Microsoft is looking to take popular work tool Microsoft Teams to the next level, and the journey there, of course, goes through Israeli high-tech. Recently, the American tech giant announced the acquisition of Peer5, a veteran Israeli startup developing technology to minimize one of the most annoying aspects of remote work -- freezing and buffering of live video chat. Peer5’s entire team will transition to Microsoft’s R&D department in Israel.
Teamwork makes the call the work
Usually, when you stream video from an app or website, CDN services transmit the broadcast from a single server in your area. Peer5, on the other hand, has developed an eCDN solution -- trafficking content on a P2P based organizational network. Instead of transmitting the video cast from servers in the user’s geographical area, Peer5 uses the viewers/users’ computing systems to stream video while they’re viewing. Essentially, it’s “all for one, and one for all” in the battle against the insufferable buffering.
Users aren’t required to do or configure anything, as the process is done on the site’s side based on WebRTC technology already embedded in the browser. Anyone who has used video conferences over the last two years has for sure culminated more than a few hours of waiting for the video to buffer. This becomes an even bigger problem when it comes to, for example, training sessions, staff meetings, conferences, medical consultation, and packed events. This is where Peer5 looks to make communication easier, with a solution that mitigates the impact on the corporate network and its business applications by creating a Mesh network that balances itself according to the amount of users on the call.
Microsoft responded to the announcement, saying: “As Microsoft Teams has become the primary communications and collaboration platform for many of our customers, they’ve asked us for more integrated eCDN solutions for large-scale meetings and virtual events. Today, we’re excited to announce that we have acquired Peer5 to expand our ability for delivering secure, high-quality, large-scale live video streaming with optimized network performance in Teams.”
Peer5 was founded in 2012 by CEO Hadar Weiss, COO Guy Paskar, and CTO Shachar Zohar. The trio met during their computer science studies at Tel Aviv University. The Israeli startup hasn’t gone on any notable funding rounds to date, bringing in only $4.5 million over nearly a decade, with its last round coming in 2017. There were no valuations reported by the startup, however, Microsoft did note that Peer5’s existing customers will continue to use the company’s services.