Explosion of corporate video
Covid-19 forced enterprises to switch quickly from physical to virtual meetings. What was the effect of this abrupt change in terms of actual video consumption? The growth we’ve seen so far is massive. Here’s an example from one of our customers, and it represents well the trend we see overall.
Graph1: Week by week growth consumption of corporate video streaming on a representative enterprise account
Overall, we’re seeing 50%-80% more traffic compared to February, before the lockdown.
Why video streaming grew and will only continue to grow
Virtual has many advantages and the forced transition to digital communication has proven to be hugely beneficial. People have found Teams, Zoom, Slack and other collaboration tools to be useful and, dare we say it, actually better than the old physical paradigm - meetings are shorter, there is less overhead, you don’t waste time commuting, etc. Plus, there’s more transparency: anyone can join; conversations can be automatically transcribed or, at least recorded; and everything can be archived and searchable. Imagine listening to a meeting at 1.5x speed while jogging - how efficient and addictive!
Inclusion - As people get back to their offices, the people at home need to feel equal. As an employee you now expect to be part of the decision making and take part in different processes, whether you’re at work or at home. It means that information and specifically, meetings need to be recorded. Some companies already decided to make all meetings available virtual and that means tons of content and consumption.
Quality drives consumption - With the reliance on video, comes the appetite to better quality which is the result of better cameras, more experienced staff and obviously streaming infrastructure that can push more bits. If this is a tool everybody should use every day, it needs to be very reliable and engaging. And as quality grows, engagement and usage grows too.
Bandwidth Tsunami for Corporates
Right now, video is streamed mostly to people at home, over the public Internet, but what happens when people go back to work and connect from the corporate network? Can the enterprise network cope with the demand?
It’s true that “just” 50% of the users on average are expected to be at the office. But during Covid-19, those users have become huge consumers of video, not only that, viewers can no longer congregate in meeting rooms or auditoriums so each user needs its dedicated stream. Imagine a town hall meeting - every employee gets its own stream, hammering the corporate ISP connection.
So how much more traffic should we expect later this year? If streaming keeps growing at this pace, based on our model in September we can expect about 3.3 times more minutes streamed compared to March. If you take into account 50% less users that are in the office, you get to 65% more minutes and more bandwidth.
Graph2: Expect 65% more LAN traffic in September compared to Pre Covid days.
What to do?
Most companies cannot sustain such peaks and this Tsunami needs to be addressed somehow, or else the network is going to be overloaded. Now that employees are used to video and want Netflix-like picture quality, reducing the number of bits is out of the question. Physical networks will be upgraded in some companies, but it’s easier to leverage browser-based (WebRTC) P2P software to increase capacity. Some companies already use it and deployed Software-based ECDN, a P2P enterprise content delivery network that increases capacity by orders of magnitude of 10X to 20X and can be deployed within days.
Join us for a webinar hosted by MediaPlatform and hear more about enterprise video streaming challenges and solutions
Peer5 solves the network congestion problem that occurs during large live corporate events such as all-hands meetings. When everybody watch at the same time, the network is choked, but with Peer5, an efficient P2P mesh network is formed that reduces the load by 90%. Peer5 leverages WebRTC which means no additional software or hardware is needed, just a modern browser.
SAP, Adobe, Ebay, PWC, Deutsche Telekom, DXC and other fortune 500 customers solved their networking issues and trust Peer5 for their biggest corporate events.