Hive Streaming And Skype Meeting Broadcast Solve Business Video Conferencing Challenges For Eastman
Hive Streaming and Skype Meeting Broadcast solve video communication challenges for Eastman.
Eastman is a global advanced materials and specialty additives company that produces a broad range of products found in items people use every day. With a portfolio of specialty businesses, Eastman works with customers to deliver innovative products and solutions while maintaining a commitment to safety and sustainability. Its market-driven approaches take advantage of world-class technology platforms and leading positions in attractive end-markets such as transportation, building and construction, and consumables. Eastman focuses on creating consistent, superior value for all stakeholders. As a globally diverse company, Eastman serves customers in more than 100 countries and had 2016 revenues of approximately $9.0 billion. The company is headquartered in Kingsport, Tennessee, USA and employs approximately 14,000 people around the world:
- 2014, 2015 and 2016 Glassdoor Employees’Choice Award / Top 50 Best Places to Work List
- Named in 2014, 2015, 2016, and 2017 as one of the World’s Most Ethical Companies® by Ethisphere® Institute
- Recipient of a 2016 ENERGY STAR® Partner of the Year – Sustained Excellence award
In a company with over 14,000 employees spread across dozens of countries, regular company-wide communication and dialogue are critical to ensure all employees are aligned with the corporate strategy and that they feel involved in the overall success of Eastman. Nothing is better than a personal visit from senior executives, but as this isn’t always possible. Over the past ten years, video communication has played an increasingly important role. In order to broadcast video from executives across the company network, Eastman created a server-based system that incorporated a mix of both multicast and unicast. The solution was “good enough”, but broadcasts often impacted their network and user applications; video quality maxed out at 400Kbps, which was sub-optimal, and broadcasts could only be conducted from a central location. Due to these reasons and the fact that their encoders were nearing end-of-life, a decision was made to find a solution that would:
- Make better use of network resources
- Eliminate impact on user applications
- Reduce maintenance
- Improve monitoring and reporting of event performance
- Extend the broadcast capability companywide
- Improve the video quality to all users
- Integrate with Microsoft Office 365 sign-on and collaboration tools
Viewer distribution – brightness of blue represents viewer density.
The Evaluation Process
With these criteria in mind, Eastman embarked on a search for a solution that would enable them to fully embrace internal video communications. Approximately ten solutions were evaluated, including vendors who provide comprehensive video content management and publishing systems as well as those who provide software video delivery products such as Hive Streaming. Eastman was also rolling out Office 365 and was interested in Skype Meeting Broadcast, so naturally they turned to their Microsoft team for insights on viable video delivery solution. Early in the process it became clear that a software-based solution with efficient delivery capabilities was compelling due to the lack of investment required in capital equipment and maintenance. Also, the ability to integrate with Office 365 and Skype Meeting Broadcast would leverage that investment and increase adoption throughout Eastman globally. To the Eastman technical team, analytics and reports were also critical. Not just typical macro statistics like number of viewers, time viewed, and average bit rate, but also the reporting of actual user experience by individual user and measures of quality of experience by region. At the end of the evaluation process there was a clear choice – Hive Streaming.
At the completion of the evaluation phase, Eastman decided that only Hive Streaming appeared to meet their selection criteria:
- Incredibly efficient at utilizing existing network resources – claims of optimal network offload down to one stream per site!
- Claimed to eliminate impact on user applications during broadcasts
- Minimal maintenance and more cost effective due to it being a software-based solution
- Comprehensive and detailed live monitoring and reporting of event performance
- Apparent ability to reach every Eastman desktop
- Improve the video quality to all users – over 1.5Mbps to most users
- Microsoft Office 365 and Skype Meeting Broadcast integration and team endorsement.
As well as meeting their evaluation criteria, the team at Eastman was very impressed with the Hive Streaming Silent Testing, which enabled the Eastman team to run tests in the background, without impacting users to make sure their network was ready for a broadcast.
Since selecting Hive Streaming for evaluation, the Hive Streaming product has been put through extensive simulated and live testing. The Eastman technical team has worked extensively with the Hive Streaming team and, after addressing some initial deployment customizations, the Eastman team had the confidence to conduct a companywide broadcast with its CEO and the results were outstanding:
- Over 2,500 simultaneous viewers
- Over 90% having either a good or excellent viewing experience
- 87% viewing at a bit rate of 1.7Mbps
- 89% of the traffic delivered to over 300 sites across the wide area network via peer-assisted delivery, achieving in Eastman’s case, near theoretically optimal traffic offload from WAN links
- At its corporate headquarters campus, where there is a large concentration of viewers, 97% of traffic was delivered via peer-assist delivery
As well as generating these extremely positive quantitative results, Eastman conducted a post event employee survey which confirmed that employees enjoyed a much improved video experience and that employees generally did not have issues with the performance of other applications during the broadcast. As a result, Eastman is moving forward as a Hive Streaming and Skype Meeting Broadcast customer and more importantly, they now feel confident in more frequent use of video communications and extending use to more users and facilities.
- Live broadcast to all offices and employees, driving employee engagement and improving distance learning and training
- No new network investments needed plus an opportunity to save cost by retiring some of the existing video solutions
- Better understanding of QoE, audience engagement, and network weaknesses using Hive Insights for detailed analytics and testing