Buyer's Guide to Enterprise YouTube Platforms 2016
Other systems let you capture Skype calls as a content type, or use the system to initiate WebEx conferences, then invite viewers and record the conference. Some systems enable employees to record and edit presentations, or simple webcam videos, with online editing features to trim heads and tails and otherwise enhance their works. If these content types are important to your enterprise, make sure your candidate systems support them.
How’s the Video?
Surprisingly, not all enterprise YouTube systems enable adaptive streaming for all types of video. Some use adaptive for live, or webcasts, but not for VOD. Adaptive streaming is obviously essential to successful mobile delivery, and you should prioritize systems that deliver all content adaptively.
Speaking of mobile, while HTTP Live Streaming (HLS) works well for iOS, there is no one-size-fits-all solution for Android. DASH will be the best option over time, but it’s not yet universally supported in all Android versions. Older versions of Android are compatible with HLS, but playback has multiple issues. For this reason, some systems offer the ability to send a single MP4 file to older Android devices to ensure problem-free playback. Before choosing a system, you should definitely understand its Android delivery schema.
CaptureSpace is a lecture capture solution integrated into Kaltura’s video platform.
Finally, some systems let you control how the videos are encoded, while others don’t. They’re your internal pipes, so you should be able to control configuration options so they don’t become unduly clogged.
About That Mobile Experience
Employees expect their tablets and phones to deliver an experience equivalent to desktops for consumption and production. When considering the various products, you should learn if there are any significant differences between desktop and mobile feature sets, and ask if and when those differences will be eliminated. Before choosing a vendor, you should also check production and playback on a range of older mobile devices to gauge compatibility and performance.
Understanding the Analytics
Some enterprise YouTube systems allow supervisors to distribute video to their employees for enforced viewing, which can be critical in some regulated industries. Beyond that, certain enterprise systems can serve as learning management platforms, complete with quizzes and certifications. Obviously, for these applications, the back-end analytics must support these analysis.
More generally, some systems provide extensive details about which users watched which videos, while others provide only general, video-centric stats. If you’re in a business that wants (or needs) to track individual employee viewing, check these capabilities early in the process.
It’s also important to see what analytics are on offer. As an example, not all enterprise YouTube systems offer engagement graphs, even though YouTube has for many years. So scan through the available reports to understand if they deliver the required information.
Closed Caption Support
Closed caption support is beneficial for all systems, but essential in, for instance, the education market. Again, if this is a feature you need, check early, because not all systems support it.
Getting Content Into the System
Most enterprises have hundreds, if not thousands, of videos to input into the system during the implementation stage. Not all systems offer batch uploading; without it, this stage can be an agonizing and exceptionally boring operation.
Vidizmo’s platform can deliver training and certifications, both within a branded portal or through an existing LMS.
It goes without saying that you should test-drive any system on your shortlist. The first test you should run is this: Upload 10 video files, completing all the necessary metadata, permissions, and other necessary items. If a system can’t perform these functions quickly and efficiently, it’s a significant black mark, particularly if you’re the poor soul who will have to upload those thousands of videos, or supervise the people who will.
While test-driving the system, try to pirate a video via a simple tool, such as Firefox’s Download Helper or Jaksta. You’ll find that systems that deliver plain Jane MP4 files via progressive download are disturbingly easy to pirate, while systems that use adaptive streaming are incrementally more challenging. All systems claim to be “secure” of course but few, if any, offer encryption or true DRM, and in truth, few systems need it. Still, this exercise will help you understand and explain the level of security offered by each system during the selection process, and it’s a test better run and disclosed by you during the selection process, than by your supervisors after you’ve chosen a solution.
This article appears in the 2016 Streaming Media Industry Sourcebook.
PrimeTime is an attractive Flash-based option with a clutter-free interface and lifecycle management, but it does have its share of rough edges
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Companies and Suppliers Mentioned