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Interactivity and Enterprise Streaming

How essential is interactivity to enterprise streaming, and in what ways can it remain engaging and be improved? Simon Ball, Independent Digital Communications Consultant and Program Manager, Olga Kornienko, COO & Co-Founder, EZDRM, and Joel Fajardo, Associate Director, Digital Workplace, KPMG, provide their take in this clip from their panel at Streaming Media East 2023.

Andy Howard, Founder & Managing Director, Howard & Associates, begins by asking the panel, “Do we think that interactive video is really considered part of enterprise streaming? Or where do we think the market's going there?”

Simon Ball says that interactivity remains essential to enterprise streaming due to user expectations. “Employee engagement is driven by the feedback and the interactivity that you get from your employee base,” he says and emphasizes that this has remained unchanged from the earliest years of webcasting. Interactivity, he says, “Was very much a forefront both in enterprise communications, but also in education. For example, Continuing Professional Education (CPE).” In those cases, he says, “Now I've been checked that I'm watching the stream and have to confirm that I'm there and I'm having to answer questions in order to qualify that I've gone through [the] course.”

One issue these days, Ball says, is the sheer ubiquity of live-streaming meetings, especially since the pandemic. “And so, how do you keep people's attention?” he says. “How do you make it easy for them to ingest that content quickly? And things like the Microsoft Copilot that's coming out are very much like, ‘I'm gonna get my summary in five minutes.’ I'm attending the meeting because I want to register or I want to be seen. I want to have my name there when they do the roll call at the end. I can tick the box that I was an attendee, but I'm actually multitasking. I'm doing something else entirely. Maybe listening to see if something relevant to me is called out. Therefore, I'm not really consuming the content. So I think what is next is how can I create that attention, or if I do not have the attention, how can I catch up on what's being said?”

Olga Kornienko says, “I fully agree, and part of interactivity is making it also interesting to consume. If we all sit here and lecture people, it's going to be one very boring panel. That's why we ask people questions and all of that. Then that obviously translates into any sort of corporate world and any sort of educational streaming that one does. Because outside of that, it becomes monotonous and boring, and you lose attention.”

Kornienko says that attention spans, in general, have been tested due to the overload of content and the many opportunities for digital distractions. This is, she says, “Evident by the fact that as you're looking at something online it says, ‘It's a three-minute read or a two-minute video,’ and you're like, ‘Do I have time for that?' And it becomes sad, but if you don't have any feedback, you're just talking into a blank screen of nothingness.”

Joel Fajardo notes that these days there is not just an expectation of engaging content but also a high degree of technical seamlessness. The pandemic, he says, fostered an accelerated acclimation to online group meetings, but now the challenge is fully integrating those meeting platforms back into offices as workers return to them.

“Now everybody knows what is capable with those tools and now that folks are starting to get back to their offices, whether it be hybrid or mandatory work from the office on certain days a week…going back to those conferencing centers, those multi-divisible rooms where the tech didn't really change because it didn't have to,” Fajardo says. During the pandemic, “Everyone was focusing on getting the virtual side of the house up and running. So now that they're in there and they [want to] do a hybrid meeting with Microsoft Teams or Zoom or whatever the case may be, I'm like, ‘Well, that's not what this room was designed for.’ So now the big challenge is how are we going to be augmenting those spaces to accommodate those use cases? We have to redesign all of our infrastructure with that modularity so that [when] you change from a Zoom house to a Microsoft house, the tech still works. And if you come in where you've got a guest speaker and they want to use Zoom or whichever platform you're not using, that won't be a problem. You can still make everything work there.”

Kornienko highlights that with the increase of hybrid meetings, the experiences for users who are online versus in-person users must be integrated in ways that do not leave out any one set of users. “How do you organize all those meetings and keep it so that there are no misunderstandings, that people in the room have the same experience as the virtual folks?” she says. “Some of the things that people don't think about until they run into a problem [is] how do you make sure that if something is said, it is obviously addressed to the room or to the Zoom crowd, [where] everybody sees and feels exactly the same way? And I think that is a whole other human aspect of what we have to figure out as well.”

Learn more about interactive streaming at Streaming Media Connect 2023.

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