Video communications platform-as-a-service (PaaS) technology can help businesses and IT build real-time video applications with ease and reduced cost.
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The video platform as a service (PaaS) market is forecast to grow from $60 million in 2016 to $1.7 billion in 2020, a 130% compound annual growth rate (CAGR), according to an Aug. 23 report from IDC.
PaaS is a category of cloud computing services that provides a platform allowing customers to develop, run, and manage applications without the complexity of building and maintaining the infrastructure typically associated with developing and launching an app.
The report noted video communications PaaS offerings provide a new approach to building real-time video applications, making it easier for developers to embed real-time video into mobile apps, websites, or business processes.
The research firm outlined three categories of applications and 10 vertical use-case segments expected to drive the growth of video PaaS.
Education, social, and media are expected to constitute the largest category initially. This is a reflection of the wide number of use-cases for learning and tutoring, social media, and on-demand marketplaces that have or plan to integrate video chat capability.
The communications and collaboration category has use-cases in workforce collaboration, as in adding video to unified communications (UC) solutions, video-assisted retail sales, video banking, and telehealth patient-doctor interactions.
What IDC calls the "show me" category has use-cases in field force and customer support, including video-aided field technicians, video-enabled insurance claims, and video customer support for consumer electronics and appliances.
The cloud-based model could also provide significant savings to businesses, compared to on-premises video solutions, since there are no contracts, commitments, or subscription fees. Payment will be based on micro-billing tied to actual usage.
In addition to cost savings, video PaaS allows developers to quickly develop a prototype content package and develop it in the programming language of their choice.
The report notes some of the drivers powering the growth of the video PaaS market include the power of API platforms to deliver real-time video and bring-your-own-app environments in a world that is becoming more video-centric.
Among the potential inhibitors to growth were quality issues and the lack of a business case for real-time communications.
Some of the video PaaS vendors covered in the IDC report include Twilio, TOKBOX, Weemo, Vidyo, and Agora Lab, though there are larger players in the field as well, such as Amazon Web Services (AWS), Alphabet's Google App engine, and OpenShift, an open source PaaS by Red Hat based on top of Docker containers, and the Kubernetes container cluster manager for enterprise app development.
"The video PaaS market currently consists of a patchwork of individual use cases and specialized applications," Mark Winther, group vice president and consulting partner for worldwide telecommunications at IDC, wrote in a statement.
"But the video PaaS opportunity is not limited to a single solution for a specific industry need. By making it dead easy to embed video into any application, developers can build anything they want and enhance existing B2B or B2C interactions via a uniform visual platform."
Nathan Eddy is a freelance writer for InformationWeek. He has written for Popular Mechanics, Sales & Marketing Management Magazine, FierceMarkets, and CRN, among others. In 2012 he made his first documentary film, The Absent Column. He currently lives in Berlin. View Full Bio
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