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Video-as-a-service

Highlights
  • The Defence Video Portal provides Defence families, the media and the general public direct access to a treasure trove of content about the Australian armed forces
  • Viewers can choose to search the entire database, or concentrate on just Army, Navy or Air Force content
  • Video shot during a range of Defence exercises and operations is on display, along with Christmas messages from personnel and prominent Australians
  • News media also have access to the site, which acts as a central source of information and a repository of video material that can be downloaded for broadcast.

When the RAAF took part in Exercise Red Flag in Nevada earlier this year, Defence personnel, their families and the public at large had a box seat.

Video was once dismissed as simply a vehicle for entertainment. YouTube changed all that, demonstrating how video could, yes, entertain – but also inform, educate and alert.

Today, a growing number of organisations are seeking what amounts to an enterprise version of YouTube. They want a system to serve up rich and timely video content to employees, customers, prospects and partners whenever they want and on whatever device they want in order to lift engagement and awareness.

Young professionals in video conference

Defence is no different. The Defence Video Portal provides Defence families, the media and the general public direct access to a treasure trove of content about the Australian armed forces.

“A stable, efficient and scalable solution to manage, publish and analyse content.”

- Dean Halpin, Deputy Director Defence News and Multimedia

So in January and February when 150 RAAF personnel, two C-130J Hercules transport aircraft and an AP-3C Orion surveillance aircraft took part in Exercise Red Flag 15-1, the video portal offered the opportunity to see the team in action.

Demand for video is soaring. Statistics that Cisco released last year indicate that by 2018, 79 per cent of all internet traffic (excluding peer to peer) will be video – up from 66 per cent in 2013. Also by 2018, nearly a million minutes of video will cross the internet every second.

Government agencies are, naturally, among those recognising the value in being able to communicate directly, using arguably the most powerful medium there is.

The Defence Video Portal was established in December 2010 to provide modern video publishing capability outside the Defence domain. It has enabled the Department of Defence to publish videos of personnel on deployments throughout the world.

Viewers can choose to search the entire database, or concentrate on just Army, Navy or Air Force content. Video shot during a range of Defence exercises and operations is on display, along with Christmas messages from personnel and prominent Australians. News media also have access to the site, which acts as a central source of information and a repository of video material that can be downloaded for broadcast.

Dean Halpin, Deputy Director Defence News and Multimedia, says, “The Australian public, including ADF family members, are entitled to see first-hand the good work people in Defence are doing.”

After a positive response from the public and internal audiences, he said this portal and its clips are now considered a vital part of the organisation’s communication framework.

But Defence needed a more sophisticated video management solution that would provide better control, handle search requests from users and provide analytics while still serving up high quality video.

In December 2014, Defence engaged Telstra (powered by Telstra’s video technology subsidiary Ooyala) to provide the required solution. Telstra was chosen as the preferred provider because of its extensive analytical, accessibility, design and control features. For example, the analytics platform will enable Defence’s multimedia team to monitor closely how content is accessed and plan and execute a strategy that delivers content the audience wishes to consume.

Ooyala’s technology acts as a platform for capturing, managing and delivering video content, distributing it to a broad range of devices while maintaining TV-like quality.

Halpin says that as a result of the deployment, “We hope to achieve a stable, efficient and scalable solution to manage, publish and analyse content.

“The establishment of the Telstra Online Video Solution is a tremendous opportunity to refresh the role of video and raise its profile in the mix of other media content on the Department of Defence website. The video portal will take the best of the current Defence content and showcase it in a more sophisticated and polished format.”

The migration of video assets from the previous service provider has begun and Defence plans to go live by the end of March.

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