Are you ready to take the leap and switch your video management system (VMS) to achieve your institution’s learning objectives? As a vital part of your EdTech ecosystem, we understand the challenges that come with this transition. Your current provider may not be meeting your needs, and selecting the right VMS can be the make-or-break factor in reaching your goals.
So, what does this mean for your institution? In our webinar on How to Successfully Switch Your VMS, Matt Dennis, a video learning expert from Panopto, shares common VMS pain points, selection criteria, and frequent questions that may come up when searching for your new VMS. We’ve taken the key points and shared them here to guide you through the process, empower you to make an informed decision, and choose the perfect solution for your requirements.
1. Determine what issues you are facing
According to the 2023 Video Trends in Higher Education Report, a mere 30.2% of higher education institutions are satisfied with their current VMS. The solutions that seemed “good enough” during the pandemic are now under scrutiny, as institutions are seeking reliable, user-friendly, and adaptable platforms that can support them for the long term. Despite all the time, energy, resources that go into choosing a VMS, sometimes the time doesn’t always reflect the effort.
Another interesting fact revealed in the report is that ease of use, customer support, and cost are the top factors contributing to VMS satisfaction. So, what issues are you facing? Start by figuring out what’s not working for you and what your needs are.
2. Know what to look for when making the switch
Once you’re aware of the issues you’re facing with your current VMS, it’s important to know what features your new VMS should have.
A VMS with all-in-one-features
Is the VMS an all-in-one video solution where you can record, live stream, host, share, and search videos? Some questions to consider include:
- What types of equipment do you need to make the VMS work and what hardware is required to stream, manage, and view videos? Do you have to make additional investments for the system to be fully functional and meet your needs? You want to make sure you’re eliminating the potential of any surprise costs.
- How many video inputs can be captured simultaneously for events, presentations and demonstrations?
- Does the VMS work with your institution’s specific use cases? It’s important to poll stakeholders to ensure you are aware of your institution’s exact use cases. You may be a medical school that requires the ability to speed up videos for students processing masses of information, or a law school that requires mobile-friendly software for filming mock trials.
From our Video Trends in Higher Education Report, the top two use cases were found to be lecture capture and remote learning but we know there are so many more. The goal is to not only have a solution with all in one features, but the right features that allow faculty and students to innovate and create an endless amount of use cases.
A VMS that is easy to use
Is the VMS easy to use? Some questions to consider include:
- Do you have the ability to customize the look and feel of your video portal?
- Do you have access to a step-by-step process to record and share a video or live stream a video presentation?
- How many clicks does it take to record a video?
- Are all spoken and written words automatically indexed for search?
- How mobile-friendly is the VMS, and does it provide mobile app support for video search, viewing, and management?
A VMS with transparent and inclusive pricing
Does the VMS offer transparent and inclusive pricing? What elements are included in the core license price and what features have to be purchased as add-ons? Some VMSs may offer complete pricing, while others have a-la-carte pricing structures that aren’t always transparent – it’s important to choose what works best for you.
A VMS with top-tier customer support
Does the VMS have top-tier customer support? You never know when you’ll need help – that’s why having a VMS with outstanding customer support is vital. You may ask how available customer support is in responding to issues – will they take 10 minutes or three hours to respond to a problem? Do they have phone support or ticket support? Do you have access to clearly documented explainer videos or articles that can help you solve an issue before you reach out to the help center? And how does the video platform protect against outages and system failures during a recorded or live event?
A VMS with strong partnerships
Lastly, strong partnerships: how well does the VMS integrate with your existing education technology set-up? You want to find a VMS that partners with the technology you already use to make your life easier. What mobile apps provide support for video search, viewing, and management? How successfully can the VMS product specialist manage the switch from the solution’s side – will they guide you through the steps?
3. Understand what’s involved in the switching process
Now that we have an understanding of what to look for when switching your VMS, let’s take a look at what’s involved in the switching process itself.
- Exiting existing contracts. Do you have an existing multi-year contract with a VMS? You may want to take into consideration a VMS that offers special pricing incentives to make switching affordable before your current contract ends.
- Moving your content. Your new VMS should offer video migration services to transfer your existing media files and metadata into a new video library.
- Transfer your current user, permissions, and folder structure to your new VMS. User permissions and folder structures can be complicated, so it’s important to ensure these can be transferred seamlessly across to your new VMS.
- Managing the migration timeline and expectations. Communicate your expectations and needs upfront with your new VMS – are you looking to migrate within six weeks or six months? Whether you have an urgent need to migrate or are looking to move over time, it’s best to manage those expectations in advance.
Making the switch to a new VMS may seem like a daunting task, but with the right approach you can ensure a seamless transition and find the best VMS to suit your learning goals.
At Panopto, we understand the challenges that come with switching VMS platforms, and we’re here to support you every step of the way. Let us help you make an informed decision, choose the right solution for your needs, and unlock the potential of a new VMS that will elevate your institution’s educational experiences. Together, we can navigate this transition and set your institution on a path to success.