With the rapid growth of enterprise social platforms on the corporate intranet, more and more companies are discovering the value of having employees and executives collaborate and share information in real time using intranet solutions that function like Facebook.
Microsoft Yammer, Jive, Salesforce Chatter, IBM Connections, Newsgator, and Socialcast, are all solutions playing in this new market.
Like Facebook all of these platforms allow users to upload and share video. Most however are simple file uploads, much like an attachment, the original source video file remains in it’s original format and this will become a major headache for IT departments and Communication departments, as complaints from employees come pouring in because they can’t play the file on their device or because the video streaming experience is less than optimal. For example, if an employee uploads and shares a Windows Media Video file (.wmv) it will play on windows desktops, but not on Macs (without downloading and installing windows media player which Mac users are loathe to do), nor will it work on Android or iOS devices. It’s the wild west and will quickly become unmanageable.
Jive and Newsgator have taken the step of adding a video app to their platforms. Jive has licensed a solution from a company called Twistage which was recently purchased, but not by Jive. Newsgator has technology built by enterprise video software vendor Kontiki, it’s sort of a Kontiki lite.
So, great, problem solved right? Not so fast. Even if your enterprise social platform offers a video app, they are still lacking a great deal of necessary capabilities that various stake holders in your organization will quickly run up against. The Jive Video Module can only stream Flash video at 500K. It doesn’t support true Adaptive Bit Rate HTTP Streaming, so video quality is not great, and some viewers will still suffer from dreaded buffering. It also means that the videos are not compatible with Android and iOS devices. Also these apps are not true media solutions that have the kind of asset management and analytics that the media pros in the corporate communications and marketing departments require. So this will mean that while employees might be able to easily upload and share video with each other, your enterprise social platform will quickly become a silo of those kinds of video assets, while internal media production teams, internal and employee communication, and corporate communication, HR and training stakeholders are forced to use a separate platforms to meet their requirements for asset management, analytics, live video streaming, webcasting and training. They will also be forced to upload videos for employee communications into separate platforms, and multiple times, making their workflows more time consuming and complicated.
These silos also create headaches for IT, since they will be tasked with finding a way to integrate the different solutions, and will have to deal with video assets being scattered all over the enterprise. Here’s a scenario to illustrate what I’m talking about;
I recently worked with a Global Fortune 500 company that had a variety of solutions on their intranet which had some kind of video uploading functionality. SharePoint, IBM Connections, and their enterprise learning solution Mindflash. In addition they had a media production team that was creating videos for executive and employee communications, marketing, and live video events like CEO Town-halls They had video silos all over the place. Videos were being uploaded by employees in different places, and the communications department was having to upload videos into multiple solutions. Live video events were being hosted on a totally separate platform. There was no one place where all of this could be managed. All different types of video file formats were being used, and video compatibility was a major problem with thousands of videos in a half a dozen different formats. There was no way for employees to easily search for and find relevant video content, or to play it on different devices, and they had no way of gathering analytics from all of these different solutions into a single, sensible view of video usage and engagement.
So what’s the solution? The problems associated with the proliferation of video in the enterprise due to the consumerization of workplace technologies, the growing adoption of video as a predominate medium for communications and training, and the growing trends of BYOD (Bring Your Own Device) can only be comprehensively addressed by a true Enterprise Video Platform, or Enterprise “YouTube” solution which makes it easy for employees to upload and share video, transcodes any video file format into a standard streaming format which will work accross all browsers and devices without apps or plugins, has the robust asset management, analytics, live video streaming and security functionality that IT, Communications and Media departments require, and can integrate with intranet solutions like SharePoint, Yammer, Learning Management Systems, Enterprise Content Management solutions, and Enterprise Search Appliances.