We're excited to introduce Mainstreaming - www.mainstreaming.eu -, a Mainsoft company, as our newest BAIA Silver Corporate Supporter. We sat down with Antonio Corrado, CEO and founder of Mainsoft, for an interview on his video streaming cloud platform, Mainstreaming, and had a conversation on the future of video content and on his visit to Silicon Valley this past August. Enjoy!
So, let's begin with your visit. Antonio, you visited the Bay Area this summer and met with the Italian community in San Francisco, including us from BAIA. What was your impression?
I decided to spend a month travelling around Silicon Valley with the aim of internationalizing MainStreaming. The first step was to understand well how fundraising works in Silicon Valley, select the right Venture Capitalists for my project, adjust the business plan in line with their expectations, and prepare the pitch to be presented in the coming months. During my stay in San Francisco I met up with the BAIA Network and attended a very pleasant BAIA Aperitivo in order to network. I found that there are a good number of Italian professionals who live and work in Silicon Valley. Those who the Italian media have named the "brain drain", like Matteo Fabiano who helps businesses enter the American market with his company FireMatter.
I also had a very interesting meeting with Fabrizio Capobianco, President of Funambol, a great Italian innovator. I must admit that I was very excited to be able to share ideas and thoughts with him over lunch. His company is active in cloud solutions for telecom operators and he told me about his latest startup, TOK.tv, with which he has recently launched the “Juventus Live” app.
Over the past years, video content has been rapidly growing. As an expert in video, what's your advice to a brand on how to best leverage video: e.g. YouTube, WebTV, video/live streaming?
Thanks for asking this question because there is much confusion on this subject. YouTube, I believe, was and still is a great search engine for video sharing. People watch a lot of videos on YouTube for several hours a day and the exposure of the content is immense. But there is a problem in all of this that many companies fail to understand: the related video recommendation system and the protection of content. Based on an algorithm a video may be associated with another, perhaps from a competitor, and this carries many risks for a company which has to preserve its identity and highlight the unique features of its brand without being confused with others. What’s more, not all content is suitable for sharing. Much of it needs to be targeted and broadcast to just a small group within a network and YouTube does not allow this. Many brands have understood this and have created their own WebTV, leaving on YouTube or other video sharing platforms only free promotional material with links to their site. I'm not saying that YouTube doesn’t have a function. In fact, I think it’s fundamental if used for video sharing, but not for video hosting. I find it absurd when the YouTube player is embedded into web pages, as this can have a "destructive" effect on your brand image.
WebTV platforms such as MainStreaming, therefore allow brands to create a WebTV portal that is professional, proprietary and personalized. A nice example is the Autodromo di Monza through MonzaRace TV: http://monzarace.tv/
They have always worked to give the public content and constantly updated information on the world of motor racing, with interviews and press conferences. They decided to place their trust in us because they needed a video platform capable of encoding videos in just a few minutes and distribute them on any device, including on mobile, for a great multiscreen experience and social sharing capability on the most popular social media networks such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+.
Tell us a bit about yourself and your company Mainsoft and its divisions, including Mainstreaming.
I’m the CEO and founder of Mainsoft, an Italian company operating in the ICT sector (i.e. in Information and Communications Technology) and experts in video streaming. I work 12-hour days and never stop dreaming. The little time I have available, I dedicate to personal growth training, reading and sports.
I was born in 1972 and fell in love with computing at very early age, beginning, like many of my generation, to program in Basic with a Commodore 64. I studied computer science and began my career as a programmer in Milan, Italy.
In 2000, I founded the company Mainsoft with the goal of creating software within the Mainframe environment for the insurance, banking and telecommunications sectors. In 2002, I met my mentor. At Confindustria, I learned about a training program called Virgilio, founded by Rotarian volunteers with excellent business credentials to help young entrepreneurs start off on the "right foot". I was mentored by a former senior manager of Olivetti Eng. Giuseppe Calogero, who is now our Honorary Chairman, but for me, he is a mentor for life. Today, thanks to him, I feel like a child of the Adriano Olivetti school.
Today Mainsoft is organized into three strategic areas: In order of creation, the first is the ICT consultancy, the second is that of ISP (i.e. internet service provider) and the third, which is connected to the latter, is Mainstreaming, the video streaming platform and multimedia CDN (i.e. content delivery network).
Since 2007 I’ve known that things were changing in the internet world, that the main traffic would come from multimedia content (primarily video), but this strong growth was not supported by the architecture of the traditional ISPs which was old-fashioned and unable to solve my problem. So I invested in becoming an innovative ISP, starting from this simple question: "How do the logistics of internet data packets work?"
The main goal was – and still is – to implement the ISP for the MainStreaming service, which is able to solve the problem that most Online Video Platform operators have: to distribute and deliver video in a technologically advanced way based on a full service model. MainStreaming is able to deliver high performance video at a very low cost per terabyte. It’s a system for managing your online presence through streaming: both live and on-demand, all via a multimedia CDN. The platform we have designed allows rapid distribution of multimedia content on various devices: PC, smartphone, tablet, connected TV and wearable technology, providing a truly scalable and innovative video hosting service.
Finally, what attracted you to BAIA and its community?
The concept offered by BAIA is great for networking, which I believe is an important activity for our video streaming hosting service. Networking means organizing a transparent and lasting exchange of information, comparing notes and having daily discussions based on a relationship between professionals. I believe that only through these exchanges, based primarily on intercultural aspects, can solid business relationships be created. The need to study the US market before tackling the investment side is a necessary condition for those of us who see internationalization as a great opportunity to increase our network and explore new markets.
A special thanks to Antonio Corrado for his time and support for the BAIA community.
For more information on Mainstreaming visit www.mainstreaming.eu.
For any questions on becoming a BAIA corporate supporter, visit http://www.baia-network.org/sponsors/ or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org