Standardized Platforms Help Make Sense of Video Chaos.
One should not underestimate the value of having a standardized, pre-defined set of tools for ingesting, editing, managing and distributing video content. For producers, standardized platforms help make sense of video chaos.
Many corporate users have embraced the concept of “video workflow” and tried to extend it to the entire technology infrastructure required to make streaming video a reality in day-to-day business communications.
Facing the prospect of implementing streaming video in more and more business uses, many large companies are investing in online video-enriched communications search for simplicity: they want technology tools that will streamline the process of translating a business event into online business video content.
And, historically, this drive towards simplicity prompts many organizations to invest in integrated technology platforms built from the ground up to get content produced and distributed in the most seamless, efficient manner possible.
Valuing a seamless, working solution above all other technology considerations, business users frequently implement turnkey platforms from a single technology provider. A single- vendor approach makes sense in many ways. End-to-end solutions minimize the risks associated with implementing rich media within the enterprise— a critical consideration from the technology’s earliest days. By their very nature, solutions based on modules and pieces from a single company are typically easier to spec, install, configure, and manage than solutions leveraging elements from multiple vendors.
But changes in the way businesses use streaming video is prompting some to re-think the priorities that should be addressed by streaming platforms in the corporate sector. For video in the enterprise, the new watchword is “flexibility.”
End-user video streaming requirements are evolving on a daily basis, and—as executives develop more specific needs and higher expectations for video—it becomes increasingly difficult for vendors to offer an end-to-end solution able to adequately address the increasingly divergent needs of the corporate audience.
Some executives, for instance, may want to broadcast video from sites where traditional videoconferencing gear has already been deployed. Some of those same executives may want to distribute their videos to audiences on mobile devices. Others may place a premium on reporting and analytical tools that provide a better sense of how video content consumption is impacting the effectiveness of their business operations.
It’s unrealistic to expect a single vendor to develop an entire integrated platform in-house that excels in all of the areas of the online video food chain. The technical challenges to developing solutions to address a single feature category are tough enough. Creating world-class software for targeted features, such as video editing or encoding, is one big issue. Few vendors have the resources or development teams needed to tackle these challenges at every point along the video workflow.
At one time, it was a no brainer to sacrifice best-ofbreed features in return for a reliable, integrated solution. Today, within some organizations, users have adopted a new line of thinking in which the need for specific features and capabilities trumps other concerns.
One big trend to watch is the more aggressive integration of targeted, task-specific features into broad-based video platforms. This means developers adept at integrating outside solutions on a modular basis to tackle specific tasks may be better suited than others to deliver a viable, full-featured platform for handling streaming video in the enterprise.
Certainly, no “one-size-fits-all” approach will ever fit the world of corporate streaming. Some executives will continue to invest in an integrated end-to-end solution. Others will focus on the enhanced features made possible by integrating “best-of-breed” features.
The bottom line is that corporate users have more options for implementing video than ever before. New approaches to platform integration offer a broader array of applications delivered at a wider range of price points than we’ve ever seen. It’s really not that complicated after all: greater choice, more options. We may never completely eliminate complexity, but greater flexibility in development will translate into better video workflows.
Steve Vonder Haar is a senior analyst with Wainhouse Research and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.