Navigating the Enterprise Video Workflow
To understand how each of these four companies uses its current system, it makes sense to look at the compelling reasons to start using streaming. While all the stories are fairly similar, the length of time and the catalysts to install new systems differ.
Figure 1. QAD’s Scott Lawson says that even though his company’s video communications include video of thepresenter, the emphasis is almost always on the slides or other content.
Merck, for instance, started webcasting internal meetings in 2000 using a product called SofTV. At the time, the company was more compartmentalized with each business unit functioning independently, although they did share a common platform. In 2007, about the same time Merck outgrew SofTV, the company set up a shared-service environment and a streaming global center of excellence, moving beyond site-specific or division-centered platforms and into an Accordent program.
"We charge for services," Vanderdecker says, "and we strive for excellence and quality. But we are always conscious of [the] client’s budget."
The shared-services model also was a shift between prerecorded and live events to mostly live events that are also archived. Lockheed Martin, on the other hand, had started its own platform, LMGT-TV, in 2000. The platform had synchronized audio, video, and "eye chart" still images, which Aquilone credits to the fact that Lockheed executives often rise through the ranks and have engineering attention to detail in their blood. LMGT-TV had quite a bit of traction in the days following 9/11. It was created by Richard Banse and his team.
Figure 2. Lockheed Martin’s LMGT-TV began as a homegrown solution, but it now uses a private-labeled version ofSonic Foundry’s Mediasite for webcasts and other communications.
By 2004, 2 years after LMGT-TV had been disbanded, Banse and Aquilone were exploring new options, based on a mandate from the executive vice president, who wanted to find a way to "reach all the people" of a newly organized business area of about 16,000 employees. The executive vice president wanted to be able to speak to every one of his geographically dispersed employees live, via both audio and video with high-resolution slides.
Aquilone and Banse did a trade study in February 2004 and were surprised to find similarities between the old LMGT-TV system and new products available at the time.
"We looked at Accordent, Mediasite, and other proprietary solutions," Aquilone says, "and found that Richard’s team hadn’t been too far off the mark with the LMGT-TV system. Part of our trade study included a variety of variables like the ability to edit content after it was recorded, including trimming, changing the layout of our graphically branded version of the solution [Multivision], and the ability to insert new slides or remove old slides."
Initial operating capability began in April 2004, and the company started to use Sonic Foundry’s Mediasite for production in September 2004.
"We did an all-leaders webcast that was a resounding success," says Aquilone. "We also found another business area within Lockheed, the enterprise business services (EBS) group led by Eric Hards, had done an independent trade study around the same time and came to the same platform solution decision."
CA’s Lasher says the original idea for enterprise streaming came from increasing executive communication through town hall meetings for the CEO. Prior to implementing enterprise streaming, the company had used Thompson/CCBN and Onstream for audio conferences. But the CEO wanted to move to video and synchronized slides, so the company chose Sonic Foundry Mediasite.
"I did the integration work myself, worked with the vendor’s tech support guys," Lasher says. "I had to learn Windows Media streaming, IIS [Internet Information Services], and other technologies, but it was a challenge I wanted to take on."