Investing in complex new technology is always better when you have choices for how to implement it. This makes it easier when you have a set budget and know your development team’s degree of expertise regarding the technology. Embedded video communications is one such offering that has multiple implementation options.

These options are covered in Vidyo’s The Rise of Embedded Video Communications Report 2018, a global survey of nearly 350 product development professionals who design and create software products used throughout their organizations. Embedded video enables two-way interactive video communication, such as talking to your doctor face-to-face, in digital applications. Developers embed this capability in applications for mobile phones, tablets, laptop computers, and web browsers.

Here are the implementation options available for embedded video, along with their pros and cons:

Internal development: While development of video technology in-house offers a great degree of flexibility, it’s also the most expensive, due to the high development and maintenance costs. Add in ownership of the global infrastructure, which requires a deep technical skill set to maintain, and costly servers distributed globally in order to achieve optimal video quality, and the costs pile on.

Commercially available software: Buying and integrating commercial software requires some customization but no development costs of the underlying video technology, and often includes support to assist your team. The downsides are the expensive acquisition fees and ongoing support and, again, you must own the global infrastructure.

Open source software: Open source requires lower up-front development costs than the previous two options and offers a high degree of customization to fit your business workflows. The downsides include some difficulty getting support and, yet again, you must own the global infrastructure.

Communications Platform-as-a-Service (CPaaS): This final option involves an API platform, which specifies how your software components should interact. It’s a fully hosted service, requires little to no video expertise, is customizable, and its pricing is usage-based. The vendor is responsible for the infrastructure, so you’ll want to be sure to select a vendor whose infrastructure meets your needs to ensure an optimal experience for your users.

When asked which option they chose, respondents who developed an embedded video component in the last 12 months most often selected CPaaS (31%), with others ranked as follows: commercially available software (25%), internal development (24%), and open source software (20%).

Since everything in life has its pros and cons, it’s up to you to determine whether you should build or buy your embedded video implementation option. Our advice is to avoid the temptation to build it yourself. Vidyo has been building and refining our video communications platform for over a decade, and we’ve created the leading enterprise-grade video communications platform and hosting infrastructure that is enterprise grade quality. Our survey respondents seem to agree.

For more valuable information about adding embedded video to your communications applications, get The Rise of Embedded Video Communications Report 2018.

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