Why we decided to offer CaptionHub as an on-premise solution

What is CaptionHub on-premise?

The first thing to point out is that unlike some consumer applications that also power businesses, like 1Password for example, an enterprise-first platform like CaptionHub isn’t a straightforward single-unit application. It’s a multi-faceted platform which makes it harder to deploy technically. Unlike a desktop application, CaptionHub is a browser served subtitling platform, its speech recognition engine, its machine translation memory, its machine translation engine – are all components and applications in their own right, that are required to be installed onto a server before CaptionHub can be used from a browser pointing at that server. This is the case whether its in our cloud infrastructure and being used by our cloud customers from Buenos Aires to London, or whether it’s used by global users for our on-premise clients from Cupertino to Berlin.

It’s not a trivial thing to do, nor to maintain. It also takes us, as a company, away from a pure cloud business model. We have to price differently, support differently, and maintain differently. I’ve sat in executive board and ops meetings alike in previous companies, unswervingly defending a strategy to do completely the opposite “we must maintain a 100% cloud approach”! Which had fortunately been successful in helping that company towards a happy ending for it and its customers. So why would we now defend and pro-actively pursue a dual-model of offering cloud or on-premise?

Cloud eats world, but can’t swallow on-premise

Cloud versus on-premise has been a debate at the centre of software strategy for the last two decades. We’ve experienced the unprecedented trend towards cloud, driven by monumental improvements in reliability, availability, tooling and services – with the natural commoditisation of those services and tools driven by AWS, and Google Cloud Platform.

But, 65% of companies are still running their own data centres. It might not make sense to run everything in the cloud depending on your company culture and security requirements. Multi-cloud is the notion of extending the simple hybrid enterprise architecture approach: it essentially means having different servers run by different vendors (Azure, Google, AWS) alongside of course, your very own data centres. We’re not seeing the need for on-premise going away and nor are our customers.

Why offer an on-premise solution now, in 2018?

The answer is relatively simple: it’s because we are on a mission. Our mission at CaptionHub is to be the best online technology solution for subtitling.

Our mission drives our commercial and technology strategy. We want to fit into the video production eco-system as tightly as possible to improve efficiency and workflows for our customers, and not create yet another layer of overhead between the creative department starting, and the post-production team deploying, be it OTT or on-demand.

If this means being on our customer’s servers, or placing a component of the CaptionHub platform on their servers, then it’s simply what we have to do to fulfil our mission.

Deploying to on-premise is not trivial, but it is getting more replicable as a process. It means we can and are developing sophisticated methods for rigorous, robust and repeatable deployments and maintenance, support & updates to those deployments.

Andrew McDonough, Senior Engineer at CaptionHub is quick to evangelise the ease of platform deployment compared to years ago; ” … with the vast evolution and availability of tools like Docker, we can now bundle the components of our platform in portable containers and run it in any environment, which makes our deployment possibilities pretty interesting for on-premise, ironically driven by tools from a cloud driven marketplace.”

It means we can integrate with our partner’s video platforms such as Qumu VCC (on-premise) or Brightcove (Cloud).

It means we can support enterprises in their choice in enterprise architecture, rather than create another challenge for them. And fortunately due to the tools that have come to market from the proliferation of cloud computing, we can deploy platforms far gracefully than ever before.

Supporting enterprise video production with perfect captioning anywhere

We want to go deeper into the enterprise video production system and being able to deploy as cloud, and now hybrid or on-premise, lets us do exactly that. We can deploy and integrate more tightly and broadly than every before to make the captioning process faster, more secure and more available.

It helpfully guides our roadmap with recent or near-term features for integrating video platforms, offering Custom Vocabulary or using Auth0 to harness the full range of authentication variables we might bump into when deploying CaptionHub.

And of course CaptionHub On-Premise is available now – so please get in touch if you would like to know more.