January 31, 2011
2011: The Year Enterprise Video Hits the Mainstream
By Susan J. Campbell, TMCnet Contributing Editor
There are significant trends that can dictate what happens in the future. One of the most important trends to follow includes those found in the technology sector. To get an idea of the most significant trends in 2010, TMCnet’s Rich Tehrani spoke with Mike Newman, Accordent CEO, during an interview in anticipation of the upcoming ITEXPO East event taking place this week.
Newman shared that the most significant trend in 2010 was the convergence of video creation, management and distribution of unified components of online communications initiatives. When asked about the impact of the growing battle over video formats standards, Newman noted that the format wars will continue to stimulate innovation and erode barriers.
Newman does believe that the adoption of tablet computing will foster accelerated adoption of business video communications and he thinks live and on-demand video are inextricably intertwined. When asked about the evolution of collaborative Web conferencing solutions integrating video and how it will impact the adoption of standard webcasting solutions, Newman believes we will see tremendous evolution in the way Web conferencing solutions are tied to central repositories to enable enterprises to organize and safely administer user-generated content. As for telepresence becoming mainstream, Newman sees this concept expanding to include areas of videoconferencing that are clearly mainstream. As for innovative applications in online video marketing, Newman likes market research and product marketing applications.
When asked about factors that will play a role in driving desktop video publishing, Newman noted there is a desire to enable expert users throughout the organization to easily and quickly create and upload information that others can use. He also believes the adoption of on-premise and hosted software solutions will rise with the tide of online communications. Newman feels that online video adoption has been tremendously influenced by social media and uses social networking by inviting experts to contribute to its blog and online forums. ITEXPO attendees can attend his session to hear from industry experts and their views on top technology trends impacting online video in 2011. As for his prediction, Newman believes 2011 will be the year that enterprise video enters the mainstream. Their entire conversation follows:
What was the most significant technology trend in 2010 and what impact will it have in 2011?
The convergence of video creation, management, and distribution as unified -- as opposed to disparate and distinct -- components of online communications initiatives. This trend is gaining momentum; it is having a profound effect on vendors that are aligning with the broader enterprise video management strategies, as well as organizations that are shaping their organizational charts and project management teams more broadly and precisely.
What impact will the growing battle over video format standards (HTML5, WebM, etc.) have on the adoption of online video in the business sector?
As they have since inception, the format wars will continue to stimulate innovation and continue to erode the barriers, whether real or imagined, between content created behind the firewall and content created externally. As we look at accelerated innovation coming from companies like Microsoft (News - Alert), with Expression Encoder PRO and Smooth Streaming, we see the enterprise as the long-term beneficiary of these “wars."
Will the adoption of tablet computing foster accelerated adoption of business video communications?
Absolutely. The tablet provides mobility that business users require with enough visible real-estate to realistically consume a rich media audio visual experience. Granted, we deliver content to all sorts of mobile devices and do so to solve important business problems, but the tablet much more closely approximates the mobile-viewing ideal, with high quality viewing and interactivity, that users have been waiting for.
Which form of video communications is most important to the development of the video technology market: Live or On-Demand?
In our experience, the two are inextricably intertwined because they are often used together to solve distinct business problems. The live video experience offers immediacy and reach, while the on-demand experience provides a complementary catch-all that can provide the same content to an audience that was unable to attend in real time or that wants to revisit the content.
However, we also see on-demand content, and these rapidly growing libraries of content, as driving the majority of future innovation, particularly as it pertains to enterprise video management. Organizations increasingly need streamlined solutions that enable them to ingest, organize, authenticate users, provide highly granular search for, approve, organize, manage, expire, store and deliver all forms of video content using an automated, rule-based platform.
How will the evolution of collaborative Web Conferencing solutions integrating video impact the adoption of standard Webcasting solutions?
On the creation side, these solutions already are highly evolved and I think we will see only incremental enhancements in the content creation space generally. That said, I believe you will see tremendous evolution in the way that web conferencing solutions (and Web video solutions) are tied to central repositories that will enable enterprises to organize and safely administer user-generated content. Our integration with Microsoft Lync, for example, enables users to create high quality web conferencing and video presentations and to publish those presentations directly into our management system or into SharePoint, where they can become part of a much larger and strategic initiative.
In your opinion, when will “telepresence” become mainstream in the corporate environment?
The definition of telepresence seems to be expanding to include areas of videoconferencing that are clearly becoming mainstream, including at the desktop where we are seeing tremendous growth by leading vendors in that space. But adhering to the traditional definition, we don’t believe that the growth of the ultra-high end video conferencing market will keep pace with growth in the traditional end point and desktop video arenas which are themselves becoming extremely high quality and an exceptionally good value.
What are the most innovative applications of online video marketing that you have seen?
Since online video and online communications can be bi-directional and highly interactive (as opposed to broadcast-only), I really like the market research and product marketing applications I’ve seen. We have several consumer products customers that are video-enabling consumer product tests and posting additional questions and/or comments to “testers” that can be distributed around the world. In many ways it respects the privacy of the tester by not having someone in the room, but affords an opportunity to collect and follow up on responses and the consumer’s experience.
What factors will play a role in driving desktop video publishing and/or “YouTube for the Enterprise?”
We’ve heard this term frequently, and it often has different meaning to different people. What we’ve seen among our Fortune 500 customers is a desire to enable expert users throughout the organization to easily and quickly create and upload information that others can use but to do so within a framework that provides for content review and approval and other rule-based content governance, such as content expiration. These types of controls, and the implementation of supporting processes, are things we’re asked about constantly and that, as a consequence, play a very large role in our Accordent Enterprise Video Management platform.
Which type of solution is better positioned for long-term growth in the business video sector: On-premise tools or hosted software solutions?
These implementation scenarios are generally designed for different, complementary use cases and so adoption of both solutions with rise with the tide of online communications. Within the Global 2000, we generally see clients deploying our solutions behind-the-firewall for corporate communications and training use cases. After their initial implementations, these customers often expand to other use cases, like marketing and PR, that may be better suited for a SaaS (News - Alert) solution. We currently have dozens of customers using our solutions on both an on-premise and hosted basis and we see that trend accelerating.
What impact has social media had on the way your firm or its customers use video? How do you measure the effectiveness of social media?
Online video adoption has been tremendously influenced by social media – from YouTube to Skype (News - Alert) to Facebook. These platforms have driven widespread end user familiarity with online video in virtually every form. Some of those workflows and features – such as content rating and ranking – are great accompaniments to more traditional forms of enterprise communications. The experience comes in, however, in being very discriminating about which social media features can provide the benefits enterprises seek without the attendant risks that social media, without process, can bring.
How have you leveraged social networking as an internal collaboration tool?
By encouraging our technology and industry experts to contribute to our blog and online forums, and by using our own platform to capture, manage, search and deliver video from meetings and training sessions.
Why is your session a must-attend at Business Video Expo?
Attendees will have a chance to hear from several industry experts what they view as the top technology trends impacting online video in 2011.
What other topics should be at the top of attendees’ lists?
Video is in-demand, but it is a highly unique content type that defies traditional content management paradigms. I’d recommend that enterprise IT users research strategies for: implementing video within Unified Communications (News - Alert); enabling controlled video creation from all major use cases – from the desktop to the boardroom; implementing video access, governance and management strategies; storage and network delivery considerations for video-based content; integrating video with enterprise application platforms.
What new and exciting products/solutions can we expect to see from your company in 2011?
Accordent will sustain our history of innovation by extending the core capabilities of our EVM platform to a wider range of devices, platforms and integrating with core systems in the enterprise communications, training and learning ecosystem.
Please make one surprising prediction for 2011.
Despite years of hype, 2011 will be the year that enterprise video enters the mainstream. This year, video is becoming an IT, versus a business unit, issue. We’ve seen this in our client base, as decision makers are increasingly from the IT, network and application systems side of the business, and we’ve seen this forecast by major industry analysts – such as Gartner – listing video among the year’s key strategic technologies for enterprise IT in 2011. The technology has reached a tipping point, and in 2011 IT will need to have enterprise video strategies in place.
To find out more about Accordent Technologies (News - Alert), visit the company at ITEXPO East 2011. To be held Feb. 2-4 in Miami, ITEXPO is the world’s premier IP communications event. Visit Accordent in booth #1030. Don’t wait. Register now.
Susan J. Campbell is a contributing editor for TMCnet and has also written for eastbiz.com. To read more of Susan’s articles, please visit her columnist page.
Edited by Tammy Wolf