Case Study: Vimeo Relies on Journey for Global Corporate Event

Vimeo is well-known as a popular video sharing platform among consumers. Beyond their core business, however, the 12-year-old company’s fastest growing segment is their enterprise offering. To serve this critical customer base, Vimeo has an in-house team to provide live production services for webcasts and similar corporate video-based events. When a major global hotel brand enlisted Vimeo to produce their 100th anniversary event involving interactive two-way video from hotel sites in New York, New Orleans, and Istanbul, it had to be flawless. But for Tom Gott, Vimeo’s head of live production, the challenges soon arose.

“We initially considered traditional satellite backhaul between the three cities, but we immediately ran into some problems with the locations. Parking a satellite truck at the main hotel site in New York, and at the New Orleans venue was going to be pretty difficult,” Gott says. “Latency was going to be an issue as well, because we were going to Istanbul, so we were probably going to have to downlink somewhere, and then fiber it over and uplink it again.”

The high cost of satellite delivery was a concern; but even for a streaming company like Vimeo, the thought of trying to successfully navigate hotel internet service on their own was daunting.

Vimeo decided to use Journey for the event. While they had occasionally used other IP transmission services in the past, Journey’s excellent track record in broadcast applications was a major factor in the decision.

“At Vimeo, we live in the web IP world, so we have smaller budgets. But we still try to do shows as close to a broadcast standard as possible, “ Gott explains. “We were aware that Journey was being used for at-home productions airing on broadcast networks. I knew that if we went with an IP based solution that’s good enough for broadcast sports, it’s going to be good enough, and reliable enough, for our application.”

Journey’s reputation for simple, painless deployment in challenging network environments sealed the decision for Vimeo. Gott says, “I knew that being in hotels in places like Istanbul, it might be hard getting a stable signal in and out of these locations. Journey is really good at negotiating those first-mile and last-mile connections.”

In advance of the event, Journey engineers worked extensively with the Vimeo staff to qualify the internet connections at the hotels. Journey then provided primary and backup transmission appliances, as well as its own communications equipment to create a production P/L channel between all locations. For the event itself, the Journey Network Operations Center was actively involved in managing the event transmission, remaining on the P/L channel with the Vimeo production crew to help troubleshoot any issues.

Journey performed flawlessly for the event, and Vimeo couldn’t have been more thrilled. As Gott explains, “First of all, it was just easy. I think the the biggest thing is that it’s pretty simple. You give it DHCP, you give it a video signal, and it just works. That was great. And then the video and audio quality was excellent, and the latency was amazing. It was about two seconds round trip to Istanbul. We had a huge crew there, and the video guys were like, ‘What is this?’”

Gott was particularly impressed with the level of customer support that Journey provided for the event. He says, “I got more than what I was expecting. Whatever we threw at them last minute — hey, we’re having this problem, or we’ve got to change this location, or we’ve got to do this test, whatever — Journey was always there, available for us as a partner in the production.” Gott also pointed out the logistical advantages Journey gave them over satellite: no need to park a truck or get permits, no need to book satellite time, and so forth.

Based on their experience with this event, Vimeo definitely plans to use Journey in the future for corporate town halls, CEO quarterly meetings, and other enterprise video projects that require cost-effective yet rock-solid performance.

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