Robust and reliable CDN architecture with transcoding, distribution and playout services support live, on-demand content in multiple formats
Hendrik Information Systems, a Houston-based multi-platform technology systems provider, is taking distance learning and concurrent video streaming of educational content to the next level for some of the country’s largest medical institutions. Hendrik is relying exclusively on StreamGuys’ infinitely scalable, cloud-based content delivery network (CDN) and on-premise servers to facilitate automated transcoding services, as well as live and on-demand broadcast capability for all of their clients’ global events. Additionally, intelligent business software provides in-depth analytics to help Hendrik better understand its audience across every streaming event.
Hendrik partners with major academic medical centers and schools throughout the U.S. to successfully implement online content strategies that maximize knowledge, awareness and brand recognition. Working with StreamGuys gives Hendrik a robust and reliable content delivery infrastructure and comprehensive streaming expertise, without the liabilities and capital investment required to support online content delivery on their own. Hendrik’s client base includes Cedars-Sinai Hospital, Miami Children’s Hospital and Houston Methodist.
“When we began, StreamGuys was clearly the only CDN service provider that could build their offering around our business model,” said Mark Sangster, president and CEO of Hendrik. “Other CDNs tried to have us change our model to suit their service offerings. StreamGuys’ customer service stood apart, and has since become an integral part of our technology platform and support services for our medical clients.”
For a typical event, a keynote speaker is recorded and then delivered over the Internet to viewers around the world, using a wide variety of display devices. Typical webcasts include a dual feed with two unique players—one focused on the presenter and the other streaming a slideshow of content that supports the speaker. StreamGuys’ transcoding technology processes content once for delivery to online, mobile and OTT devices, while supporting multiple streaming formats. Hendrik, which currently uses its own in-house designed players, anticipates upgrading to StreamGuys’ HTML5-based SGplayer moving forward.
The StreamGuys SGmon service, offered in weekly, monthly and yearly subscription packages, provides real-time analytics to monitor peak usage time, helping Hendrik and others like them to make informed decisions in regards to scaling streams and associated concurrent user limits. In addition, the company’s SGreports software offers a deeper dive into audience comprehension, with detailed metrics on content usage tied to hits, visitors, streaming platforms and play duration. This is useful to Hendrik’s clients to help them judge the success of an event and plan future topics of interest.
Hendrik’s healthcare clients webcast a wide range of events, from seminars to “Grand Rounds” to full conferences. Sangster said that due to the busy schedules of healthcare professionals, many viewers take advantage of the video on-demand option if unable to view the live webcast. However, the company recently produced a very successful all-day event seen by several thousand webcast viewers from 29 US States and 33 International countries.
And all of its clients are slightly different. Miami Children’s Hospital, for example, streams live content every day, occasionally broadcasting two live events. Cedars-Sinai and Houston Methodist stream several events each month, as well as two annual all-day conferences. Hendrik also streams a very large annual medical conference called “Pumps & Pipes,” which is a program developed by Houston Methodist, Exxon and NASA.
StreamGuys’ backup services for redundancy are used extensively, in tandem with a high-availability server where the on-demand content resides for later use. Reliability for each live event is assured through a dedicated backup server that protects against failure. This is critical to the major academic and medical companies Hendrik works with, and also simplifies how both Hendrik and StreamGuys work with each hospital’s IT staff.
“More than their technology is the consulting, guidance, troubleshooting and technical support that StreamGuys provides for every event,” Sangster said. “We would not have the offerings we have today without them. They have created a personalized team for us, with 24/7 availability. Having an event not happen is very costly to Hendrik’s bottom line and industry reputation, so the entire infrastructure is carefully designed to ensure the viewers wouldn’t notice any unanticipated technical issue.”
About StreamGuys, Inc.
In business since 2000, StreamGuys is a provider of audio and video streaming toolsets and services. The company has a reputation for outstanding customer service, a robust and reliable network, and competitive rates. More than 600 clients worldwide, across many industries, depend on their mission-critical service. Projects include serving as the technology backbone for live streaming/podcasting for top broadcasters such as Cox Media Group (CMG), New York Public Radio, WAMU Washington D.C., KQED San Francisco and WXPN Philadelphia; live video events for major auto racing circuits and the British Royal Wedding; audio streaming for government entities such as D.C. Court of Appeals, U.S. Army, and the National Science Foundation; mobile video content for Cisco Systems; and IPTV content for international broadcaster ABS-CBN.
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