MetLife has standardized on the BurstPoint Networks Video Communications Platform (VCP) to capture, store, deliver and manage corporate video content to all MetLife subsidiaries throughout the world. In conjunction with audio video (AV) assets already in MetLife’s possession; including capture studios, auditoriums, teleconference and telepresence systems, the BurstPoint VCP allows large audience participation in live executive town halls, recorded or externally produced VOD programming as well as team level broadcasts among departmental associates.
Currently, deployed in 47 countries and 150 locations, the system is labeled and graphically represented as Video Gallery on all MetLife internal intranet pages and is a featured part of everyday interaction for all MetLife employees worldwide. It is available 24/7 to all MetLife associates. The system is sponsored, funded and governed by MetLife corporate communications, and is considered a key part of MetLife’s commitment to inform and include more than 50,000 associates in the internal communications process. With the addition of acquired assets from AIG (Alico) and MetLife Bank, the BurstPoint VCP is continuing to grow, both internationally and stateside.
From a technical standpoint, the VCP system is operationally managed by the International Director of Multi Media Services, who also is responsible for all AV assets including Cisco Telepresence Systems. The VCP approach was initially selected because of its flexibility, scale and ability to deliver video without adversely impacting WAN bandwidth or critical applications on the network. Also important was the avoidance of downloading any vendor specific software on client computers.
The Video Gallery seamlessly delivers video programming to MetLife associates in their office, on their VPN connections or from public computers and internet connections with secure login tokens and DMZ protected proxy servers. In this instance critical content can be accessed from home or anywhere in the world with an internet connection. There is no need for MetLife associates to log on to the BurstPoint system, as they are authenticated at the time they access MyMetLife.com.
To implement the system a distributed model comprised of a VCP Manager, Various Encoders and Conference Points are used for access and capture of video assets. A distributed delivery system consisting of about 170 VCP Delivery Nodes in sites across America and in key offshore locations including India provide local LAN delivery of video programming. Live events are multicast locally at each site, and VOD content is unicast from the same VCP Delivery Node, often simultaneously.
Alabama Department of Rehabilitation Services (ADRS) is a state agency devoted to assisting Alabamians with disabilities at home, in school, on the job, and in the community. Based in Montgomery, Alabama, the agency provides four major services: early intervention, children’s rehabilitation, vocational rehabilitation, and independent living/homebound services.
With a mission to deliver seamless assistance to children and adults, developing and retaining qualified staff is key to the organization’s success. ADRS’ 800 employees serve more than 66,000 residents annually through 33 community-based field offices. ADRS has traditionally maintained an active training curriculum for staff, which required employees to travel for critical face-to-face classes. As with many state agencies, budgets at ADRS have tightened, yet educational initiatives continued to be a top priority, causing the agency to investigate alternate ways of communicating critical information.
Since all employees had a PC, ADRS decided to leverage existing resources and create and deliver training content that could be easily consumed by employees — at headquarters, offices across the state, or at home offices down the road. The agency wanted to create a comprehensive video on-demand library, allowing staff to easily view training topics ranging from the latest HIPAA regulations to new case management requirements to agency-wide HR updates. The question was — how to make it happen?
ADRS is always looking for innovative ways to get information to key audiences when and where they need it. Video communications was identified as a solution to alleviate this pain point. ADRS had four primary requirements for a video communications provider. First, the agency wanted a solution that could go beyond video on demand. Secondly, with offices located around the state, ADRS needed to provide training materials to employees without sacrificing video quality or impacting network performance. Third, ADRS wanted built-in access control and reporting functionality. Finally, the solution had to be cost effective, delivering immediate and long-term value agency-wide.
ADRS evaluated several video communication solutions and the BurstPoint Video Communication Platform™ (VCP) met all of the agency’s requirements, and more. Providing the ability to capture, create, edit, publish, and distribute high-definition video all from a single place set BurstPoint apart from other vendors. Implementing multiple point products was not a viable option, therefore the ability for ADRS to manage all communications via the BurstPoint VCP, including video on-demand, video conferencing, live streaming, and digital signage, made the decision to partner with BurstPoint an easy one.
BurstPoint’s distributed architecture allowed all of ADRS’ video traffic to be routed locally, rather than over the agency’s WAN – freeing up network space. With BurstPoint VCP Delivery Nodes™ deployed in 24 locations, video delivery was easy, seamless, and transparent – whether for on-demand requests or live streams – and employees were guaranteed a highquality viewing experience, regardless of location.
“We could not have implemented a state-wide video on demand training curriculum if the content was not handled on a local network level,” said H. Buck Jordan, IT Specialist with ADRS. “With the BurstPoint VCP, when an ADRS employee in Mobile, Alabama, hits ‘play’ on a training video, the delivery is instantaneous, without slowing down traffic at headquarters or elsewhere.” The BurstPoint VCP Manager™, the hub of the BurstPoint VCP, allows ADRS to manage all video devices, users, program creation, policies, and reporting capabilities. Through the platform’s LDAP integration, the agency can easily manage access rights, maintaining confidence that users are properly authenticated. In addition, ADRS can see, at a glance, which employees have viewed content and when, as well as easily create distribution policies, such as sending non-critical communications during off-peak hours.
As ADRS traditionally relied on video conferencing to bring staff members together, the agency now uses BurstPoint’s patented VCP Conference Point™ to capture voice and video, making the content available for future on-demand viewing and extending the usage and capabilities of existing video conferencing systems.
As a result of using the BurstPoint VCP, ADRS has made its educational materials more accessible to staff, reaching more employees faster and more effectively. The feedback from staff has been terrific, with users citing ease of use, high-quality of the video, and whenever, wherever access as the top benefits.
The agency plans to expand its use of the BurstPoint platform, leveraging live streaming and digital signage for real-time and customized communications. From legislative updates from the Commissioner to disaster recovery instructions for specific offices, ADRS can stream both live and recorded high-definition content to existing display units in agency lobbies. “The bottom line is the BurstPoint technology works, and it works well,” said Jordan. “With the BurstPoint VCP, we have a platform in place to power our statewide training initiatives today, as well as our communications needs of tomorrow.”
The World Bank is a family of five international organizations that makes leverage loans generally to impoverished countries. The World Bank’s activities are focused on developing countries, in fields such as human development, infrastructure, and governance. As part of The World Bank’s business they need to communicate efficiently across the globe to their internal offices as well as the customers they serve.
The World Bank over the years has made a significant investment in videoconferencing endpoints and infrastructure. They heavily use video to conduct meetings across their office and to their customers. Although they have a wide converge of conference rooms, there are many times were people cannot access a videoconference device or be part of the meeting due to time constraints. BurstPoint Networks provides the ability to The World Bank to extend the reach of the deployed devices.
By integrating with The World Bank’s videoconference infrastructure (Gatekeepers and MCUs) users can easily publish live video stream from any of the video rooms on The World Bank’s network. For the live sessions, The World Bank distributes from the BurstPoint VCP system using multicast technology to reach thousands of users.
The session can also be recorded for viewing at a later time. All users on the network access the video streams from BurstPoint’s centralized portal from devices they choose (desktop, laptops, mobile, tablets). Due to the flexibility of the BurstPoint front end The World Banks has integrated the BurstPoint VCP portal into their other intranet sites for ultra-convenience for end users.
KEY DECISIONS FOR THE WORLD BANK
The BurstPoint Video Communications Platform (VCP) provides flexibility, unmatched scale and ability to manage and deliver both live and on demand video without adversely impacting WAN bandwidth or critical applications on the network.
As part of the BurstPoint VCP, the BurstPoint VCP Conference Point enables users to transform existing video conferencing systems (including bridges, MCUs, gateways, etc.) into real-time mini broadcast studios, changing the scope and reach of this technology from one-toone or few-to-few to one or few-to-MANY. By supporting standard video conferencing protocols, including H.239, users can publish webcasts with synched PowerPoint slides or create stand-alone, on-demand video from anywhere (on- or off-premise).