Big deal, right?
Well, I think it’s a big deal, not because it represents any sort of blockbuster partnership, but because of what it says about how some large integration firms see their role in solving their customers’ challenges.
Those customers are using video more so than ever before—particularly large customers with national or global footprints.
I don’t believe that most integration firms are positioning themselves to solve their customers’ evolving video needs. Certainly, integration firms are benefiting from an explosion in video usage by offering hardware deployment but there is so much more.
Integration firms should prepare to be full-service, soup-to-nuts video providers. Whether it’s through in-house or third-party offerings, they should provide expert solutions and service for video content creation, management and distribution.
Those that do not might watch as their customers find integration firms that are evolving with their needs.
One such firm is HB Communications, but that evolution began long before the recent Ramp partnership. The Ramp move, however, offers several windows into HB’s video strategy:
HB Communications Already Offered Streaming
It’s tempting to surmise that HB Communication’s partnership with Ramp is reactive.
After all, the integration industry watched Diversify—one of a few integration firms with profound video content creation, management and distribution capabilities—acquire Technical Innovation in 2016 to become the industry’s second-largest firm behind AVI-SPL.
However, HB Communications wasn’t looking to ramp up (pardon the pun). It long had a business unit focused on supporting large organizations with their streaming needs and adoption of video in general, says Joe Mendonca, director of IP technologies, HB Communications. “We’ve always been in that business.”
It’s just that over the past decade or so HB Communications leaned on Cisco Enterprise Content Delivery System for deploying video content distribution networks. Ramp simply replaces that solution for the integration firm.
Being Agnostic Is Important When It Comes to Streaming
There are plenty of enterprise-level streaming solutions available to integrators, but Mendonca points out that most have their own technology that the customer’s organization must use to distribute video.
HB Communications wants more flexibility.
“Today we’re really seeing a shift toward organizations that really want to use a lot of online video platforms, cloud-based solutions that will provide the means to manage the content, manage the consumption of that content but the distribution is still within the companies’ networks,” Mendonca says.
CI editor Tom LeBlanc (center) talks about the importance of the light broadcast market at a Total Tech Summit panel discussion.