Discover Digital intros video-conferencing-as-a-service solution

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Video-on-demand (VOD) solutions company Discover Digital has become the latest firm to introduce a video-conferencing-as-a-service solution.

Tech firms have been battling it out over the past several months to introduce new remote working and virtual conferencing services, or expand their existing offerings, to cater to the increased demand created by global COVID-19 lockdowns.

Discover Digital says its DD-EFX conference offering, introduced in partnership with its subsidiary EFX Productions, consists of a suite of services, targeted at major events with large audiences.

The conferencing platform is hosted on Discover Digital’s VOD and live TV digital platform and is accompanied by a range of broadcast services, including the editing and packaging, data gathering, online archiving and branding of virtual events.

As more gatherings get shut down due to the COVID-19 pandemic, many firms are opting to go virtual, rather than cancelling their events, with an option of also charging attendance fees, according to Discover Digital.

Stephen Watson, MD of Discover Digital and director of EFX Productions, says the new video-conferencing-as-a-service solution has been created to enable the creative, exhibition, conferencing and events industries to stage events which are of high standard, minimising the physical constraints of a virtual event.

“We now offer a full suite of production services and a fully enabled platform to allow conferences to move seamlessly to the digital space,” says Watson.

“The DD-EFX conference offering is customisable and can include filming and production, editing and packaging of third-party content, digital ticket sales with multiple payment options, content distribution and tracking of views. For sensitive data such as internal communications, we can also operate extremely closed user groups.”

Discover Digital owns 74% of EFX Productions, which works with staging companies, transmission service providers and creative directors to manage broadcast services.

Hosting an event on the VOD and live TV digital platform provides the ability to archive and store the event on a public or private platform, says Discover Digital.

The company says it has worked on local events such as the Kyalami nine-hour broadcast, the ESPN Africa/Fox Sports Events broadcast and streaming, and the Nelson Mandela Lectures Series featuring Barack Obama and Bill Gates.

“Event organisers now need to deliver a far more polished package than a slide presentation in a virtual event,” says Brendan Marsay, executive head of technology and director of EFX Productions.

“Using various payment gateways, events can be monetised through ticket sales online or at selected outlets, with payments via a range of channels.”

Boom time for virutal

The impact of the novel coronavirus crisis has led to a rapidly growing video communication service market, as people across the globe have been forced to substitute their in-person meetings and events with virtual networking sessions, amid the lockdowns introduced globally.

As more companies and educational institutions introduce remote working policies, video-conferencing services have exploded over the last few months.

Last month, Facebook introduced Messenger Rooms, a video-conferencing tool which is set to rival Zoom. WhatsApp extended its video calling feature to accommodate up to eight people instead of four on one video call.

Google has made its Google Meet video-conferencing service freely available to all Google account-holders, as the platform reaches 100 million daily users.

Johannesburg-based Cassava Fintech International, a subsidiary of Econet Global, last month introduced its voice- and video-conferencing service Sasai TeamTalk, which accommodates up to 20 people on one call.

Video software providers such as Microsoft, Cisco, UberConference and Zoom Video Communications have reported a dramatic surge in demand for their work-from-home services, as the industry’s revenue projections reach billions of dollars.

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