The Panopto SharePoint App: A Better Way to Manage SharePoint Video

Last week, we launched the Panopto Video Management app for SharePoint Online and SharePoint Server 2013. Available at no cost to Panopto customers in the SharePoint app store, the app brings enterprise-grade video capture, management, and search to cloud-hosted and on-premises SharePoint customers. In this post, we look at the capabilities of the new app and discuss how it complements the existing document management capabilities of SharePoint.

Panopto SharePoint app Overview - Panopto Video Platform

Industry-Leading Document and Content Management

Since it’s initial launch nearly 15 years ago, SharePoint has become one of the most popular collaboration tools for businesses around the world. It’s grown into a multi-billion dollar business for Microsoft with adoption in more than 80 percent of Fortune 500 companies, and as of 2012, it was estimated that 100 million people were using SharePoint for internal document management and information sharing. Since the launch of SharePoint Online (cloud-hosted) and SharePoint Server 2013 (on-premises), those numbers have only grown, with Microsoft reporting more than 20,000 new SharePoint users every day.

Content Management is Fundamentally Different than Video Content Management

Sharepoint box - Panopto Video PlatformWhen SharePoint was released in 2001, the way we communicated and shared information, and the technology we used to do so, was vastly different that it is today. The launch of YouTube was still four years away. There were no iPhones or Samsung Galaxy Notes (Cutting edge mobile phones looked like this). More than 40% of adults in the US used dial-up to access the Internet. And only 6% of Americans had broadband access.[1]

In this bandwidth-constrained environment, the information we shared in online collaboration portals was almost entirely text-based. It was in this environment that SharePoint Portal Server first gained enterprise adoption as a tool for “managing documents and simplifying how find, share, and publish information.”[2]

Fast forward 14 years. Video now makes up more than two-thirds of all internet traffic. Employees are 75 percent more likely to watch a video than to read documents, emails or web articles.[3] And by the end of next year, Gartner estimates that employees in large enterprises will watch 45 minutes of business video every working day.[4]

As video has become an increasingly fundamental part of how we communicate and share knowledge, traditional content management systems (CMS) like SharePoint haven’t evolved to become viable for video content management.

Video is unlike any other type of content exchanged within organizations:

    Video File Size on iPhone - Panopto Video Platform

  1. Video files are massive compared to documents, emails, spreadsheets, and even images. Consider this: a 100-page Word document (comprised of approximately 30,000 to 40,000 written words) takes up 50KB on disk. A one-minute video recorded on an iPhone 6 (containing approximately 125 spoken words) takes up between 80MB and 100MB on disk. The document includes 320x the words in a file size 2000x smaller than a video.
  2. Video files are delivered differently over the corporate network. Documents, spreadsheets, and presentations are downloaded in their entirety over the network. By contrast, videos are streamed in small chunks to viewers to help manage the large files.
  3. Video files are sometimes incompatible with the devices employees use at work. Flash videos famously don’t play on iOS devices. Windows Media Video (WMV) files don’t play back on Android devices by default. And both WebEx and GoToMeeting recordings sometimes fail to playback on iOS and Android devices without first being converted to compatible formats.
  4. Video is notoriously hard to search. Traditional search engines index only the title, description, and sometimes the manually-entered tags of videos. This typically accounts for less than 1% of the valuable content stored within business recordings, making it hard to find videos, and nearly impossible to find the precise moment in videos where key topics are covered.
  5. Video files have different analytics requirements. With video content, it isn’t enough to know how many times a particular recording was accessed. Content owners typically want to know who watched each video, and whether they watched to completion.


SharePoint’s Video Shortcomings

Because SharePoint wasn’t built to address the unique challenges of video, it doesn’t meet the needs of organizations looking to share live and on-demand video using the their familiar SharePoint portals. Specific shortcomings include:

  • File size cap – SharePoint’s default maximum file size is 50MB, expandable to 2GB. Even 30-minute town hall meetings, when recorded, often exceed this file size limit.
  • No transcoding – SharePoint doesn’t convert videos for playback on any device. If, for example, a Flash video (.FLV file) is uploaded to SharePoint, it won’t be viewable on employees’ iPhones or iPads.
  • No support for streaming – SharePoint requires video files to be downloaded in their entirety, which often isn’t feasible for multi-gigabyte video recordings. It also prohibits SharePoint from being used as a portal for live-streamed events.
  • No video content search – SharePoint doesn’t index the words spoken in videos and shown in video presentations.
  • No video analytics – SharePoint can only report on how many times an individual video has been downloaded. It doesn’t include aggregate analytics for collections of videos, information on who watched which video, or drop-off rates.
  • No video editor – Most corporate videos require basic edits. These include trimming the top and tail of recordings, splicing videos together, and editing video metadata such as captions and chapters. SharePoint doesn’t include a video editor.
  • No video capture software – SharePoint doesn’t include webcam recording or screen capture tools, limiting the amount of content that will be created and shared by employees.

Recently, Microsoft launched Office 365 Video, an extension to SharePoint built to overcome some of these shortcomings. In its first release, O365V provides support for transcoding and on-demand video streaming, but doesn’t address any of the other challenges of working with video in SharePoint.

The Panopto Video Management App

Panopto’s video management app is built to bring industry-leading video management capabilities directly into SharePoint. It enables organizations to leverage the power of Panopto’s video platform while using the familiar SharePoint interface. The app is currently the only video management extension in the SharePoint app store compatible with both SharePoint Online and SharePoint Server 2013 (on-premises). Below is an overview of the functionality provided as part of the app.

Panopto for SharePoint App Functionality - Panopto Video Platform

Single sign-on (SSO) – Users can log in to their Panopto site with their SharePoint ID and password, simplifying access for users and management for administrators. The app uses rolling permissions sync, ensuring that changes to SharePoint permissions are always reflected within Panopto.

Batch media upload and transcoding – Video and audio files of any size can be uploaded to Panopto, where they’re transcoded for playback on any device, indexed for search, and made accessible from within SharePoint.

Video library and content search – Panopto’s unique Smart Search makes it possible to search across an entire library of videos and inside individual videos for any word spoken or shown within the recordings. With one click, users can fast forward to the precise moment in the video where the search term occurred.

SharePoint search federation – Panopto’s search results can be combined with SharePoint search results, providing a unified view of SharePoint documents and Panopto recordings for any search term.

SharePoint Search Federation with Panopto Video Platform

Video embedding – Videos stored in your organization’s Panopto library can be embedded in any SharePoint page. Videos stored on your hard drive can also be uploaded to Panopto and automatically embedded into SharePoint in one click.

SharePoint Video Embedding with Panopto Video Platform

Video playlists – In any SharePoint page, you can embed a playlist of videos from your Panopto library. These playlists automatically inherit permissions from SharePoint, ensuring that only authorized users can watch the videos.

SharePoint Video Playlists with Panopto Video Platform

Live video streaming – Using embedded playlists, SharePoint users can easily see links to live webcasts, and watch the webcasts using Panopto’s web-based video player.

Interactive video playback – During playback, users can rate and comment on videos, take time-stamped notes for future review, see closed captions, and navigate videos using a table of contents and slide thumbnails.

Mobile access – Embedded videos and playlists, as well as Panopto’s Smart Search functionality, can be accessed from any smartphone or tablet.Live Webcasting with Panopto Video Platform

Panopto recording and broadcasting software – From within an embedded playlist, SharePoint users can launch Panopto’s video capture software. The software makes it possible to record and live stream new videos, automatically upload them to Panopto, and access them from within SharePoint.

Approval workflows – Panopto enables organizations to moderate content before publishing it. Using approval workflows, videos uploaded into a folder are first reviewed by specified video publishers and only become available for viewing after the video has been approved.

With one click from within SharePoint, users can also access:

  • Panopto analyticsVideo-specific reports that provide insights into viewing behavior, popular videos, video engagement, and more.
  • Video editor – Panopto’s video editor makes it easy to trim, cut and splice videos; edit captions and table of contents; perform video source switching for multi-camera events; and embed interactive content into videos.
  • Admin tools – Panopto includes a complete set of tools for managing your video platform.

Get Started Today

The Panopto Video Management App for SharePoint is available in the SharePoint app store. Like all Panopto integrations, it’s available at no cost to existing Panopto customers.

If you’re not currently using Panopto and you’re interested in a free trial or an online demonstration of our video platform, contact us today.

Published: January 26, 2015