SharePoint relied on another Microsoft product, Silverlight, up through the 2013 version of the SharePoint
server. With the deprecation of Silverlight, there’s no
real fallback position for enterprise solutions that want
to use streaming video in various formats. Support for
Silverlight in Chrome on all other operating systems
was disabled by default in April 2015 and was removed
completely in September 2015; support for the newest
version—Silverlight 5—will end in October 2021.
So that’s one key area where an EVP can add value:
integration into SharePoint as the video “extension” of
the overall SharePoint document-sharing ecosystem.
With the advent of SharePoint Server 2016, though,
Microsoft is fully committed to HTML5 players. And
that’s good, because HTML5 is now the default way to
play video in the Chrome browser, and users must indicate their desire to use plug in players like the Adobe Flash Player or Silverlight on a site-by-site basis.
Microsoft’s commitment to SharePoint integration
also extends to the use of hybrid solutions, leveraging the Microsoft Azure cloud platform alongside a
SharePoint Server instance—either on-prem or in a
separate cloud instance—to offer a total video playback and collaboration solution for enterprise. If, of
course, you’re fully committed to the whole enterprise
being a Microsoft shop.
Viorel Iftode has an excellent tutorial on how to ad-
dress Azure Media Services (AMS) with SharePoint
servers, including SharePoint Server 2016 (go2sm
.com/iftode). “In an Azure Media Services and Share-
Point 2010/2013/2016 configuration,” writes Iftode, “the
main two advantages are: robust playback experience
The main downside of this type of integration, as
Iftode notes, is security. “In very short—you will use
SharePoint as an interface to the media content, but
the streamed media will not be hosted on-premises,”
writes Iftode, “and the mechanisms to restrict the ac-
cess to the published media content are rudimentary
(the identity management is missing, but there are
different combinations who can tick couple of secu-
That’s an issue Rayburn brought up on the SM-
AdvancedForum chat, too.
“You have all the security requirements that are
unique inside a Fortune 500 enterprise closed network,”
One workaround that Iftode recommends is to host
everything on an on-prem SharePoint server—
documents, videos, even chat.
“[H]ost everything (media files + HTML5 player) in
SharePoint—basically not having any dependency
hosted on internet,” writes Iftode. “The main advan-
tage is the security, [but] the main disadvantage is the
playback experience …”
One of the major issues Iftode points out is the fact
that users are likely to “encounter playback interrup-
tions due to the network bandwidth limitations” since
the SharePoint video serving solution doesn’t provide
adaptive bitrate (ABR) streaming.
And that is a key advantage of an EVP: It stays
abreast of media formats, including multiple ABR
formats, in a way that a collaboration and document
server like SharePoint seldom can touch, especially
for on-prem versions.
Pricing is a key differentiator between a media OVP
and an EVP solution.
“When you’re going into enterprise, it’s turning into
a software sale,” said Rayburn, “and they typically like
to buy that software based on a seat license. That’s very
opposite of broadcast. You also have the issue from
an update standpoint, what you’re doing with the software,” said Rayburn, pointing out that many solutions
that sit inside a firewall aren’t as easily upgraded when
it comes to on-prem solutions.
That leads to another continuing advancement in the
EVP space: hybrid cloud/on-prem solutions.
In the last Sourcebook, we looked at the emergence
of cloud-based solutions but noted the need to consider hybrid alternatives. This year, hybrid solutions are
continuing to make significant progress in certain EVP
use cases that prioritize security over accessibility.
Rayburn wrapped up his comments by talking about
how we all need to rethink some of the approaches
we’ve taken to streaming in the enterprise over the
past 2 decades.
“The companies I like and respect in the industry
are the ones that have focused,” said Rayburn. “They
don’t try to be everything to everybody.”
According to Rayburn, “Many vendors in our indus-
try, really from the beginning, have made the mistake
of thinking, ‘I’m doing great in this vertical, now I will
jump to another vertical,’ but miss the reasons that
differentiate the various types of online video plat-
forms. They think they can just tweak their product
a little way to go” into a new market vertical.
What concerns do EVPs need to address to get traction in 2018? Here are three key areas:
Don’t Fall Into the Copyright Trap
This area might also be labeled “Why I don’t use a media OVP for work,” and it’s an often-overlooked pitfall
when it comes to media delivery within the enterprise.
The thinking behind this, espoused by companies
like DaCast, is that media OVPs have hair-trigger copyright protection tools.
Overly sensitive copyright protection mechanisms
may accidentally flag videos used in enterprise for copyright violations, wrote DaCast’s Max Wilbert. These