Microsoft integrates Israeli technology to improve the quality of video streaming
A year after acquiring Israeli streaming company Peer5, Microsoft launched new technology based on the company’s developments to deploy high-quality video streaming in large-scale live broadcasts.
The technology, developed at Microsoft’s main R&D center in the coastal city of Herzliya, will be integrated with Teams, the tech giant’s enterprise communications platform and its answer to Zoom and Slack, both of which have gained popularity at the onset of COVID-19. pandemic, when working from home and hybrid work environments began to take shape.
Microsoft acquired Skype in 2011, but it never took off as a business tool, and Skype for Business was finally discontinued last summer. During this time, Microsoft worked on Teams to build on its strength as a leading operating system and software vendor, with a market share of more than 70% of desktop operating systems ( Windows), and offer business communications – chat, meetings, conferencing, collaboration – to organizations as a free add-on to Microsoft 365 Business.
In January, Microsoft officials said Teams had surpassed 270 million monthly active users. Before the pandemic, the software had around 32 million users.
Microsoft Israel said in a statement that Peer5’s technology will help dramatically improve video streaming quality in large-scale live broadcasts without overloading networks and “allow organizations to host streaming events for millions of people simultaneously.” ‘users’, such as company-wide training programs and virtual town halls.
Peer5 was founded in 2012 by Israeli entrepreneurs Hadar Weiss, Guy Paskar and Shachar Zohar, and later offered an enterprise content delivery network (eCDN) that runs in the browser to optimize bandwidth usage. bandwidth with mesh network technology. The company said it has hosted live online events with up to two million concurrent users, and its products have been used by more than a billion people worldwide.
“When many employees are streaming at the same time, the network gets congested,” Weiss explained in a post last year announcing the Microsoft acquisition. “This can happen in a town hall meeting, a big training session, or when everyone opens a link to a video that was just emailed. Our technology solves this problem in the most as efficiently as possible, without modifying the existing network infrastructure.
Weiss, who is currently a product manager at the Microsoft Israel Research & Development Center, said in a comment shared with The Times of Israel: “Our new technology reduces network saturation and provides secure, high-quality, and easy-to-use live video streaming. at scale with optimized network performance.
“It is designed to enable organizations to securely live stream global meetings, town halls and distribute company-wide training, to help people and organizations stay connected and engaged. with employees from virtually anywhere,” Weiss added.
“Since remote working has become widely accepted in the job market, the ability to connect internally in organizations has become vital, as these meetings improve communication with employees in the organization and keep them engaged in the workplace. company,” Microsoft Israel said.
Separately, Microsoft plans to expand its presence in Israel over the next few years, with five additional locations in the country and a doubling of R&D workforce by 2025.
Microsoft currently operates development centers in Haifa, Tel Aviv and Nazareth, and opened a 46,000 square meter campus two years ago for its R&D headquarters in Israel. At the end of 2020, Microsoft employed around 2,300 people in Israel, including 2,000 in R&D, working on projects such as cybersecurity, artificial intelligence technologies, big data and healthcare. Some 300 people work in sales and marketing.
The company said it saw substantial growth in 2020 and 2021 in its development centers and hopes to add more than 2,500 engineers and other roles in the coming years to build a local workforce of more than 4,500 people.
The five planned sites include a second site in Tel Aviv which will house more than 1,000 employees on a 25,000 square meter plot, additional space of approximately 17,000 square meters adjacent to the Herzliya site for an additional 1,000 employees, and two new development sites slated to open next year in Beersheba and Jerusalem to tap into talent from “underrepresented sectors, such as ultra-Orthodox Jews and Israeli Arabs,” the company said.
The location of the fifth site is still under consideration and will take into account key factors such as workforce diversity, travel and work-life balance issues, Microsoft said.
Microsoft opened a local branch in Israel in 1989 and established its first R&D center in Israel, its first outside the United States, in 1991.