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Capturing the beautiful game’s global showcase with… Witbe

Mathieu Planche, CEO at Witbe, discusses his company's role in testing and monitoring video content for a number of clients capturing the global football festival, and cheering on his home country!

What is your company’s role?

Witbe develops automated testing and monitoring technology for video service providers. Our technology helps measure the quality of streaming video that is distributed across different markets and on different devices, and alerts providers when service interruptions strike. Measuring the true quality of experience that their customers receive at home supports video service providers in their efforts to deliver the best possible service at any given moment.

For the upcoming world football tournament in Qatar, Witbe has been selected by several communication companies broadcasting the event to test and monitor the quality of their video content. These companies include OTT, IPTV, fibre internet, and landline phone service providers with customers in Europe, the Middle East, North Africa, and Southeast Asia, as well as content providers and broadcasters who have native B2C OTT applications or are partnering with ISPs to distribute their content. They will all be broadcasting the event through their own streaming apps or via third-party apps. The volume of customers watching concurrently is expected to be far higher than usual.

The streaming apps are available on a wide range of set-top boxes and mobile devices. Luckily, Witbe’s technology can test any digital service running on any real, physical device. Leading up to and throughout the event, we will be working with companies to ensure their apps are performing equally well on the various devices they run on, and in the different markets that their customers will be watching from.

How many people will be involved in the operation; remote vs on-site?

Witbe will be working closely with the companies’ QA testing teams to automatically test streaming video performance from different locations. In each location, the physical testing devices will be plugged into a Witbox (our device for automated testing). With Witbe’s technology, the testing devices will be remotely accessible over the internet, allowing the teams to run automated tests around the clock from anywhere in the world. Witbe will also be working with the companies’ video operations teams to handle any alerts that may be received during the different events.

What technology are you deploying on the project?

We have deployed several WitboxOne devices – our flagship product – and Witbox+ devices, our most powerful Witbox which is capable of testing four different 4K devices simultaneously (including mobile phones). The QA and video operations teams are also using Witbe’s Software Suite, including Workbench to programme their automated testing scenarios, Remote Eye Controller (REC) to remotely monitor and control their testing devices, and Smartgate to receive alerts whenever the service quality dips or gets interrupted.

Is any of it new?

This particular set-up is a newly deployed upgrade for one company we are working with. On our side, the Witbox+ launched earlier this year, and the Witbe Software Suite is constantly being updated. In addition, an update to the REC from just a few months ago allows users to access their devices through any web browser, allowing them to remotely view and control their devices any time they need to.

What are the stand-out USPs of your company’s role in terms of sustainability, cloud usage, remote production?

Witbe’s technology is built with remote teams in mind. Our remote access software creates a virtual workspace that can be shared among co-workers, no matter where they are or what device they’re working on. This removes the need to travel onsite to confirm an error, reducing the carbon footprint that accompanies troubleshooting errors in the field. Witbe also offers a Witbe Cloud Devices plan, where the customer doesn’t deploy anything and receives secure, dedicated access to the technology they need.

In terms of sustainability, the Witbox+ is extremely compact and consumes eight times less power than previous iterations utilising the same technology.

Anything else you want to tell us?

Witbe is an international company with 12 different offices across seven countries. Despite this, we would be lying if we said we weren’t still rooting for France!