Omnilive: ensuring educational continuity during the lockdown

With schools and universities closed, how are students able to continue their classes? Omnilive has partnered with France Université Numérique to enable teachers to live stream their lessons via an interactive video solution. We find out more with Omnilive’s founder Cyril Zajac.

The video streaming market is crowded, so what are Omnilive’s special features? Who can benefit?  

Cyril Zajac : Omnilive (opens in a new window) is a cloud video streaming solution that relies on an interactive player that we have developed. What’s special about it? The end user can view content by switching between different cameras so they have a more immersive video experience. This means education providers can recreate their physical class environment. Students can follow their teacher’s explanations and interactions with the class. Omnilive is also offering a new type of eSports experience as spectators can follow multiplayer sessions by accessing all viewing angles.

Today, we’re mainly present in France and the United States, where MIT and the Berkeley Haas School of Business both use Omnilive. In the future, we would like to distribute our solution across French-speaking territories and Africa in particular, which is the first territory I would like to develop further.

What have you put in place since the lockdown?

Cyril Zajac : We had been thinking for a while about a way to simplify content production for higher education providers. With the quarantine in force, the requirement became more evident. We adapted our player and streaming infrastructure. We also found simple tools so that users can live stream from a single PC and still have a good experience. France Université Numérique will also be providing open classes on its FunMook portal so that teachers can carry on teaching courses.  

How does your reader meet the expectations of teachers and students better than any other solution?

Cyril Zajac : Unlike the most well-known videoconferencing offers – which require software, the creation of an account and which limit the number of participants – Omnilive is very simple to implement and use: no plug-ins to download, the navigation is really intuitive… the user simply connects to a web address. Finally, our infrastructure is French and the data is hosted in a data centre in France.

What lessons can you learn from this unprecedented crisis?

Cyril Zajac : Everyone was caught off guard by the lockdown. Therefore, you have to imagine a structure that is viable over time. After the crisis, we will have to question how we can unite our partners, customers and tech players to create an online school or university that could be activated in the event of a crisis. I would like to work on this project.

Orange et Omnilive, a long-standing partnership

“Our relationship started from the very early days of Omnilive and we made strong and direct connections. We’re continuing to develop projects around eSports and education. I am sure that Orange will have a big role to play in my idea of creating a “backbone” for crisis e-learning, especially in the areas of reliability of access to content and distribution among large numbers of people.”