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Microsoft Moves on Hot Virtual Event Market

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Microsoft Teams on a laptop
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Microsoft this week announced that it has acquired enterprise content delivery network (eCDN) provider Peer5 to support large-scale live video streaming in Teams.
 
To support large live video streaming events, Peer5 uses self-balancing mesh networking technology that auto-scales as the number of viewers increases, Microsoft said. Enterprises do not need to add user endpoints or change network infrastructure, Microsoft added.
 
Microsoft will also continue to support eCDN solutions from Microsoft-certified partners, and current Peer5 customers will be able to retain Peer5 services.
 
This acquisition comes hot on the heels of virtual and hybrid event announcements from Microsoft’s primary UCaaS competitors, Cisco and Zoom. As such, it is meant to meet the moment, Dave Michels, principal analyst at TalkingPointz, told No Jitter.
 
Specifically, Zoom last month relaunched Zoom Events, and Cisco acquired event platform provider Socio Labs in May, Michels explained. Other providers like event technology platform provider Hopin are also “creating solutions around this emerging virtual events category,” he added.
 
While Microsoft added webinars to its standard licensing, Michels noted that “events are more than that” and need registration and content distribution capabilities and “a set of new services designed to facilitate hybrid events.” While Microsoft is presumably building some of these capabilities in-house, “it needed to turn to Peer5 to build out its live-streaming capabilities,” Michels said.

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