Friday, September 30, 2011

Independent Consultant Chooses WebCaster

Jan Ozer is a streaming media consultant and frequent contributor to industry magazines and websites on streaming related topics and the author of Video Compression for Flash, Apple Devices and HTML5.  This year he reviewed both the MediaPlatform WebCaster platform and the Polycom Accordent Capture Station and Media management System for Streaming Media magazine.

Here is a link to the Accordent review, which appeared in the August, 2011 edition of Streaming media magazine: Accordent Capture Station and Media Management System: Review

Here is a link to the WebCaster review, which appeared in the June, 2011 edition of Streaming media magazine:  MediaPlatform WebCaster Review: A Strong Option for Webcasts

We think it is important to note that an independent consultant with recent and intimate knowledge of the two leading webcasting platforms is running his next webcast on the WebCaster platform.  You can register to watch his webcast, titled Introduction to Live Event Streaming, which will be broadcast live on Tuesday, October 4, 2:00 - 3:00 PM EST.

Here is Ozer’s description of the event: “This seminar will introduce attendees to live event streaming. It will start by discussing the technologies underlying live event streaming, like codecs and formats, and how most live event platforms can reach both a desktop player (usually Flash) and Apple and Android devices.”

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Economic Turmoil Affects Investment in Video

Interactive Media Strategies released a quite timely study conducted in Q1 2011 that measured corporate executives' financial outlook and how their relative positivity or negativity affected their plans for spending on video.  As one might imagine, only 6% of those with a negative outlook projected increased spending on video against 64% projecting less money spent on video.

39% of executives surveyed who were expecting their finances to improve projected increased spend on video, versus 29% who projected a decrease.  Unfortunately, the study did not provide the percentage of respondents who were expecting finances to decline versus the percentage of respondents expecting finances to improve.

The above results not all that unexpected, but they lay the foundation for this very interesting data: the study measured different types of executives and how their positions within the company influenced their outlook about whether macro-economic factors would impact spend on video.

46% of those in Accounting and Finance, 43% of those in Training, and 42% of Top Executives responded that macro-economic factors had "No Impact" in their decision to purchase video technology.  Overall, 40% of non-IT personnel responded that the economic climate would have no impact.

However, only 29% of IT executives responded that the economy would have no impact.

I attribute this disparity to senior executives and heavy video users (like training executives) being more focused on the ROI and cost reductions that video brings to the enterprise, while IT executives are more focused on the cost of maintaining video delivery infrastructure and the impact on their budgets.

I believe the path to bridging this gap is to leverage the cost savings of the cloud to free up IT resources and still deliver the benefits of video to the business users.

For example, MediaPlatform's PrimeTime application for video asset management leverages public or private clouds to host our application and store all of the video assets.  For example: for clients that have Riverbed, we use a cloud instance of the Riverbed Steelhead to reduce bandwidth usage between the cloud and the network by 80%.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

As Video Becomes More Ubiquitous, Decisions More De-Centralized

Interactive Media Strategies released data on July 14 showing that 62% of corporations that purchased video communications technology made the decision at the President/CEO level when there was no prior investment in this kind of technology.  That number dropped to 58% when the prior year's spend was as much as $10,000.

The same data shows that when an enterprise already spends $100,000 or more annually on video, the decision-making authority is almost evenly distributed between IT (35%), functional department heads (31%), and the President/CEO level (34%).

I think the clear implication of this data is that when corporations are already committing resources to video communications and the value of video has already been established, and this kind of technology is no longer considered exotic, then decision-making authority becomes more broadly distributed to IT and the business units.

This data is interesting when paired with data released in 2010 that shows 15% of executives surveyed that do not spend money on video and are thus not using video communications believe video communications are "very effective."  58% of executives surveyed that spend $100,000 or more annual on video technology indicated they believe video communications are "very effective."

I am sure this great difference is due to several factors, including: executives who are predisposed to see value in video are those most likely to invest in it, and those that have already made a six figure investment in video will likely not be motivated to feel as if the investment was wasted.  Nonetheless, video obviously wears well because executives who are heavily invested in video believe much more in its value than executives who do not employ the technology.

Friday, May 20, 2011

"Silver Tsunami:" Using Video for Knowledge Transfer

When the Baby Boomers retire they are going to be taking their substantial knowledge with them. The younger generation to whom that knowledge should be transferred likes to consume video.  This has some very interesting implications for organizations that want to capture that knowledge, organize it, and make it easy for employees to find it and benefit from it.

Here is a link to a webcast on June 1 where Dan Rasmus, a technology strategist and author of Listening to the Future , will discuss the potential for video to serve as an all important medium for knowledge transfer and organizational learning.

Topics to be Covered:
• Knowledge Acquisition via Video
• Video as a Tool for Knowledge Management
• Use of Video or Operational Efficiency
• Practical Applications of Video for Learning in the Enterprise

Click here to register for the webcast

Friday, May 13, 2011

Interactive Media Strategies believes Microsoft could win big with Skype

Interactive Media Strategies (IMS) is a market research firm that follows streaming media. They discuss the news of Microsoft’s $8.5 billion acquisition of Skype, and the prospects for Skype to emerge as a viable platform for business video communications. 

Their research compares usage levels for a range of social media and communications applications, including Skype, YouTube and Facebook. Here is a link to the video.

They report that personal use of Facebook and YouTube is relatively high but that has not yet translated into comparable levels of corporate use. They believe this raises the question of whether YouTube and Facebook will be able to outgrow their focus on the consumer side of the business to compete in the enterprise market.

Usage levels for Skype are significantly lower overall, but Skype’s penetration in business communications is higher than they see for other communications apps online among young users most likely to experiment with emerging technologies.

IMS puts forth the opinion that if Microsoft could make it easier for technology laggards to embrace Skype - i.e. integrate Skype with the Microsoft Office suite - then Skype could achieve significant enterprise adoption.