Veodia, a two year old, venture backed narrowcast video play has taken a further step forward in helping proliferate its technology with the release of a Flash based widget that uses the MPEG-4/h.264 standard. The widget allows organizations to distribute channel based content direct into individual websites or to MPEG-4 enabled mobile devices. This overcomes one of the stumbling blocks for many other video services that rely solely on Flash as the delivery mechanism.
I spoke with CEO Guillaume Cohen about the service and how he sees it going forward. He explained that from the outset, the company focused on providing services to the business community and that the technology was developed as an alternative to on-premise production systems that frequently run many thousands of dollars. "But in order to compete in this marketplace we had to ensure that we built technology that overcomes the traditional problems of drop out that otherwise significantly reduces quality." In response, Veodia developed patent pending technology that dynamically adjusts streaming for possible lost packets. Once streaming is concluded, Veodia re-assembles the content to eliminate dropout altogether.
While Veodia still offers a free service, this is more in the nature of a trial which the company still uses as a way of assessing the types of scenario where video has the greatest impact and demand. It has identified three markets where it claims to be making headway:
- 1. Outbound communications - the example given is APC which markets power supplies. In this scenario, Veodia is used to explain new products to the reseller channel.
2. As an extension of the above, Veodia has identified sales environments where customers may need a demonstration of product.
3. Training - where, for example, HR departments might wish to explain how policies work in sensitive areas like sexual harassment. Another example given is for auto manufacturers who are looking to change from satellite transmission to internet based dealership training.
Veodia provides companies with statistical information about what is being watched and for how long so they have an opportunity to learn about which content types work. But in a market that is rapidly becoming crowded, I wondered how Veodia differentiates itself. Cohen said that: "Quality is the number one thing but then we can assure confidentiality because we deliver full access control and have no ads-based revenue model. We're also part of the Webex Connect platform so for those customers using that service, we act as a plug-in."
Pricing is not publicly disclosed on the company website but final pricing depends on the types of feature required and the extent to which the customer requires customizations to fit into their environment.
Over the course of the next year, Veodia plans to double its staff to 30 people while concentrating on controlled scalability. "Our customers buy SLA assurance. Delivering on that is our number one priority today," said Cohen.
Veodia is operating in a rapidly evolving space. Right now, many of the services on offer are little more than souped up consumer offerings. Veodia has not taken that route and its delivery quality helps it stand out: at least in the short term. My sense is that services which are capable of becoming embedded within business processes will stand a better chance of survival than those that are largely standalone. How this pans out remains to be seen.