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Content Distribution for the Enterprise
 

Content Distribution for the Enterprise

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    Content Distribution for the Enterprise Content Distribution for the Enterprise Document Transcript

    • WHITE P APER www.idc.com Content Distribution for the Enterprise: Ignite Powers the Corporate Channel Sponsored by: Ignite Technologies F.508.935.4015 Melissa Webster May 2007 P.508.872.8200 INTRODUCTION: CONTENT DISTRIBUTION CHALLENGES IN THE ENTERPRISE If your organization is forward-thinking, you already recognize the strategic importance of effective communication to internal, as well as external, constituencies. Global Headquarters: 5 Speen Street Framingham, MA 01701 USA Informing, alerting, messaging, and training are all critical to building a skilled, ready, and competitive organization that's prepared to proactively pursue new opportunities and react quickly to changing business conditions. You've already invested in creating and producing content to communicate with these constituencies — including executive messaging to employees, sales collateral in support of a new product launch, elearning programs to train customer support personnel, compliance-mandated certification programs, and all kinds of communications to customers, partners, suppliers, and investors. And you are probably increasingly investing in video and other types of rich media to give your communications more impact and make them more compelling to ensure that your viewers absorb and retain the information. IDC believes that the end-to-end process of corporate communications — from content creation through delivery — is a key core competency for today's forward- thinking organization. The content that you're investing in creating is an integral part of the business process it supports — whether it's launching a new product, creating a new service, ensuring compliance with industry- or government-mandated regulations, or providing customer care. The targeted, secure, and reliable delivery of that content is a critical part of the process. And yet, if your company is like so many we've spoken with, content delivery is probably a challenge for you. IDC research shows that most organizations are struggling with content delivery for a variety of reasons that we examine in this paper. We believe an enterprise content delivery platform can give organizations the solution they need for scalable, reliable, and secure business communications.
    • Global, Geographically Distributed Workforce One of the biggest challenges that enterprises face today is the need to communicate with — and equip — a large, diverse, and global workforce. Increasingly, that global workforce is spread across multiple geographies and time zones. It includes internal employees, consultants, and contractors and, increasingly, external participants such as suppliers, channel partners, and customers. It also includes workers whose PCs are directly connected to the corporate network, telecommuters working from home, mobile users who connect to the network from customer sites or while traveling, and remote external users. Limitations of Email for Reaching Geographically Distributed Users Most organizations have invested heavily over the past several years to ensure that they can provide secure email services to this diverse, geographically distributed workforce. That's why email is often the default solution for content distribution: It's ubiquitous, everyone is already trained to use it, and it can transport content in the form of attachments through firewalls to reach external users and those connecting over the Internet from outside the corporate network. But most companies that have tried to use email as a vehicle for content delivery are all too familiar with its limitations. Email was never designed as a transport mechanism for the kinds of content we are producing today — especially rich media such as video, where files can easily run to tens or even hundreds of megabytes in size. Using email to deliver a large file companywide puts a huge strain on the email server and eats up storage. Large email attachments are also a big problem for users on slower networks or users who connect over dial-up lines: They have a long wait while those emails download, and it interrupts their work. And because many firewalls impose size limitations on attachments, those emails aren't even delivered. For companies that want to leverage video and other rich media, that's an insurmountable barrier. As for the email communications that are delivered, there's a good chance they'll never be read. Even emails marked quot;urgentquot; are often overlooked among the avalanche of emails that clutter users' inboxes. As IDC research shows, knowledge workers spend an average of 14.5 hours each week reading and responding to emails. And they spend another 15.3 hours each week searching for information and filing and organizing content. They waste a lot of that time looking for information they can't find because they can't remember where it is, they can't find the specific email that contained it, or they don't know which file or email contains the current version of that information. One alternative is to use email to send a URL and ask users to retrieve the content themselves — at least that way, the company has a mechanism to ensure that everyone can find the current version — but this approach typically results in even lower reach (the percentage of the target audience that actually engages with the content). Finally, email doesn't offer corporate communications staff and executives an effective communications management tool. Instead, they are left with distribution lists as a way to target specific content to specific groups of users. It's cumbersome to use email options to track delivery of the content; there's no way to know whether the recipient actually watched the content, when it's a video; and there are no tracking or reporting capabilities. 2 #206433 ©2007 IDC
    • The Rise of Rich Media in the Enterprise Organizations today need to distribute content in a plethora of formats: documents, video, audio, podcasts, and all kinds of multimedia presentations. What's driving this veritable explosion of rich media content? Typically, the initial use case is executive communications: Management, including top executives and business unit leaders, wants to put its messages directly to employees, and there's no better way than a direct, filmed address. Sometimes the messages are captured in video shot on location — candid interviews or quot;fireside chatsquot; with company executives, videos of company meetings, and recorded videoconferences. External sources of video include recordings of executive interviews on business TV channels, the company's TV ad spots, and all sorts of other content. After the executive communications use case is rolled out, companies then focus on training. IDC expects to see increasing investment over the next few years in video and multimedia for training purposes — for marketing communications, sales force training, customer service training, and compliance-mandated certification. The need to communicate with users across the globe using rich media — especially video — will only grow. Enterprises need a way to communicate with employees and other constituents that has greater impact and immediacy, and video is the perfect medium. And consider the longer-term implications of the demographic shift already under way today, as younger workers who grew up with the Internet enter the workforce: the Millennials, as they are called. By 2017, they will account for more than 40% of the workforce. This generation will have a profound impact on the technologies that are used in the enterprise: They will accelerate the adoption of Web 2.0 technologies in the enterprise, including video. Network Bandwidth and Capacity Constraints Generally, the companies we've spoken with see great value in making video content available to employees. But of all the rich media content types, video is the most challenging to deliver, and securing adequate network bandwidth and capacity is a huge concern. With finite network resources, the IT department worries about allocating enough quot;headroomquot; on the network to meet its quality-of-service commitments for ERP, CRM, sales order processing, and other mission-critical transaction processing systems. And corporate communications teams worry about having enough bandwidth to ensure the quality of the user experience for the videos they've paid to produce. Only a fraction of today's enterprise networks are multicast-enabled. Upgrading the network to increase bandwidth can be an expensive proposition. And network upgrades may not address the needs of workers in remote locations who have to rely on dial-up connections or cope with limited connectivity. And then there's the challenge of serving users who are quot;on the road,quot; connecting from home, or connecting from customer sites. ©2007 IDC #206433 3
    • Streaming and Network Bandwidth Many of the organizations we've spoken with over the past year have explored the use of live or on-demand streaming video for executive and/or corporate communications. Our research into the state of video in the enterprise has yielded several key findings. First, network capacity is a major concern. Organizations with high-speed networks and plenty of bandwidth believe they still need to be somewhat cautious when it comes to providing live and/or on-demand streamed video to large numbers of users. Most organizations make trade-offs in terms of video quality to minimize the impact on their networks. (The typical bit rate for streamed video for companies we spoke with was about 400kbps. Very few used higher bit-rate video, even though they would like to. The few that did had undertaken expensive network upgrades.) Second, even organizations with high-bandwidth networks have locations with slower- speed connections. For example, operations in developing countries often lack broadband connections entirely, and in some cases, dial-up connections aren't 100% reliable or may be available only for a few hours each day. Third, although live streamed video typically enjoys very high viewership rates, it isn't effective for global communications (due to time zone differences). Most companies that are streaming live videos also need to record their live events for later playback on demand. On-demand viewership rates are often much lower, however, because users must usually request the content from a portal. And if playout is interrupted by rebuffering, abandonment rates climb. THE NEED FOR AN ENTERPRISE CONTENT DISTRIBUTION SOLUTION The result of all of these challenges and constraints is that most enterprises today rely on a variety of different point solutions for the distribution of content — none of which adequately support secure, targeted, and reliable delivery, and none of which give the enterprise the tools it needs to track and analyze content usage for business process improvement. Enterprises today are using a mix of email, portals, streaming servers, content management or other repositories, IT systems for desktop management, and even offline systems for content distribution. These siloed solutions make it impossible to manage, monitor, and track content usage in a uniform way or to ensure consistency, currency, or compliance. Given these challenges — especially in view of the need to make content delivery a core competency — enterprises clearly need a platform for business communications. Such a platform needs to proactively deliver content to users in a way that guarantees reach and in a way that allows organizations to measure (and thus improve) content utilization. 4 #206433 ©2007 IDC
    • Key Capabilities of an Enterprise Content Delivery Platform What must an enterprise business communication platform provide? IDC believes that an enterprise content delivery platform needs to provide the following capabilities: ! Ability to push content of any kind. First and foremost, an enterprise content delivery platform must be able to deliver any kind of digital asset, including business documents; rich media, including video, audio, and multimedia; and software, including applications, patches, and virus updates. An enterprise solution must be able to publish everything to the user's desktop that the user needs to do his or her job effectively. An enterprise content delivery network (CDN) should ensure that the complete environment of the user — including content and applications — is managed and is current. (This is especially important because many interdependencies exist between content and applications/software today.) ! Reliable delivery over all types of connection. An enterprise network is, in reality, a patchwork of many different networks, which have different bandwidth, reliability, and load profiles. An enterprise content delivery solution needs to be able to serve the needs of users who connect over the quot;weakest linkquot; — typically, users in remote locations where network speeds are lower and connections may not be reliable. ! Scalability. An enterprise content delivery platform needs to be able to support all of a company's internal and external users — potentially, thousands or tens of thousands of users. ! Tracking and analysis. An enterprise solution must be able to monitor and report on usage, including user interaction with content. A content delivery platform needs to be able to track whether content was received and whether it was opened, accessed, and viewed. That's critical for knowing, for example, whether users actually watched training videos and whether employees received and listened to executive communications. It's essential for ensuring key messages were heard. And it's indispensable for closing the loop in elearning systems, where certification is mandatory. ! Integration with other key systems. To make content delivery a reliable component of other mission-critical business processes, an enterprise content delivery solution must be easy to integrate with an enterprise's other IT systems, including its standard authentication and authorization systems (such as LDAP and Active Directory), portals, and learning management systems. ! Content management. An enterprise solution needs to help solve the age-old version management problem by ensuring that users always have the most up-to-date version of the content at their fingertips. This means that an enterprise content delivery platform must be able to stage content in advance with an quot;effective date,quot; replace out-of-date content with new versions, and revoke content when it is stale or about to expire. Content protection is an increasingly important consideration in most companies today: It's a dimension of sharing intellectual property with suppliers and partners. An enterprise content delivery ©2007 IDC #206433 5
    • platform should be able to encrypt content, revoke access to content, and manage versions from a central, Web-accessible location. Even better is if it can manage rights to that content at a more granular level by interfacing with other content protection technologies, including digital rights management systems. ! Ease of use. An enterprise platform should be very easy to use — ideally, it should require minimal user training. And it should provide quot;politequot; content delivery — that is, it should work in the background without disrupting the user's work. IGNITE TECHNOLOGIES: CONTENT DISTRIBUTION FOR THE ENTERPRISE Privately held Ignite Technologies (www.ignitetech.com) is headquartered in Frisco, Texas (close to Dallas), and has offices in the Virginia/DC, Chicago, Atlanta, Boston, and San Francisco areas. The company was founded in 2000. Ignite's executive team includes many seasoned and successful entrepreneurs, and the company has received funding from Austin Ventures, WaldenVC, HO2, and SAP. Ignite's customers include many Fortune 500 companies as well as medium-sized businesses. Ignite's Content Delivery Solution Ignite gives its customers a secure, private broadcast network they can use to publish, manage, and deliver all kinds of digital content to users or groups of users over any network topology. Ignite's customers leverage this private broadcast network to deliver full-screen DVD-quality video and other high-impact multimedia presentations, sales collateral, training materials, and even desktop software applications. Because Ignite's Content Delivery Solution integrates with an enterprise's authentication and access systems (LDAP and Active Directory), portals, and learning management systems, it becomes a key enabler of any content-critical business process. Ignite's Content Delivery Solution is a client/server offering and consists of two components (see Figure 1): ! Ignite Delivery Manager. Ignite Delivery Manager is a hosted solution and provides Web-based content management/staging, content publishing, analytics/reporting, and administration facilities. ! Ignite Delivery Center. A small-footprint application called Ignite Delivery Center is installed on each PC that joins the Ignite content delivery network. Delivery Center communicates with Delivery Manager to find out what content deliveries are available for a particular user and ensures the secure delivery of that content. Delivery Center requires no user training: It simply alerts users that new content has been delivered to their PCs and gives them an easy-to-use interface to view the content — no special players are required. It can be deployed in a variety of ways: as an independent viewer, as an integrated part of another application, or as a silent quot;headlessquot; background application. 6 #206433 ©2007 IDC
    • Behind the scenes, Ignite Delivery Center is an intelligent client that dynamically determines the optimal path by which to obtain content and provision it to the user — according to how the user is connected at the time. Client-side intelligence is a key architectural differentiator for Ignite: It enables the client to obtain content via the lowest-cost route by leveraging caches at multiple levels, even as network conditions and the user's connection change dynamically. FIGURE 1 Ignite's Content Delivery Solution Source: Ignite Technologies, 2007 Peer-to-Peer Architecture: Significant Performance Advantages One of Ignite's great strengths lies in its peer-to-peer content distribution technology. With peer-to-peer content distribution, often referred to as quot;neighborcasting,quot; a user's PC can pull content, or pieces of content, from other PCs in its neighborhood — essentially turning all of the PCs in the user's local area network (LAN) into a quot;gridquot; that provides another level of caching (and one that is as close as possible to the user). Peer-to-peer architecture provides significant performance benefits for content delivery. First, it shortens the path — and dramatically reduces the network traffic required — to obtain the content. Second, it is an inherently scalable architecture: Network efficiency actually increases as users are added to the system because the greater the number of users, the greater the likelihood that a user's neighbor can furnish a copy of the content. Third, it enhances reliability because it reduces the chance that an outage elsewhere in the network could make the content unavailable. Finally, it helps address the needs of users in remote locations who have slow or unreliable connections to the corporate network because they can acquire content from neighbors over their subnets at LAN speed. ©2007 IDC #206433 7
    • Benefits of Ignite's Content Delivery Solution In summary, Ignite's Content Delivery Solution addresses the challenges we discussed earlier, including the secure, reliable, and targeted delivery of content to a dynamic, diverse, and globally distributed audience; content delivery over networks that may have slow and/or unreliable connections; and delivery of video and other rich media content that is bandwidth-intensive. Thanks to its peer-to-peer architecture, Ignite's solution can reduce or eliminate the need for additional network hardware or expensive network upgrades. And Ignite's solution addresses the needs of three key groups within the enterprise: ! Line-of-business managers and executives. Because Ignite's solution is hosted, it is quick to deploy and cost-effective. Ignite not only makes it easy for managers to publish content to targeted groups of users and refresh or replace that content when new editions become available; it also gives managers the tools they need to track and monitor usage of the content — and the feedback they need to continuously improve their communication strategies. Because Ignite integrates with portals and learning management systems, it can be leveraged straightforwardly as a key technology in support of strategic business processes such as employee certification programs, sales training initiatives, and dozens of other workforce-readiness applications. Management can leverage the Ignite quot;corporate channelquot; to communicate breaking news or to alert employees in case of emergency. And best of all, Ignite enables rich media and video communications. ! Users. Because content is automatically pushed to users' PCs, users no longer need to hunt for it: The content is automatically provisioned, wherever they are and however they are connected. Ignite's quot;politequot; background delivery eliminates any quot;perceived wait timequot; for users to obtain the content and lets them work uninterruptedly. And because the content is resident on users' PCs, users are assured of the best possible experience when it comes to watching videos: They are spared the common problems associated with streaming media, such as the long pauses for rebuffering that can destroy the user experience and the impact of the content. ! IT. Because Ignite's solution is hosted, IT departments can implement it with minimal effort. And because Ignite's intelligent client dynamically adapts to changing network conditions, and optimizes delivery for the user's current connection, Ignite requires very little ongoing oversight from network managers. At the same time, Ignite provides network managers with all the power they could wish for when it comes to tuning to ensure that specific application requirements or quality of service commitments are met. Because Ignite is so bandwidth- friendly, the overall load on the network and the need for expensive network upgrades are reduced. And because Ignite eliminates the risk that users will be unable to obtain the content, it helps reduce IT service desk calls. 8 #206433 ©2007 IDC
    • CASE STUDIES: IGNITE IN ACTION To learn firsthand how Ignite's customers are benefiting from the Ignite Content Delivery Solution, we spoke with medium-sized and large organizations from a variety of industries. Most had large branch office or retail store networks and needed to be able to reach thousands of employees; none felt their networks were designed to stream all the rich media content they wanted to deliver to those employees. In addition to expressing the desire to find a way around network bandwidth constraints, Ignite's customers also expressed the desire for a generalized platform that would give them an easy way to manage and publish digital media for and target digital media to their employees and other key constituencies — essentially making content delivery a core competency. All of the customers we spoke with started with a specific application. (Executive and corporate communications to employees was the initial use case, or one of the initial use cases, for the majority of the customers we spoke with.) Then, after that first application was deployed, they began to roll out additional use cases — typically training (often complementing, or reinforcing, classroom-based training — increasingly as an integral part of an elearning program) or software delivery. Ignite's ability to integrate with portals, learning management systems, infrastructure such as authentication and authorization systems, and other applications emerged as a key criterion in purchase decisions. Customers we spoke with were enthusiastic about Ignite's performance, speed of deployment, and support. Case studies for two of the customers we spoke with are presented in the following sections. Executive and Corporate Communications at Huntington Bank Huntington Bancshares Incorporated is a $36 billion regional bank holding company, headquartered in Columbus, Ohio, that has grown through multiple acquisitions over the years. Founded in 1866, Huntington is proud of its ability to provide its customers the services of a large bank, but with a small-town feel. (Huntington likes to say that it's quot;a local bank with national resources.quot;) Its executives wanted to reach out to the entire employee base using video communications, but they faced an expensive network upgrade and a very long ramp-up. Huntington turned instead to Ignite. Using Ignite, Huntington created a branded bankwide channel, called Channel 17. According to Barry Salmons, vice president and emarketing manager at Huntington, it took just three months from initial installation to full deployment to launch Channel 17, and Huntington quickly hit its target of 80% reach. Channel 17 gives Huntington's executives an instant, automated way to get their messages — along with important news and information — to the thousands of Huntington associates across the bank's more than 380 branch locations in five states. Huntington leverages its channel to publish both periodic and ad hoc information to targeted groups of employees. For example, it delivers a quarterly corporate video communication called The Huntington Report, which helps to foster company cohesiveness by featuring a different bank region in each edition — using video that is shot on location and professionally produced. Huntington publishes a PDF every Thursday to about 4,000 of its employees containing the information that banking ©2007 IDC #206433 9
    • office personnel need to do their jobs. When Huntington's chief economist or its funds managers are interviewed on CNBC or Bloomberg, Ignite makes it easy to package a few short clips and publish. Huntington's TV advertisements are regionalized, and the bank uses Ignite to push the right ad to the right bank office so that associates see what their customers see. Ignite also carries content such as one-off sales promotional materials or short clips from a recent sales contest. Because Ignite makes publishing so easy, Huntington can focus its energies on content creation and communication strategy. And because Ignite provides quot;politequot; background delivery and is so bandwidth-friendly, Huntington can take advantage of multimedia and DVD-quality video for a more engaging user experience. Ignite's analytical tools have helped Huntington hone its best practices for making content compelling. For example, the initial edition of The Huntington Report featured a 20-minute video. Although viewership was very high, 20 minutes proved to be too long for half of the audience; Ignite's reports gave Huntington the feedback it needed to calibrate the content for optimum impact. What's next for Ignite at Huntington? Salmons recently returned from Ignite's user conference, Ignite Summit, inspired by the innovative training applications that other Ignite customers have put in place. He sees great potential for Ignite to play a role in the delivery of video and multimedia training at Huntington Bank as well, thanks to Ignite's integration with learning management systems. And as Huntington continues to grow by acquisition, Ignite could be just the vehicle for extending the welcome mat to new employees: All they'll need is Ignite's client-side application and an Internet connection to join Huntington's corporate communications network. Executive Communications and Remote Desktop Management at Sabre Holdings Sabre Holdings (www.sabre-holdings.com), headquartered in Southlake, Texas, is a leading travel services company with about $2.8 billion in annual revenue and 9,000 employees. When Sabre found Ignite, the corporate communications department was looking for a new and better way to distribute executive messages companywide, while its IT department was looking to improve the way it manages remote desktops. According to Jody Chavis, service delivery senior for Sabre, the company faced several challenges related to content distribution. Sabre has a global workforce, with more than half of its employees working outside the United States. Connection speeds are significantly slower in some of the regions in which it operates, and because the company has made several acquisitions, some of its offices are in different stages of integration. In addition, Sabre has many employees who work remotely, including salespeople and others who use Web-based email without connecting to the network on a regular basis. 10 #206433 ©2007 IDC
    • Sabre wanted to get in front of its employees in a way that was unique and — most importantly — effective. Ignite's Content Delivery Solution let Sabre do just that: provision high-quality video communications to employees worldwide over a corporate channel. quot;Whether it's a strategy update from our CEO to the entire employee population or a departmental message targeting a specific group of 100 to 200 people, Ignite's technology gives us a timely and impactful way to connect with our employees,quot; said Michael Berman, vice president of corporate communications for Sabre. Today, 7,000 Sabre employees and counting from around the world tune in to Dash, Sabre's Ignite-based private network channel. In addition to providing employees with video communications from business leaders, training materials, and surveys through Dash, Ignite also gives Sabre's IT department the tool it needs for remote desktop management — including software updates, security patches, and computer inventory checks. quot;We were looking for a better way to manage our assets and to deploy applications and pertinent patches to desktops without requiring users to connect to our corporate network,quot; said Chavis. quot;Now, the only thing we need is the Ignite client running on Windows.quot; Ignite also makes the software distribution process much more efficient: With Ignite, Sabre has cut the time required to deploy a critical security patch from hours or days to just minutes. Thanks to Ignite's analysis and reporting capabilities, Sabre can also track viewership and usage. For example, Sabre can track content delivery statistics (it's averaging more than 200GB of content per month) and reach (it's reaching more than 90% of its target audience — almost everyone that is reachable, since the other 5–10% includes things such as PCs that have been uninstalled). And it knows that for most of its video communications, 70–75% of its users actually play the clip. Armed with these statistics, Sabre can further hone its best practices to maximize the impact of its rich media communications. For example, Sabre recommends that videos be kept short, typically three minutes or less; if they are any longer, then you risk losing the viewer's attention or interrupting the viewer's work. And Sabre carefully scrutinizes the content that will play over Dash to avoid diluting the impact of the channel. What does the future hold for Ignite and Sabre? Chavis foresees several additional use cases that could benefit Sabre. Although the company has no immediate plans, it has been thinking about how Ignite could enhance compliance training, since Ignite integrates with learning management systems, as well as the potential to create a private broadcast network for its tens of thousands of travel agents. CHALLENGES AND OPPORTUNITIES IDC sees a significant upside for companies that make electronic distribution a strategic component of their employee communications strategies: They can reduce their costs to create and distribute information, enhance employee productivity and skill levels and improve change management, and enhance loyalty and morale. From our conversations with Ignite customers, it's clear that the logistical problems of content distribution are straightforwardly addressed with a software CDN. ©2007 IDC #206433 11
    • Because solutions such as Ignite's have minimal impact on infrastructures and IT departments, companies can get up and running without a long delay and without significant risk (other than the cost of the service). This makes it easy to start with a specific use case, realize results from that first use case (typically, with a very short time to value), and then expand use into additional applications. Of course, customers must carefully formulate their strategies for content creation and message development, decide on appropriate formats, and target their programming for their particular audience(s). Customers new to video and other rich media will want to seek help from production professionals. Keeping content segments relatively short and making the content highly relevant are both key to successful programming. Tracking and analyzing viewer behavior gives companies the insights they need to further refine. Vendors such as Ignite can provide a wealth of helpful advice around best practices, including organizational issues. As a technology start-up, Ignite faces the usual challenges of any small company: managing growth successfully, maintaining its technology lead, supporting its customers, and ensuring the quality and reliability of its content delivery service. In terms of execution, customers we've spoken with are positive about Ignite's ability to meet those challenges. From a market perspective, we believe the company is well- positioned to capitalize on the rapid growth of rich media and other digital media within the enterprise that we foresee. Given the significant merger and acquisition activity in the CDN space during the past year or so, there is no guarantee that Ignite will remain an independent company. ESSENTIAL GUIDANCE IDC recommends that you ask the following questions as you evaluate your current content distribution strategy: ! Do you have a mechanism in place to ensure that critical content is received by users? Can you reach all of your users with that strategy? Does it give you the control you need — including the ability to target specific content to specific users or groups of users, to refresh/update that content to ensure that everyone has the right version, and to protect that content with content security? ! Do you know whether your users read, watch, and absorb the content that you deliver to them? Does your current strategy give you a way to track and analyze viewership? Is your current strategy producing measurable results? ! How bandwidth-friendly is your current approach? Will it scale to thousands of users? Can you reliably deliver content to geographically distributed workers who may have slower or less reliable network connections? ! How well does your current solution support your future content distribution needs? Will it support higher-quality, higher bit-rate video? Will it let you expand the amount of content that you publish? Can you grow your user base? 12 #206433 ©2007 IDC
    • If your current solution falls short in any of these areas, we suggest that you evaluate software CDNs and assess how an electronic content distribution platform could improve the way your organization communicates information to its key constituencies. Talk to vendors and ask to speak with reference customers — both to gauge the applicability of their solutions to your anticipated needs and to benefit from firsthand customer experience and advice. Copyright Notice External Publication of IDC Information and Data — Any IDC information that is to be used in advertising, press releases, or promotional materials requires prior written approval from the appropriate IDC Vice President or Country Manager. A draft of the proposed document should accompany any such request. IDC reserves the right to deny approval of external usage for any reason. Copyright 2007 IDC. Reproduction without written permission is completely forbidden. ©2007 IDC #206433 13