Enterprise Video: Crossing the Tipping Point in 2013

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 accelerating consumer video use and the commoditization of high resolution cameras are driving enterprise video adoption past the tipping point.  In the next 12 months, 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:

In 2013, IT will be forced to take a more active role in managing corporate video

IT executives are facing an influx of streaming 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 for playback on a range of devices. In 2013, IT executives will take steps to proactively manage and monitor video streaming within the enterprise through the use of centralized video content management systems (VCMS).  Among the functions served by the VCMS: managing access control to corporate videos, providing analytics on video usage, and integrating with existing learning- and content management systems.

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 desktop application, the corporate training team uses a hardware-based live broadcasting solution, the events team uses a dedicated encoding solution and a couple of video editing suites, and IT is investigating the use of a VCMS. In 2013, organizations will increasingly look for integrated video platforms that reduce the seams between these point solutions, and the time and costs associated with manually piecing them together. Integrated video platforms will provide lightweight screen recording, advanced multi-camera video capture, live broadcasting capabilities, automatic encoding, video hosting with on-demand playback, basic editing for post-production, and a range of video management tools.

Mobile video will become a first-class citizen in the enterprise

Earlier this year, it was reported that more iPhones were being sold than babies were being born in the world every day.   Cisco estimates that two-thirds of the world’s mobile data traffic will be video in the next three to four years.  And I can’t tell you the last time I met with a customer in which mobile video delivery didn’t consume a good part of our conversation.  It should come as no surprise that, 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 2013, we should expect an increase in the percentage of corporate events, training, and other video assets that are streamed live and on-demand in mobile-friendly formats with automatic device detection.

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 and more employees carry HD camcorders in the form of smartphones, tablets, and webcams, everyone in the enterprise becomes a videographer.  At the same time, an increasing number of organizations are realizing the value of knowledge sharing using video – encouraging employees to record their insights, 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 easily share knowledge and insights using whatever recording device is most convenient.

Inside-video search will become mainstream technology

The ability to find and extract valuable information from within 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 2013, innovative video search engines will overcome this long-standing challenge of working with video. This will enable employees and customers to find keywords inside of videos as easily as they find them in email and documents today. It will also transform the VCMS from the digital equivalent of a tape archive into a living repository of easily accessible corporate knowledge.

About the Author

Eric Burns has ten years of successful innovation experience in the video-on-demand, distance education, and digital library sectors.

Mr. Burns was the co-inventor of the SlideCentric and Focus courseware projects at Carnegie Mellon University and oversaw the design, development and implementation of both systems. While at CMU, he also spent eight years with the Universal Library Project building massive-scale digital library search and archiving systems. This research led to the creation of a parallel-computing, turn-key digital library search appliance.

Eric Burns is the Chief Technology Officer at Panopto,  a software provider that enables businesses and academic institutions to record, webcast, and search all of their video content and presentations.