On streaming media and the enterprise

A brief exchange with Robert Miles, of Gartner Group's Interactive Services
Posted February 3, 1999

Adnan Ashraf


IJ: What should intranet managers and developers be thinking about as they plan to implement media-streaming?

Robert Miles: Bandwith. Streaming media still takes up a lot of bandwith, and developers need to be aware of this fact.


IJ: Can you give us an overview of how Gartner Group implements electronic commerce?

RM: We conduct significant e-commerce activity over our Web site. Users can purchase with the use of a major credit card but have the option of going through traditional sales channels.

IJ: Would you advise corporations to look into the combination of streaming media and electronic commerce as a way to extend their services?

RM: Yes. For your information, we produced Symposium Online this year, a major investment in audio and video technology. Symposium Online webcasted all Mastermind Keynotes from GartnerGroup Symposium and provides on-demand access to all analyst conference sessions. The Web site is a virtual ticket to this leading IT event and will provide information to attendees who could not make certain sessions as well as those IT professionals who could not make the trip to Orlando, Florida.


IJ: Are streamed seminars accelerating the rate of evolution in IT.

RM: I am not sure if it is accelerating the evolution of IT but it will allow broader and quicker access to the news and analysis that drives IT. For example, analyst sessions from our conference are now available to the world.


IJ: Which brings us to your audience, which is who exactly?

RM: Worldwide IT professionals -- 7.2 million.

IJ: How many people buy your audio-stream seminars?

RM: It is too early to tell how many people are consistently buying our audio and video streams. We just completed GartnerGroup Symposium and have all keynotes available for free, and over 215 sessions available for purchase. This will be a very good indicator of the number of people purchasing our content over the Internet.

IJ: What percentage uses more conventional means of payment?

RM: We sell access to GartnerGroup Live via our sales channel, as well as online. As for percentages, it is still too early to tell. In the past, almost 75% have taken place online.


IJ: What software packages would you recommend to IT managers?

RM: We are currently providing access to our media files via RealPlayer and Windows Media Player. Our user data shows roughly a 50-50 split between the two players, and we do not want to lose a potential customer simply for not providing access via a preferred player.

About the author:
Adnan Ashraf produces content for EarthWeb and is site manager at Intranet Journal. His writing has also appeared in rhizome.org, the Village Voice, and ArtByte magazine.

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