MAD Perspectives Blog

Enterprise Video

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Video has been utilized by Fortune 500 companies for many years.  The benefits it provides are numerouse and number of vendor, providing video centric solutions to small, medium & large companies, continues to grow.  That said, many companies don't necessarily use video to its best advantage and/or don't measure the ROI or don't align their use of video with key goals. 

I'm a big fan of enterprise use of video as there is no other medium that provides the same value as video.  Video is far more memorable than text.  Studies show that one minute of video is equal to 1.8 million words.   People remember 50% of what they see and hear vs. 10% of what they read. With that said, there are still many companies that don't have a strategy that incorporates video.

The Aberdeen Group recently released a complimentary report, "Business Class Video", that provides some excellent insights on how video is being utilized, what Best in Class companies are doing that differentiates them from the rest and recommendations for incorporating streaming video and/or video conferencing into your business strategy.  You can download the report on their website, but here are a few tidbits:

- 100% of Best-in-Class companies can measure the ROI for their video solutions vs. only 36% of Industry Laggards being able to measure ROI

- Learning & Development departments lead the way in the use of video solutions

- Lack of organized strategy is the top challenge for companies considring business video

This aligns with MAD Perspectives goals to help clients align their strategy for digital media with their business goals.  (And, in case you are wondering, there is no paid relationship between MAD Perspectives and The Aberdeen Group).  Defining relevant metrics (i.e., cost savings, reduced carbon footprint, qualified leads) based on the goal  (i.e., reduce travel, going green, increase sales) will enable companies to easily justify the investment in in-house, hosted or Saas video solutions.

Check out my FAQ section for more information on different types of video solutions and vendors.

Do you use video?  How do you incorporate video into your business?  Can you measure your ROI? 

What's your perspective? 



What was Hot or Not at NAB 2010?

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, April 21, 2010




I went to the NAB show in Las Vegas last week.  My reasons were twofold.  Reason #1 was to see what's new and intriguing in the technology addressing the broadcast and studio markets.  It is always exciting to see what's going on in this industry and as you can imagine, the buzz word was 3D!  In addition, there is a lot of attention being paid to multi-screen content consumption and how to enhance the online viewer experience.  As often happens, sports is the target market for a lot of the enhancements that will soon be available for online video.  ESPN has been a leader in how they incorporate technology into the viewing experience and many small vendors are uniquely focused on making the online experience as interesting and compelling as the living room experience.  Pay attention as local sports comes online.  By local, I mean the town little league teams or soccer/football teams.  It's exciting and accessible!

Why is this relevant for MAD Perspectives?  Well, what happens in the M&E space usually is adapted, in some way, by other industries.  while the demands from M&E are quite high, companies in healthcare, manufacturing, green tech, oil & gas and other industries are using video more frequently in their messaging and communication strategies.  In addition, video or imaging is increasingly a core part of their information gathering or business process.  Understanding where video trends are heading, can help these industries provide enriched services.  Imagine the benefits of 3D medical imagery!

What are some of the key things I learned?

-enabling multi-platform content consumption is HUGE (manage, encode, transude, protect, distribute, display)

- encoding bitrates have made big improvements (meaning, less bandwidth required for delivery of MPEG2, SD and HD content)

- telcos are FINALLY enabling CDN services (why let Akamai have all the fun?)

- 3D is super hot (and you shouldn't try to make a project if it wasn't shot that away originally, quality does matter)

- camera prices are decreasing, meaning UGC (user generated content) quality will improve


Reason #2 for heading out to Vegas was to check in with the myriad of vendors with whom I have relationships based on my past life at Hewlett-Packard.  I was interested to see what new products they had to offer but also to understand why they don't leverage digital media more effectively in the way they tell their story online.  These are vendors who live in the digital media market.  Their solutions focus on every nuance of the moving image, yet only a few of them tweet, blog or even use video on their websites.  These companies have interesting and compelling stories about how they have solved problems of encoding, content management, broadcast automation, storage, asset management, content distribution and more.  They understand the power of video.  They understand the importance of personal relationships.  Yet, they haven't "crossed the chasm" to utilize various digital media solutions available to them to make their stories come alive.

I think the challenge for many of these companies is the understanding of how to leverage social media, in particular, in a B2B market.  We all understand social media as a person to person medium and have even seen the benefits in B2C markets.  Yet, B2B lags behind.  This is primarily due to:

- lack of time and resource - many companies have thinned their marketing staffs and are concerned about the time it may take to tweet or blog

- risk management - companies fear employees misrepresenting the company, sharing confidential information, or exposing compone networks to viruses

- traditional marketing mindset - these companies are still in a push marketing mode where they control the message

I believe we will see a shift in B2B adoption of digital media to tell their story as we move through the next couple years.  The economy is slowly turning, as evidenced by the increased attendance at NAB this year vs. 2009.  I think we are also seeing other indicators (i.e., strong earnings reports, flat unemployment, upward movement in the stock market).

Yes, it takes time to define a digital media strategy.  However, your customers are spending more time online researching, learning and comparing solutions.  You need to be memorable and share your story in a meaningful way.  You need to reach out to your customers via the channels that they use (and the "millennials" are visual and social). 

What's your perspective?



Is Video Social and do we need to Manage these Digital Assets?

Peggy Dau - Monday, January 11, 2010

In early December, I participated in a webinar hosted by North Plains.  The focus of the webinar was about video, social networking and digital asset management.  I want to thank Joshua, George and Robin at North Plains for inviting me to join a discussion that started with basic question.  Is Video Social?

There are two ways that we can interpret this question.  The first is that video tells a story.  The story can be a comedy, a drama, a sporting event, a news topic or a personal moment.  Regardless of the medium by which the video is viewed (TV, PC, cell phone), the story incites a response.  This is the social aspect of the video.  Back in the old days, we had informal chats in the coffee room or by the water cooler to laugh about the latest Seinfeld episode or to exault about the Yankees latest win.  Today, these thoughts and comments are posted and shared in online communities.  We share our stream of consciousness with our friends and colleagues, enjoying the socialization that evolves.

The other perspective is that unless the video is interactive (i.e., video conferencing) it is not inherently social.  Social implies a two way conversation with give and take between the parties.  However, this perspective is weak as their is not requirement for social networking to be accomplished in real-time.  Social discussion can take place over a period of minutes, hours and days.  So, we can agree that video is social.

If video is social, do we need to manage it as we manage our other video assets?  Up until now, Digital Asset Management (DAM) vendors have provided solutions to manage the process (aka workflow) surrounding the creation, storage, repurposing and distribution of Digital Media.  Digital Media is the assortment of photos, audio files, video clips, animations, computer graphics or banner ads created, owned or licensed by a company.  The uses of these assets may be for internal or external purposes. 

Up until now, most of the video addressed by DAM vendors was created by "professionals", meaning the studio, broadcaster, agency or enterprise itself for their purposes depending on their business model or business goals.  However, as video has become "social" it has become less professional and is created by individuals.  How does these businesses incorporate user generated or employee generated content into their DAM system?  The DAM is supposed to be the key to managing their digital assets.

In the end, it comes down to policy and governance.  As we move forward and the creation and capture of video becomes easier and less expensive, there will be increasing amounts of non-professional content used by businesses.  In fact, many are already inviting it (i.e., Doritos).  As companies move forward in using video to educate, entice, inform and entertain, they will need to consider guidelines about how the content will be used, who will see it, how it will be distributed, how and where it will be stored, how it will be consumed, etc.  These companies will need to establish guidelines and educate their content creators and digital asset managers on how to incorporate social video into their DAM systems.

So, yes video is social.  Video will become more casual just as social networking became a more informal method of communicating.  Check out further perpsectives from this North Plains webinar.

What's your perspective?



The Enterprise is a Broadcaster

Peggy Dau - Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Many of us grew up with the Big 3 Broadcasters:  CBS, NBC and ABC.  When we hear the term broadcast, we immediately think of news and entertainment programs offered by these networks.  We have adapted to include FOX, CW and the myriad of cable networks providing news 24x7, entertainment and education programming.  However, I don't think think that many us actually think about enterprise companies broadcasting.  But, they do!

The volume of content being created and shared, live and on-demand, by corporations is increasing dramatically.  IDC's White Paper, Best Practices for Enterprise Content Delivery, estimates that employees are watching an average of 2 hours of video per month.  Initially, only very large companies could implement video streaming.  They were driven by a desire for consistent executive communication to employees.  They faced high production costs and high networking costs due bandwidth requirements.  However, they saw the benefit of enterprise video.  As companies became more geographically dispersed, video solutions provided alternatives for excecutive communication, training, product promotion, investor relations and customer service.  Large companies soon realized they could not exist without a variety of video-centric solutions.

Simulteneously, streaming formats advanced subsequently providing better quality yet requiring less bandwidth.  DRM and network security improved thus providing confidence for corporate communication teams and IT and Networking specialists.  In addition, tools evolved to pro-actively monitor and manage the networks thus ensuring a positive quality of service.  Hosted services also evolved to alleviate the burden on the corporate network.  With VPNs available to host and delivery content securely, small & mid size companies were able to take advantage of the same benefits as the big guys. 

As a result, there are now multiple terabytes of video content resident at most enteprise companies.  Enterprises are broadcating live to their investor community and employees while making educational, promotional and training content available on-demand.  Companies, such as Ascent Media, Grass Valley, Avid and others, that have provided solutions to the traditional media & entertainment industry, now also provide solutions to the Enterprise.

Considering the size of the Enterprise Video market this is not surprising.  Wintegreen Research anticipates enterprise video to be a $14.4 billion market by 2014.  IDC anticipates enterprise online video to grow at a compounded rate of 50% over the next 5 years.  The economy, lack of standards and continuously evolving and emerging solutions will challenge the growth, but the committment and value seem clear. The enterprsie market cannot compare with the size and complexity of the traditional broadcast market, yet when combined with the focus exhibited by the enterprise on implementing these solutions and the evolution of vendor solutions it is clear that Enterprises have become Broadcasters.

What's your perspective?



Content Delivery Networks Are Not Dead!

Peggy Dau - Monday, July 20, 2009

Remember 10 years ago when content delivery networks were all the rage?   The ability to cache content at the edge of the network emerged during the rise of Internet.  A plethora of companies emerged, all with patent pending algorithms, to focus on the challenge of making sure the end user’s could easily and quickly  access web content.  These companies included both software vendors and service providers.  As with most markets, consolidation occurred with a few remaining big players and several contenders.

The recent launch and buzz around a new market entrant, Cotendo, acts as a reminder that we need content delivery network solutions now, more than ever.  Just think about the volume of content that is distributed across the Internet every day.  In the late 90s, we were predominantly concerned about delivery of web pages.  These pages were mostly static.  Although, the example of the day to articulate why we needed to acquire CDN technology, was the Victoria Secrets online fashion show.  CDN technology would cache this content at the network edge, ensuring that fans around the globe would not miss one second of Heidi Klum or other angels strutting in their underwear.

Without question, the volume of video content on the web has increased by millions.  Enterprises are streaming executive analyst briefins and customer educationa content externally and using increasing volumes of video content interally.  However, the volume of video content shared between consumers is where the phenomenal growth has occurred.  The networks that sit behind the Internet and the websites that we access to view this content must use CDN technnology to ensure that our user experience is a postive one.

It's interesting (and fun) to see that core technologies such as CDNs stilll get get some buzz.  An undestanding of these solutions should be part of any digital media strategy.  What's your perspective?



It's a Conversation

Peggy Dau - Sunday, July 05, 2009

One of the most important things to remember, when considering digital media strategies, is that it's a  conversation.  The information is being shared, regardless of the audience, is part of a conversation.  Conversation can be formal or informal.  The interaction can be in real time or spread out over days, weeks or months.

Digital media allows us to communicate with our peers, colleagues, partners and customers in a variety of different ways.  We can communicate by voice, video or written word.  The most successful conversations are those that are interactive, collaborative and dynamic.  Think about the exploratory discussions you may have with a business colleague.  The conversation may start on one topic yet progress to many other topics based on the interests, experience or exposure of the participants.  Any digital media solutions utilized should allow for this same dynamic.

It is also important to think about the journalism mantra of ‘who, what, when, where, why and how’.  Who are you talking to?  What information do you want to share or discover?  When will you communicate and when do you need an answer?  Where will the conversation take place?  Why are you communicating?  And, how will you communicate.

The different types of solutions reflect different levels of interactivity and address each of these questions.  Some solutions allow for live, immediate communication.  Others create a continuous exchange of communication over a period of time.  Some, intentionally invite asynchronous feedback.  The key is to consider the type of conversation you would like and think about which solutions align.

As an example:

 

Blog asynchronous feedback via comments 
Podcast asynchronous feedback via comments
Webinar scheduled live interaction
Video Conference real-time  live interaction
Social Network combination of real-time and non-real-time interaction depending on the number of members online at any given time

What kind of conversation are you seeking?  What's your perspective?