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Lockheed Martin Makes the Case for Video In the Enterprise

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A panel at the inaugural Enterprise Video Conference, held in conjunction with Streaming Media West, explored different perspectives on how to make the case for video communications in the enterprise.

Moderated by Mark Sherwood, Cisco's senior director of unified communications and video services IT, the panel explored both for-profit and non-profit enterprise video solutions.

If a company could work like a brain," said Michael Kada, CEO of QuantumVerse, "with heavy interconnected points of information between each node - worker -- then we would be more efficient in connecting our enterprises' greatest resources. For the personal element of that connectivity, video is a key way to connect and communicate."

Kada then made the point that video communications solve a number of business problems, but that use cases need to be built in order to best understand the infrastructure build-out and the return on investment.

"You've got the green light, making the case that you need a business solution, and have a workable cost-benefit analysis. But how will you measure success?" asked Kada.

Kada said that five use cases work well: best practice sharing, executive updates, new-hire ramp ups for a distributed workforce, marketing, and product launches.

"The balance is to create consistency for each new hire," said Kada, referring to new-hire ramp ups. "But you need to also have a way to personalize the training for each new hire."

Kada showed a number of direct and indirect costs, including hardware and software costs, as well as licensing fees. He included program management and business operations costs that aren't always anticipated in a total cost of ownership (TCO) model for enterprise video solutions.

In the same way, Kada noted that there are financial and non-financial benefits, including substitution of training, marketing campaigns, and updates to products or internal initiatives. On the non-financial side, benefits include a more knowledgeable and connected workforce and instant knowledge dissemination.

In the end, measurement of success is key: not only should the number of downloads or uploads be measured, but also the percentage of penetration to certain internal verticals such as sales, executive, and operations groups.

William Beasley, executive director, of the non-profit Society of Piping Engineers and Designers (SPED), talked about how his non-profit moved video training from VHS to online video.

"We are a non-profit, which means we need to make an immediate profit on any project we start. Training courses offered by video are no exception," said Beasley.

Beasley said that the first attempt to webcast the SPED annual meeting, only three viewers logged in. That was 2010, but in 2011, when many more viewers attempted to view the stream, the wireless bandwidth at the hotel choked. As such, the 2012 annual meeting was recorded, not streamed live.

"We are interested in starting up SPED TV using Wowza Media Server," said Beasley. "We've delayed implementation until there is a user interface for Wowza. My PhD is in mechanical engineering, so I don't want to have to have a PhD in programming the Wowza server."

Beasley said that training quadrupled when provided online. For the future, Beasley says that he won't be selling videos directly -- as had been done in the early SPED training on VHS and DVD -- but will start selling blocks of video training modules.

"I'm convinced video is the new way to train, the new information channel," said Beasley. "We think we can monetize it through corporate menu value and certification requirements.

"Streaming is not as important as timeliness. We see that our users will come to our SPED site to get the information, and we need the videos ready for them to watch.

"I don't know how a phone works, but I use it every day," Beasley said in his closing remarks. "I need appliance technology for my video uploads that I can load a video into and it pushes it up to the site, and I really don't want to know how it works, just that it works."

Eric Hards, manager of digital media and streaming for enterprise digital media at Lockheed Martin, espoused creating a pilot project and showing the prototype to the right people.

"Start somewhere, show it to someone, and someone is going to bite," said Hards. "Next thing I knew, I was in a meeting with the CIO, explaining what we could do with streaming."

Hards said he didn't need metrics to attract attention, but he say metrics are very important now that streaming video delivery for executive and training solutions at Lockheed is firmly established.

"I've gotten much more done by showing someone how it works rather than showing twelve PowerPoint slides on how it's going to work," said Hards.

Download Michael Kada's presentation and watch the full video below.


Panel: The Business Case for Video in the Enterprise
Some of the benefits of video-such as meeting face-to-face over long distances-are well understood. But how do you built the right business case to deploy video for a single application or multiple applications? How do you create robust support across the business for rolling out and scaling video applications? This session will provide examples and ideas for applying the right model to your organization.

Moderator: Mark Sherwood, Senior Director, Unified Communications and Video Services IT, Cisco
Presenter: Eric Hards, Manager, Digital Media and Streaming, Enterprise Digital Media, Lockheed Martin
Presenter: William Beazley, Executive Director, Society of Piping Engineers and Designers
Presenter: Michael Kada, CEO, QuantumVerse

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