Kaltura is used mainly for enhancing online courses, though it is also used in a small percentage for institutional communication. Kaltura is used to address a need for a turnkey streaming media system that can be used within the learning management system by users with low skills/experience.
Since Kaltura's core function is a commodity, its value is in the added benefits on easy integration, usability, and features that enhance the learning experience of college students taking online courses. In these areas, however, Kaltura's plugin does meet expectations
It is evidently clear to me in my dealings with Kaltura that their development priorities are allocated elsewhere than where we feel we need better service. Kaltura's response will always be "we are an opensource platform" which implies that if you want anything done, you have to have it done yourself. Given the huge amount of money USNH pays for a cross-institutional account, I don't perceive them as an opensource provider, and their development attention is quite lacking.
I sense that Kaltura never does user testing with their products. Their interface design is clumsy, and often it appears they go about 85% of the way to completing their application development, but never quite finish it. There are a number of illogical omissions in their product capabilities, and methods for configuration that extremely difficult to customize. For example, while Kaltura can stream audio as well as video, no provision is made for creating a customized audio player or audio playlist.
Making modifications to the Moodle plugin is extremely difficult, and the only way to generate the code for preferences is through a barebones, clunky online form that generates code based on inputs.
While the customer service is responsive and timely, the answers to my questions are often unknown or cannot be addressed. I don't feel as though they are working in my best interests.
Kaltura has been positive in the sense that we can do some very basic video publishing in our online courses. However, we are very limited in our ability to go further than what we might have been able to do if we had simply recommended to faculty to use YouTube instead. If GSC had the opportunity to make an autonomous decision about which streaming media system to use in Moodle, we would look elsewhere.
We have not made a side-by-side comparison to other products in this field, so we cannot say how Kaltura stacks up against alternatives. Kaltura was selected without substantial input by our department.
Kaltura may be better suited for an organization that uses Blackboard rather than Moodle. There are features in the Bb version that are not in the Moodle version. Further, the baseline costs are very high for initial entry. There are other systems that do similar things that are worth looking into: Ensemble Video, MediaSite, Panoptico.
UPDATE 12-2014: Nothing has changed. There is a new version of the Kaltura plugin for Moodle that we will be testing in early 2015. There are a number of promising new features. However, it requires signing a work order (at no charge) to setup a Kaltura Administration console internally within Kaltura customer support, and it has been weeks since they have received the agreement (which states they have 90 days to do it). Getting Kaltura to do anything with expedience is often wishful thinking.
The choice to renew our subscription does not belong to us, though we are able to provide input. We are aware of competitive products who have matured in the past three years, and we are aware now of alternatives to conventional plugin usage (LTI).