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Industry Perspectives: The Power of Enterprise Video

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Do-it-yourself video on the web has truly become a phenomenon. A new breed of user-friendly video-centric sites and video software have helped make video as much a part of our online experience as music and photos. Most notably, with 100 million videos viewed daily and a $1.65 billion dollar price tag, YouTube is probably the best example of what has catapulted interest in web video. Its phenomenal success has not only spurred rapid adoption of video technology by consumers but also has extended its relevance to new video applications within the enterprise.

IDC estimates that enterprise video use will grow at a compound annual growth rate of nearly 50% over the next 5 years. The challenge for the enterprise is managing the various implementations of video usage—which often start in departments or divisions—in a controlled and secure way. It’s critical for large enterprises to develop a strategy today to enable them to effectively manage and distribute video to both internal and external viewers.

Enterprise video communications is exploding across multiple dimensions. This is evident not only with the number of constituencies consuming video (employees, partners, and customers) but also by the number of different people in an enterprise who are creating and delivering it. It is now commonplace to see video being captured in video teleconferencing rooms and on standard laptops, and delivered both live and on-demand to users. Video communications improves how teams collaborate, companies promote new products, executives communicate to thousands of employees, and organizations meet compliance rules and conduct training sessions … all at a fraction of the cost of more traditional methods.

What is causing all of this rapid growth of video in the consumer industry and now across the enterprise? Aside from the increasing number of technology options available, the simple fact is that video is much more powerful and compelling than simply providing a written document or audio clip without using visuals. Today’s video is highly interactive, allowing viewers to fully engage in the experience by getting the opportunity to watch, listen, rate, and refer the video to others.

Many studies support the notion that effective communications has less to do with what you actually say or write and more to do with tone of voice and non-verbal expressions or gestures. For example, during election campaign polling, the candidates who communicate with sincerity and poise tend to rate much higher than politicians who fall short in terms of their communication delivery style.

According to a Harvard Business Review study of Project Management Best Practices in Global 500 Enterprises, face-to-face meetings and interaction in the workplace is declining rapidly. Many project teams are working virtually, but they are still using mainstream written or audio technologies such as email and phone. Virtual collaboration as a concept has a number of advantages, but there is a diminishing return on the effectiveness of communication due to the lack of true human interaction.

A Watson Wyatt 2005/2006 Communication ROI Study found evidence that communication effectiveness is a leading indicator of financial performance. The top findings of the study include these items:

—Companies that communicate effectively have a 19.4% higher market premium than companies that do not.
—Shareholder returns for organizations with the most effective communication were more than 57% higher over the last 5 years (2000–2004) than were returns for firms with less effective communication.
—Firms that communicate effectively are 4.5 times more likely to report high levels of employee engagement, versus firms that communicate less effectively.

Key technologies that enterprises use to create and deliver video include the following:

—Live streaming for studio or departmental webcasts
—On-demand and video to the desktop
—Videoconferencing
—Training room capture
—Digital signage
—Content distribution networks
—Portals
—Single sign-on and access directories
—Content storage networks

As in any emerging market, many of these video technologies are available and can be implemented on a point-product basis, but caution must be taken to ensure maximum return on investment. Understanding the various options for utilizing video and implementing a framework for managing video both today and in the future is a key element of the success of this strategy.

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