Sonic Foundry is the global leader for video capture, management and streaming solutions. Our solution – Mediasite– is used by more than 4,300 colleges, universities, healthcare organizations and enterprises in 65 countries. Mediasite hardware and software solutions transform the way knowledge flows within organizations, allowing an even playing field for people to learn worldwide.
Without video, organizations risk losing relevance in today’s world. Video isn’t a fleeting trend. It’s at the heart of how we communicate in our everyday lives, making it more personal, more effective and more dynamic. Without video, valuable content and knowledge is lost forever – Mediasite captures and manages that knowledge and as a result, student success rates soar and employee engagement improves.
Read on for a Q&A with CEO Gary Weis.
How prolific is Mediasite on campuses and in businesses?
Our technology is being used a lot. Because we have strong analytics in our product, we can tell how many views, hours of viewing and videos are created. Our numbers are larger than any other video capture and management solution in the industry. In 2016 alone there were 2 million videos created that received 50 million views. That’s 20 million hours of video viewed. If we look back over the past several years there are 4 million presentations. For most of these parameters, the year-over-year growth is 20 to 40 percent. This is real proof of the value of the technology that we have.
Where are all these videos stored?
The cloud continues to be a hot topic in technology news. That’s what everybody thinks is the way of the future. Well, there are a fair number of our customers that, frankly, would be unhappy with us if we tried to promote them to our cloud offering. Certain customers want to operate their own infrastructure within the confines of their own data center in their own world. If we tell them, “We’re going to make you migrate to the cloud,” they would not be happy.
So, what sets us apart from other enterprise video platforms is that our customers can either host their content on-premesis or in the Mediasite Video Cloud – or a mix of both. We’ve built mechanisms into our product to provide the same excellent support for all customers. If a customer wants to deploy it on-premises in their own infrastructure, we fully support and provide an excellent experience there. If they want to do it in our hosting infrastructure, that’s fine, too. It’s up to the customer.
What are a few of the innovations and applications that Sonic Foundry has done in the past few years?
We’ve entered the Unified Communications space with Mediasite Join, which seamlessly integrates with all leading video conferencing solutions and captures exchanges between a classroom and a remote classroom or between businesses. Our customers found it extremely functional because it treats the captured video just like it does any other Mediasite video. It doesn’t just capture the talking heads. It also captures any material that is presented on the video conference.
How is Mediasite being used in healthcare?
There’s a great need for real-time, affordable health-focused elearning content. Hundreds of customers in the medical field choose Mediasite for education and training. They record lectures and complex medical procedures, grand rounds, staff trainings, patient instructions, public health announcements and more.
We’ve been working with Learners Digest International, for example, for many years. LDI uses Mediasite Events to capture conferences. Then, LDI sells that content online for continuing medical education credits. The partnership has been hugely successful.
We also partnered with Noordhoff Health last year to co-create innovative learning solutions for 4,000+ European hospitals and healthcare organizations. From taking a patient’s blood pressure to practicing complex and critical clinical procedures, healthcare providers are entering a more demanding healthcare system that requires them to have a vast amount of knowledge at their fingertips. Noordhoff Health uses Mediasite as the key technology to develop, market and sell digital education content. That content covers practical training such as nursing, clinical compliance, safe use of medical technology and more.
Medical Center Leeuwarden is another example. It’s a large teaching hospital in the Netherlands that uses Mediasite to train employees on a new electronic health records system. Future plans for Mediasite include video introductions for new staff, continuing medical education for doctors and recording doctor-patient interactions – with patient permission – for professional development.
What is the most rewarding part of working at Sonic Foundry?
The most rewarding part is to provide a video management solution that can be used in any industry. Sonic Foundry is at the center of advancing video technology to enhance success, whether it’s the health sector embracing telemedicine or working with higher education institutions to bring education to remote areas of the world.
Mediasite is helping with global learning initiatives and is a major player in the evolving and changing world of education. Institutions are expanding their reach to remote or isolated areas where students might not otherwise have access to education. In South Africa, for example, a lack of quality teachers and severe home conditions in rural areas has resulted in some South African provinces having 80 percent of schools classified as failing. The University of the Free State uses daily live Mediasite webcasts to provide support in core subjects to more than 80 schools in the Free State province. Pass rates have jumped from 26 percent to 100 percent in some rural South African high schools. That’s incredible.