The State of Enterprise Video 2014
Enterprise video is undergoing a transformation, and the signs are everywhere. Yet it’s not just the transformation of video acquisition, editing, and delivery, but a sea change in the way that business is performed -- with video leading the way.
According to a recent Frost & Sullivan report, which highlighted growth in global enterprise video webcasting solutions (EVWS) from 2013 to 2019, the market currently sits at an estimated $218.6 million in revenue. “The market will grow to $522.1 million by 2019,” the Frost & Sullivan EVWS report states.
The transformation of enterprise video was in plain view to anyone who attended the November 2013 Streaming Media West session titled “Best Practices for Building an Enterprise Video Platform,” as the session panelists detailed their challenges for 2014 and beyond. Several topics were discussed, and a few of those found their way into the 2014 Enterprise Video Buyer’s Guide.
Two additional topics, however, stand out: mobile and security. We’ll cover both of these in this year’s “State of Enterprise Video.”
Without a doubt, mobile delivery for enterprise content is the most important issue in 2014 for the majority of enterprise video teams. Time and again, we’ve heard that video is a key driver in the way business will be done, from all-hands meetings to key product rollouts to corporate communications with both internal and external customers.
The issue isn’t as clear-cut as it was in 2010–2011, though, when enterprise video delivery was largely contemplated as “the BlackBerry problem.” There’s no doubt that the imploding BlackBerry platform, weakened a few years ago, reached reverse critical mass in 2013. And with that falloff in BlackBerry usage came an additional set of headaches that we call bring your own device (BYOD).
The Frost & Sullivan report notes that BYOD is a force to be reckoned with over the next 5 years. “With BYOD exploding in enterprises, Qumu is positioned to leverage their cloud offerings, mobile streaming solutions and integration packages,” the report states, calling out one company in particular that it sees as a market leader.
While many enterprise video teams were focused on delivering video content to BlackBerry devices in 2012, by early 2013, the focus shifted to pushing content to Android and iOS devices. BYOD in the tablet arena, an area in which Research In Motion never really gained traction for its BlackBerry PlayBook, added to the headache faced by enterprise video departments tasked with making content available on both mobile and desktop devices.
When it comes to sales of enterprise video platforms, companies selling mobile solutions need to remember that enterprise frequently buys once and uses often, to slightly mar a phrase used by carpenters.
Delivery to mobile devices is the top challenge for the enterprise, and a recent Frost & Sullivan report cited Qumu as a market leader in meeting it.
The challenge for a mobile enterprise webcasting solutions provider is to meet the criteria set forth in an enterprise RFP while at the same time providing flexibility for a future that includes a higher fragmentation of mobile devices within the enterprise than ever before. As such, these vendors face a conundrum: The number of encoding, transcoding, or lecture/ rich media capture units sold to small businesses and Fortune 500 companies alike can far exceed the number sold to entertainment companies. Yet once a sale is made, enterprise customers tend to use the solutions for years beyond the typical replacement date when a media company would upgrade its streaming technologies and platforms.
One area of opportunity on the mobile front might be in video collaboration, including the integration of videoconferencing and streaming across the enterprise for both acquisition (from remote subject matter experts) and distribution (when low latency bidirectional feedback is required for question-and-answer sessions). That’s a topic covered in a recent Streaming Media magazine article, so we’ll only note here that the trend is growing as we enter 2014.
Another area of opportunity in mobile is the segmenting of long-form content consumption, favoring two distinct mobile device types: smartphones and tablets. A trend emerged in 2013 regarding the use of tablets and smartphones to consume long-form content, coming -- at least from a consumer standpoint -- at the expense of viewing content on a desktop or laptop. For instance, Ooyala broke down data in mid-2013 that noted consumption of content lasting more than an hour had shifted to smartphones (21% of total consumption) at the expense of desktops (10% of total consumption). Most interestingly, tablets accounted for almost one-third of all long-form content consumption, besting even connected televisions (29% and 25%, respectively).
But what does this mean for enterprise consumption? In the case of video in the enterprise, employees expect the same ease-of-use and device-viewing options that they have with other forms of media consumption. The trend of BYOD is driven not by corporate largesse but rather by the fact that employees are also consumers, and they find themselves most comfortable with specific devices to consume specific types of content.
This means that it makes absolute sense to market enterprise video platform tools as “YouTube for the Enterprise” as several companies in our industry have successfully done. It behooves many vendors to consider a similar approach, inserting references to popular social media and online video platforms as a way to associate their products with known media consumption patterns.
Another topic weighing on the minds of enterprise video managers today is security.
When it comes to security, there’s a need within enterprise to secure three areas, rather than the traditional two -- the content and the pipeline -- that we’ve grown accustomed to securing. The third area, coming hand in hand with mobile, is the security of the application that will play the content.
Desktop video playback traditionally relied on known video player applications (think RealPlayer or Windows Media Player) that were vetted as “trusted source” applications by the IT department. Through the years, we’ve moved from desktop players to playback in browsers via a plug-in from Adobe (Adobe Flash Player) or Microsoft (Silverlight) and, even more recently, toward in-browser native playback available in most modern browsers.
On the mobile front, however, the trend is widely diverging from the desktop. Rather than relying on one or two solid, vetted apps, the mobile app market seems to have an app for every task a user needs to perform. It’s certainly true in the mobile video space, as smartphone and tablet owners download separate apps to consume various types of video content. Enterprise apps also succumb to a similar diffusion of roles, with an enterprise offering its employees apps, often rolled out through the IT department, to check their sales quotas, corporate benefits, and even to consume corporate video messaging.
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