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Enterprise Video: Crossing the Tipping Point

Many of the technologies that we rely on in business today reached their current penetrations levels through a hockey stick adoption curve—starting slowly, growing steadily for some time, and then rapidly accelerating due to a combination of technology advancements, IT capacity, and customer demand.  The rise of mobile phones followed this pattern, with measured growth in the early 2000s being eclipsed by the influx of iOS and Android devices in the past few years.

I believe that enterprise video is approaching a similar inflection point.  For as long as I’ve been researching and building video products for large organizations, video created by and for the enterprise has largely been confined to the experts—AV and IT organizations who have the technical depth and specialized equipment to capture, produce, and distribute professional-looking recordings.

But advancements in video technology—particularly in software—combined with the commoditization of high resolution cameras are driving enterprise video adoption past the tipping point.  In the next year, we’ll really begin to see some changes – changes in the quantity and quality of employee-generated video, changes in how IT manages corporate video assets, and some transformative changes in how we extract value from video:

  1. IT will take a more active role in video management – IT executives are facing an influx of video on their corporate networks. Over the course of six months in 2012, corporate network bandwidth consumed by video more than tripled. At the same time, existing corporate videos are often scattered across general-purpose storage systems such as SharePoint, Drupal, and file shares where they lack discoverability and standardized encoding. In the next year, IT will take steps to proactively manage video within the enterprise through the use of centralized video content management systems (VCMS).  Among the functions served by the VCMS: managing access control, providing analytics, and integrating with existing learning- and content management systems.
  2. Video solutions will begin shifting from siloed to integrated  – Many of the customers I speak with today employ video point solutions across their enterprise. The marketing department uses a lightweight screen recording application, corporate training uses a hardware-based broadcasting solution, the events team uses a dedicated encoder and several video editing suites, and IT is piloting a VCMS. Over the next year, organizations will look for integrated video platforms that reduce the seams between these point solutions, and the time and costs of manually piecing them together. Integrated video platforms will provide screen recording, multi-camera video capture, live broadcasting, encoding, basic editing functionality, and a VCMS for hosting and management.
  3. Mobile video will become a first-class citizen – It was recently reported that more iPhones were being sold than babies were being born in the world every day. Cisco estimates that two-thirds of mobile data traffic will be video in the next four years.  And I can’t tell you the last time I had a customer meeting in which mobile video delivery wasn’t discussed.  With the explosion of video-capable phones and tablets, businesses are looking for ways to bring high quality video to their employees’ mobile devices.  In the next year, we should expect an increase in corporate events, training, and other video assets that are streamed live and on-demand in mobile-friendly formats with automatic device detection.
  4. Video will enable the “social enterprise” – Mobile devices won’t just be a delivery mechanism for enterprise video; they’ll also play an important role in the creation of employee-generated video.  As more employees carry HD camcorders in the form of smartphones, tablets, and webcams, everyone in the enterprise becomes a videographer.  At the same time, many organizations are realizing the value of knowledge sharing using video – encouraging employees to record their ideas and best practices, and share them on the corporate network.  Together, these trends will bring about a rise in YouTube-style enterprise video portals, in which employees can share knowledge and insights using a range of recording devices.
  5. Inside-video search will become mainstream technology – The ability to find valuable information inside video content remains a last-mile problem of online search.  As enterprises amass hundreds or thousands of videos, the need for structured information retrieval from within unstructured video content becomes critical.  In the next year, video search engines will overcome this long-standing challenge. They will enable employees and customers to find keywords inside of videos as easily as they find them in email and documents today. These search engines will also transform the VCMS from the digital equivalent of a tape archive into a living repository of easily accessible corporate knowledge.

– Eric Burns, Chief Product Officer, Panopto