RealNetworks Shifts Focus To Enterprise - InformationWeek

InformationWeek is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.


RealNetworks Shifts Focus To Enterprise

By creating a more tightly integrated enterprise offering, it hopes to establish itself as the predominant provider of video-delivery infrastructure and tools to large companies.

RealNetworks Inc. will strengthen its play for the enterprise Wednesday. The company is unveiling a package of tools and services to help companies deliver executive addresses, presentations, employee training, and E-learning. The package includes an updated enterprise edition of its RealOne desktop media player, Web-based tools for centrally managing desktop players, a suite of authoring tools that decentralize content creation, and enterprise-quality digital-rights management to control business rules and user authentication. RealNetworks also has tied together its services for supporting in-house video-delivery infrastructures and managing events that require temporary access to high bandwidth.

The new offerings are all tied to the release of RealVideo 9, the latest update of the company's video codec, which RealNetworks says reduces bandwidth needs by 30% and can match the quality of the industry standard MPEG-4 format at half the data rate. The packaged products and services form RealNetworks' most cohesive approach to the enterprise yet. "It's the first time we're moving this forward as an enterprise delivery platform instead of a bunch of technology widgets," says Kevin Foreman, general manager of media systems. One key change is the ability to link RealNetworks' content-delivery network, the RealBroadcast Network, with enterprise customers' internal infrastructures for handling traffic spikes that result from isolated events, such as a Webcast.

RealNetworks' ability to meet enterprise demand for rich-media infrastructure and services could be the key to the company's retaining its relevance, as Microsoft gains ground in supplying desktop media players, Gartner analyst Lou Latham says. He says he's been impressed with RealNetworks' ability to migrate its business model, from supplying desktop consumer software to tackling the larger opportunity that enterprise customers present. He expects Microsoft to pass RealNetworks as the largest supplier of media players sometime in 2004, making it advisable that the latter branch out from "the nitty gritty of the platform wars."

Even so, it'll be another 12 to 18 months before enterprise video use reaches critical mass, Latham says. Too many companies still lack the infrastructure to effectively deliver video, and few have the skill sets in-house to produce and distribute video. That all adds up to a wait-and-see attitude about a technology that hasn't lived up to the hype. Says Latham, "A lot of folks tried to do this a couple of years ago, and they were fundamentally disappointed."

We welcome your comments on this topic on our social media channels, or [contact us directly] with questions about the site.
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
State of the Cloud
State of the Cloud
Cloud has drastically changed how IT organizations consume and deploy services in the digital age. This research report will delve into public, private and hybrid cloud adoption trends, with a special focus on infrastructure as a service and its role in the enterprise. Find out the challenges organizations are experiencing, and the technologies and strategies they are using to manage and mitigate those challenges today.
What Becomes of CFOs During Digital Transformation?
Joao-Pierre S. Ruth, Senior Writer,  2/4/2020
Fighting the Coronavirus with Analytics and GIS
Jessica Davis, Senior Editor, Enterprise Apps,  2/3/2020
IT Careers: 10 Job Skills in High Demand This Year
Cynthia Harvey, Freelance Journalist, InformationWeek,  2/3/2020
Register for InformationWeek Newsletters
Current Issue
IT Careers: Tech Drives Constant Change
Advances in information technology and management concepts mean that IT professionals must update their skill sets, even their career goals on an almost yearly basis. In this IT Trend Report, experts share advice on how IT pros can keep up with this every-changing job market. Read it today!
White Papers
Twitter Feed
Sponsored Live Streaming Video
Everything You've Been Told About Mobility Is Wrong
Attend this video symposium with Sean Wisdom, Global Director of Mobility Solutions, and learn about how you can harness powerful new products to mobilize your business potential.
Sponsored Video
Flash Poll