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Is Your Enterprise Video-Ready?

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Historically, organizations have relied on external production companies or a dedicated in-house media group to record and manually distribute video presentations and events. This process not only delays delivery, but it also eliminates tracking and accountability for the information that was presented.

Fortunately, recent advances in software and IP network technologies are changing everything. It is now possible to deliver a reliable, scalable, and continuously available video system that can be distributed over a company’s internal and external networks. In the not-too-distant future, video communications for the enterprise will truly be a business imperative.

In any organization, employees have a stake in receiving important announcements from their executives. Today, this communication occurs primarily through physical meetings, via email, or by posting documents on the corporate intranet. Most companies are not realizing the full potential of video.

Designing or supporting an effective enterprise video communication (EVC) strategy is no easy task. There are numerous factors to consider, including infrastructure and security requirements, distribution strategies, and centralized management.

Companies can capitalize on video communications to gain competitive advantage by decreasing the time it takes to deliver messages, streamline education, provide training, and meet compliance requirements. What’s more, this can be accomplished while simultaneously saving time and expenses associated with traditional forms of enterprise communication.

First, a comprehensive EVC solution must contain a complete end-to-end digital media-based environment for streaming live broadcasts, and it must provide searchable repositories for viewing content on-demand anywhere in the private corporate network. It must also provide a simple set of tools and processes for enabling an organization to deliver and expand streaming media quickly over the entire network infrastructure.

The initial step in creating an EVC solution is to identify the business cases for video in the organization. In some cases, the goals may be to relieve specific "pain points," improve performance, enhance business benefits, gain competitive advantage, or achieve best-in-class aspirations. By identifying these goals and objectives, the organization can then form a solid basis for an EVC business architecture blueprint.

Once the EVC business drivers have been identified, the next series of steps should focus on the technology drivers and architectures required to support the vision of the organization’s video communication strategy.

Building an effective EVC solution should include consideration for the existing systems, operational processes, and applications used by the organization. A complete end-to-end digital media-based environment will provide management and employees with the ability to reach anyone, anywhere, anytime.

Typically, the key technology drivers and infrastructure requirements to enable a successful EVC strategy should support the following areas in how best to handle content:
• Author
• Publish
• Manage
• Distribute
• Access
• Display

A prioritized deployment strategy with appropriate infrastructure requirements should then be developed based on how to most effectively leverage infrastructure strengths while improving defined weaknesses and technology gaps. Then, attention can shift to evaluating what components of the infrastructure will be required to support the new EVC solution.

After investigating the IT EVC requirements, identifying pain points, and defining the project’s overall scope, there is then sufficient information to create the business and IT road maps, finalize the desired strategy, and implement the EVC solution.

Many companies run the risk of getting lost in the array of available technologies. The risk of a failed deployment can set a company back years from obtaining its goals and can cause an organization to quickly lose competitive advantage. Lack of adequate planning and preparation will compromise budgets and deployment time frames.

With a proper approach, organizations can accurately build an effective EVC framework, which is not only aligned with current business strategies, but leverages existing investments in design and IT infrastructure.

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