6 Ways One Industry Leader Uses Video To Improve Its Business
Hoping to improve internal communication and education, this worldwide leader in financial markets technology adopted Panopto in 2010. In short order, Panopto has become a go-to platform for video at the company. A small group of early adopters has grown to include 750 users and is expanding every day, even counting the CEO among its ranks.
Today, Panopto is a standard part of how the company:
- Records product demonstrations for internal audiences
- Develops online training
- Onboards new hires
- Records monthly and quarterly reports from the Chief Officers
- Records WebEx meetings
- Integrates its global workforce
The Problem: Project managers overwhelmed by demand for demonstrations
In late 2010, the company was faced with a dilemma. A commercial technology provider of complex software products for the financial services industry, its products were proving too difficult to understand at the technical level, both for customers and even for internal sales team members. This meant that the firm’s technology subject matter experts were becoming overwhelmed with requests for one-off demonstrations from both clients and internal personnel.
“Our problem was that we had a limited number of experts,” remarked one vice president. “We had to either scale up in the number of experts we had, or find a technology partner that could leverage their expertise for us.”
The company had experimented with different means of recording product demonstrations, but the process was costly and inefficient.
“We were struggling to attach documents to video. We wasted a lot of time trying to combine various kinds of content. It just wasn’t effective. We needed a more integrated experience.”
In response, company leadership charged a team of business analysts with finding a better option.
The Solution: Experts use Panopto to record multimedia demonstrations for on-demand viewing
The team began experimenting with Panopto right away. They soon started working with company product managers to create overview recordings of each of the company’s 30+ different software products. Each video was to be under 30 minutes and provide a general overview of the product’s business model, including use cases, user profiles, competitors, and a brief demonstration. Some managers combined video, audio, and screen capture for their recordings, while others elected to use PowerPoint slides, screen capture, and simple voice-over to narrate the session.
Regardless of the inputs, Panopto integrated them all automatically with no post-production required. Product managers simply walked into a room with a camera, presented their material as usual, and then walked out. A high-quality, synchronized recording of all their inputs was available online within minutes.
“Experts who had been bombarded with requests for demos are now over the moon with the ability to record it just once,” reported the company. “Panopto takes the learning experience to a more intimate level, which sounds strange since you’re actually eliminating some live interaction, but in exchange you allow people to learn at their own pace and focus only on the content relevant to them.”
The use of Panopto for product overviews and demonstrations has had an important effect beyond simply saving time and money. “Previously it could take someone three to four months to really get immersed in a product. Our process is more efficient now, and that’s where we see the greatest benefit. Using Panopto makes us more effective internally which, in turn, enables us to communicate more effectively with our customers.”
Developing new use cases for Panopto
The company’s early experience recording product overviews and demonstrations with Panopto was promising. Experts and leaders alike found Panopto a breeze to implement and scale.
“Panopto was incredibly easy to get up and running,” recalls one executive. “You can literally teach someone to use the technology in minutes. In a half hour you can learn to make a compelling video. It’s really that easy.”
As a completely software-based platform, Panopto can be scaled to any sized organization literally overnight. Panopto works automatically with virtually any recording setup, from a built-in laptop webcam or smartphone camera, to top-of-the-line equipment in a professionally designed recording studio. Panopto recordings are automatically uploaded to a secure, central video library, and other videos not captured with Panopto can be added as well simply by drag-and-drop. Authorized viewers access content through any web browser, or on the go via Panopto’s mobile apps.
This ease-of-use and scalability, along with the rapid growth of Panopto’s popularity, has led the company to expand the scope of their Panopto implementation to a number of new projects.
Professional training for company security
The next test of Panopto’s flexibility as a solution came from the company’s Security Department, which sought to use Panopto to record a series of training videos for the ongoing education of their personnel.
The ability to offer training on-demand had long been requested by the managers of the Security Department to help solve a fundamental problem in their training program. The department had always experienced difficulty broadly administering instructor-led training because of the daily shifts required for the service to operate 24 hour a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year.
The first training installment was on Emergency Preparedness. ”The Security team wasn’t sure how easy it would be to get everyone to log on and participate,” the company admitted. “But everyone did, and it was easy. The department has a real need for continuing education, and Panopto has now made it incredibly convenient for them.”
The Security Department can now administer up-to-date training at will, without wasting resources on repetitive live instruction and complicated scheduling. They can also track their employees’ progress through courses using Panopto Analytics.
Onboarding new hires
Onboarding newly hired employees at a technical services company is a knowledge-driven endeavor. New recruits need to absorb company procedures, basic product knowledge, and business strategy as quickly and efficiently as possible.
But as one business analyst pointed out, “Often, it can be very hard for a new hire to schedule an hour with the product manager to get an overview of their product. It’s much easier to log onto Panopto, watch a 20-minute video, and then formulate some informed questions for a 10-15 minute meeting. It ends up saving everyone time and makes the entire process more productive.”
There are obvious benefits to having access to a library of searchable, well-prepared product recordings on-demand. Such videos do more than just distill product information for a new hire. They also convey a great deal about the culture of the company and the people who run it. New recruits see the faces and hear the voices of key employees. And they’re introduced to their styles and personalities.
By combining video, audio, PowerPoint, screen capture, and more, Panopto helps make the onboarding process a more immersive experience.
Reports from the C-Suite
The company’s CEO personally uses Panopto as well.
Dedicated to providing organizational transparency, the CEO had previously communicated with employees using traditional methods of executive communications including town hall events and email newsletters.
Those measures often came up wanting, however. Town halls proved inconvenient, requiring employees in different geographies to tune in at odd hours of the night and early morning. And text newsletters made it difficult to determine employee engagement with the content, and didn’t allow Young to convey his personality and the company culture he wanted to impart.
Panopto was the perfect modern executive communications solution. First, it provided an engaging medium for the CEO to improve corporate transparency and communicate with employees around the world. Every week or two, he would record a short executive update – sharing insights into the business and providing information on new initiatives that employees would watch anywhere on-demand.
Second, Panopto didn’t require a corporate recording studio or bring in an expensive AV team. Instead, the CEO simply recorded videos in his office at his desk using the webcam on his laptop.
Third, the videos could be made instantly available to his employees. With Panopto, every recording was automatically uploaded to the central video library and processed so that employees could view the video on any device. Within minutes, the CEO could capture and share important messages and new insights with his entire organization.
Finally, Panopto provided built-in tools to measure employee engagement and get feedback. For any video, Panopto’s analytics made it possible for the company to see how many employees viewed the video and how much of the video they watched.
The CEO also relies on Panopto in producing more formal content as well, webcasting an official quarterly report with the company’s CFO. This presentation usually generally runs an hour long, and the company has found that by recording the webcast with Panopto, its people can watch the program any time it fits into their working schedule.
“For employees in Asia-Pac, using Panopto to record the quarterly report has been huge,” says the company. “Information Security is rigorous here. Prior to our adopting Panopto, distributing an hour long video file was unbelievably difficult. We had to upload files to an FTP client and then coordinate secure access across multiple intranets, which nearly always presented a host of problems. It was a real disincentive to collaborate.”
With Panopto, employees in any office around the world can login from their laptops or mobile phones and watch recordings instantly, the moment they are uploaded. And Panopto’s adaptive streaming technology ensures a smooth playback experience, regardless of the viewer’s network conditions. “It’s instant. It’s Web-ready. It’s simply perfect for our counterparts around the world.”
Recording WebEx meetings
One business analyst recently made her first Panopto recording of a WebEx meeting.
It was a vendor demonstration for a group of internal staff, but a few key people were unable to attend and specifically requested a Panopto recording. “I was really pleased with how easy it was to record a WebEx broadcast, and I was impressed by the quality of the recording,” the analyst said. “So were the colleagues who made the request.”
By recording WebEx and GoToMeeting web conferences with Panopto, company employees get a searchable recording of the proceedings, captured in high definition, available at the click of a mouse for on-demand viewing.
Integrating a global workforce
The company has offices in the US, EU, and is rapidly establishing a strong presence in Asia. But like all large global companies, collaborating across borders, cultures, and international time zones is a constant challenge.
“It can be quite difficult to get a Product Manager in New York in touch with, say, a support employee in our Asia office,” one manager points out. “But with Panopto, they can create or watch recordings during their own business hours, effectively eliminating the time and location differences.”
A perfect test of this capability came with a recent company acquisition. With multiple offices in China, Japan, and Australia, the acquired company was literally on the other side of the world — and like any company that is folded into a larger, more complex organization, its employees had a lot of ground to cover.
With the acquisition complete, in order to effectively offer an expanded collection of products and services, employees needed a crash course in the company’s product lines and business strategy.
Company product managers had the perfect resource in the library of recorded product overviews and demonstrations they had just created. Those videos have become an indispensable learning tool for new employees.
“Integration can be tough,” noted one manager. “There’s a lot to absorb and learn after you’ve been acquired, and in this case, we really don’t work any of the same hours. There’s no overlap there. Panopto has been an essential tool in the integration process.”
The Future: Expanding use throughout the company
The company now uses Panopto for capturing webcasts, delivering online training, creating product demonstrations, and corporate communication. . And with hundreds of hours of newly recorded searchable content, they are well on their way to creating a powerful corporate video library.
“This began as a relatively small effort and has just taken on a life of its own,” reflects one business analyst. “I get emails literally every day from people whose names I don’t recognize from other areas of the business asking to use Panopto in their daily work. At the end of the day, nobody wants to read through long emails or dense policy. They prefer to have it said to them wherever possible. And because our recordings are all searchable, we’re giving them exactly the information they need. It’s proving to be incredibly effective.”