The future, in case you hadn’t noticed, has arrived with a flourish.
In the past dozen or so years, streaming has gone from a promising emerging technology to common practice due to ever-increasing internet speeds and more advanced content platforms and services. The gaming industry typically leads the way for the rest of the 3D world, and today that path is leading toward more immersive and interactive forms of streaming.
Businesses beyond the gaming industry benefit from this technology. 3D streaming enables end users to create, customize, and visualize high-end purchases like houses or cars without ever leaving the comfort of their homes. Additionally, interactive 3D streaming can help businesses create superior-quality training materials or significantly improve their e-commerce offerings for mission-critical jobs, even if people work halfway across the globe.
However, at least until recently, businesses using these tools have been hampered by inefficient publishing and delivery methods such as expensive dedicated hardware, limited remote capabilities, and delayed real-time collaboration.
Today’s cloud streaming services empower companies that want to stream data-intensive, interactive 3D technology all over the globe, regardless of available computing power. Any company can now deliver its interactive 3D models everywhere — from powerful workstations to affordable tablets and phones — without the need to create new departments and invest in dedicated servers to accomplish it.
Yes, facilitating real-time streaming of 3D applications on a large scale for enterprises requires specific equipment and processes in order to yield a consistent and reliable experience. When creating real-time 3D experiences for your customers, the interactive streaming service you choose to run it on could make a world of difference. Your streaming partner should fit as many of your needs as possible.
But how do you know what those needs are? If you are new to interactive 3D streaming, there are three overarching questions you should ask yourself to ensure that you’re setting yourself up for success, and those revolve around cost, performance, and ROI.
Part I: How much will real-time 3D streaming cost?
Many calculations go into a cloud provider’s rates. Physical infrastructure, maintenance, and the computing power running things behind the scenes all affect a streaming service’s price tag. However, price is only one element of the true cost. A fully managed service provider, for instance, will have the tools you need to make your cloud use more efficient and capable of handling traffic spikes without forcing you into a higher cost bracket.
Companies now have the option to stream 3D interactive technology to any device anywhere. With PureWeb, it’s accessible to businesses of all sizes and types. The costs associated with graphical processing unit (GPU) servers are prohibitive, but our innovative solution enables you to handle multiple user sessions concurrently by integrating at the 3D application level. That modification could reduce the cost of a streaming service significantly — sometimes up to 50%.
Here are a few more ways to cut costs and maximize ROI for your 3D web configurator
- Examine your existing cloud budget.
If an online presence is important to your brand (and these days, it’s all but imperative to have a strong digital reach), chances are some of the company’s budget is already being spent on some existing cloud resources. See what services your company is paying for and how you can take advantage of them — or how you can cut them in favor of a better solution.
- Consider hybrid cloud solutions.
You might require solutions that integrate both on-premise and remote services. It’s important to anticipate these needs so you’re not paying for separate services when you could be saving money with a hybrid cloud solution, which has proven to accelerate end-to-end capacity delivery and markedly improve infrastructure utilization.
- Identify the required integrations.
What other services need to be integrated into your 3D streaming project? Do learning management systems need to be a part of training simulations, or should e-commerce funnels go with an immersive online 3D product visualizer? Make sure your project is compatible with the systems that get the job done. Also, be sure your partner is aware of the specific systems and workflows you use (as well as future requirements) so that your platform provider can best meet your current and future needs.
- Include time to test and optimize.
To ensure that your project will succeed, you need to test it out. Make sure you budget time for testing and optimizing your game file for mass distribution. This preparation can be a game changer; it will help you reduce any lag time and better understand cloud costs, and you can use that information to predict what the total costs will be.
Part II: Does real-time 3D streaming provide reliable performance?
It might seem like creating high-quality, interactive content is where all the hard work comes in. The creation is just part of the equation, however. You also have to deliver that compelling content to customers on whatever devices they choose — and do it seamlessly. Beyond that, you need to make sure that the content can perform well anywhere around the world, not just where a central server is located. If your cloud platform can’t offer you reliable, low-latency delivery of your 3D interactive experience to any device at any time and in any place, then it’s not good enough for high-quality 3D content.
A seamless, uninterrupted interactive 3D streaming process is not easy to achieve, but it is entirely possible with the right partnerships in place. It takes a more managed approach. Dozens of interconnected processes must be coordinated to deliver that seamless experience, and the expertise required to properly oversee all those processes is substantial (and rather niche, to boot).
Today, the biggest challenge for any streaming network is figuring out how to deliver uninterrupted content to countless devices with varying computing power. Imagine how challenging it can be to share enormous 3D data files at a high quality to a geographically dispersed network of people on a variety of devices. It’s a massive undertaking.
Three-dimensional renderings require extensive computing power from your GPU, which executes the countless mathematical computations required to produce pictures and videos that are reactive to the user. The amount of GPU power required to provide high-fidelity 3D experiences is light years beyond the standard GPU found in most consumer computers — and likely beyond the bounds of what your potential enterprise clients provide to their employees.
As a result, it requires highly sophisticated platform and a qualified team who can:
- Configure your chosen cloud solution (e.g., AWS or Azure)
- Handle the coordination of streaming session connections
- Schedule user sessions to available servers
- Orchestrate the dynamic scaling of servers to meet user demand
- Find a suitable streaming application or protocol that prioritizes security and protects your proprietary data
Part III: What’s the Return on Investment (ROI)?
One of the major reasons that companies turn to interactive 3D applications is because they can provide a significant ROI. For consumer-facing products — such as photorealistic virtual home tours or 3D product configuration — this technology can offer improvements for a variety of e-commerce metrics (e.g., conversion rates, cost per lead, or the time it takes to close a deal). Consider this: Shopify has found that viewing 3D products with augmented reality increases conversion rates by as much as 250%. In addition, internal applications like training simulations and collaborative visualizations offer benefits such as lower operational costs, improved productivity, and better employee retention.
Calculating the ROI from an interactive 3D streaming application can help you get the most out of it — and you need to know what to look for in order to get an accurate number. You can do a handful of things to ensure that you know exactly what your investment in an interactive 3D application is giving back.
To attribute revenue to your interactive 3D program as soon as the sales cycle ends, you need to understand how your revenue percentages are distributed, as well as the costs involved in your marketing pipeline.
To properly determine the effectiveness of a marketing strategy, you have to look at the department as a revenue generator, not a cost center. A lead that goes from marketing to sales should be considered a marketing qualified lead, and its conversions should be tracked as such. This shows you the success of marketing efforts before becoming convoluted within sales efforts.
So while using an interactive 3D configurator for marketing isn’t quite so cut-and-dried, it is possible to successfully measure the ROI with some work.
The ultimate scaling solution
We firmly believe that businesses that want to avail themselves of interactive 3D streaming content need support from experts who can help them effectively publish and distribute photorealistic 3D streaming models without limits. As we all know by now, the future (and present) is officially online. Real-time streaming is the biggest part of that equation. Trust PureWeb to deliver the experiences that will propel the growth of your company. How can we help you take the next leap forward? Contact our team of experts today.