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Why Matterhorn Is Good for Everyone (Including Lecture Capture Vendors)
September 13, 2010 - 10:00pm

Great story today on IHE about OpenCast's release of Matterhorn 1.0, the open source lecture capture system.

The story ends with a great quote from Eric Burns, the COO of Panopto, on how Matterhorn will benefit the proprietary lecture capture vendors:

“Whatever the commercial vendors will deliver will have to be significantly better than the open-source alternative in order to justify the cost,” Burns says. “It has to retain that advantage.”

Burns is right. Matterhorn is good news for the Echo360s, Tegrity's, Panopto's, Techsmith's, Accordent's and Sonic Foundry's of the world. (Where is Adobe in this list - I just have to ask?).


  • Matterhorn will get more institutions to the table to have serious discussions about lecture capture. By lowering the cost of entry, the barriers to campus discussions, requirements gathering, and the initiation of a lecture capture adoption process will be diminished. A serious process to examine lecture capture is exactly what all providers of lecture capture platforms require if they are going to have the opportunity to present their value proposition.
  • Matterhorn will encourage experimentation and pilot projects around lecture capture. Often the greatest barrier to lecture capture is cultural rather than financial. If the Matterhorn pilot project helps address and overcome cultural concerns, then the door is open to look at (proprietary) alternatives that may better meet the requirements than the Matterhorn alternative.
  • Matterhorn will push the consolidation of the lecture capture market, one that is currently fragmented and confusing. The threat of Matterhorn in the very near term to the proprietary vendors may be small, but if Matterhorn gains traction (and I think it will), the existence of a viable open source alternative (with a strong user community) will force a roll-up in this industry.
  • Matterhorn will force the existing lecture capture vendors to clarify their value proposition, and be (as Burns says) "significantly better than the open-source alternative in order to justify the cost". A more educated and experienced marketplace, and a less fractured vendor structure, should allow more investment in the platforms and in building strong relationships with potential and existing customers - as opposed to less productive branding and generalized marketing efforts.

The IHE article also hit on another advantage of Matterhorn, the opportunities to vendorize the platform: "..It is only a matter of time ... before some entrepreneurs make a business out of providing stable support to Matterhorn users, like Moodlerooms has for Moodle users". If I were an incumbent lecture capture provider I'd be thinking of ways to get out in front of this process.

Will you be taking a look at Matterhorn?


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