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Making the Digital Workplace a Reality

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A natural transition from the traditional Picture this. Sonika has a video conference to attend in the first half of the day and she has to attend her son’s Parent-Teacher Meeting (PTM) in the second half. Given the dreadful traffic conditions in her city, she knew she is never going to make it on time for the PTM. So she decides to avail the work-from- home opportunity that her company provides.

Sonika represents today’s millennial generation who religiously believes in the digital workplace, the future of work. Gartner says that a digital workplace is the virtual equivalent to the physical workplace. Deloitte defines the same as, “the natural evolution of the workplace”, encompassing “all the technologies people use to get work done in today’s workplace”—including email, instant messaging, social media tools and virtual meeting tools.

At the crux of it, a digital workplace puts its people first, believing that employee engagement helps boost employee retention up to 87%. Furthermore, the workforce today prefers simple and intuitive technology sans the burden of legacy systems. The rapid proliferation of smart phones, tablets, and laptops coupled with the omnipresent internet connectivity is driving unprecedented mobility. Thus, we are everywhere, always, and in all ways.

Taking advantage of the constant connectivity in the digital world, businesses are exploring new and inventive ways to reach customers and remain competitive in the market. Video is one such advance. Videos clearly stand out on social media and thrive to provide audiences a quick overview of a product without taking too much of their time or overwhelming them with text. It is a win-win situation for both companies and customers. Moreover, depending on the nature of business, video can emerge as an essential tool for learning, training, and passing out information quickly throughout the organization.

Thus, the role of collaborative technologies like video is becoming imperative in today’s business scenario. Tapping in to these business requirements of the changing world order, organizations are increasingly relying on video to break down the barriers between people, workplaces and technologies and empower their employees to be productive and creative wherever they are.

Imbibing this innovative medium will go a long way in establishing the digital workplace for tomorrow. On our part, we feel happy to be playing a small role in making the notion of digital workplace a reality.

Digital workplace CTA

Our Summer Release: Track users by customer ID, embed enhancements and improved scalability

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Things are hotting up at kPoint! Temperatures are soaring, flowers are blooming, and the product team is busy with a whole new set of product improvements for you. With our summer release we have not only made kPoint faster and more scalable, but also laid the building blocks for some really cool features. Let’s have a closer look at them.

Tracking users by customer IDs

Regular consumer apps identify users by their emails ids. But in the enterprise context, employee ID is the all important ID. Which is why kPoint can now recognise users by their employee IDs as well, adding a whole new dimension to your video analytics. kPoint analytics can be seamlessly integrated with other enterprise systems where users are identified by the unique employee ID.

Faster and more scalable than ever

We have been experiencing a tremendous growth in usage. In order meet the demands of an increased number of users, we have revamped our video distribution and consumption architecture, thereby enabling you to experience an outstanding leap in speed. This change also readies us for serving a significantly higher number of users.

More data on your dashboard

kPoint now provides you even more insights into the usage of your video portal and channels. You can now view and download multiple types of monthly reports related to your domain, channel usage or users.

Embed enhancements

kPoint videos are typically embedded in other web applications. With this release we have ensured that the player embedded in your applications becomes totally responsive to available webpage sizes and has all our widgets along the way. The kPoint player will fit with your webpage in colour, style and font to seamlessly become an extension of the page.

High quality HLS playback

With 60% of all videos on the internet today being in HLS format, all advanced browsers and applications are moving towards this common streaming standard. kPoint’s API-driven video encoding now makes it possible to prepare content for high quality HLS playback. With this, we have ensured that we move towards HLS only streaming, and remain one of the most technically advanced video platforms.

In addition to all these improvements we are also upbeat about our highlight driven viewing and live event broadcast features…but more about that soon. Till then, keep watching this space 🙂 .

Video Intelligence is here to stay…And we’re super-excited!

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The fast-paced adoption of video in enterprises means that there is a huge amount of video content residing in a company’s digital properties including website, intranet, blogs and so on. So what happens when you’ve got a big video library and want to find all your sections that talk about “programming”? Want to quickly flag when different things appear within a particular video? Google’s got a cool new cloud-based tool for just that and it’s called the Google Cloud Video Intelligence API.

Until now, most similar cloud technologies only focused on extracting information from still images, but with the help of the new Video Intelligence API, developers will be able to build applications that let users search and automatically extract entities from within a video. That means you can search for words like “programming” or “onboarding” for example, and quickly get to points that discuss these topics.

Besides extracting metadata, the API allows you to tag scene changes in a video. You can see a demo of how this works in the video below.

The new Video Intelligence API presents a goldmine of possibilities in video technology and comes with a host of features and benefits. Let’s have a look at a few.

Get actionable insights

Not only does the Google Cloud Video Intelligence API make video content easy to search and discover, but also makes it possible to derive actionable intelligence from the videos. All this without developers really needing any experience in machine learning or computer vision knowledge.

Catalog your video content

The API also aims to help companies better comprehend the complete content of their video catalog based on entities (nouns) that it detects, while providing a sequential understanding on when each entity appears within the video. Basically, it is now possible for you to search your video database the same way as you’d search inside documents.

Effective keyword search

Google Cloud Intelligence API provides contextual understanding of when these entities appear; for example, if a sales person searches for ‘benefits of XYZ product’ he/she would find all precise points that depict the benefits of that specific product, across the organization’s video collection in Google Cloud Storage.

Improve video data accuracy through collaboration

Additionally, Google has been working with leading media companies globally for several years to help them find value from data, especially their unstructured content like videos. As more and more organizations use this API, it is designed to improve its accuracy over time.

At kPoint, we are consistently looking at new ways to incorporate technologies that will help enterprises maximize their ability to interact with their content and derive maximum insights from it. With our legacy of deep search and interactivity within videos, we are super excited about the possibilities of leveraging Google Video Intelligence API to take the video experience of our users to the next level.

senmazumder

Avijit Senmazumder
Chief Product Architect, kPoint Technologies, has architect-ed the media backbone for rapid video creation and delivery at kPoint. Avijit has a B. Tech. degree in Electronics and Communication Engineering from NIT Warangal and M. S. in Computer Science from UC, Santa Barbara.

6 things to know while choosing between cloud and on-premise deployment

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We often find our customers’ IT and business teams debating over the type of deployment they should have for kPoint. While adopting the cloud seems to be the preferred choice of most, there are businesses that still prefer on-premise deployments. The choice of porting to a cloud solution depends on a number of factors that you might want to consider. Looking at the pros and cons of each model vis-à-vis factors like your business goals, operational needs and resources, it may seem like a tough decision to make. But we’ll let you in on a little secret…the cloud might be just what you need. Read on to know why.

Access content on the go
Until about a decade ago, businesses extensively deployed their solutions ‘on-premise’. Well, that was because the cloud was taking teeny weeny steps towards developing an extensive infrastructure. However, with the arrival of advanced cloud infrastructure providers such as AWS, more and more companies are shifting to cloud based solutions. One of the primary benefits of the cloud is that it provides seamless access to a solution from any location, and that too without depending on your enterprise network. With kPoint on the cloud, globally distributed teams can collaborate with each other seamlessly over different devices and networks.

Minimize cost overheads
On-premise solutions do have their fair share of hidden costs, including hardware and IT management. On the other hand, cloud based products are priced transparently…you get what you see. In our case, the total cost of ownership for our cloud based instance is proportional to usage and significantly lower than that of on-premise deployment.

 cloud vs on-premise deployment

Forget the hassles of IT procurement – deploy in a matter of hours
Organizations ready to deploy kPoint on-premise usually suffer from inordinate delays caused by a cumbersome purchasing process that involves hardware and underlying software licenses. It gets even worse while scaling up, since that requires more new hardware to be installed. However, cloud deployment of kPoint can be completed within a matter of hours and be scaled at will as usage grows.

IT management will be much less of a bother
The kPoint cloud takes care of IT management tasks like dynamic hardware provisioning, server uptime, backups and periodic upgrades. So you can now have more time to focus on growing your core business. We’ll take care of kPoint’s IT infrastructure and operational worries.

Data security is rather uncompromised
You might say that that ‘on-premise’ solutions offer more control and security of data, but trust our word that it is not entirely true. On-premise offers security by stonewalling your content, but there’s always a smart user lurking around who might leapfrog the wall. kPoint’s cloud native instance is always upgraded with the latest security patches, keeping an eye on all kinds of threats. Technology specifically built for security of data in motion and data at rest goes into kPoint’s cloud instance. The cloud instance regularly goes through a third party vulnerability assessment test and passes with flying colors.

Unlock new use cases with exciting features
The kPoint cloud instance brings in exciting features like spoken word analysis, image analysis, adaptive streaming, live event broadcast and many more. These features help you plunge into new avenues for videos like live streaming of CXO broadcasts, searchable corporate communications content, customer support videos, marketing videos and much more.
At the end of the day, the choice is entirely yours. But if you want to fully unleash the power of video, move to kPoint on the cloud.

kPoint PoP: Cracking the last mile video delivery problem

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According to Gartner, enterprises stream more than 16 hours of video per employee each month, resulting in employees watching 45 minutes of video daily. That the use of videos in enterprises is growing through the roof is now very evident. It comes as no surprise that viewers expect the same quality of experience as YouTube in their enterprise settings too. While high quality video content can engage customers, slow streaming can turn them off and leave a poor lasting impression.

Consider the following scenario,

ABC Inc., a million dollar enterprise, is live streaming its first ever CEO address for its employees. Only the senior management is attending the meeting in person while more than one thousand employees are joining the meeting remotely. Five minutes into the session, the video starts buffering. The audience starts getting restless for they are waiting to hear important company-wide announcements and updates, but all they can see is a buffering icon. Frustrated, they start calling up the system administrator who tells them that the cloud network is congested due to too many simultaneous connections. With no immediate solution in sight, most viewers log off, dejected and annoyed.

Consider another scenario, ABC Inc. is all set for an ISO certification and all its employees need to watch a training video to ensure compliance. The video server in the cloud is once again overloaded with thousands of simultaneous connections. The video is either buffering or delivered with poor quality. Employees who are trying to create other videos are also affected by the slow network connection.

What organisations like ABC Inc. need is a solution that provides a highly-distributed hybrid architecture that will optimize performance and reliability to deliver seamless video streaming to distributed viewers at scale. What they need is kPoint’s hybrid deployment solution with a Point of Presence (PoP) server.

How PoP helps

To fix ABC Inc’s streaming issues, a kPoint PoP server is installed in the local network at ABC Inc’s premises. The viewers are authenticated by kPoint cloud server over the Internet. The hybrid architecture with local PoP server works in both live broadcast and on-demand viewing scenarios. At the time of live streaming, the PoP server downloads one stream of video from the cloud and distributes thousands of streams locally to viewers in the network. In case of on-demand videos, whenever the first user requests a video from the kPoint cloud, a copy is cached onto the kPoint PoP server. All future requests of the same video are redirected to the kPoint PoP server which is closer to them, being located within the local network.

When there is a possibility of heavy traffic, ABC Inc. can dynamically scale up PoP server capacity to ensure seamless video streaming even during demand spikes. That’s how kPoint PoP can help ABC Inc. complete their video delivery puzzle! Take steps now to create a seamless video experience. Try kPoint!

kPoint earns the Global Gold Standard in Information Security Management

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We’re excited to announce that we have recently been awarded the ISO 27001 certification.

Since inception, information security has remained our absolute highest priority. One fundamental aspect of delivering the highest levels of security is the ability to effectively secure and protect sensitive information of every single customer. Over the years we have kept upgrading our security processes to meet our customers’ stringent security requirements and our most recent step in that direction has been the implementation of the ISO 27001 standard.

ISO 27001 is the global gold standard for information security. It identifies requirements for a comprehensive information security management standard, and defines business processes to help identify, manage and reduce risks to information security.

Effectively securing and protecting sensitive information is one of the most important considerations for any business, and the ISO 27001 certification attests that we maintain strict controls and processes to ensure confidentiality and integrity of our clients’ data and information. The certification demonstrates our ongoing commitment to providing the required security compliance to our customers who face stringent regulatory environments for using cloud-native products. In an evolving threat landscape, we stand firm on our goal of continually upgrading security for the customers and technologies driving our business.

Manish

Manish Sapariya
Vice President, Technical Operations, kPoint Technologies, Manish is a founding engineer at kPoint and is responsible for all technical operations including product QA, releases, cloud operations, product support, and product analytics on kPoint’s public as well as private cloud installations. Manish is a passionate testing evangelist and a hands-on leader and community developer.