Few educators would describe the efforts that have been required to transition to online learning during a pandemic as “easy” — and it’s been all the more frustrating for those whose technologies haven’t kept up.
As we watched events unfold with COVID-19’s rapid spread in early 2020, our teams at Panopto focused on our unique responsibility to support educators across the globe as they hastily made their way through uncharted waters.
We were ready.
Actually, we’d been ready. Decisions we made years ago to build our platform differently provide Panopto customers with a flexible video learning solution that can adapt to any scenario at scale, at any moment, even in a crisis.
Here are five evolutions in Panopto’s development that prepared us to support an unprecedented disruption in teaching and learning:
- When other video platforms required massive hardware investments, we created a cloud-based, end-to-end video solution that could be managed from anywhere, and could record with commodity hardware. In fact, Amazon asked Panopto to showcase its expertise and leadership in cloud autoscaling at AWS re:Invent in 2016.
- Other video platforms mandated fixed recording setups that required proprietary hardware and relied on extensive professional services to set up and maintain, while Panopto focused on a single code base for quality and agility.
- While other video platforms limited presenters to recording a single video stream in standard definition, we made it possible to record multiple simultaneous HD video streams into a single video, viewable through an interactive video player that puts learners in control of what they see.
- When other video platforms took shortcuts on interoperability and playback quality, Panopto switched its video streaming architecture entirely to HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) from end to end and rolled out support for RTMP encoders as well as live HTML5 video.
- And while other video platforms ignored situations when video creators lost content, Panopto committed to failsafe recording, which continuously monitors and auto-recovers recordings and data in the event of a lost network connection, hardware failure, or power outage.
At Panopto, we’ve always believed that video and technology should just work, under any circumstances. And to fulfill that commitment to our customers, we continue to invest extensively in the following:
Building a reliable platform on infrastructure that scales
Panopto maintains server infrastructure for its cloud-hosted service and ensures its continuous, optimal delivery. Amazon Web Services (AWS) provides the backbone for the Panopto Cloud, which includes geographic server options in the United States, European Union, Canada, and Asia Pacific. The Panopto Cloud is secure, scalable, has high availability for redundancy, and is built to ensure uptime and reliability. That means that Panopto is always available when it’s needed. In fact, we are so confident in our uptime that we openly publish the history of any cloud issues at trust.panopto.com.
Making products that are easy for anyone to use
It’s one thing to describe our products as easy to use, but it’s quite another to deliver on that promise. How does Panopto do it? Since our inception, we’ve relied on input from our customers that guides us through designing and delivering features that address their toughest video communications challenges.
Meghal Patel, Senior Director of Product Management and Engineering at Panopto, describes his job in one sentence, “I make sure we build the right experiences that are both easy to use and delightful at the same time.” In fact, every team at Panopto, from engineering to our executive team, engages directly with our customers, including end users as much as possible to listen to what’s most important, understand our customers’ pain points, and continually work to make Panopto better.
Just as we partner with customers to ensure we are delivering the features that are most essential, we also look to our customers for evidence that we are delivering on our promise to deliver products that anyone can use.
“Panopto offered a superior user experience and range of features that impressed both faculty and students. From our standpoint, the decision to make Panopto the video solution for the entire university really made itself.”
— Tom Lewis, Director, Academic Experience Design & Delivery, University of Washington
“Ninety percent of our professors are now recording and sharing videos with Panopto — it’s proven to be our most important learning technology.”
— Olga Forlani, Technical Manager for TID, IST Area, University of Verona
“Our professors were immediately accepting of Panopto because it was not complicated. And, because it integrates so seamlessly with Blackboard, they felt like it was part of the LMS they already knew how to use.”
— Leónardo Belalcazar, PMO Manager, CSI, Pontificia Universidad Javeriana, Cali
Providing best-in-class customer support
We measure and publish customer satisfaction using a standardized measure that’s been adopted by more than two-thirds of Fortune 1000 companies — our Net Promoter Score (NPS) shows how likely our customers are to recommend Panopto. Net Promoter Scores range from -100 to +100, with scores over 30 generally indicating a company has far more happy customers than unhappy ones.
In our most recent NPS survey, Panopto received a score of 70, which puts us far above the SaaS industry average of 30.
Panopto’s highest honors, however, continue to be the decisions made by businesses and universities around the world to choose Panopto. As of September 2020, 22 of the top 25 universities worldwide according to the Times Higher Education World University Rankings now use Panopto’s video management system. And with a remarkable renewal rate in the mid-nineties, organizations that adopt Panopto choose to stay with us year after year.
Here’s what our customers have said about Panopto’s best-in-class customer support:
“I’m not used to having a company bend over backwards to make things work the way I need them to. Panopto has always been right there with us. For me, this is the kind of team I want to work with.”
— Jimmy Lieu, Director of Information Technology, The Wharton School, University of Pennsylvania
“One of the best things about Panopto has been their level of support. Panopto has been a nice fit on the product side, and an excellent partnership on the support side.”
— Mark Felix, Director, Instructional Support, Office of Instruction and Assessment, University of Arizona
“The customer support we received from Panopto was impressive. The Panopto team was always responsive and willing to do anything it took to solve and issue for us.”
— Carlos Landeau, Senior Project Manager, Saint Louis University