Making your enterprise video strategy fit for purpose

According to Gartner, employees will watch an average of 16 hours of video at work each month or almost 45 minutes of video every workday. Digital video is transforming the way businesses operate. Video has rapidly expanded from the boardroom, through the ranks of middle management to individual employees. Today, video is part of the business fabric used for; CEO speeches, e-learning, knowledge sharing, search, compliance, marketing and collaboration between employees to mention just a few.

The rise of social media and the ease with which employees can now create and consume work-related videos on a wide range of mobile devices while away from the workplace, as well as on the office PC, has also fuelled the boom. The YouTube phenomenon has also motivated Marketing teams to create “bumper” videos to promote branding and messaging.

It’s vital that organisations develop and execute on a consolidated, enterprise-wide strategy for video. Without this, video can rapidly become an IT headache, from a cost, content and administration perspective.

Within large organisations the pendulum swings between decentralised and centralised purchasing; however a centralised and single video management platform approach is the most effective for unified control, financial, branding, governance, network efficiency and security reasons.Here are my thoughts on some things to consider when devising a ‘nextgen’ enterprise video strategy.

Review current “as is” model with regard to video use

Start by researching how video is being used today within your company. Aggregate the total cost of ownership (TCO) including licensing fees, network costs, administration fees, content creation costs, and infrastructure costs.

Centralised media repository

Consolidating all video into a single media management system centralises the management of video assets which; streamlines workflows for approvals, distribution and syndication, provides secure access to video, unified analytics and control over network resources. This approach also avoids fragmentation chaos from having a siloed approach to video.

Integrate with existing infrastructure

Ensure that your media management system recognises and integrates with the systems, policies, procedures and resources already in place within your organisation and that it can adapt to existing workflows. Without this, efficiencies are significantly reduced. Having an abstraction layer between existing technical solutions and the video management platform also provides choice for the future to include the best-of-breed and utilise innovative technologies that provide a competitive advantage.

A social enterprise

Video is a key building block in the drive for more social enterprise that meets employees’ expectations whilst helping increase productivity and reducing time to knowledge across all offices. A centralised video platform that integrates with native social platforms and applications and allows content managers to set permissions and manage what is offered by whom and on which social channels is also important.

This approach allows users to, for example, have their own “My Media” gallery of content that they can access from within SharePoint, as well as Jive, IBM Connections, and more. A social video policy that lets employees be creative – for example, slicing and dicing another employee’s videos and automatically giving the original creator an attribution on the new clip – encourages creativity and consumption, as well as helping to promote your subject matter experts and thought leaders to a wider audience.

Through the new tools available to organisations trends like; gamification and crowd sourcing to solve challenges, sharing ideas and identifying competencies can all be enhanced with video. Today, companies are becoming “customer activated” by embracing the technologies that their customers are using daily – notably social, video and mobile. The next generation workforce is not just “YouTube” familiar; moreover their expectations are that video, social and mobile tools are commonplace.

Asynchronous and synchronous convergence

A centralised approach to managing enterprise video also allows organisations to bring together live video and VOD (video on demand) in a single platform, making it easier, for example, to run a webcast and then publish the recording of the webcast to relevant internal portals and other outlets.

Measurement and analytics

Back-end analytics and audience measurement tools help to identify how effective your content is at reaching and engaging end users. Individual analytics which can go down to the individual employee level can help to establish a correlation between what has been viewed and the desired results, this is especially helpful with measurement of training videos and the like. Key Performance Indicators can now be related to the investment in video content creation, management and delivery costs.

Any device, anywhere, anytime

BYOD (bring your own device) and mobile working means that enterprise video needs to support multiple platforms and formats. Check that your video player and transcoding solutions deliver the most effective video formats and provide a great user experience across all devices/platforms.

‘Corporate YouTube’

Encourage the use, re-use and customisation of video resources both within and outside your organisation by deploying a corporate YouTube-like solution that features intuitive authoring, upload, moderation, publishing, search, browsing, and sharing of videos across devices.

For example, the Dutch conglomerate Philips uses its CorporateTube to challenge employees to inspire and educate their co-workers by sharing local stories, using video, of how the company’s technology in action is changing and enhancing lives around the world.

In combination with Social tools, the Corporate YouTube provides the “community” mechanism to facilitate a video going viral. Tastemakers can now be the facilitators of the important topics/messages that are more effectively retained and understood through the medium of video.

Security and governance

Protecting third-party licensed content or content that employees create and share, while still making it easy enough for authorised users to use the platform, is a balancing act. Check that your security, access control and entitlement system covers varying levels of access, digital rights management, different methods of user authentication, and appropriate moderation of uploaded content and publishing.

Search, Search, Search

Disorganised content is a turn off for viewers and administrators. A centralised video index that is fully navigable, searchable and viewable by all employees, regardless of their location, removes the need for employees to reinvent the video wheel. By adding local language captions, videos can be repurposed for use in new territories for a fraction of the cost of developing new ones – saving organisations time and money. In-video search is also important from a governance/compliance perspective.

Cloud, on-premise and eCDNs

Consider deploying a video platform that lets you choose whether to host on-premise, in the cloud, or a mix of the two and evolve over time to the appropriate model. This approach gives you flexibility and scalability. And as your video usage increases, an eCDN that sits behind the firewall and streams video to unlimited numbers of employees without impacting your WAN/LAN should also part of the discussion.

It is a journey

Wherever you start, you can bet on the fact that adoption will grow and change in the video ecosystem. This in turn will bring new concepts into play. View video as a strategic and visionary initiative that will require new assessments and reviews.

Keep in mind that a flexible, open and platform approach that encourages partner contributions will provide the foundation for this journey, preserving fundamental functionality, incorporating new trends, and ultimately providing choice amongst best-of-breed, third-party ecosystem technologies available in the market place. The usefulness and ubiquity of video in the enterprise will continue to increase. Putting in place a flexible and scalable enterprise-wide video platform that integrates with your existing IT infrastructure can help to keep video-related costs to a minimum, provide more granular security controls and access rights and ensure that compliance and governance requirements are met. For employees, this methodology makes it much easier to create, edit and consume work-related videos, encouraging greater adoption.

Michael Ping is the vice president of enterprise business at Kaltura