Can you explain the vision of support for Camtasia Relay and the upgrade path to TechSmith Relay?

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My university has Camtasia Relay. I understand that now TechSmith Relay is released. What is the vision of TechSmith? Will you be replacing CamtasiaRelay with TechSmith Relay? Can universities continue to use Camtasia Relay? We have our own Camtasia server for hosting. Will we need to upgrade to a hosted environment if we upgrade to TechSmith Relay? Can we easily get the new features like who is viewing the videos and quizzes?
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ElizabethBrownQU

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Posted 6 years ago

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Andy Bell

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Great questions Elizabeth, let me do my best to share our vision for Camtasia/TechSmith Relay.

I'll say upfront, Camtasia Relay is not going away and not being replaced. We've significantly increased our investment into the product and it is at the core of our organization wide video solution. I'll elaborate on the two most recent and important areas of focus, the renaming and rebranding from Camtasia Relay to TechSmith Relay and the enhancement of our hosted and hosting option to provide an out of the box end-to-end video creation and delivery system. And I’ll follow up on that with some specifics about the product you’ve known as Camtasia Relay.

We’ve renamed and rebranded Camtasia Relay to TechSmith Relay. This represents where we’ve been, where we are, and where we’re going. Originally, Camtasia Relay took Camtasia technology from the Camtasia Studio “recording, editing, and sharing” product and expanded it to be an organization wide video creation and distribution system. “Relaying” Camtasia content around your organization is what Camtasia Relay did. Today, we do much more. We aren’t limited to Camtasia content, video created with TechSmith Relay, Fuse, Snagit, and Coach’s Eye can be relayed across your organization. In short, Camtasia Relay has grown up to become TechSmith Relay and will allow your organization to create and distribute your content with ease. Camtasia Relay has not been, and will not be, replaced; Camtasia Relay has grown up to become TechSmith Relay.

With feedback and demand, we recognized and corrected an area of weakness in our offering of Hosted Camtasia Relay. Ideally, our “we’ll host it for you” offering would require no additional investment into hardware, a content hosting/management tool, or setup and configuration time. In our past, this was not true for Hosted Camtasia Relay. But now, with the release of TechSmith Relay (Cloud Hosted) earlier this year, it is a reality. TechSmith can provide the rich content delivery experience, the hosting, the hardware, the maintenance, and the setup and configuration of your organization’s video creation and delivery system. In addition, by integrating our own content hosting solution, we were able to provide the type of viewing experienced we’ve always envisioned. One where quizzing, analytics, captions, and mobile support just works out of the box. But please note that this cloud hosted offering is only an option, not a requirement. TechSmith Relay (Self-Hosted) still offers your organization a video creation and distribution system and your organization would provide hosting of your choice (these options typically offer their own quizzing, analytics, captions, mobile support and more). Overall, in order to provide your organization with the best fit, we’ve rounded out our offering to provide you a choice between a service where we provide everything you need (Cloud Hosted) and a ‘do it yourself’ solution to give you the most options and flexibility with your video delivery needs (Self-Hosted).

I hope this helps to understand our recent updates and vision. But you asked a few more specific questions which I’d like to address directly along with a few others that may help.

Will you be replacing Camtasia Relay with TechSmith Relay?
 - In name only. We are not replacing Camtasia Relay with TechSmith Relay, at least not in the way I believe you to mean. Camtasia Relay, exactly as you’ve known it, is now named TechSmith Relay and is not being replaced. Only the name is replaced with the new name. Camtasia Relay was previously offered as a hosted service and a self-hosted (or “on premise”) system. Neither are being replaced. This name change reflects our growth (and direction) to be more than a Camtasia content delivery system.
- Camtasia Relay (On-premise) is now named “TechSmith Relay (self-hosted).”
- Camtasia Relay (Hosted) is now named “TechSmith Relay”

Can universities continue to use Camtasia Relay?
- Yes, universities can absolutely continue to use Camtasia Relay (now called TechSmith Relay). Later this year, the product you have today, will get an update with new features and functionality as you’ve come to expect. We’ve made many many updates over the years and these will not stop for either the hosted or self-hosted service. Among the updates coming this year will be a renaming/rebranding of your current product such that it correctly labels itself TechSmith Relay instead of Camtasia Relay. 

We have our own Camtasia server for hosting. Will we need to upgrade to a hosted environment if we upgrade to TechSmith Relay?
- No. Not at all. The Self-Hosted version will still be expanded, supported and maintained with updates. The choice between Cloud-Hosted and Self-Hosted is there to provide options to your organization as not all needs are the same. We are committed to offering both options.

Can we easily get the new features like who is viewing the videos and quizzes?
- That really depends on the environment you’re in. Let me share some options/ideas and you can judge how easy each might be for your organization. Many LMSs and content hosting systems that you may already be using today (ranging from YouTube to Kaltura to Blackboard to your school website) allow you to track views and viewers of the content hosted. Most also offer the ability to add quizzes or host the quizzes created by Camtasia. Each are different of course. And what it takes to setup and utilize viewer tracking and quizzes varies even more. With our hosted service we do configure these features such that they work “out of the box.” With our self-hosted system, nothing prevents you from using these features, but we’re not able to configure quizzes and viewing analytics out of the box (specifically because it is dependent on the hosting that your organization is using).

So there is a Self-Hosted and a Cloud-Hosted version of TechSmith Relay?
- Yes. I prefer to say that there is a Self-hosted and a Cloud-hosted option. Both options are leveraging the exact same code, not a different version. This is important because all of the work done to Self-hosted system will improve the hosted service and all of the work done to the hosted service will improve the Self-hosted system. If I were to call them versions you might get the impression that one of them is older than the other, or replaced by the other, and that is not the case. The Self-hosted system is the option where you get to pick the hardware, the performance, the hosting location, and the content hosting integration. The Cloud-hosted service is the option to let us make those choices for you (we pay for the hardware, maintain performance, chose to host it in the Cloud, and integrate a content hosting solution).

My organization wants to move away from self-hosted systems and is interested in moving to a cloud-hosted service. Is there a way to migrate to a hosted solution from our existing self-hosted installation?
- Yes. There are some options that we can walk you through and we’re working on making the process easier. It is worth noting up front that content won’t be migrated, the user account system is different making a migration of accounts challenging, and integrations with other content hosting providers (that you may be using today) may be limited in the current offering. We are investigating improvements to the user account migration process and expanded integration options.

So Camtasia Relay still exists, it’s called TechSmith Relay now? And it’s still supported and being actively developed by TechSmith? And there will be a release later this year with new features, updates, and a new branding with the new name?
- Yes. Yes. And yes!


Andy Bell
TechSmith Corp
Product Owner - TechSmith Relay, Screencast.com, Quizzing/Results, and SmartPlayer