 SONIC FOUNDRY                                                                Seattle, WA 98121
  222 West Washington Avenue, Madison, WI 53703                                               TEL: 206.674.2700
       TEL: 877.783.7987 • 608.443.1600                                                       NORTH AMERICAN SALES:
               FAX: 608.443.1601                                                              800.444.8011
              www.sonicfoundry.com                                                            www.realnetworks.com




                                      BARIX TECHNOLOGY, INC.
                                      Johannes Rietschel, CEO            INFLUXIS                                 TALKPOINT
ACCELA COMMUNICATIONS, INC.           Barix AG, Seefeldstrasse 303       28110 Avenue Stanford, Unit D            100 William Street
118 Turnpike Road                     8008 Zurich, Switzerland           Valencia, CA 91355                       9th Floor                     VBRICK SYSTEMS INC.
Southborough, MA 01772                TEL: +41 43 43322 11               TEL: 1.888.449.3444                      New York, NY 10038            12 Beaumont Road
TEL: 508.303.9700                     FAX: +41 44 2742849                Outside U.S.: 661.775.3936               TEL: 212.909.2900             Wallingford, CT 06492
FAX: 508.303.9753                     EMAIL: info@barix.com              FAX: 661.775.4911                        FAX: 212.909.2901             TEL: 203.265.0044
www.accelacommunications.com          www.barix.com                      www.influxis.com                         www.talkpoint.com             www.VBrick.com



                                                          For information on participating        Joel Unickow, Publisher Joel@streamingmedia.com     A PRODUCT OF
                                                                   in the next white paper        88 Danbury Road, Suite 1D, Wilton, CT 06897
                                                      in the “innovation” series, contact:        TEL: 250.722.9411 FAX: 250.722.9412

								
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