TouchCast bets live video streaming is your next enterprise collaboration hotbed

The company is adding live streaming to its TouchCast Studio platform, which provides a TV studio in an iPad. Will companies adopt a Periscope-type approach to communication?
Written by Larry Dignan, Contributor

TouchCast is betting that live video streaming is going to go well beyond consumer tools like Facebook Messenger and evolve into a primary enterprise communications tool.

The company, founded in 2012, already had its TouchCast Studio platform, which has been used to create video presentations, webcasts, and webinars. With the launch of Smart Live Video, TouchCast is adding the ability to put elements like webpages, documents, quizzes, and maps into a live stream.

In a nutshell, TouchCast provides a TV studio in an iPad app. ZDNet got a demo to see how a live stream would be put together. The popularity of live video streaming in the enterprise is picking up among younger workers. TouchCast aims to take live video streaming beyond the standard Google Hangout or Skype call and up the production quality.

Smart Video Live includes green screen backgrounds, analytics, virtual sets, and a teleprompter, as well as various effects and the ability to have multi-camera shoots with iPhones. The TouchCast Live Video is more interactive and the "TV studio at your fingertips" approach could gain traction under a bring-your-own app enterprise set-up. Live streams are archived for on-demand viewing.

TouchCast CEO Edo Segal said the company's customer base is concentrated in financial services, pharmaceuticals, and consulting. Accenture is also a key customer. "There is a big hunger to leverage video in a more progressive way," he said.

While there's an argument that TouchCast is more like a Periscope for the enterprise, the real competition will be collaboration tools that are already used in the enterprise. Will live streaming of internal corporate content break the stranglehold held by Microsoft, Cisco, and others in the collaboration space? Should those collaboration players add live streaming, TouchCast will face tough competition.

TouchCast deploys a software as a service model akin to Adobe's Creative Cloud as well as per user model. I plan on giving TouchCast's Smart Video Live a whirl with a review at a later date.

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