Video should not be left marooned on its own island.
In the corporate world, however, more organizations than you would suspect are content to let online video live in the shadows. Perhaps they use the technology for the occasional allhands employee meeting. Or maybe they even produce a series of video-enriched employee training videos.
Still, video is not truly woven into the fabric of daily business communications at these companies. And, unfortunately, the video production professionals working at these organizations are satisfied enough to be working on just their traditional slate of corporate videos.
The path to transforming online video from a corporate novelty to a business necessity rests in identifying an organization’s communications priorities. Doing this means adopting enterprise streaming technology solutions that make it possible to weave video content directly into corporate network applications that already are widely used on the corporate network.
Depending on the streaming technology solution selected, online video can play a role in enhancing a range of existing corporate applications. Prime targets for deeper video integration include:
• Microsoft SharePoint: Streaming technology platforms can simplify the process of both posting and retrieving online video files from this application typically used as a storehouse for all types of corporate data. Integration with SharePoint merely puts video on equal footing with other forms of stored communications, increasing the visibility of video content when executives search for corporate documentation.
• Corporate Directories: Tying enterprise streaming platforms into corporate directory profiles is a key step in tailoring employees’ viewer experience. Based on information stored in a worker’s profile, for instance, streaming platforms can create tailored content portals highlighting videos relevant to their work roles. This information also can be used to apply rules that limit access to selected pieces of content, based on a user’s rank or functional role within the organization.
• Web Collaboration Solutions: Conferencing solutions, such as Microsoft Lync and a range of web conferencing services, can be integrated with streaming platforms in a way that allows for more effective archiving and management of meetings captured in the conferencing environment. This still-nascent form of integration between the worlds of collaboration and streaming introduces new ways that conferencing solutions can be used in producing on-demand webcasts.
• Sales Management Tools: Customer relationship management systems, such as those offered by the likes of Eloqua and Salesforce.com, can benefit significantly from enhanced streaming platform integration. Measures of how much a prospect watches webinars or online product information videos, for instance, can be used to identify hot sales prospects actively engaged in the purchase consideration process.
• Learning Management Systems: In much the same way that video can enhance the quality of information flowing through the sales management systems, metrics generated from video-enriched training sessions can broaden the set data points used in gauging the status and efficacy of employee training within an organization. This can include cross-referencing video as a component of overall training programs with other HR/performance measurements—and even ensuring that ongoing professional certification requirements are met.
The overall goal with each of these integration ideas is to bring online video into the mainstream flow of the exchange of ideas happening within an organization. Rather than trying to re-define how workers communicate and retrieve information, streaming video can garner more rapid acceptance by piggybacking on the momentum already garnered by applications in active use.
Video champions should focus on the types of integration that will play the greatest role in helping the organization with its primary business objectives. If an organization is driven by revenue generation efforts, for instance, the integration of video into the sales management solution would be the most direct path to raising video’s profile within the company. At service-related companies where training dictates success, integration with a learning management system may pay more immediate dividends.
Either approach can be viable, of course, depending on an organization’s primary needs. Perhaps the only wrong answer is allowing video to continue to sit on the sidelines.
Steve Vonder Haar is a senior analyst with Wainhouse Research. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.