Panopto, the video platform with more than 500 business and university customers, is leveraging its higher ed success to pave corporate market in-roads. A powerful new search solution will help accelerate enterprise video adoption, according to Ari Bixhorn, Panopto’s VP of marketing.
The latest news is Panopto's "Smart Search" — a robust search tool that will help users search for practically any content inside a video or screencast: words mentioned by a speaker, words shown on screen, words that appear anywhere on a video, auto speech recognition, text recognition, character recognition, proper names, and beyond. Even if a user captures video of an office printer via her iPhone, Smart Search can find that printer model by searching characters inside the video. It’s an important development that dovetails with Panopto’s new Android capabilities, an Android app, and custom branding capabilities.
Custom branding, in particular, allays concerns of tech managers who want a coherent user experience and consistent visual language, Bixhorn said. “Universities and businesses want the look and feel [of video] to match their unique branding;” via a patent-pending technology, they now can.
While other companies, such as Qumu and the popular Mediasite by Sonic Foundry, provide internal video searching, Bixhorn states that where things get interesting, is the "broader question of what content can be indexed and accessed." Optical character recognition, which Panopto offers, is a unique feature that changes the game for users.
Meeting corporate video needs was a logical next step for the Pittsburgh-based Panopto. Business video is acknowledged as a bright spot on the horizon; the enterprise video platform market is $11 billion today, according to Research & Markets, and is predicted to grow to $35 billion in by 2018. Gartner analysts predict that by 2016 we will spend 45 minutes every day watching video at work.
Bixhorn notes striking similarities and differences between video applications in the business and education markets. "One of the first things that we noticed as we transitioned to business is that the scenarios for video usage are almost identical — they just go by different names,” Bixhorn explained. For example, the term is event capture in used the business market and lecture capture in education; flipped meetings vs flipped education; Corporate YouTube vs Campus YouTube; and so on.
But there is a major divergence. When it comes to video adoption, higher ed video is "years ahead of the enterprise,” he said. For example, the UK’s University of Essex has video deployed in every classroom and does tens of thousands of hours lecture capture. Those metrics are far higher than many top-shelf businesses with global operations.
Bixhorn cites lingering confusion about the role of business video. Awareness on the corporate campus is relatively low. There is a murky video taxonomy, and too many clients rely on onerous, manual metadata tagging. Complete video search is much more idiosyncratic than a perfunctory YouTube search.
Moreover, the changing nature of video operation is misunderstood and under-discussed in enterprise environments. "Video has always been locked away in the realm of AV experts,” he stated. “[But] anyone with a laptop should be able to record, upload, manage, and distribute video.” Panopto believes that its focus on ease-of-use and more “complete" video searching set it apart.
Panopto is steadily gaining traction in corporate industries by targeting key vertical markets with creative video applications — e.g., sales enablement, social learning, and customer support in the financial services, manufacturing, health care, energy, and technology industries.
The Takeaway for Tech Managers
What’s the Smart Search benefit for AV and IT directors and managers? A comprehensive video platform with internal video searching changes the not only the video value proposition, but the knowledge proposition. One example is building knowledge assets. As some industries experience brain drain and attrition from an aging work force, video can capture experts in action. In this iteration, video can reshape the very concept of employee training and on-boarding.
“When you can search video in the same way as text," Bixhorn said, "video can become new knowledge assets." Imagine the hundreds of thousands of videos sitting moribund in forgotten archives; with Smart Search they can now be accessed, organized, and enhanced in new ways. Going forward, video can be recorded, managed, and shared as easily as a PDF.