When looking to add video to your product workflows, there are a number of choices you can make. On one extreme, your developers can create all the tools needed to handle video themselves: choose an infrastructure or IaaS, put together all the backend processes and front-end components required, and invest a lot of sweat and money upfront, before you can even test whether you’re pursuing the right video workflow for your users. On the other extreme, you can choose a closed OVP that offers easy workflows but limited flexibility. If you want to start small but grow fast, without compromising on your unique user experience, how do you balance convenience and control?
Let’s take a look at some of the methods you can use to add video workflows and experiences to your product.
In-house DIY: Build everything from scratch for a solution that’s 100% your own.
Advantages: You have complete control, and you’ll retain full ownership of the code.
Disadvantages: Extremely labor intensive upfront, often unnecessarily so, as you’ll be forced to rebuild what others have done many times before. In addition to the steep upfront investment, as your requirements and workflows grow, you will be forced to maintain the capabilities you’ve built in-house, forever competing on resources with your core business product requirements.
Open Source: Self-host and manage an open source solution. Retain complete control over the stack.
Advantages: Leverage the great work others in the community have done, while still offering much the flexibility and control by self hosting and managing the stack. It’s less expensive than building it all yourself and reduces the upfront investments significantly.
Disadvantages: With growth, you’ll be met with the overhead of keeping your owned and managed environment up-to-date, secured, and scaled. As you scale and your product requirements grow, managing this stack will continue to divert focus and resources away from your core business and product.
Closed OVP: Contract with an OVP and integrate closed solutions as an easy way to sidestep a problem.
Advantages: Easy and fast. Solutions are proven and supported.
Disadvantages: Much less flexible, as you are constrained to what the vendor has optimized for and chooses to support in the future. Fewer upfront costs, but you will be forced to compromise constantly. Too many compromises will cripple your product workflows and user experience.
VPaaS: Video Platform as a Service is a pay-as-you-go, self-service platform that provides the open API, a set of SDKs, developer tools, and recipes to add video experiences to any application, business workflow, or environment. VPaaS offers the elasticity and flexibility of the cloud with the guarantees and simplicity of commercial video solutions, while remaining open and platform agnostic.
Advantages: Allows you to make no compromises on your workflow and experience, start free, and build for scale without making the upfront investments. Retain full ownership of your product workflows and experiences, and never compete with your core product for resources.
Disadvantages: You don’t own the entire stack, just your core product. It’s self-served and less hand-holding by design.
VPaaS vs. The DIY Mix
It’s possible, of course, to choose elements from multiple sources, assembling a solution piecemeal. But doing so gives up a crucial advantage that a platform solution offers—a single place to get multiple functionalities that all interact smoothly together. Ingestion, management, transcoding, live broadcast, recording, delivery, security, experience, playback, distribution, enrichment, data-extraction, search, automation, analytics, and monetization can all be handled by an interlocking unified specialized cloud platform featuring APIs and SDKs that the developer can choose from at will. Video Platform as a Service and its marketplace of certified integrations offers the guarantee that all the stages of a video workflow will work together smoothly with no patching and duct-tape needed from your team.
Build For The Future
Which solution is best for you is of course dependent on your goals, budget, timeline, and culture. But whether you choose the old fashioned elbow grease of building it yourself or the new convenience of VPaaS, a host of options are available to meet your video workflow development needs.