In 2007 Microsoft spent $6.2 million, including $2.49 million in direct IT costs, to build what it called its “Academy portal” — a library for video that supported file upload, download, sharing, and basic search.
That custom-built video content management system (VCMS, or “YouTube for business”) was a runaway success according to Microsoft, yielding a 569% ROI and helping Microsoft to avoid spending and estimated $13.9 million annually.
And yet, feature for feature, the Microsoft Academy portal lags well behind what’s readily available in off-the-shelf versions of many modern VCMS options.
Consider what a modern video platform like Panopto enables:
While Academy portal enables users to upload video, the ability to actually record videos is totally absent from Microsoft’s solution. That creates a whole set of questions for the user: how to make a recording; how to manage video quality and sound settings; how to get a final recording into the VCMS; and more. These all represent hurdles to adoption and will likely generate requests for technical support.
Modern VCMS solutions like Panopto also enable video upload, but just as importantly, they integrate recording right into the software, allowing users to simply open the program, select cameras and settings, click “record”, and present. Videos are automatically uploaded as soon as the user clicks “stop”—eliminating the challenge of getting video from the recorder to the library.
Additionally, modern VCMS solutions have the ability to integrate multiple streams of video, including additional cameras, screen capture from a laptop or desktop, video from mobile devices, embedded web pages and more.
One of the most prominent use cases for a video library is capturing live training events and industry conferences so viewers can watch them at a later date.
That’s a valuable use for video—but there’s no need to make viewers wait. A VCMS can enable your team to stream video of that event live as it’s happening.
Streaming live video of events and presentations used to require expensive AV equipment and professional services. That’s increasingly not the case anymore—with just Panopto and a Windows laptop, your team can webcast video to tens of thousands of people around the world in just a few mouse clicks.
A modern VCMS like Panopto can even enable one PC to stream multiple angles from multiple cameras and other inputs (such as a screen share or PowerPoint presentation), and can even allow for multiple video feeds using a distributed network of laptops and recording devices—and automatically sync it all to provide your viewers with a single viewing experience.
And for those members of your audience who can’t attend the live feed, webcasts are still automatically recorded and uploaded into your VCMS and are encoded for later playback on any device.
Video only adds value to your organization if your employees can actually find them. Historically, searching video content has always been particularly difficult—meaning that all too many videos have gone undiscovered, even when they’d have been exactly what an employee needed to see.
Microsoft attempted to offer video search with the Academy portal, but the solution is far from perfect. The platform relies on the traditional means of video search—manually entered metadata.
Any time a user uploads a video to the Microsoft Academy portal, they are then tasked with adding keywords to help describe the content of a video. This process, while essential, has proved cumbersome enough on the Academy portal that Microsoft has gone to the expense of staffing a content management team to add these tags and keywords on behalf of the users. The system then indexes these keywords, along the video title and author for future search queries.
While this is the traditional way to search video, it presents two problems:
Business video can be long—sometimes 60 minutes or more. A short set of keywords can’t possibly convey everything covered in that time. A tremendous amount of potentially valuable information is going to be overlooked. And even if your employees manage to find a relevant video, the traditional search index won’t tell them where in the video they need to watch—they’ll have to simply scan and hope to find the specific moment by chance.
Compare that to a modern VCMS like Panopto, which automatically uploads and indexes all the text in any presentation slides—even speakers notes—and makes it searchable—without requiring the added expense of staffing a content management team.
If your video is transcribed, Panopto adds the entire transcription to the search index – meaning your employees can search by a specific phrase and find the exact moment they were looking for.
Best of all, Panopto’s search index returns not only the video, but the specific moment within the video relevant to the search query. With one click, your employees can jump right to the specific moment in the video they needed to see.
Panopto does all this for every recording, so your employees can find exactly what they need, every time—even if they don’t know exactly what they are looking for.
Quite possibly the most common concern people have with video is simply, “how do I edit out the part where something didn’t go perfectly?” It’s a fair question, and can be a hurdle to user adoption.
Unfortunately, many standalone solutions for video editing are designed for professional videographers. They do a great job for those with a little know-how and experience, but often are too-advanced for casual users.
So how can you enable editing without requiring your people to become experts in production? Panopto’s VCMS provides a web-based video editor that can be launched from any laptop, in any browser. It makes trimming video, adding metadata, and splicing in other video files as easy as clicking and dragging a mouse.
Many modern VCMS options also use what’s called “non-destructive” editing, saving the original video in full regardless of any edits made. Mistakes are no problem—just click Revert, and you’ve got your original video back.
Gone are the days of assuming you can build something just for Windows and Internet Explorer. The proliferation of Bring Your Own Device means IT teams can no longer simply build internal solutions for a small set of pre-approved hardware options running a restricted set of software—new software needs to support any system your people may bring to it. That’s no small challenge.
Fortunately, modern VCMS options like Panopto already have you covered, and include automatic standardization of different file types and transcoding into mobile-optimized HTML5 and app-based viewers.
Internal IT projects inherently must set a target and achieve it. Few are granted the budget and ability required to keep pace with industry developments, adapting and facilitating each new standard and option. In an industry as fast-paced as video, it’s exceptionally difficult to keep even advanced platforms current—especially if they aren’t part of your core competencies to begin with.
The coming age of wearable technology complete with video recorders—smart watches, glasses, and everything else—leaves you with enough to think about already. Modern VCMS providers take care of the future planning for you, enabling your people to bring the latest devices, recorders, viewers, file types, social sharing requests, and anything else they can think of—and get everything they expect.
For most businesses, sourcing an established VCMS will provide superior return on investment by delivering all the benefits of business video with dramatically reduced requirements for development, and also provide expanded and continually-enhanced functionality that would otherwise be virtually impossible to budget for internally.
For a complete review of the merits of building a video library versus buying, including a detailed case study example from Microsoft, cost comparisons, and ROI figures, check out our latest free guide, “Your Corporate YouTube: Build or Buy?”
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