Enterprise video: Are your social business platforms ready for it?

We have all witnessed the explosion of video on the consumer side of social media, emphasized most recently by LinkedIn adding the ability to create video posts. And, as Global 2000 companies are quickly realising, the same explosive growth of video is happening right now at the enterprise level, as they increasingly deploy social business applications like Yammer, Jive, Connections, SharePoint and more. All of hese platforms are fuelling a huge lift in the volume of social business video being created—and this is a trend set to continue. A new generation is influencing the use of video within the enterprise. In fact, McKinsey & Company recently ranked video sharing among the top three fastest-growing Enterprise 2.0 technologies, along with blogs and enterprise social networks, and Cisco last year estimated that video communication within the enterprise will triple by 2021. 

Of course, this growth has enterprise technology leaders—particularly in IT departments—both excited and concerned. Right now, they are asking themselves how they can encourage employees to create and share increasing amounts of video without overloading and compromising their internal networks.  

How social business platforms benefit from enterprise video technology 

Imagine a world where social business application users—by the thousands—are creating and sharing video through your company’s network every day. This is both exciting and terrifying because the fact is, it is already happening in organisations that have prepared for it, and it’s going to happen in your organisation soon. Video is powerful, emotive and personal content that can energise sharing and dialogue on internal social business platforms. It also helps businesses accomplish exactly what they need from their social business applications: give employees a way to connect personally, share knowledge, and engage with information and with each other. 

But how do you keep social enterprise video from becoming too much of a good thing? Large enterprises with thousands or tens of thousands of employees need an efficient system specially tuned for managing and delivering video at scale—over existing networks—to any device, anywhere with no spooling or outages. The bottom line is, forward-looking organisations are using enterprise video platforms as powerful video engines to take the load off of their social business applications and add scalability to the equation.   

With the above in mind, not all enterprise video platforms are created equally. If your organization is considering an investment in enterprise video, here are some important questions to ask when evaluating your current platform or the possibility of a new one. 

How seamless should your enterprise video platform be for the user? 

Social business is meant to be engaging and intuitive, and should not generate more work. Your enterprise video platform shouldn’t get in the way of business productivity. Instead, it should function behind the scenes and be transparent to users. Employees need to easily capture and share videos, right from the social business application, without the need to learn another tool. For example, when a video is shared on the social platform by an employee, their team or “followers” should be able to open and view the video without leaving the application. The video must be served by your enterprise video platform without the need to download or upload files from the desktop. 

Do you need an enterprise video platform that is truly ‘Enterprise Grade?’

Enterprise environments can be demanding when it comes to resources, and any video platform worth considering must have a track record in complex enterprise environments like yours. Is the solution proven in large enterprises that use live, streaming and on-demand video on a global scale? At a minimum, make sure it includes the tools that your IT team needs, like for instance automated workflow, to wrap each video in security and metadata in a standardised manner. 

With all backend management handled in one place, video can be delivered securely to all your distributed locations with one set of management rules. You will also need real-time analytics to evaluate usage behaviour, compliance and other metrics that will help you understand and enhance the value of video within your social business. 

Will your enterprise video platform be ‘extensible?’ 

If you are not familiar with the concept of extensibility, allow me to ask it another way: “How future-proof does your enterprise video system need to be?” Technology and business requirements are in constant flux. This is why your enterprise video platform must be “extensible”, meaning the software must have an open, service-based architecture. This makes your video platform integration-ready so that third party developers—and your own in-house developers—can fuse their software directly with the video platform. A service-based architecture ensures that the integration is sustainable as both systems evolve. In the end, this is how an expert-designed enterprise video platform is built to serve many different applications well into the future.

Extending the capability of your enterprise video platform does a lot more than simply preserve your investment. It breaks down business application silos and magnifies the productivity of any application that uses video. For example, all your systems—such as Office 365, Citrix, IPTV—can share the same centralised video resource. 

Wrapping it all up   

Video via social business channels is quickly becoming the new document, memo and email within the enterprise. Even if your company is not part of the Global 2000, the business benefits that the use of social video can bring are numerous and measurable: you can facilitate collaboration beyond email, attract—and retain—employees, train them where and when convenient to them, deliver executive communications and empower employees with a voice to share their ideas, skills and experience.  

Through video, social business can reduce travelling costs and the time needed to communicate, make decisions and get results. By giving people throughout your company visual experiences, social video can also enable you to share knowledge and consequently develop better quality products, promote your brand more efficiently and foster a more engaging dialogue with customers and peers. Social makes it easier for your workforce to be mobile and the resulting flexibility will remove time and location barriers, speed up decision-making and increase productivity. 

That certainly creates opportunities. 

Paul Herdman, Vice President, EMEA Sales at Qumu 

Image Credit: Photographee.eu / Shutterstock