Why Businesses Are Accelerating Investment in Video Communications
The written word is still supreme but ubiquitous technology for making and receiving video is pushing companies to embrace the medium.
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Innovative companies constantly strive to communicate more efficiently and effectively. A recent study commissioned by my company, Qumu, with independent market research firm Wainhouse Research shows communications using video is growing in popularity and explains why.
Outpacing both education and government sectors, today's enterprises are driving both the investment in, and use of, streaming video for communications. Wainhouse asked more than 1,000 business executives about their use of video for communications and found that four out of five agreed that video use improves productivity and efficiencies in their organizations. Additionally, 73 percent of respondents want their companies to expand video usage.
Respondents didn't just say they wanted to expand their use of video, their spending backed up their claims. Nearly 60 percent of enterprises reported an annual video budget of at least $10,000 per year, while another third boast budgets for streaming and video technologies exceeding $100,000 annually. The report identified five important factors in today's business climate that are driving video communications adoption.
About one-fifth of organizations have the capability to distribute video content via tablets or smartphones, but change is brewing. The survey shows that many executives use smartphones (50 percent) and tablet devices (33 percent) in day-to-day business activities. The growing mobile business environment is fueling interest in enterprise streaming solutions to enable the distribution of video to mobile devices.
Mobility presents challenges for generating and managing content in the multiple video formats required to ensure compatibility with a growing array of devices. Additionally, platform solutions must simplify content management and security and optimize video flow over constrained wireless networks.
These barriers are hardly deterring enterprise users. One-fifth of those surveyed have already deployed mobile video solutions. Another 20 percent currently enable distribution of video content to smartphones. Another fifth plan to deploy mobile capabilities in 2014 while 18 percent are evaluating video solutions for the smartphone environment.
2. Democratizing content creation
Video production has moved outside broadcast studios, thanks to cameras embedded in tablets, smartphones and laptops. Webcams transform any desktop into a video capture venue, enabling more than half of survey respondents to easily capture video.
Since employees can easily capture video, companies need to implement platform solutions that simplify the process of sharing that video content with co-workers. Thirty-five percent of survey respondents are planning to implement a corporate technology platform to support sharing content while providing security, network scaling and integration of solutions with other social and communications systems.
3. Embracing video engagement
The research found 60 percent of companies are employing video conferencing today. Video platform technology extends the use of these conferences by capturing and archiving the videos, enabling the building up of a knowledge library. Employees simply conduct a keyword search to bring up precise snippets of conversation for reference.
4. Building through integration
Self-contained video workflow solutions that capture, package and distribute video content are on the way out. Today's solutions weave video into other solutions already deployed within the enterprise. Wainhouse reports that 46 percent of responding companies say integration is a key priority.
Of particular interest are streaming video solutions that capture, manage and distribute video content originating in other widely deployed communications solutions, including Microsoft Lync, Sharepoint, Cisco Jabber or IBM Sametime.
5. Rising standards for streaming
When it comes to video streaming in the enterprise, the study shows that "everything matters." More than half of respondents noted technical issues, including maintaining security, network speed and capability, as well as the ability to track viewers, as critical. Platform offerings must respond with solutions that are both robust and flexible.
Entrepreneurs drive innovation, and are committed to find innovative new ways to drive communications as well. The Wainhouse study clearly demonstrates executives in the enterprise market are looking to new video technology to elevate communications within the company and to the outside world.