Wednesday, September 26, 2007

Time Shifting for the Enterprise

Time shifting has a number of meanings. For most people, the primary meaning relates to recording television programming and watching it at a more convenient date.

There were some pioneers, those who actually knew how to stop that annoying blinking 12:00 on the VCR, for whom time shifting is old news. But the advent of Tivo and digital video recorders has brought television time shifting to the masses.

In the workplace, time shifting can take a meaning that combines flex hours with hot-bunking to have multiple employees sharing the same work station by working in different shifts.

But in webcasting, time shifting involves recording a live event and then re-broadcasting the event at specific times.

What is the significance of that?

Webcasting allows an organization to broadcast a single, uniform, and correct message across its entire enterprise.

Any organization that wants to maintain a single standard for quality, a single message, a clearly-defined culture but faces the challenge of multiple channels, partners, re-sellers, distributors - often comprised of diverse cultures in numerous countries - can immediately appreciate the benefits of webcasting.

60% of communication is visual; video communication is simply more effective than a teleconference.

But what is the benefit of streaming live video to Japan when it is 10:00 PM there, and 1:00 AM in New Zealand, and 6:00 AM in California?

A much better way to send the message in a manner that is both convenient to viewers and allows the IT folks to manage the impact on their networks is to schedule broadcasts of the video content at intervals.

Stream the event live at 9:00 AM in New York. Then schedule a broadcast just for the San Francisco office at 9:00 AM Pacific. Then schedule an Asia broadcast for 9:00 AM their time (which, for them, is the following day).

Enterprise wide communications does not require simultaneous viewing of the content.

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