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Streaming Success: Keys to implementing streaming media in your organization

Streaming Success: Keys to implementing streaming media in your organization

Rome was not built in a day.

Keep this old maxim in mind when your organization begins streaming video to deliver its message to employees and customers.

While the software solutions that enable enterprise video today are easier to use—and more technically sophisticated— than ever before, the video novice’s path to flawless streaming implementation still is littered with potholes. Brick-by-brick, the ancient Romans built the greatest network of roads the world had seen to that point. One has to follow a similar route in crafting a business video strategy.

Keep the following video building blocks in mind as you begin to craft your approach to implementing streaming video and evangelizing it to others in your organization:

• No Zero-to-60 in Enterprise Video: If your company has not yet deployed streaming video to deliver messages to employees, do not expect organizationwide adoption of the technology in your first month of video production. Individual habits change slowly. Set realistic expectations up-front for early video adoption.

• Recruit the Superstars: Nothing drives video adoption better than quality content. When first implementing streaming video solutions, work to identify the best presenters in your organization and encourage them to use streaming to communicate with their audiences. As executives come to associate webcasting with quality presentations, more will seek to leverage the venue for their own messaging needs

• Take the IT Team to Lunch: Even if you think you can deploy video for use within a single department within your organization, know that the prospect of video streaming over the corporate network will freak out the folks responsible for information technology at your company. The key to long-term success rests in communicating your needs with information technology early and often. This is not an area where you plan to ask for forgiveness rather than permission. If your first contact with the IT department comes after you’ve crashed their network, you will already have lost your video battle.

• Take the Long View in Technology Purchases: As executives begin to see video at work—and see that the technology actually is viable—they begin dreaming up more and more ways to use these capabilities. When investing in streaming platforms, focus on solutions that can scale to handle more widespread adoption.

• Measure, Measure, Measure: Analytics are your friend when it comes to winning the additional corporate resources needed to expand investments in video. Make sure you deploy technology solutions that help you keep track of who’s watching videos and for how long. Ultimately, you’ll want more extensive data that helps you demonstrate the impact that video has on cutting expenses or generating new revenue. If you can prove a viable return on investment from your video deployments, you’ll have a better chance at winning the budget you need and want to buy even more video production toys.

• Don’t Shortchange the Audio: If you can splurge in only one aspect of your investments in video production gear, the place to put your money is into quality audio equipment. Quality sound does more than anything to boost viewer perceptions of a video’s production values.

• Empty that Old Closet: Fancy broadcast studios are not a prerequisite for getting rolling in video. That said, having a dedicated space set aside for taping videos can be a huge help. A small room where one can set up a green-screen backdrop and put some permanent lighting is enough to set the stage for some versatile video production.

Put all the suggestions above together and you come out with one clear theme: The path to enterprise video success is a step-by-step journey. It requires savvy technology implementation decisions, effective management of executive expectations and a clear understanding of the communications habits and needs of those in your organization.

Steve Vonder Haar is a senior analyst with Wainhouse Research. Reach him via svonder@wainhouse.com.