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Choosing an Enterprise Webcasting Solution

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Implementing online video in the business sector is a snap, right?

After all, if consumers can post and share their videos on sites such as YouTube, corporate users undoubtedly possess the multimedia firepower to foster widespread use of streaming within their organizations.

Certainly, implementing online video in the corporate sector is getting easier and easier. But is it doing the job well? That’s an entirely different issue.

The growing simplicity and reliability that end users experience while using online video today belies the thicket of business issues, technical considerations, and in-house politics that decision makers still must address when trying to transform the idea of webcasting into a day-to-day business reality.

Indeed, stumbling blocks to rolling out online multimedia in the corporate sector lurk around every corner. Many executives, for instance, worry about the cost of the technology. Of 1,212 corporate executives surveyed by Interactive Media Strategies in 2Q 2008, 29% cite "Too Expensive" as one of the two primary barriers to implementing online multimedia technology. Another 24% of the respondent group cite "ROI Not Proven" as a top barrier keeping them from deploying the technology on a more widespread basis (see Table 1).

Table 1

But other factors have also emerged as roadblocks to online video. Some executives fear that they don’t have the trained staff needed to implement the technology. Others harbor concerns about its effectiveness. And still others simply see no need for integrating online video into daily business activities.

Put all the ingredients together, and you have ample reason for stalling the rollout of webcasting in any organization. You also have the makings of a lengthy checklist of issues that executives must deal with in order to deploy an online video publishing and distribution system appropriate for an organization’s communications needs.

While the obstacles to implementing business-class webcasting capabilities may seem daunting on the surface, they can be overcome with a steady, methodical approach to addressing the issues that commonly crop up as executives evangelize and explore their options for introducing online multimedia to their organizations.

These keys to managing the implementation of an online video solution can be grouped in three primary categories: Establishing Consensus, Building the Business Case, and Picking the Right Technology for the Job.

Establishing Consensus
As a technology that still is relatively new to the business scene, webcasting sits squarely in the middle of corporate America’s no man’s land. In most organizations, no one has clear-cut authority to evangelize and authorize the implementation of online video technologies. To find success, executives aspiring to the successful deployment of online video capabilities first must develop an understanding of the internal politics that are likely to be involved in a webcast purchase decision.

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