Only one resolution tops my list in this New Year.
In 2011, I pledge not to read any stories in print magazines like this (or even on the Web) that brassily proclaim that 2011 is THE YEAR of whatever you happen to be reading about. If you haven’t already, I’m betting that you’ll see that 2011 is THE YEAR of Tablet Computing. And it will be THE YEAR of mobile. And I suppose the gardeners around us will also tell us that 2011 is THE YEAR for petunias or something of that ilk.
These January proclamations typically don’t add much to the dialogue surrounding the evolution of key markets. In the case of tablet computing, for instance, the millions of iPads sold by Apple in 2010 probably gives you a pretty obvious hint at the trajectory of the market in 2011.
So, I make this pledge to you. Even though I tend to live, eat and breathe everything related to the Business Video market space, I will not try to waste space convincing you that this is THE YEAR of Business Video.
Indeed, the nature of business video adoption makes it likely that we will ever see a single calendar that will ever bring us THE YEAR of Business Video. That’s because video in the enterprise sector is usually adopted on an incremental basis. Companies deploying video communications typically produce a couple of content pieces in their first year using the technology and then – year after year – gradually expand their use of the technology as they become accustomed to the usefulness of video-enriched communications.
This gradual adoption patterns means we likely will see no thunderbolts in the implementation of business video technologies. Rather, adoption of video solutions will continue their steady continuing march into the mainstream of business communications. When talking about business video, growth is not going to come like a thunderbolt from out of the blue. It’s going to continue its expansion trajectory until it permeates the business marketplace.
Acknowledging this reality, I can’t rightly call 2011 THE YEAR of Business Video. However, that does not keep me from the other cliché of New Year’s writing: The Top 5 list of things to expect from the Business Video market in 2011.
1. Increasing Role in Search Engine Optimization: One of the emerging open secrets of the search engine world is that sites featuring integration of relevant video content tend to perform better than sites without videos in search engine results. Look for more and more companies look to video increasingly as a tool for boosting their presence on search engines. To enable this activity, more and more video technology vendors will develop systems that make it easier for companies to submit video site maps suitable for search engine analysis.
2. The Definition of Video Expands: Companies looking for ways to expand the use of video will increasingly adopt automated technology solutions that assemble custom video animations on the fly by extracting information from database (such as key features of a product featured in a video or its list price). Advances in this automation process will enable organizations to assemble a growing array of animated video content to be used in corporate promotional efforts.
3. Skype, Skype and more Skype: More and more technology vendors will develop on-screen interfaces that plug into –and expand upon - the free video calling capabilities of the free Skype service. Essentially, Skype will evolve into a directory that makes is possible for more people to hook up in phone calls that share not only video but a range of other data applications (PowerPoint slides, advanced screen sharing and more) that can be handled by software platforms designed to work in conjunction with Skype.
4. The rise of multipoint Webcast origination: Look for even small organizations to buy into technology platforms that simplify the process of pulling video feeds from multiple far-flung sites and weave them into a single live Webcast distributed on a one-to-many basis. The capabilities will enable organizations of any stripe to produce Webcasts with a series of “talking heads” that rivals anything you might see on an evening of cable news television programming.
5. Video’s Versatility Continues to Flower: More types of cameras and increasingly simple video editing tools will make it easier than ever before for executives to capture and produce relevant video content. Expect the proliferation of video technologies to make video production at the desktop level more commonplace than ever before.
So there are my five predictions for Business Video in 2011. If you’re all really nice to me, next month I’ll pull out the columnist cliché handbook to tell you about the five things I “love” about Business Video in honor of Valentine’s Day. Holidays, you see, are just an excuse to help writers make it through the year.
Steven Vonder Haar is Research Director of Interactive Media Strategies and can be reached at svonder@InteractiveMediaStrategies.com