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Why Stanford U. School of Medicine Chose Mediasite for Lecture Capture and Video Management

October 29, 2015

Stanford University School of Medicine adopted Mediasite in 2013 for lecture capture and video management. The school had already been recording lectures, but sought to automate the process to more efficiently meet demand. They tested several solutions, and ultimately chose Mediasite because they found it to be, in their words, “the perfect fit.” Watch the video and read on for a candid Q&A with Trent Tanaka, the AV technology expert who ultimately chose Mediasite.

How would you describe the importance of video on your campus?

Video capture has always been important for certain audiences, and it’s been a requirement for us since the 1970s. We started with tape-based formats, moved to a real streaming platform, then moved to downloadable and a couple years ago we moved to Mediasite. It’s important because our students demand it. It’s one of the highlights of coming to Stanford University School of Medicine. The students use the content to study, review and interact with each other with some team-based learning. It’s really critical for the medical school curriculum that we have at Stanford.

How did you choose a lecture capture system?

Back in 2010 we created our own custom lecture capture system, which deprecated a year after we completed it. When we fast-tracked a replacement we assessed a number of different vendors including Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite. We did a bakeoff between all the vendors, who each brought their solution on premises. We captured all of the content with all the different systems, including our own system as a comparison. Mediasite had all the features, the quality, and all the end user tools that we found was necessary to replace our system. It was a perfect fit.

What is Mediasite to you and your organization?

For us Mediasite is a lecture capture tool as well as a video asset management platform. Primarily at the medical school at Stanford we capture all of our core required courses. We capture quite a bit of content every day through the Mediasite system. Students, staff and faculty can interact with the video on their iPhones, iPads and Android devices. It’s a very platform-agnostic technology so it really enables our users to be more mobile.

What are the most important features of Mediasite for Stanford?

Automation is the most important thing, as well as the integration with scheduling. We deployed 25 Mediasite encoders which enabled every classroom to have recording capability. We also integrated it into our scheduling system. We have a very small staff of five, and we manage five different buildings. It’s not realistic for us to manually reach every single endpoint. So we use the API in Mediasite to automatically gather the schedule from the scheduling system. Our staff just needs to make sure their microphones are good, rather than having to go through every single room making sure the recording starts and stops on a schedule.

What future plans do you have to expand video on campus?

We plan to expand Mediasite to a number of different facilities throughout the School of Medicine, as well as off-campus. We have a number of different buildings that we’re bringing up for the School of Medicine and the hospitals as well as different locations in California. So we’re looking to expand the core capture capabilities outside of our main campus location.

What’s the best way to prepare for the future of campus-wide video?

I would say if you’re not using Mediasite – the hardware and software solution – you’re not preparing yourself for future needs. You may be stuck with a solution that will be outdated after you deploy. The developers are very forward-looking with Mediasite, and I like that. I like that they’re looking ahead, not just settling on their laurels and appreciating what they’ve accomplished. They’re looking forward to what they can do.

What sets Mediasite apart from competitors?

Mediasite is scalable, innovative and extensible. There are a lot of different capture platforms out there. What sets Mediasite apart is really the innovation. It’s the forward-looking mindset of the company. It’s knowing that they’re going to be here for the long haul.

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