What is a Video Content Management System (VCMS)?

As video becomes an increasingly important tool for communication and productivity, organizations must find a way to manage the huge amounts of video being stored and shared across their networks. The solution to this management issue is the use of a video content management system, or VCMS. But what is a VCMS, and what benefits does using a VCMS have over simply storing video on a network folder or within Sharepoint?

First things first: What is a video content management system, anyhow?

Centralizing and Storing Videos - Panopto Video Content Management SystemA video content management system, or VCMS, is software that enables an organization to centralize, manage, and deliver video online.

At its most basic, a VCMS provides a repository for video content, in which video files are uploaded to the system and made accessible to people via a link. However, leaders in the space offer a more complete, end-to-end video content management solution, including features like:

  • Video capture: A means of recording video from an assortment of video devices, including laptop cameras, webcams, professional video cameras, mobile devices, tablets, microscopes, electronic whiteboards, and more. Full-featured video capture software is able to synchronize slides from PowerPoint or Keynote to the video being recorded, enabling the user to create professional-quality video presentations.
  • Batch and programmatic uploading: These feature allows users to upload recordings in bulk to the video content management system through the use of web-based user interfaces, watch folders, or developer APIs.
  • Automatic transcoding: Video transcoding refers to the conversion of one type of video file to another. Video files are often recorded as one type, but delivery of those video files to various device types (desktop, mobile phones, tablets, etc) often requires conversion to other file types suitable for those specific devices. With automatic transcoding, the VCMS imports video in any number of formats, including AVI, MP4, WMV, MOV, M4V, etc, and automatically converts the file into multiple formats, enabling delivery in any of those formats to the correct device type and screen size. Some VCMSs require users to manually create or build the transcoding profiles that determine which file formats the recordings are converted into. By contrast, VCMSs that offer automatic transcoding automatically pick the right transcoding profiles to ensure maximum device compatibility, giving video content creators the freedom to concentrate on creating quality content, rather than worrying about technical details.
  • Inside video search: The ability to search across video libraries and within videos for specific content. Organizational video is only as useful as the ability for users to efficiently locate the information they’re looking for. Using technologies such as automatic speech recognition (ASR), optical character recognition (OCR), slide metadata, and more, inside video search functionality allows users to search across their entire video libraries for any word spoken or appeared on video, then fast-forward to the relevant moment with a single click. Inside video search makes searching for specific information as easy and efficient as searching through an email.
  • Adaptive bitrate streaming ensures optimal video playback for each viewer, regardless of connection speed. With this feature, the VCMS detects the viewer’s internet connection speed in real-time and dynamically switches between video streams of different quality during playback.
  • Video analytics that enable video creators and administrators to monitor their video library and gain insights into user behavior. At a minimum, a VCMS should provide system health statistics, as well as audience size and engagement statistics such as viewing behavior and drop-off rates.

That all seems well and good, but what’s wrong with just storing my videos in a SharePoint site or network file folder? We put our other files there, and it seems to work fine.

Although LAN folders and SharePoint sites are great for storing and sharing documents and other files, they fall short when it comes to sharing video across an organization:

  • Video files are much larger than Word documents, spreadsheets, and other office documents. The default maximum file size allowed in a SharePoint site is 50 MB, which is less capacity than what’s required to store a single minute of video captured with an iPhone.
  • SharePoint lacks the capability to search inside videos. With SharePoint, you can only search based on file names and manually entered metadata. In contrast, VCMSs like Panopto offer the ability to search inside videos for specific words that are spoken or displayed on-screen during the video, then fast-forward the viewer to that exact point in the presentation.
  • Network folders and SharePoint sites cannot optimize delivery for multiple devices. Without a VCMS, your videos are simply hosted; nothing is done to ensure compatibility with the devices accessing them. For example, a WebEx recording stored in its default ARF format on a SharePoint site would not be viewable on tablets or smartphones. With Gartner predicting that by 2014, 90% of organizations will support corporate applications on personal devices, format compatibility should be a top consideration.

If you’re interested in trying out a video content management system for yourself, contact our team to receive a personalized demo, or sign up for a free 30-day trial.

Published: July 07, 2016

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