SCN: You have an extensive background in sales for video communication solution companies, first working with Sonic Foundry, then QUMU, before moving to Haivision. How has this helped you predict new market opportunities when developing video solutions?
Cody Kleven: It’s been really interesting working for three different video streaming manufacturers over the past 12 years. Although there are times we encounter each other in competitive situations, for the most part each company is very different in its approach—intellectual property, culture, and go-to-market strategy. The reality is that leveraging IP-based video solutions for communications has evolved significantly and will continue to grow as the workforce is populated by younger generations who have become accustomed to watching online video everyday.
- At the beginning of my career, we were working with thought-leading companies on the bleeding edge, looking to bring IP-based streaming into their organizations to better the way they did business. Since then, IP-based video has been on its way to a state of ubiquity. This shift has been driven by business demands as companies attempt to become more efficient operationally or culturally. Most importantly it’s driven by the workforce who is increasingly comfortable with the consumer video experience they get at home using websites and apps like YouTube and Vine. Video really is almost everywhere now and the next challenge is to make it easy to use for business.
With my experience of working with different video technology companies, I’m in a much better position to help Haivision position the right solutions for its customers and target markets because I understand how our company’s DNA aligns (comparatively) with all of the requirements that go into addressing specific new and existing market opportunities. Often times success is as much about knowing where not to head as it is about knowing where to head. I believe my partners and end customers have the best experience because I’ve helped tailor and package the best of what Haivision as a company has to offer for their business objectives.
SCN: Were video communication solutions always an interest for you? What brought you to pursue this career path?
CK: I guess like a lot of people, video communications is a field I stumbled into. Although I’ve had sales and business development roles for the past several years, my undergraduate degree is in Computer Science. After starting my first job in this industry, I was immediately hooked. People in the AV industry are spoiled; we’re always receiving visual gratification. As a Computer Science graduate, there are a lot of boring jobs I could have found myself in. When I see major broadcasters and sports organizations depending on Haivision technology and viewing instant replays or video within a stadium, that’s pretty cool. Or when I walk into a children’s Autism clinic and see how doctors are streaming patient therapy sessions over the network to parents who are learning how to care for their kids, it’s massively impactful.
There’s also no hiding in our industry. Our projects are visible and seeing them go live is thrilling. Like everyone at Haivision and most people in our industry, I have a lot of pride in the projects I’m a part of. What really fuels me is that I get to make decisions every day that not only influence the direction of the company but the technologies and workflows that the marketplace eventually adopts. We’re an important part of building tomorrow’s technologies and some day my kids will laugh at me when I talk about how at one point we streamed 33kbps audio only streams in order to accommodate dial-up modems.
SCN: When it comes to streaming video, what are the key features the customer looks for and what is your best response to these demands?
CK: Great question, and my answer is heavily dependent on what industry the customer is in and what they are trying to achieve. There are a lot of video technology manufacturers that do a great job being generalists. It’s their strategy to develop technology that accommodates a ton of different markets and associated use-cases. These manufacturers are in the volume business. Haivision is laser focused on identifying the challenges and demands of each industry and then adopts its development and go-to-market strategy to serve the customers best in these industries. Our mission at Haivision is to help people work better with video, and here’s what our customers are demanding and how we’re addressing their needs:
Enterprise: Ubiquity and Integration. Assuming the customer is looking to communicate to its employees and/or customers, the enterprise buyer is looking for a streamlined solution that’s integrated into publishing workflows as to not cause disruption. Furthermore, the enterprise user needs to ensure that everyone can access the content—within the LAN, across the WAN, from users off the network, and from a variety of different device types.
Medical: Security, Quality, Integration, and Low Latency. Even more so than enterprise, medical use cases require tight integration into existing systems and workflows. Security is paramount, especially when PHI (protected health information) is involved. If the solution is not HIPAA compliant, the customer will not purchase it. Latency is typically critical for clinical applications.
Broadcast: Quality, Reliability, and Low Latency. More and more broadcasters are turning to IP-based video solutions for content contribution and monitoring. It’s cliche, but true - content is king. Encoder to decoder workflows are allowing broadcasters to cost effectively source more content without expensive satellite links or dedicated networks. The key though of course is making sure the content looks good, the broadcaster can depend on it, and there isn’t substantial latency.
SCN: What type of communication solution is in the highest demand right now, and how do you predict this will change the way we communicate in the future?
CK: Generally speaking, we’re seeing the most demand for video content contribution solutions and video content management and distribution solutions.
Regardless of the industry, organizations are looking to generate more content from more users. User generated content (UGC) entered the commercial market’s vernacular several years ago because organizations needed easy solutions for non-technical users to share their knowledge with both colleagues and customers. Although the content quality demands are higher, a similar demand exists within broadcast, where every broadcaster is looking for cost effective methods for more live content.
Management and distribution are also in high demand. Enterprises need cost-effective solutions to send video to all office locations regardless of what the network topology looks like. Marketers are looking to implement OVPs (online video platforms) for streamlining the video ingestion, syndication, distribution, and reporting, as video has become the hot medium for educating the marketplace.
SCN: What is one product you’ve helped market or develop from Haivision, what kind of need did this solution meet, and how did that solution address a particular hole in the market?
CK: Haivision has several products that integrate together to create compelling end-to-end solutions. One in particular I’ve focused on is Calypso, our solution for multi-room / multi-sourcemedia recording, management and distribution. What’s interesting about Calypso is that it was originally conceived to address specific workflow challenges within medical skills assessment, training, and behavioral health environments. While so many of us in the video technology industry are focused on the bits, bytes, and resolutions in video technology, what really matters for broad adoption is whether non-technical users can easily use the product. Calypso is both a technically great product and an easy-to-use solution that streamlines the workflows involved in capturing and distributing video content.
Since we brought Calypso to market it has continued to evolve from this niche solution into a very enterprise-capable platform that addresses business and communication challenges within large organizations. Almost every company or organization is creating video content and needs to more effectively manage and deliver it for a variety of different needs—training, compliance, marketing, corporate communications, etc. For companies to be successful leveraging video as a communication medium, content creation and delivery need to be streamlined and integrated into existing workflows and habits; Calypso does just that.SCN: Technological barriers aside, what one, futuristic product would you like to see become a reality?
CK: Despite the fact that I use video every day, I find myself on airplanes and in hotels almost every week. It doesn’t matter how good the audio and video is, nothing is as good as meeting with a customer or partner in person. I hope that if my kids choose a similar career path, they’re able to leverage advancements in video and virtualization technology to do most of their business without having to leave home and spend time away from their families.