AXA Case Study
Hive Streaming & Microsoft Solve Video Communication Challenges for AXA
In order to keep employees informed and aligned and in the spirit of transparent communication, video was becoming a much more common form of internal communication. AXA embraces Microsoft Office 365 and many of the tools it provides. One of these tools is Skype Meeting Broadcast, which is used extensively for communicating within AXA Germany and the company worldwide. Skype was as a ideal tool to utilize for video communication, unfortunately, any sizable live video event would severely impact the corporate network and the performance of other applications, resulting in poor quality video.
Video over Skype Meeting Broadcast was negatively impacting the performance of their corporate network and their business was being impacted. A solution was needed to remove this video traffic from their network access points and allow them to scale video within their network without bringing network performance to its’ knees.
In 2017 a decision was made to evaluate solutions that would:
- Make better use of network resources
- Eliminate impact on user applications
- Reduce maintenance
- Improve monitoring and reporting of event performance
- Improve the video quality to all users
- Broadcast video from desktop and also video studios
- Integrate with Microsoft Office 365 sign-on and collaboration tools
AXA is the world’s leading insurance brand and engages in the businesses of investment management, financial services, and global insurance. Their purpose is to empower people to live a better life. AXA has is headquartered in Paris, France but has 160,000 employees and 100 million clients globally. Operations are in over 60 countries, but with a focus on business in Europe, North America and Asia Pacific. Hive Streaming initially engaged with AXA Germany, where AXA is one of the largest primary insurers, with over 9,000 employees, in over 18 offices, where they serve 8 million customers.
The Evaluation Process
With these criteria in mind, AXA Germany conducted a search for a solution that would enable them to fully embrace internal video communications. AXA started the search broadly but quickly determined that they wanted a software solution. It was determined that hardware was too expensive and administratively difficult to maintain. AXA is an Office 365 customer, so naturally they turned to their Microsoft team for insights on viable video delivery solution.
Two software-based solutions were identified and evaluated head-to-head. Along with the criteria outlined above, the ability for the solution to provide insights into the performance of their internal network and to identify problems before there was an impact, was seen as very important. At the end of the evaluation process there was a clear choice – Hive Streaming.
“Hive Streaming was a clear choice based on our requirements and thorough evaluation. Their solution’s overall performance and the Hive team’s collaborative approach left us with no doubt that they were the right choice.”
Daniel Klatt, AXA Services Germany
At the completion of the evaluation phase, AXA decided that only Hive Streaming appeared to meet their selection criteria. During testing Hive showed that it was:
- Easy to configure
- Incredibly efficient at utilizing existing network resources
- Able to eliminate impact on user applications during broadcasts
- Apparent ability to reach every AXA Germany desktop
- Improve the video quality to all users – over 1.5mbps to most users
As well, the Hive Streaming solution impressed the AXA team with its ability to dynamically configure itself and continually improve this configuration if there were any network updates. The comprehensive and detailed live monitoring and reporting of event performance were superior to the competition and the ability to Silent Test Hive Streaming in action, without involving employees, sealed the decision. As well as the superior performance of the solution, the collaborative approach of the Hive Streaming team left the AXA evaluation team with high degree of confidence that Hive was the right solution.
Since selecting Hive Streaming in 2017, Hive Streaming has been used extensively as a means to scale live video events via Skype Meeting Broadcast. The AXA Germany technical team has deployed Hive to over 12,000 AXA devices, and as a result has seen live video events increase from two or three events per month to now sometimes as many as thirty per month. Whether it be a training event, leadership broadcast or a companywide town hall, Hive has been up to the challenge and performed as promised. AXA Germany employees now have more confidence conducting these video events and, as a result of the high quality, not only are they happening more often but attendance is up also.
Typical of a AXA live event results:
- Over 90% having either a good or excellent viewing experience
- With 88% viewing at a bit rate of 1.7 megabits per second
- 90% of the traffic delivered to sites across the wide area network via peer-assist delivery, achieving in AXA’s case, near theoretical optimal traffic offload from WAN links.
- At its corporate headquarters campus, where there is a large concentration of viewers, 94% of traffic was delivered via peerassist delivery
(Non-Hive distribution traffic is not included)
Quality of Experience
Requests Per Bitrate Summary
AXA Germany has been so impressed with the performance of Hive Streaming, that they are looking for opportunities to utilize Hive technologies globally. Hive WebRTC is a Hive solution that they are currently evaluating because of its frictionless deployment – Hive WebRTC enables Hive distribution without installing software via WebRTC compatible browsers. AXA is also very interested in deploying Microsoft 365 and Microsoft Teams and Stream and utilizing the Hive integration in these products. They are particularly looking forward to utilizing Hive to distribute video on demand via Microsoft Stream.